Silly Aerus Lux 5500

We have an Aerus Lux 5500 canister vacuum cleaner. It “features” things like a bag full detector, temperature protection, etc…

Unremarkable, but nothing to complain about. Has a fine particle filter on the exhaust port that actually does a decent job of catching mold, fine dust, and other nasties.

It worked well enough until recently. Suddenly, the damned thing decided that the bag was always full. Put a new bag in, it would run for two seconds then shut down with the bag full light lit.

Annoying. But, wait, the fine particulate matter filter is on the exhaust port. That’s dumb. That means that the really small crap has to float through the whole suction device beyond the bag.

Could it be that the “bag full” detector is simply a sensor that measures the difference between the suction before and after the bag? If it is too great, the bag must be full?

Gotta open it up to find out.

Which immediately put me into design hell. The stupid vacuum cleaner clearly follows the snap together model. Not a single useful screw. The outer shell clearly has a top half and a bottom half with a bit of rubber on a plastic thingy in between. The rubber bit comes off, but the plastic does not move. An end cap snaps off, but only after deflecting the plastic by a half inch or so.

Further examination reveals that the plastic strips on the side actually slide out, but only after you beat the ever living hell out of them because they have these fun little “only slide one way” teeth.

Clearly, this thing was not meant to be disassembled and reassembly is obviously going to be painful.

OK– so, now I have it apart. And, sure enough, there is a little network of clear plastic hoses inside that lead to both the power switch and the “how much suck do you want?” dial.

There is a tube connected to the inlet into the vacuum and another one of the tubes is connected to the back of the chamber that holds the bag. With no filter. The tubes lead to a little clear plastic chamber that has a bit of foam in it. The tube is completely coated with fine dust on the inside and the foam is full of dust, too.

Yup, that’s right. The tube connected to the back of the chamber has no filter. So, any random fine particulate matter now has a choice. Go through the motor? Or, maybe, it can head off into the bag full suction comparator.

Easy enough to fix. Remove the stupid tube and seal the whole in the back of the bag chamber. I’m not going to mess with disassembling the bloody tube network further and, frankly, the notion that I don’t want the damned vacuum cleaner at anything but full force is laughable.

Clearly, the designers of this thing assumed the customer was too stupid to check the bag periodically. That may be true for them, given the design decisions made, but I think I’ll manage.

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21 Responses to “Silly Aerus Lux 5500”

  1. Art and Sharon Falcone says:

    Thank you so much for solving our vacuum cleaner mystery! We, too, were having the identical problem you described so articulately! My husband is an engineer and agrees that this design was intentionally mean to keep all but people who know “your little secret” out of the machine. After reading and following your instructions, we too have a functioning vacuum cleaner. We too feel that we are intelligent enough to remember to periodically check the bag!

    You are our hero!!!

  2. Mike says:

    Here it is, almost three years since you posted this entry, and it still is helping folks like me fix their Lux vacuums. I searched all over the web, but before reading your post here, I was stumped by the endcap — I couldn’t see how it could be removed. But sure enough, by bending the plastic shell 1/2 inch apart, as you descibed, it did pop out, and I could then persuade the middle strips to slide out. What a ridiculous design. The tube on mine was totally clear but I removed it anyway and now the vacuum cleaner works fine. Keep this post up, and thanks!

  3. Chris says:

    Well, I’m having the same problem so wish me luck.

  4. Chris says:

    IT WORKED!!!! I agree with Mike…three years and your advice is still helping people, saving me money, and saving my sanity.

  5. T Hammer says:

    I can’t thank you enough for not only making the vacuum fix easier but also for the great laugh. I had more of a problem assembling it due to the wires not wanting to go back into place on the top section. The vacuum works great!! The person who posted this should consider becoming a comic writer. Thanks again!

  6. Mark K says:

    Thank you for sharing, I’m currently stuck with a filthy, post-reconstruction apartment and an Aerus Lux 5500 that’s on strike… will follow your recipe (in 2010!)

  7. Frank M says:

    WOW !! Told my outlaw I would try to get her SILLY LUX 5500 to work more that 1 second. Cant believe I found this.
    20 Minutes later and it is fixed. Of course now I have to finish putting it together. Thanks so much. Great job.

  8. Christine vanDale says:

    wow thanks for the great info found it so helpful !!! My lux is better than ever !!

  9. Revwes says:

    Also worked for my lux legacy canister. Required getting the end cap off first. A flat nosed scredriver helped pry either the top or bottom of the end cap out of the plastic posts holding it inplace. Then the plastic strips running along the side slid right out, allowing top and bottom of canister to open. There were three plastic hoses inside, the longer running toward the front where hose attaches was full of fine dust. Ran water and soap through, blew it out and reattached. Watch for all little wires and parts inside (eg spring activated bag sensor, etc) as many came loose on me and required carefully repacking. Fortunately all came out fine in the end and vac is running fune. Thanks for the pointers, problem solved!

