Yesterday I started up my vacuum and heard a terrible grinding sound. At the same time the awful smell of burning rubber began to waft up towards me from the troubled machine. I quickly turned it off, rather concerned that I had managed to burn out the engine somehow. I opened up the rug beater and saw a completely outrageous amount of hair wrapped around it clogging the machine up and obviously causing all the problems I was seeing. After chopping the hair out I balled it up tight into a nice sphere:
I should note that I have very large hands - this ball of hair is completely insane. How in the $%*(@# did this all fit inside the rug beater in my vacuum? I turned the machine on again and it was very quiet - it sounded like the motor wasn't working at all. I cursed my incompetence and my lack of regular maintenance. After four years or so I really should have cleaned the damn thing out and now it seemed that the engine was fried. I took the whole thing apart trying to see if there was anything I could fix but nothing obvious appeared so I reassembled it and tried actually vacuuming with it.
It vacuumed beautifully and very quietly. It turns out the normal horrible screeching noise I was used to was not 'working as intended' but rather 'screaming for mercy' and had been so for years now. It seems that if you take care of your tools they function much better than if you ignore them until they break down utterly. I must say though that I am very pleased with my vacuum purchase now - if it can keep on working through this level of neglect I think that buying the more expensive one must have been a good idea. The guy who sold me the vacuum really was telling the truth about getting what you pay for.