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Re: The handel broke on the Tank-in-Tank
If your unit is still under MFG warranty they will replace it at no charge. You can take it to a local appliance shop and they can have it replaced for you. I don't believe that Bissell will ship directly to your home without having it looked at by and authorized repair facility.
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You should have the vacuum set to Wash/Rinse for all steps in cleaning. Press the trigger to release the cleaning solution and push the vacuum forward. With the trigger still pressed, bring the vacuum back towards you). Then release the trigger and again move the vacuum forward and then back. Repeat the "dry" strokes until the dirty water enters the dirty water tank. Watch the water going through the dirty water tank lid. Empty the dirty water tank if the suction fails or the tone changes. Do more dry strokes after cleaning the entire surface until you do not see more water entering the dirty water tank.
(1) Upright: Sounds like the tab on the lower handle that the handel release latches to has broken off. The machine is fully functional without it otherwise.
(2) Assure the ring gasket is in place under the hood.A round rubber gasket must be in place on the round tube under the hood where the recovery tank sits to connect the vacuum from the motor to the round tube on the bottom of the tank.
Problem; No water or solution
After taking the unit apart TWICE trying to determine the problem I finally realized that the rubber washer on the bottom of the solution tank had come off the tank. It was stuck in the drain - I pulled it out of the drain and put it back on the bottom of tank. Now the tank could sit down properly on the drain. As soon as I put the tank back on the machine, bubbles came up through the solution in the tank indicating that solution had drained into the system as it was supposed to.
I started up the machine and it worked like new again.
There is a little post in the back where you insert the top solution/water tank, if you put the tank in incorrectly, (i.e., shoved it in, instead of putting it in at an angle, bottom first) there is a chance you broke it or bent it backwards. My mother broke mine, i've got the post but don't know the part, without that post inserted into the tank the water will not come out.
The bottom tank is for the dirty water, the top tank, it has a small tank attached to it for the shampoo, clear hot water goes in the bigger tank. Then turn it on, squeeze the trigger as you pull it backwards. It will spray and vacuum up at about the same time.
My Bissell is quite fussy. Sometimes I have to wiggle and push down the tank before the water will start to flow. The water doesn't flow properly if the soap container is low - I fill it with water when rinsing.
It has a viewport with a red cross that turns when the water flows. Sometimes just removing that and the white filter below (and putting them back) makes it go.
Mine is easy to take apart - 6 screws in the base unit and the top comes off. There are two water tubes going into the handle hinge under where the water tank goes - very easily squished or damaged. Last time the water stopped flowing, I ran it with the cover off and just fiddled around with the tubes and away it went.
Maybe it is spraying soap only. The water flows up through the handle to the finger valve and heater. Some people say the heater in the upright/handle gets plugged. I haven't had that apart, but it should be easy to bypass the heater.
I have the the same problem.. Took machine entirely apart. Inspected the actuator lever, rod, plunger, hose, bar (entire water feed components). Took the tank apart and determined there was a possibility that the curved hose(inside of tank at suction side) could have sucked itself onto the bottom of tank. Modified to prevent this from happening again. Put the machine back together and voila! It worked for a few minutes only if I kept the trigger depressed. I believe the machine was designed for part gravity water feed and part vacuum water feed. Whatever the case, not working too well. Although, I did notice it works better when the clean water tank is full. After inspecting and testing I determined that there is too much vacuum energy being lost to the underside of the brush housing hence not creating enough suction for on demand water supply.
There is a heating element much like a radiator inside the handle unit that is clogged. The water travels from the tank thru the heater and back down to the jets. You'll need to take the heater apart to clean it. You may need to check the hoses to and from the water pump also.