Thread Number: 38845  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Bissell Quicksteamer Plus Model 1950 (FAIL)
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Post# 412613   8/11/2019 at 20:27 (365 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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Here's a failed vacuum experiment I just had.

My mom was given a Bissell Quicksteamer Plus by a good friend of hers, who stated that sometimes the soap doesn't come out of it. This particular machine is from the early 2000s, and uses a stationary "Cross Action Brush" that just brushes over the carpet, so it doesn't loosen dirt as well as a machine with rotating brushes.

I'm currently at her apartment, so she asked me if I could try and get it working again. I was able to remove the nozzle, brush assembly and spray bar just by unscrewing 4 Phillips head screws. There was a lot of dog hair trapped in the nozzle (the original owner has a Miniature Schnauzer), but I got it out by using a butter knife and soaking the nozzle in water. I also rinsed off the spray bar and brush. The spray bar was connected to a tube, which I had to forcefully pull off to wash the bar.

In addition, the measuring cap on the clean water tank was stuck on, making it very difficult to remove. I tried twisting it off, but it wouldn't budge. I ended up using the butter knife to pry off the cap; from there I could attach and remove it normally.

Then the magic moment arrived. I filled up the clean water tank with nothing but hot tap water, even though my mom just purchased Bissell formula. I took the Quicksteamer for a test run on a small area of carpet. I used my normal cleaning technique: I squeezed the trigger and slowly moved the machine forward and back, and then I repeated the same strokes without pressing the trigger to extract the remaining water. The first section I did turned out very well; the carpet was left damp, not soaking wet.

However, upon doing the next section, while the machine was extracting water, the motor began to stutter and sound rough. I immediately turned the machine off and unplugged it, and then there was a slight but noticeable burning smell! I killed the machine right off the bat. The most likely cause of death was that I sucked up too much water at once, which made its way to the motor. Overall, this is the second time I've had a vacuum motor burn out on me (first was my Fantom Fury).

The dirty water that I managed to recover wasn't very dirty, most likely due to the stationary brush. However, there is a cosmetic issue with this machine: one of the latches to the dirty water tank is missing. But the tank stays on well enough with just one latch.

My mom is going to tell her friend about what happened. I've never had experience with a Bissell Quicksteamer until now, so what should we do? I'm scared to turn the machine on again after this. Below are some pics; the test area is to the right of the machine.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size

This post was last edited 08/11/2019 at 23:47

Post# 414581 , Reply# 1   10/4/2019 at 12:56 (311 days old) by EurekaFanSquid (California Carmicheal)        

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Maybe report it to the cspc? Just trying to help...

Post# 414591 , Reply# 2   10/4/2019 at 18:33 (311 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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How did the wheel axles get so rusty? It must have been leaking before you used it. The early 2000's was 2 decades ago. The rubber tubes might have had some cracks or splits in them that allowed a slow drip.

I'd let it dry out for a week or so, and then turn it on again. if it still doesn't come on, she dead.

I have a Bissell shampooer from the late 90's and the tube has a split in it. Last time I used it in 2004-ish, bubbles were coming out of the exhaust vent like a bubble blower, lol.

Post# 414594 , Reply# 3   10/4/2019 at 21:20 (311 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I doubt it was your fault. The machine is designed to suck up water. Maybe the motor was just waiting to go out. It's possible someone overworked the motor when it was still clogged with dog hair.

Post# 414601 , Reply# 4   10/4/2019 at 22:55 (311 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

Can you open it up to expose the motor. Might be a clue in there. If you're comfortable with doing that, what's to lose?

Post# 414681 , Reply# 5   10/6/2019 at 19:57 (309 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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Iím at my momís apartment, and I was able to take the Quicksteamer apart down to the motor. The thing I like about this machine is that it comes apart really easily! Thereís nothing to it.

I was able to get to the motor, and it looks fine and turns smoothly, but the armature is a bit charred. Iím honestly half-tempted to put the machine back together, turn it on again and see if the water has evaporated. If the motor still sounds rough, itís dead, Jim.

