How To Troubleshoot A Kirby Shampooer Vacuum

If you want to turn your Kirby Avalir into a carpet shampooer, you simply take off the power nozzle and attach the Multi-Surface Shampoo System in its place. This lets you clean your carpets to a high standard, without paying for a professional or renting a bulky machine. If your Kirby shampooer vacuum isn't producing foam or is producing too much foam, you can try several things to get it working again.

Woman using a vacuum cleaner while cleaning carpet in the house.
credit: scyther5/iStock/GettyImages
How To Troubleshoot A Kirby Shampooer Vacuum

Convert to the Shampoo System Correctly

When you're ready to shampoo your carpet, ensure you follow the correct procedure to convert your Kirby to a shampooer vacuum. Remove the power nozzle and the outer permanent bag, then lift and remove the waste tray from the Shampoo System. You must use the carpet brush roll when shampooing carpets. Use the handle to turn the Shampoo System nozzle belt lifter clockwise until the green arrows align. Turn the Shampoo System over and pull on the belt to loosen and remove the rotary mop. Slide the belt from the Shampoo System over the center of the carpet brush roll and insert it into the Shampoo System. Turn the Shampoo System over again and while pressing the belt up with your finger, use the handle on the belt lifter to turn it counterclockwise until the red arrows align. The belt lifter hook will catch and stretch the belt.

Make sure the baffle strip is in position on the bottom of the Shampoo System. If not, insert it with the flat side facing the brush roll. Press the toe-touch control bottom pedal right down to lift the front of the unit. Connect the hooks on the back of the Shampoo System to the attaching bar, then push the Shampoo System against the unit and turn the accessory lock clockwise to secure it in place. Use the handle on the nozzle belt lifter to turn it clockwise until the green arrows align. Lower the headlight hood and insert the waste tray. Fill the tank with shampoo and water, then firmly connect the elbow hose to the shampoo nozzle. Place the opening in the base of the tank over the air exhaust port and turn the tank toward the unit to secure it in place. Finally, connect the elbow hose to the bottom of the tank.

Use the Correct Amount of Shampoo

If you add too much shampoo to the tank, over-foaming may occur. For a small area, add one capful of shampoo and fill warm to the first line on the tank. For a medium area, add two capfuls of shampoo and fill warm water to the second line on the tank. For a large area, add three capfuls of shampoo and fill warm water to the third line on the tank. As a guide, one tankful of solution filled to the third line will clean a large carpet area measuring 10 by 12 feet or 3 by 3.5 meters. Kirby recommends using only Kirby shampoo in the Shampoo System for best results.

Check the Components

If your Shampoo System isn't producing foam, check all the components. Make sure the suds control valve on the shampoo tank turns clockwise to the "carpet" position. Remove the elbow hose and check that the small suds screen is in the bottom opening of the shampoo tank. Remove the shampoo tank from the unit and check that the foam filter is in place on the bottom of the large opening that connects to the exhaust port. Make sure the belt is working, and that the baffle strip fits correctly on the bottom of the tray.