Top critical review
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SWEET HONEYMOON FOLLOWED BY DIVORCE COURT
on March 24, 2013
BE PREPARED TO REPAIR TO LESSEN DESPAIR.
There should be a rule that no review can be done on a vacuum cleaner until it has undergone 6 months of daily use. My guess is that many of the 5 Star Reviews on the Linx would drop considerably.
I loved the Linx for 4 months. It was sweet. Then, without warning, the roller stopped working. I've treated this machine gently. It was only used for ten minutes a day, with roller brush, on two 5' X 8' rugs and two ottomans where cats like to sleep. I emptied it daily and cleaned the foam filter once a week with compressed air.
Repairing appliances is one of my many hobbies so I preceded to "fix it." The first problem was evident as soon as I disconnected the swivel head. There are two one-inch long male pins that plug into the female connector plug of the main housing. These pins were dangling. (SEE: UPLOADED IMAGE) I removed the small cover that holds the spring-loaded release button and found the reason. The male pins are held in place by paper thin plastic clips. This is inexcusable for a plug that connects two bulky halves of a vacuum cleaner and is under constant stress when in use.
Both of these puny and fragile retaining clips had broken.
After testing and experimenting, I discovered that the brush would work only if the handle was twisted all the way to the right or left. This indicated a short circuit in the wiring.
Taking the swivel head apart to expose the motor is not an easy task. (SEE: UPLOADED IMAGE) Once this was done, all tested okay using lead wires with alligator clips on one end and bare wire on the other end. This meant that the problem was in the female connector plug inside the main housing.
When the cheap retaining clips holding the male pins broke, this allowed the pins to swivel freely from side to side. This motion expanded the female connecting plug preventing a good connection.
Fixing this problem is simple. Apply a good layer of electrical solder to the pins and then grind them down using a Dremel or grinding wheel until the pins slide into the female connecting plug securely with no play. This works.
Next, I applied aircraft epoxy to secure the pins back into place. After it dried, I applied a second coat. Every consumer in America keeps epoxy on hand, right? After the epoxy dries, make certain that the spring loaded clip that holds the swivel head to the main housing will fit down in place between the pins. If not, use a Dremel to lightly remove enough hardened epoxy to allow proper fit.
Total time in repair: 2 hours. Next time, it will take only 1 hour.
When doing my initial shopping, my first mistake was assuming that 4.5 Stars based on 1,740 reviews meant that this vacuum was a jewel. OOPS!
I immediately began reading all the 1-Star reviews. This is something I should have done before buying this vacuum. Lo and behold. Many other poor souls have suffered the same problem.
Maybe my review will help another DIY'ER repair a broken Linx.
Here's the drawback: Once a DIY'ER gets inside of an appliance, in most cases, it voids the warranty.
There's no two ways about it. The Linx is delicate. It is not designed for general housecleaning. It is for minor touch up jobs for no more than 15 minutes at a time. If you are constantly bumping into walls and furniture legs, it won't last long. The same goes for aggressive twisting of the handle. The durability of the plastic tabs on the swivel assembly is limited. For some unknown reason, the dirt cup has developed hairline fractures all around the middle. I had to apply duct tape around the middle before it cracked into shards.
Duct tape and epoxy are essentials in the world of cheaply made products we live in today.
If I kept every box for every appliance, I'd have to own a warehouse for storage. Even if I did have the original box to return the Hoover Linx, it would take weeks to get it repaired plus a bunch of wasted time packing, shipping and running around.
There's something very familiar here. You know how printer companies sell their printers at a bargain and then make a fortune selling ink at a premium?
I added up the cost of repair parts for the Linx. OVER $460.00. And in some cases, you can't buy just the part you need, you must buy the whole assembly. My little voice is telling me that Hoover thinks that if a customer is willing to spend $150.00 for the Linx, they'll be hooked and will gladly pay forty bucks every now and then to keep it working. What are the odds I'm right?
After years of fighting with NiCd batteries losing power and dying, the Linx was exactly what I was looking for. And yes, it is running like new again and I love it. And if need be, I would probably pay $50.00 to keep it running.
There used to be a day back when products were made in America, there was pride in product testing by qualified engineers. Trusted companies offered excellent customer service and stood by their products. Today, most products are made in China. Good luck reaching customer service and getting a timely and satisfactory solution to your problem.
Two things I will not do:
1. I will not suffer through the frustrating process which Hoover has the audacity to call customer service.
2. I will probably never buy another Hoover product.
Why probably? It seems that every vacuum I've purchased over the past 20 years has had to be re-manufactured and upgraded in some way to make it work like it should. Buying any vacuum cleaner is the lesser of all evils.
Adequate pre-market consumer testing of quality American made products in real life situations apparently vanished with the Hula-Hoop and Lava Lamp. Although, mine are still working fine. However, the motor for the Hula Hoop is wearing out.
7-MONTH UPDATE 6/19/13
We've all heard futility described as trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Take a look at the two round male pins on the swivel head that plug into the female port of the main housing on the Linx.
You can't see the female plug without performing a major disassembly or cutting away a nice chuck of plastic.
After fighting with a loose connection on the roller brush for months, I finally went into the main housing of the Linx to expose the female plug. Unless you are familiar with cutting plastics with a Dremel, rebuilding with epoxy, electrical repair like soldering and heat-shrink insulation, don't even attempt this. If you are an avid DIY'er, go for it.
I couldn't believe what I found.
The female plug consists of two SQUARE ports to accept the round male pins.
Can you believe it? Hoover is actually putting round pins into square holes.
This is NUTS! No wonder there was a loose connection. A secure connection is impossible with this design.
I received an email from an Amazon customer who stated, "I've lost control. What do I do?"
Unless you have the abilities mentioned above, you have 4 options:
1. Send it back to Hoover.
2. Give it away.
3. Throw it away.
4. Use it as a door stop.
All of the thin plastic retaining stops on the swivel head will eventually break off. When this happens, you will lose control.
I had to install heavier gauge wire from the brush motor to the male pins because the swivel action had worn through the insulation and broken the original wires. I replaced the weak pins with modified auto electrical connectors that work.
The swivel action is a pain anyway. I roughed up the plastic and secured the swivel head into place with epoxy careful not to impede the up and down movement. That's all the movement most folks need in a feather-weight vacuum anyway.
I've owned the Linx for 7 months and have made 4 major repairs before finally correcting all of the problems that should never have been problems to begin with.
Hoover was so very close to making an outstanding product. Instead, for whatever reason, they opted to sell an expensive product designed to fail early on. That's just plain wrong.
IMHO, every Linx owner should get a letter of apology from Hoover and a 50% rebate.
I have now been using this vacuum cleaner for 20 months. Since making my last repairs, I have not had one bit of trouble. It works great and I've just purchased a new battery.
Forget the bells and whistles and get back to the basics. Make a good, simple product that will last and your customers will love you for it.