Things You'll Need
Visit any large discount or home improvement store and you will find a variety of brands and models of steam cleaners. From portable cleaners, such as the Bissell Green Carpet Cleaner, to full-sized cleaners, such as the Hoover Steam Vac, there is sure to be one that fits your needs. On occasion, these machines require the repair or replacement of a damaged part. Most large companies, such as Hoover, stand behind their products with a limited warranty. But there are often quick, simple and affordable repairs that you can handle on your own in lieu of sending your steam cleaner out for repair.
Inspect the power cord of an inoperable steam cleaner for damage. Ensure the power button is pushed to the on position. Check the power cord and make sure it is pushed all the way into the outlet on the wall. Check for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. Do not use if the power cord is torn or wires are exposed.
Inspect your steam cleaner's belts for loss or damage. Damaged belts can cause the brushes to stop rolling or the spray mechanism to stop functioning. To fix a damaged pump or brush belt, first unplug the steam cleaner. Refer to the user's manual to determine the specific location of each belt. Order a new belt directly from the manufacturer's website, or from a local home improvement store, if necessary.
Repair a steam cleaner that has low suction. Unplug the steam cleaner and check the nozzle and attachments to verify that they are attached properly. Examine the gasket to ensure that it is positioned correctly, and check for damage. If the gasket needs to be replaced, order it from the steam cleaner manufacturer. Verify that the lid to the water tank is installed correctly, if not, remove and reinstall. Check the water level of the recovery, or dirty water, tank. If the tank is full, empty and replace.
Fix steam cleaner attachments that have stopped suctioning. Turn off power to the unit. Check the attachments and hose for blockage, and flush with clean, hot water if necessary. Change the angle of the attachment being used, and be sure to apply enough pressure to make good suction.
Repair a steam cleaner that is not dispensing cleaning solution. If your steam cleaning machine is not spraying or is poorly dispensing the cleaning solution, check this list of items that could potentially cause the problem. First, make sure there is a full tank of clean water installed, if not, fill with hot water. Next, check to make sure the cleaning solution bottle is filled, and has the proper brand of solution in it. If not, fill with the correct cleaning formula. Next, if the pump has lost its prime or the button has become lodged, disconnect power to the unit for one minute, then turn on and hold down the trigger. Refer to the user's manual to find the location of the filter; check for clogging and remove any dirt or debris. Finally, inspect the tanks to verify that they are positioned properly and check to ensure the belts are in working condition.
Malissa O'Brian is a writer whose work has appeared in consumer magazines including "Houston Pet Talk," various trade manuals, e-books and websites since 2001. She is an Examiner for Clarity Digital Group, nationally certified as a medical assistant, a licensed real-estate agent and has attended Kaplan University, Texas Tech University and Champions School of Real Estate.