Huskyvacs, I honestly donít know how the wheel axles got so rusty. Maybe the former owner somewhat abused the machine? At least they turn smoothly enough.

Here are some pics of the motor and motor housing. I found this large impeller mounted close to the suction opening, very similar to that of a dirty air vacuum. I think thatís the big downfall of this machine, which led to its possible demise.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size
Post# 414686 , Reply# 6   10/6/2019 at 21:11 (309 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Same thing happened

when I accidentally sucked up water with my canister Electrolux. I had to clean up the armature and I put in new brushes,they were worn down anyway and seated them with the stone, and good to go. I was lucky because it sucked in a lot of water in the few seconds it took me to turn it off!

Post# 414699 , Reply# 7   10/7/2019 at 06:09 (309 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

I'll be watching to see how things went for you. I have a model 1950-3 with a different problem, which could easily put me in your situation. The clean water container has a screw in rubber drain valve . When you fill the bottle and screw the valve back in, it holds the water/solution in until you load it on machine, which has a point that pushes the valve up there by releasing water in to the other valve that is controlled by the user pulling the trigger. That is sticking in the open position so the bottle would empty itself all over the motor and on to the floor. Messy. Hope you can save your mom's friends machine, I think you can. Good luck.

Post# 414716 , Reply# 8   10/7/2019 at 18:59 (308 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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There's a saying on here that these home extractors are only meant to last around 4 uses. I'm actually surprised it made it this long!. It was like a $90 disposable extractor when it came out, and it might be time to take it behind the shed. I'll attach a link to the new and improved version of this.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO crazykirbydude's LINK

Post# 414723 , Reply# 9   10/7/2019 at 19:47 (308 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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Yeah the motor looks clean, I don't think it ever got wet at all. It must have just been used a lot and the motor burned out or a wire terminal overloaded somewhere on it. Spade terminal connectors are easy to jostle loose and create enough arcing that it melts the wire off. There could be something like that somewhere in the motor.

Post# 414729 , Reply# 10   10/7/2019 at 22:34 (308 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        
New theory

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I'm almost certain that the Quicksteamer series utilize a "dirty-air" design, where all the dirty water is pulled through an impeller before being sprayed into the dirty water tank. I don't think I've ever seen a carpet cleaner with this kind of design.

One observation I've found is that when extracting a lot of dirty solution at once, the motor noise lowers in pitch, most likely due to the water exerting extra stress on the impeller. I think that, to prevent this from happening, I have to squeeze the trigger ONLY on the FORWARD stroke.

One last thing: the motor is rather loud and annoying, despite it being 4 amps. But that doesn't surprise me, as carpet cleaners in general tend to have noisy motors. The Quicksteamer just seems louder due to the dirty-fan design.

Post# 414736 , Reply# 11   10/8/2019 at 01:42 (308 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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I did find a random fix-it video for this shampooer, it's not your problem, but on this guy's model there is some kind of red rubber flapper or gasket over the motor suction channel. I wonder if yours is missing that piece and this is why it failed?

This video here for a slightly newer model from 2003 also shows the red flapper

Post# 414740 , Reply# 12   10/8/2019 at 11:58 (307 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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As a matter of fact, I already watched the first video you sent me, as I was looking for a guide on how to wash out the nozzle and other parts. On my machine, the red gasket is actually black. I'm not sure about the exact year it was manufactured, though. How do I find that out?

Post# 414742 , Reply# 13   10/8/2019 at 14:47 (307 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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Oh is it? Maybe the orange gasket was changed later to make it easier to see.

If the date code is in Julian format, and the number at the top right of the model tag is the date code, it could be the 246th week of 2000. The manual was printed in 2001 though. But with Bissell usually the first two numbers are the year.

