What the Vacuum Cleaner Repairman Taught Me

Posted by    |    June 18th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Took our Sears canister vacuum cleaner to the repair shop near our house.  The off-and-on-speed switch in the handle was bad.

The owner told me that it wasn’t like my mother’s old Hoover.  “Vacuum cleaners today are made in Korea and China and other far off places,” he said.  “They aren’t made to last more than a couple of years.  In fact after a couple of years, we can’t even get parts for them.”

I said, “Well, what’s wrong with wiring around the switch so that the thing is always on, and then putting a switch on the cord to turn it on and off?”

“Won’t work,” he said.  “There are a couple of computer chips in the tube and several sets of wires that go from the tube to the motor.”

I’m looking at his demonstration, and I see only two terminals on the base of the tube, and I surmise that they are the wires that control the “hot” side.  And I also surmise that contrary to what the guy is trying to tell me, there are no computer chips and no extra sets of wires in the tube.

I surmise that the switch is a rheostat that controls the speed of the motor as well as turns it off and on, and it is attached to the two wires that are attached to the two terminals at the base of the tube.

I don’t say anything.

“Either use it like it is, or go buy another canister vacuum from Wal-Mart, Sears or Target,” he instructs.

“Thanks,” I said.  I took the machine home, removed the cover from the switch, cut the two wires apart and connected them with a wire nut.  I put a switch on the cord.  The vacuum cleaner works like a charm.

Other than drive time to and fro, and the conversation, it took me less than fifteen minutes to repair the vacuum cleaner, a repair that the pro said wouldn’t work.

I wonder how many times that we as Realtors make parallel mistakes with our customers?



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