Well, it would seem that the vacuum was listening.
Because a few days later I decided that the layer of cat fur was getting a tad bit too thick, so I forced myself to drag the sucker out of the closet and vacuum. Sooooo, I got about midway through room one when the brush roller stopped functioning.
My first thought was that it was jammed, but the light wasn't on either... it was like no power was getting to that part of the apparatus. It has an overload reset button... I pushed it and pushed it, but no avail.
At this point I probably should have stopped and tried to figure out what the problem was. But I fear I was rather pissed off. I mean, if I'm gonna go to all the trouble of dragging the damned thing out and wrestling with it, the least it can do is function, right?
Anyhow, I decided to just take the roller brush head off completely and attempt to complete my task with the bare floor attachment. Oy Vey! Let's just say that one gets very marginal performance using a bare floor attachment on 40 year old avocado green shag carpeting replete with cat fur.
Spurred on by anger, I managed to finish the task... kitty-litter covered basement and all. I frustratedly tossed the evil thing back into the closet and tried to decide what to do next.
I figured the entire brush roll head would need to be replaced, and I just couldn't see putting much money into fixing a 17 year old canister machine that I hated anyhow.
So I figured maybe this was an opportunity to replace the sucker with something less... well, less octopus-like. You know, maybe an upright with fewer hoses to navigate, and maybe I could even find a cordless model. So I hopped on the internet and discovered the Hoover Linx - an actual full power machine that's cordless.
After reading several reviews and watching a few comparison videos, I was sold. I plunked down my $150 and ordered one on the spot.
Problem solved, right? WRONG!
Sooo.... later that evening, I trundle downstairs to hold Princess' paw while she used the litter box (long story) and I step into the furnace room and discover a big puddle of water on the floor. Oh NOOOOOOO! So I'm looking around for a leaking pipe, and then I discover that the water is coming from the condensate pump that was installed with my new furnace/heat pump/AC unit a few years ago.
OK, I think. No problem. The furnace has a 10 year warranty, I'll just call the installer in the morning and they can come out and fix it. Soooo, I call the
"Well," the girl responds, "the technician will have to determine that when he arrives. And there's a $79.95 charge for the service call, which will be waived if you decide to have the repairs done."
OK, I think. Surely the technician will be able to see that this is a new furnace, and I'm holding the warranty in my hand, plus, I've got a $50 credit with the company from the last time
So the dude arrives and discovers that the problem is that the nozzle leading to the hose on the cheap plastic pump has broken off...it looks almost like the unit got kicked or bumped somehow.
I remember my wrestling match with the canister vacuum from the day before.
So, I'm thinking, how bad can it be... it's just a plastic nozzle part. "Well, the dude explains," It really can't be fixed, you'll have to replace the entire pump." I'm thinking that it could probably be super glued, but I wasn't sure I could do it in a way that would be water tight... Still... it's under warranty right?
"Well," the dude explains "technically the pump is an auxiliary piece, so it isn't covered under the furnace warranty."
OK. So, the dude quotes me $475 to replace the pump, which includes parts and labor... and he will graciously waive the $79.95 service fee. How nice of him.
Soooo... I'm thinking, I could probably fix this myself, but generally those prices are about 50% parts and 50% labor, so the pump probably costs around $225, plus, I've got the $50 discount card, and I'm already $80 into this little adventure. So when you add that all up it's probably just as well to let the dude go ahead and fix it.
It takes him all of about 15 minutes to replace the pump - we sit down to do the paper work and I hand him my $50 discount card. "Well," he says, "I'll have to call my supervisor on this one." Soooo, it turns out that the $50 can only be applied to the "service call" portion of the bill, which has been waived anyhow, so I can't actually use the credit.
OK, so I hand over my credit card and grumble as he leaves. Then I decided to go look online to see how much the pump itself would have cost, you know, just to torture myself further. I kinda wish I hadn't looked. $50!!!! Are you kidding me?!?! So basically they charged me $425 for 15 minutes of labor?!?!?!?
So. After all that I was feeling like a complete idiot. But after a few days "cooling off" period, I decided to drag the old vacuum out of the closet to relocate it to the basement. My plan was that since the basement is mostly hard floors I'd just keep it down there where it would be readily available for cleaning up kitty litter, and use the new vacuum upstairs.
And, since I was a little less angry about the whole situation, I decided I might as well see if I could determine what was wrong with the thing while I was at it. So I got out my screwdrivers and power meter and determined that power was indeed getting to the brush roll unit... and after a bit of fiddling I managed to get the light to come on, though the roller still wouldn't turn.
So I took it apart and discovered that it was totally jammed with long red hair. Apparently it was just stuck to the point that it was tripping the overflow switch instantaneously. So I cleaned it all out and now it works perfectly.
Oy Vey, AARGH and heavy sigh.
So, what have I learned from this little escapade?
Well, first of all... vacuum cleaners are EVIL!!!!!!!!!
Just kidding.... do you hear me vacuum, I WAS KIDDING!!!! I fixed you... you get to stay... further retribution is NOT NECESSARY!!!!
I guess the main lesson for me is that I really suck at problem solving when I'm pissed off. I just get so angry that I'm having to deal with a problem, and I just want it to go away NOW (if not sooner.) But if I had just given myself a few minutes to calm down when the thing first stopped working instead of pressing ahead with my fierce determination, I could have saved myself a whole lot of hassle, not to mention $625!!
So I suppose I'll just have to consider it all a learning experience, a very expensive learning experience!
I thought about returning the new vacuum, but decided against it. It arrived yesterday and it's utterly fabulous. It's lightweight and easy to use, and the charge on the battery only lasts 15 minutes. Most people would probably think of this as a disadvantage, but for me, it's wonderful because it means that the vacuuming chore can't possibly last longer than that!
Anyhow, the old vacuum gets to live in the basement where it is available for instant kitty litter clean up (you know, before the stuff gets tracked throughout the entire house.) And the new one will live upstairs where I can easily grab it and (hopefully) use it a tad bit more frequently.
Plus, when I feel like deep cleaning (I'm sure that will happen SOMEDAY, right?) I can drag the
I admit that the idea of owning 2 vacuum cleaners feels utterly and totally bourgeois to me, but if it allows me to stop battling with the beast, I think it will be well worth it. At least that's what I'm telling myself!
I suppose the other lesson learned is that warranties are meaningless, and this furnace company is a bunch of rip-off artists, and I'm never calling them again!!!
So how about you? have you ever created a snowball effect of problems simply because you were too angry to deal with a situation?
Please tell me I'm not the only idiot whose ever done something like this!