The Kirby vacuum cleaner is capable of cleaning your home in an upright position or as a canister vacuum. Upright vacuums are better designed for cleaning carpeting, while the canister vacuum offers the flexibility for above-the-floor cleaning. Transforming the Kirby from upright to canister is a process that requires little skill or experience.
General Upright Usage.
Plug the Kirby cleaner's power cord into the wall outlet. Step on the power switch on the back of the main unit, at the base of the handle.
Find the proper height adjustment for your carpet. Step on the height adjustment lever to raise the Kirby head all the way up. Lower the head one level at a time by stepping on the lowering lever to the left side of the cleaner's motor. Lower the head until the sound of the vacuum changes from a higher-pitched suction sound to a lower "growl," signifying contact with the carpet.
Step on the transmission switch on the back of the Kirby vacuum. The lever will be marked on one side with a "D" and the other side with an "N." For moving the Kirby around while it is off, you will need to have the "N" setting engaged. For forward and reverse assistance from the Kirby's self-propulsion system, the vacuum will need to be running and the "D" setting applied.
Pull the handle back to a comfortable level and operate the cleaner as necessary.
Conversion to a Canister
Turn the Kirby off by stepping on the power switch behind the motor. Raise the cleaning head all the way up by stepping on the adjustment lever on the left side.
Pinch the release mechanism at the base of the upright handle while pulling the handle from the main Kirby unit. Squeeze the release on the bag holder at the top of the handle to release it from the upright handle. Set the handle aside.
Place the canister vacuum handle onto the Kirby. The canister handle fits into the top of the motor like a seat belt connects in a vehicle. Push the handle's metal plate into the opening previously occupied by the upright handle. Connect the top of the bag to the canister handle. Push the plastic connection mechanism into the handle until it locks into place.
Lift the hood at the front of the Kirby. Pull the handle on the circular switch on the front of the vacuum out. Rotate the handle clockwise to lift the belt from the motor drive shaft. Rotate the lever at the top of the cleaning head from the left side to the right in order to release the head from the front of the Kirby. Remove the cleaning head.
Place the canister hose onto the front of the Kirby and secure it to the front of the vacuum by the lever at the top. Connect any of the attachments to the hose by placing the end of the hose into the attachment and twisting the two in opposite directions until the connection is secure.