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Oreck XL21 just will not work at all any more. Beater is clean - belt is fine. Fresh bag - inflates. Took the thing apart - checked for blockages at intake, bag entry, and the tube. It just doesn't vacuum anything. No suction at all for anything stronger than air. I'd say it doesn't ****, but that would be ironic. Are these known for just "quitting" after a while? We take it in for maintenance as recommended to replace filters, etc. Is there some miracle trick to make it work or should I just decide it's garbage now?

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Did you make sure the brush turns freely? Even though it is clean, if it does not turn freely with the belt, it will not beat the carpet and pull debris up into the unit.
Another (drastic?) thing to try would be to take the unit outside into your driveway and using a small source of smoke, a cigarette, etc, let the vacuum **** up the smoke and see if it exits anywhere other than through the bag. If it does, there is obviously a leak someplace in the unit that needs to be fixed.

Posted on Oct 01, 2010

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Doesn't pick up


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My vacuum seems to be just pushing around things instead of sucking them up. I changed the bag and cleaned the bottom, but nothing helped.


Did you check to see if the drive belt for the beater brush was broken or frozen up? The beater brush hits the carpeting and causes the dirt, etc, to jump into the air so the suction of the unit can pull it into the vacuum. The beater brush will be fairly easy to remove. Once it is out of the machine, clean it as best you can, add some WD40 on the plastic end pieces and when you reassemble, put a new drive belt on. This should solve the problem. Paul

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What does the belt tension feel like? Is it possible that the new belt you fitted is a bit too long (and starts to slip as soon as it encounters any real resistance). Any more methodical diagnosis is going to depend on observing which bits of the machine are still moving, and which aren't when the brush roll is stuck. Gather this information with caution, as it's a good way to lose a couple of fingertips. A.

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