Question about Bissell 1699 ProHeat Clear View Upright Steam Vacuum

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My Steam Vac won't release any soap water mix

We press the button to release the soap and nothing happens our carpet still remains dry

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  • Anonymous May 19, 2009

    we have a bissell powersteamer model 1697 it won't squirt water

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My model number Bissell is different than yours, but many models work similarly.

Capt. Obvious fixes: Water flow often stops unless both water and soap tanks have liquids. Also make sure the dial is set to Floor Cleaning, not Tool Cleaning or somewhere in between.

Sometimes an air pocket inside the machine (even a new one) keeps water from flowing, until you reprime the Bissell's internal pumps. To prime the pumps the easy way, turn it on, then press, hold, and release the water-and-soap trigger a few times, waiting a few seconds each time.

Still nothing? Prime it the slightly harder way. Separate the two water tank pieces. Only have the base tank filled and mounted on the Bissell without the piece that sits atop the tank. Turn it on. Kneeling on the floor in front of the Bissell, reach up and press the soap and water trigger at the top of the Bissell's handle and hold it in as if you wanted water to go through. On top of the water tank is a plastic grommet hole about 1 inch in diameter, through which you pour water to fill the tank. Seal that hole with the flat of your hand. You'll feel just a bit of suction. Lift your hand up and down a few times, a few seconds apart. Release the trigger and repeat a few times.

Still no liquids? If your Bissell has been used at least a few times, particularly if you didn't thoroughly clean the machine when finished, but after a year or so in a hard-water area like mine even if you are good about cleaning it, the water sprayers on your Bissell may have clogged with mineral deposits. This is a *fairly* easy thing to fix yourself, but please read all the way to the end and check out the GOTCHA before trying this.

Unplug the Bissell. Remove the water tank pieces from the top of the base. You'll probably reveal two red plastic pieces mounted in the Bissell's base, about .75" x .75". These spray water on your roller brushes when you press the water-and-soap trigger at the top of the Bissell's handle, and tend to clog with mineral deposits.

Only work on one sprayer at a time so you can see how it goes back together.

As you squeeze the red plastic sides of one red water sprayer, push up on the underside of the sprayer from underneath the bottom unit of the Bissell to release the sprayer from its mount in the base. Clean any lint or debris out of the mount area. Clean any gunk you can off the red water sprayer with an old toothbrush.

Now you need to remove one water sprayer from the hose. You need a pair of pliers. Use the pliers to squeeze the brass colored clip that is keeping the red water sprayed mounted to the end of the small hose there. Move the clip up the hose so it compresses the spring and is no longer on the red plastic water sprayer. (See GOTCHA about the spring, below.)

With the clip released, now you can twist and pull the red water sprayer out of the end of the hose. You'll need a little hand strength to do this. Just be careful not to break the water sprayer by using a tool. They're not particularly delicate, but breaking one would render your Bissell useless until it was replaced, so use a little care.

When you've removed a red water sprayer from the hose, put the end of the red water sprayer that was inside the hose in your mouth and seal your lips around it, and try blowing through it. If you can't blow air through it, it's clogged. Open up a paper clip and push it back-and-forth through the small hole in the hose end of the water sprayer back towards its middle. You'll probably push out a line of white mineral deposits. Clean them off the water sprayer with the old toothbrush, and try blowing through the water sprayer again. If air passes through clearly, you've fixed it. Push the water sprayer back on the end of the hose. Use the pliers to reposition the brass clip on the end of the hose over the water sprayer. Click the red water sprayer back into position in the base of the Bissell.

Now do the same for the other red water sprayer.

The GOTCHA: Once when I pulled one water sprayer off, the hose advanced up under the spring and I couldn't reattach the red water sprayer, because it couldn't reach the end of the hose. It’s best to use the brass clip or some other means (rubber band, tape, another clip) to keep the hose from crawling up inside the spring after you pull the red water sprayer off the hose. If the hose gets up under the spring anyway, despite your best efforts, fix this by removing the six screws on top of the Bissell base (this is the surface the water tank mounts on top of), and pry it up. Pull out the hose, reattach the red water sprayers on the hose, position the hose *very carefully* inside the base (there are mounts under there they need to fit into, so you don't break anything), push the red water sprayers through the mount holes and mount them, and then reattach the screws to the base.

You might want to prime the pumps again (instructions above). If the sprayers are clear, and the pumps are primed, but it still doesn't get the floor wet when it should, the problem may be more serious. You may a pump or motor inside the unit replaced.

As you probably have learned the hard way, as I did, it's VERY important to do a lot of cleaning of the Bissell after each use, more than the manual tells you to do. Clean the bottom of the unit. Thoroughly rinse out and empty both water tank pieces. Unscrew the three clear plastic pieces, one in front, two on the sides, that surround the brushes, and rinse them thoroughly in water. Clean off the brushes and all the lint and gunk around and above the brushes. (A water spray bottle and toothbrush are helpful here.) Tip the machine and get all the water out of the hole in the base. Release the red clip springs on the red water sprayers and blow on them. Doing this will slow the failure of the Bissell. It's a great little machine for the money, but it does have a learning curve and needs more pampering than a vacuum cleaner, doesn't it??

Good luck!

Posted on May 31, 2009

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Replace the pump belt. It becomes streched over time. That worked for me.

Posted on Jul 05, 2009

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