  10. Tina says:

    2/22/15 Thanks to the author of this post who identified the problem to my Aerus Lux 5500. I was able to fix it based on his findings. I didn’t have any trouble opening the case however. After reading how everyone was prying off the endcap with difficulty, I thought there is no way a mechanic who actually had to repair these would have any problem taking it apart. So after looking at the canister, I opened up the front end where the hose goes into the vacuum bag. Then I pulled on the long slender blue rails that run along the side and they pulled right up and out and the canister then came apart enough for me to clearly see the tube going from vacuum bag area to the switch that says my bag is full. I just pulled the tube out of the back of the vacuum bag slot and turned it on. It ran. So, I just closed it back up without having to disassemble it any further. Working great. Thank you Sir.

  11. Ann says:

    Tina, can you give more details on how you got this apart? By slender blue strips, do you mean the rubber pieces on the side? Those seem to just be covers for the side pieces that I can’t get off. Our vac developed issue when my husband played with the suction control dial. Works without hose, suction dial doesn’t appear to do anything and vac bag full light comes on and vac shuts off as soon as hose is attached. Driving me bonkers!!

  12. Roger says:

    OK my recommendation is to read all the comments particularly the first and Tina’s
    I quickly came to all the conclusions as in the first article.
    When I read Tina’s post, it was Eureka there had to be a better way.

    I am only adding this comment because I still had to trial and error to get the rails off.
    So here are a few clarifications for us non-engineers:
    My side rails had rubber covers that I removed. Make a note to remember which rail is on which side and up and down. (It does make a difference.)
    The tabs Tina is referring to are in the bag area on the main body. They are at the end of the side rails.
    Insert a flat tip screw driver and lift the rail while prying forward. You only need to move the rail forward about 1/2″ to free it. The rails will then freely pull forward.
    Open the body enough to disconnect the clear plastic hose, disconnect and your done.

    This probably saved significant time and money. Collective tacit know is great. (“sharing know how”)

  13. Ann says:

    Same issue here and I’m getting really frustrated. Roger, can you explain exactly where you are inserting the screwdriver and how you are prying the real forward? I feel like I need six hands. I also feel like there must be some better way, but I can’t figure it out. Thanks!

  14. Ann says:

    Never mind. Managed to pry the blasted encap off, partilt open, yank the tube and get the beast back together. And it’s working again!!! No more using the crappy back up vac. Thanks!

  15. barbara says:

    which tube needs to be disconnected? I see three and don’t know which one. Do i have to plug something?

  16. Peter says:

    Ok, I just did this and it’s so simple and works!
    A few tips to help with Roger’s excellent advice. First, the problem tube is on the left side, so you only have to deal with that side. Take off the hose and open the front door. Slide the blue cover off the rail (the end of the cover can stay on for now.) Now, use a screwdriver to pry the front end of the rail away from the main body at little bit. At the same time, start to slide the rail forward. This is the only hard part. The rail doesn’t want to move easily, but I was able to get it moving by pushing and prying from the opposite end. Slide the rail off and the body shell pieces open up enough to expose the clear hose (the only one I saw). I disconnected the hose and tested the vac and it worked! Then I just put everything back together. Don’t know about the long-term effects, but hey, it’s a 10-year-old vac!

  17. George says:

    With my Lux Legacy, I followed the advice above by removing the two side rails first, by prying the end nearest the nozzle away from the shell of the vacuum with one screwdriver, while pushing the rail from the back with another screwdriver. It then slides off towards the nozzle. Then lift the top half of the shell and under the switch which turns the vacuum on and off, is a round white plastic diaphragm with a clear tube. Remove that tube from the diaphragm, and just leave it in there unattached at the one end, or remove it completely, it doesn’t matter. Put you machine back together and it should work. Just know that your machine won’t automatically stop when you have a full bag, and the display won’t signal that it’s full, because it is disconnected.

  18. Christopher says:

    Well. After much heartache came across this post . I removed the plastic tube that’s connected to the bag chamber and screwed a small screw into it to plug it. Vacuum works like new. Don’t have to pay 100 bucks for some technician to take a look. Thanks !

  19. Rich says:

    Amazing! … you posted this on December 8th, 2005 and it’s still paying dividends. I for one thank you for risking any breakage in order to get this contraption apart and saving me the a lot of trouble. I also appreciate the follow-up posts that further enhance the instructions. However, I couldn’t get the side rails off w/o taking the back cover off. However, I found that to be not difficult. I did do a couple of modifications while I had it apart. By cutting the bosses that hold the back cover on just a little shorter, it’ll simplify getting off the next time. Also, I cut a small tab off the fin that blocks sliding the side rail out thru the back. Neither of these actions affect the operation nor integrity of the vacuum.

  20. Jessica says:

    First, thanks for this.. 2nd, I am stuck with hard, plastic strips with the one way teeth… I’m terrified I’m gonna break it beyond repair because I’m getting angry at it. Help?

  21. bbum says:

    What’s the worst that could happen? A new vacuum?

    Go for it. Even if you do some damage, it’s probably just a bit of duct tape away from a fix. If the stupid “bag full” sensor is already false positive all the time, you can’t use the vacuum anyway.

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