How to Repair a Cord Rewind in a Vacuum Cleaner

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An automatic rewind mechanism is what allows the long cord of an electric vacuum cleaner to be stored inside the vacuum cleaner's case when not in use. The electric cord can get stuck and refuse to budge, making for a potential tripping hazard. To repair the cord so that it again rewinds, re-engage the spring loaded cable retractor that winds the cord around a spool inside the vacuum cleaner. There are a few methods that you can use to accomplish this, with a few household tools being all that you need.

How to Repair a Cord Rewind in a Vacuum Cleaner
Image Credit: mixetto/E+/GettyImages

Begin the Repair

Unplug the vacuum cleaner's power cord from the wall outlet. Grip the cord a few inches from the hole in the vacuum cleaner that it feeds into. Give a sharp tug on the cord. Release the cord to re-engage the winding mechanism. Feed the cord back into the vacuum cleaner until the plug stops at the hole.

Remove the vacuum cleaner's plug from the wall outlet. Play the beam of a flashlight on the hole where the cord enters the vacuum cleaner. With your fingers, remove loose dirt or other contaminants sticking in the hole. Wind double-sided tape around the eraser end of a pencil. Place the pencil, eraser end first, into the sides of the hole. Twist the pencil clockwise as your circle the inside of the hole, around the cord, to adhere contaminants inside to the double-sided tape. Remove the pencil and discard it and the contaminants in the trash. Give the cord a tug to re-engage the winding mechanism.

Fix the Vacuum Cleaner Cable Rewind

Unplug the vacuum cleaner's power cord from the outlet. With a Phillips jeweler's screwdriver, remove the screws from the panel surrounding the hole that the cord enters. Pull the panel off. Play the beam of a flashlight into the compartment the panel covered so you can see the winding spool that the cord is wrapped around. Push any cord that is snagged against an inside corner of the compartment away from the side. Remove any dust balls or other contaminants with your fingers that are inside the panel. Shake the can of lubricating spray for five seconds. Place the included plastic straw on the nozzle of the can. Spray a two-second burst of lubrication onto the spool. Rotate the spool counterclockwise with your fingers to loosen the cord. Spray another two-second burst. Replace the panel and reattach the screws.

Re-Engage the Mechanism

Wipe the cord with a paper towel. Grip the cord a few inches away form the hole. Give the cord a tug to engage the winding mechanism. Feed the cord through your fingers as the vacuum cleaner cable rewind retracts into the vacuum cleaner. Now your vacuum with cord rewind should work well.

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Marshal M. Rosenthal

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."