Post# 414762 , Reply# 14   10/8/2019 at 23:58 (307 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

On the nozzle you can remove both the brush and the blue spray bar if needed. Mine was partially clogged so I soaked it in water/vinegar mix for a while, then used a sewing needle and cleaned out the little holes, then with a drinking straw pushed onto the little nib, I blew it out. They are really simple machines to work on, like you said. Billy

Post# 414845 , Reply# 15   10/11/2019 at 16:35 (304 days old) by EurekaFanSquid (California Carmicheal)        
To niclonnic

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ive' found a manual for it in case you lost it lol


Post# 415005 , Reply# 16   10/16/2019 at 23:29 (299 days old) by myles_v (Fredericksburg, VA)        

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There is no way that it has a "dirty air" design, the water is not designed to go through the fan. I had one of these many years ago, they're just cheaply made. I'd bet that the previous owner allowed a lot of water to get into the motor, possibly by not emptying it when it was full or even by using a cleaning solution that produced too many suds which may have been sucked into the motor. I've had that happen to me before with a similarly designed machine.

Post# 415036 , Reply# 17   10/17/2019 at 18:05 (298 days old) by bobby1 (indiana)        

These do infact use a "dirty air" design, its the only carpet cleaner ive seen use it. If you suck up to much water at once it will slow the motor down as it's not super powerful.

Post# 415064 , Reply# 18   10/18/2019 at 22:54 (297 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Does anybody know

where I can get the stopper valve that screws to the bottom of the solution/clean water container, mine sticks open, big mess. Thanks.

Post# 415370 , Reply# 19   10/28/2019 at 02:10 (288 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        
The End...

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I'm sad to report that my Quicksteamer saga has NOT come to a happy ending. I went to my mom's apartment after putting the machine back together the prior weekend. I plugged it in and tried turning it on. The motor is now completely shot; it runs slow and stutters, causing the lights in the room to flicker rapidly. I promptly turned the machine off and unplugged it before we suffered any electrical damage.

It doesn't really surprise me that the machine died after running flawlessly for so many years. After all, these Quicksteamers were not built to last, due to the low price and subpar construction. I'd say these Quicksteamers cost around $80 when they were brand new back in the day, but I could be wrong.

So I simply took the Quicksteamer outside and set it by the dumpster where it belongs. It's dead, Jim. We will not miss this machine. That is not daylight; this pic was taken at about 7:00 at night.

  View Full Size
Post# 415372 , Reply# 20   10/28/2019 at 03:33 (288 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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Oh wow, I guess there is wiring inside that possibly must have overheated and burned and shorted across the coils of the armature. Only a heavy arcing can cause such a load on the house wiring that makes the lights flicker but not enough of a current fault to trip the breaker. That is really weird how that happened. It must have just been used a lot and melted the insulation until it touched together.

I found an old Sears ad from 2003 (just a preview unless you buy a subscription to the site)

It looks like the QuickSteamer Plus was selling for $78.99 in 2003 - this equals to $110.01 today.

The closest thing Bissell has out there today to compare to this model is the TurboClean Powerbrush which is a compact shampooer weighing 12 lbs and it sells for...$119.99. So that is about right.

Post# 418181 , Reply# 21   1/5/2020 at 17:01 (218 days old) by EurekaFanSquid (California Carmicheal)        

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R.I.P Quicksteamer (;_;)

Post# 418334 , Reply# 22   1/8/2020 at 19:39 (215 days old) by edog192 (Lowell, MA)        

I hate those Bissell Quicksteamers. I had one and it never actually cleaned the carpet, it just made the carpet wet. I finally threw that Quicksteamer in the garbage where it belongs.

Post# 418343 , Reply# 23   1/9/2020 at 01:31 (215 days old) by gregvacs28 (space coast)        

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As was said, I don't think you did anything wrong.

Without a rotating brush, it's junk. I wouldn't have even bothered to try and fix it just based on that.

Cut the cord off and put the rest at the curb for someone to scrap, is what I would do with it.

Post# 418368 , Reply# 24   1/9/2020 at 15:44 (214 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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This Quicksteamer is already gone; as I said in an earlier post, I set the entire machine by the dumpster where it belongs. I didn't cut the cord off or anything like that. Nobody wants a machine where the motor is completely shot and stutters.

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