If you have a pet - with resultant pet hair and treat crumbs, you likely own a vacuum cleaner.. It's one of those appliances that seem to sit in the corner when not in use until they don't work at ALL, then get thrown out and another purchased.
Every one has different standards of what they are comfortable with, cleanliness wise. I am perfectly fine coming home to a Triumph TR6 carburetor disassembled on my dining room table as long as the bathtub sparkles. Some folks aren't happy unless one can perform brain surgery on their floors while others are perfectly happy not getting out a bottle of Windex and the paper towels until the bacteria in the kitchen is big enough to enter a tractor pull.
So I noticed how expensive vacuum cleaners had gotten. Then after going through a couple in about as many years I did two things.
I ignored the urge to buy another cheap one. This is one appliance where paying a little extra is worth it. Mine gets a pretty good workout between dog hair in two homes and that Christmas party where someone made a glitter bomb.
I then learned how to to do basic upkeep and read the owner's manual.
First make sure the outlet it's plugged into isn't controlled by a switch on the wall (now don't I just feel stupid now?)
Next, check the connection and make sure it hasn't blown a fuse. When that happens, no one is happy. Fuses are like safety valves, if a circuit overloads then its fuse or circuit breaker triggers and the electricity is automatically cut off. Resetting a blown circuit breaker is easy (though I learned you need to think about WHY it blew first, especially when at 40,000 feet) while that blown fuse needs to be replaced. That in itself is an easy fix, and ladies, if you can do this without help, your man WILL be impressed.
(2) Screw out the blown fuse in a counterclockwise direction (it's it the cartridge type, pull straight out)
(2) Replace the blown fuse with a new one of the same capacity.
(4) Replace the main disconnect panel to return power to the residence.
Isn't he impressed? Now don't do this while coming in from a rainstorm, all wet - you may end up with a perm where you really didn't want one. Electricity and water do NOT mix so be careful of standing water in your basement or laundry room if there's a breaker box there.
Check the electrical cord. If it's frayed and not connecting properly, re-splice the wires together and patch the splice with lots of electrical tape. (Please unplug it first unless you want your new nickname to be "sparky). This is a temporary repair only, but it will work.
If the motor has simply conked out, there's not much you can do but take it into a repair place or replace.
You've all done it. Vacuumed over that tiny little corner of paper, again and again, and it just stays there on the floor. With a sigh, you bend over and pick it up, only to throw it down and try and vacuum it up again.
Yes you have.
If it's old it just might need some minor adjustments.
First check the bag.
Make sure you have the right type for your vacuum. Not just any bag will do.
If you have household pets, also buy a small flea collar and cut it into small pieces (wearing gloves) and put one into the bag (sealing the remainder in an air tight baggie) the night before you replace it. That will kill any fleas before you remove it and put it in your trash (some recommend leaving a bit of one in there all the time but I'd rather not have the insecticide fumes in the house with all the air that moves through it).
Barkley - The Original Flea RV, in ParkCheck that the hose doesn't have any holes in it. Holes in Swiss Cheese are good, your vacuum, not so much. Aren't you glad you bought that electrical tape. Tape should be just a temporary fix until you can replace. Don't drape the disconnected hose up over a nail to store it, this is often the cause of the damage.
If it is the type that has a tube, make sure there's nothing clogging it (Hey - it's Mr. Squeeky!)
The round spinning brush under the vacuum cleaner (basically an agitator) should spin freely. If it doesn't, there might be hair or small debris wrapped around it, keeping it from rotating and doing its job. Use a small pair of scissors to cut through the build up, gently pulling it free. If it's finer hair or a piece of string, remove with a seam ripper (available in hobby stores or where sewing supplies are found). If it's your better half's favorite bore snake for cleaning their squirrel hunting firearm, hide the remains quickly and distract them with a pie.
I didn't think they still MADE shag carpeting?
Some vacuums with agitators and brushes need to be adjusted for the height off of the carpet. Too close and there won't be adequate suction to really pick up anything. Too high and they merely wave at the dirt.
And finally -
It's not a vacuum cleaner. It's a Dalek from BBC's Dr. Who and when you removed that bottom plate and poked it in the rear with a pair of needle nose pliers, you pretty much sealed your fate.