Thread Number: 43702  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Bissell Lift-Off Deep Cleaner 35K3 - Solution Leaking/Suctioning Issue
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Post# 456212   8/26/2022 at 15:09 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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Has anybody owned this carpet cleaner, and if so, is able to offer a fix for this issue? My dad bought this machine new from Walmart back in February of 2012, so it is now 10 years old. I used the machine in both full-sized and portable modes extensively at my old house with wall-to-wall carpeting. However, after replacing the carpets downstairs with laminate, I stopped using the Lift-Off nearly as much as I used to. The house I'm at now has laminate downstairs with some area rugs, and light gray carpeting upstairs. My dogs aren't allowed to go up there, but my cat is. Because of that, I haven't justified a reason to use the Lift-Off up there. I have a Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush, which is a cordless machine that has supplanted the Lift-Off for my pet accident needs.

Every time I'm done using the Lift-Off, I go overboard with cleaning the whole machine out. First, I fill the clean tank with hot water only, and then spray it out using the upright and/or portable modes to flush out the solution lines. After that, I empty and rinse out both tanks, then let them air dry to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bad odors. Whenever I use the machine in full-sized mode, I use a Phillips screwdriver to remove 11 different screws, enabling me to remove and rinse off the nozzle, end caps, belts and brushrolls. This rigorous routine is what has allowed me to make the machine last for years to come.

But nowadays, the machine has progressively showed signs of its age over the years. Namely, the clean tank has turned yellow, and the hose has ripped open right by the handle. The tank's operation is unaffected, but I've had to use packing tape on the hose to get full suction out of it. But the tape can only do so much before I have to reapply it. I know that replacement hoses exist, but they look difficult to install, since the process requires disassembly of the portable spot cleaner.

Anyway, onto the main issue. I was using the Lift-Off in portable mode to clean my couch, and although the solution was spraying well, it was also dripping from the hose, making my hand wet. I also found that the machine would leak solution out of the bottom (where the solution line connects to the upright frame), making small puddles on my laminate floor where the machine sits. This makes me paranoid that I'm either going to get shocked or have the motor go out on me. I wouldn't want to use this machine on carpet or in a car if it leaks like this. And I don't know if a replacement hose would be worth it in this situation.

Also, whenever I spray solution through the hose, some of it also gets suctioned into the dirty tank. I unscrewed some screws from the hose end to try and inspect the solution tube on it, and it looks fully intact. But I noticed a crack on the 4" tough stain tool where the solution sprays out of.

This suction issue also applies to full-sized mode. Whenever I pull the trigger and push the machine forward, the solution also gets to the nozzle and suctioned into the dirty tank. I looked at the nozzle and saw what looks like a long scratch on the bottom. But I did see some stripped screw holes where the end caps attach, so maybe that's causing the issue? I previously used a screwdriver, but after a long time I switched to using a drill, so I'm wondering if that has made the screw holes worse. I found that the solution was spraying out unevenly from the bottom.

This issue doesn't adversely affect operation in both modes; the machine still pulls out a lot of dirt nonetheless.

Is there a way to fix this? Or should I just scrap this machine and seek out an alternative? For the record, the motor, heater and brushrolls still run perfectly, and the suction is still strong. I removed the tape from the hose to show how bad the rip is.

TL;DR My 10-year-old Bissell Lift-Off Deep Cleaner is leaking solution through the hose as well as onto the floor. It is also suctioning up some of the sprayed solution through the hose and floor nozzle in both modes.

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Post# 456214 , Reply# 1   8/26/2022 at 16:12 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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So you notice all these tears and breaks in the hoses but wonder why it has poor suction and leaking? Fix the hoses. Tape can't fix that. Any hardware store will have lengths of rubber tubing and hose for the solution tubing. The main suction hose you can get here: . If you use the machine and want it fixed, then the hose is worth it.

You are not meant to take the machine completely apart that many times. The parts are not designed for that. Just rinse out the bin and tubing and that's it. Hoover's spot cleaners actually have hose rinse-out ports so if you are concerned about that just use a Hoover and not Bissell. If the screw holes are stripped there is not any way to fix that but maybe filling them with plastic epoxy and re-threading the hole with a screw threader for the screw size. If you scripped out the screws as well you will need new screws too. Never use a drill to take anything apart, always use a screwdriver, and hand tight only, do not force. The diverter plate is likely not sitting flush with the housing, or check the gasket is flush and not smashed into the channel too deeply.

Leaving solution and shampoo in the lines is what rots the hoses and tubing. It also might be your climate if you are too damp. I noticed the same thing happen to vacuums in Florida - their tubing rots. This is why I never put shampoo solution in my machines. I do the same as professional carpet cleaners and put the solution in a pump sprayer, wet down the carpet, agitate it into the carpet with a rubber carpet rake or orbital buffer, wait 10-15 mins, and then use hot water only in the machine to extract the solution. The carpets get cleaner and are not sticky with soap afterwards.

Post# 456244 , Reply# 2   8/27/2022 at 17:30 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        
The repair

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Yesterday, I went and ordered a new hose from Amazon, and it arrived earlier today (thanks, Prime!) So I went and installed it with the help of a YouTube video.

The whole process took just under an hour to do, as it involved taking the entire spot cleaner apart. I removed a bunch of Phillips head screws from the body and pulled entire pieces off the unit until I got to the motor and pumps. The suction part of the hose could simply be pulled off of its opening near the suction gate, but the solution tube was attached via metal clips to the main tubing in the machine. I pulled the clips down the tubes using pliers and pulled the tubes out of the hose with some force. Afterwards, I was able to attach the new hose without any issues. Installing this new hose was a lot easier than I expected it to be. However, there were a couple screws in hard-to-reach spots, so I had to angle the screwdriver to get to them.

After reassembling the machine, I gave the new hose a test. Now the solution sprays perfectly and the suction is still strong. No more packing tape. And solution is no longer leaking out of the bottom.

I also tested the machine in upright mode, and solution is still seeping through the nozzle, but not as bad as it was before.

So that was $30 well spent. Now my machine will still be usable for years to come!

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Post# 456252 , Reply# 3   8/27/2022 at 20:37 by wstonehockertv (North Carolina)        

For a Bissell, I'm glad you were able to get it back up and working as intended. 10 years is a long time for a Bissell product to last.

Post# 456374 , Reply# 4   8/31/2022 at 19:13 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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Well said! I agree, it's hard to believe that my machine is still going strong after a decade.

Post# 456408 , Reply# 5   9/2/2022 at 03:01 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Glad to see the hose worked! I was actually shocked Bisell sold those separately. It's not usually a part a company would stock in this day and age.

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