Question about Bissell 1697-7 Powersteamer Pro Deluxe Vacuum

3 Answers

Pump prime lost

How do you get the pump rimed again
O n a Bissell Upright carpet cleaner This model doesn"t have the steam feature

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  • keges335 Jan 08, 2008

    Hi I have amodel no 1697. It wouldn"t spray the water. So I blew compressed air through it . And cleaned all the filters and all the hair. It started to worlk again. So when I tried to use it the next day nothing happened. I finally figured that maybe the pump lost its prime. I removed the pump . And let water go inside through

    the top hole . And plugged off alll the lines until i reindstalled it.

    After putting everything back together and plugging it in. Nothing happened. But I did notice some air bubbles coming through the water. But it seems there is a big air pocket in the line on the side of the pump by the belt . And when you take that line off while it is running . No water comes out . This machine is only a few yrs old And only has been used a few times.

  • Anonymous Feb 06, 2008

    I have own my bissell for only four months, and l can't get the water to spray . I will nrver buy another bissell .

  • Cathy Groop Feb 19, 2008

    Have used mine 3 times. After the first time It had to be repaired. Tried using it again and just a bit of water comes out.The red rotor on the flow indicator does not spin. There is NO suction at the motor intake valve either. I am about to throw it in the rubbish.

  • Jimbo5169 Feb 26, 2008

    It would appear that I have the same problem. I have worked on mine some and have discovered that there are 3 hoses on the pump. One is the liquid in and the other is liquid out. The third hose is a vacuum hose. I assume this is how they draw liquid into the pump and keep it primed.. If I remove the vacuum hose while it is running and then replace it, it begins to pump for about 10 seconds and then stops. I have confirmed that there is constant vacuum on the hose. It is either drawing air instead of liquid on the pump input or the problem is in the pump.

    After removing the pump from the machine there appears to not be any way to get inside the pump to see what is happening. I tried placing vacuum on the proper fitting and it doesn’t suck air through either of the liquid lines but does appear to draw air from around the impeller shaft. Not sure if this is correct. I guess my next step is to try replacing the pump.

    Anyone have any other ideas?

  • AMiller383 Apr 06, 2009

    I have the exact same problem with mine and so does my mother. Already had it repaired once. It's no more than 3 years old and have only used it 4 times! I tried taking apart whatever I could to see if anything was clogged and don't see anything. Why is such junk being sold! This is it for me when it comes to buying anything Bissell.



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The Bissell 1697 is a temperamental machine. Loosing prime is the biggest problem. I have found that the tanks and top cover are not designed well. The connecting plug on the bottom of the tank does not set deep enough into the female receptacle. When the plastic starts to warp and it will, two things happen. First the push valve on the male side (tank) may not open and secondly, you get air leaks.

The pump wants to pump water with high mass and not air. Once the air purges, it will build pressure. You can watch the lines with the top open and identify where the air is coming from. 90% of the time it is the bottom of the tank fitting.

The fix is to put a spacer under the metal plate holding the male (tank) receptacle in place. A rubber gasket or O-Ring that spaces the plate down about 3/32". The plate must have the holes beveled to recieve flat head screws so they dont stick down and hold the tank off. Use silicon seal. Plate should protrude from the bottom of the tank surface slightly when you are through.

Slipping drive belt to the pump is the second biggest problem. Also if you take the top off, every thing has to go back in place exactly or the top will not fit correctly. Hose routing is critical.

Nozzle's will plug in a heart beat so keep the tank water clean. Make sure you turn the mixture valve to water only and purge the system with water prior to quiting.

One further thing, the vac connections to the tank are crappy. I have to use a foam seal glued to the tank top to mate with the two existing gaskets on the body. Here again the plastic warps and things start not fitting properly.

Most of the problems are related to plastic warping as usual on modern cheap ****.

Retired Mech Eng.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008

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After further examination of the pump I re-installed it in the machine and removed the inlet hose from the mixer valve body and placed the end in a shallow pan of water. I turned the machine on and the pimp picked up the water from the pan and pumped without failure for several minutes as I had the pump output refilling the same pan.
If I take the end of the inlet hose out of the pan for only a couple of seconds, the pump loses prime and will not recover until I remove the vacuum hose from the pump. Upon replacing the vacuum hose the pump primes and begins working.
At that point I suspected an air leak at the base of the water tank or somewhere in the mixer valve assembly. I then took the hose off of the tank fitting in the base and placed the end of the hose in the pan of water. Again, the pump performed without any problem. Therefore, I assume I have an air leak at the base of the tank where the tank connects to the machine.
I will explore this further and provide you with additional info as I make progress

Posted on Feb 26, 2008

  • Jimbo5169 Feb 27, 2008

    Here is what I wrote to Bissell Consumer Service:

    I’ve owned my 8905 for several years and shortly after purchase it began periods of not dispensing liquid from either the hose or the spray nozzles. For the past 4 years the machine has been sitting idle and I have resorted to renting carpet cleaning machines. I am very disappointed in the quality of the 8905. Recently I got the 8905 out and began troubleshooting it. The problem appears to be the pump is losing prime. This only happens when the machine is assembled. During disassembly, the pump maintains prime and functions as designed. It appears there is a problem with the seal at the bottom of the tank-in-tank when placed in position with the machine fully assembled. As previously stated, placing the tank over the receiver while disassembled appears to seal and prime is not lost.

    Considering the receiver, receiver holder, top cover

    assembly and the tank itself are all constructed of various types of plastics, it is hard to tell which component is contributing to the air leak that is causing the loss of pump prime. I have replaced the tank valve assembly along with the rubber seal and when the tank is installed it appears to be seated on the receiver and doesn’t leak.

    Has this problem been addressed? If so, what is the fix?

    Here is their response:

    Thank you for contacting BISSELL Consumer Services.

    We are sorry you are experiencing difficulty with your BISSELL Deep Cleaner.

    What you described has not been an issue with the BISSELL Pro heat deep cleaner.

    We recommend taking your machine to a local vacuum service center for repair.

    To locate your nearest BISSELL Authorized Service Center, please go to under the Customer Center tab near the top of the homepage. Enter your zip code in the Service Center box on the right of the page to perform your search.

    You can also locate a Service Center by phone, 24 hours a day, by calling 1-800-237-7691 and choosing option #1.

    Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.


    BISSELL Consumer Services

    Guess I'll continue renting and put this piece of junk out with the other trash...


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If you have a heater in the handle, it may have clogged, so the water can't run thru. Is the pump belt ok and not stretched. at the back on the nozzle asm. is it coming loose, has to be down tight. The cap at the red spinned is leaking air(not sealing). Pump is bad.

Posted on Jan 06, 2008

  • Lauren Junge
    Lauren Junge Jan 08, 2008

    If you took the top off, you have to put the automix valve to water only so that the piston goes down in the hole right, otherwise it won't work. Does water spray out the hose, if it does, then the heater is clogged, if it doesn't, then most likely you will have to replace the pump. Also is the back of the top cover flush with the base, if there is a gap, then the water tank won't sit down all the way, is the seal on the bottom on the tank on, or is it in the hole where the tank sits, has to be on the tank. These units are very tempermental, and if everything isn't just right, they won't work.


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