Bissell SpotBot Pump Repair

While not the geekiest thing in the world, cleaning is something that has to be done.

One tool that I use to keep things tidy happens to be a Bissell SpotBot. I have a cat, and as cats are known to do, she enjoys leaving hairballs in all sorts of inconvenient places. The SpotBot is a miracle worker when it comes to cleaning up the aftermath. I fill it up, set it on the spot, hit “Surface Stain” and I walk away. The machine sprays, scrubs, and suctions off all the nasty stuff while I go about my other business. Anyone that has a pet or child under their care knows that stains on the carpet are inevitable, so I wholeheartedly recommend this machine to everyone.

Bissell SpotBot model 1200 7887

Bissell SpotBot - The lazy man's steamer

That said, after 5 years of abuse, my SpotBot stopped spraying solution. I knew that something was up a while back when the manual attachment stopped spraying anything more than a trickle. The death knell came the other day after my cat spewed up what appeared to be a completely separate feline in various places throughout my house. The SpotBot stopped spraying altogether right as I started cleaning. The pump, it seemed, had given up the ghost.

Because I am a geek at heart, I will not let any electronically powered device I own hit the trash heap before I get a chance to take it apart. I thought that the pump was dead, but I wanted to ensure that it was not just a simple blockage or crimped hose.

This tutorial involves dismantling machines that use high-voltage A/C current. Caution must be used when following this tutorial.
A word of caution – This tutorial involves the disassembly of a consumer product that utilizes 120v A/C current. Taking this device apart not only voids your warranty, but it may also be dangerous. Exercise caution when working on this machine as it operates using water. As you may recall from childhood, electricity and water do not mix. For safety’s sake, at least unplug the SpotBot before working on it!


Taking the SpotBot apart is a pretty easy task. All you really need is a Phillips head screw driver and a few minutes. A pair of pliers will be useful later on when moving hose clamps.




Start the disassembly by removing both the clean and dirty water tanks. Next, remove the clean water filter located in the plastic receptacle under the clean water tank as shown. This is easily done by hand or with a small set of pliers. If your filter happens to covered in calcium deposit, simply soak it in vinegar for a few minutes and rinse it off.

Removing the SpotBot clean water filter is easy to do by hand or with a small set of pliers.

Next you need to remove the screw holding the clean water tray to the rest of the SpotBot body.

Remove the screw shown here to lift the clean water tray from the unit

Now, remove the two screws holding this side of the upper body to the lower body.

Remove the two screws shown here to detach the clean water side of the upper body from the lower body

Turn the SpotBot around so that you are looking at the dirty water end. You may be tempted to remove the two screws located on the dirty water outlet connector. You can do so if you would like to remove the entire hose assembly, but it is not required. Instead, remove the two screws in the picture which attach this side of the upper body to the lower body.

Remove these two screws to separate the upper body from the lower body on the dirty water side.

Gently lift the upper body of the SpotBot from the lower body. You should rest the upper body on something so that you do not strain any hoses or wires. I used the dirty water tank turned on its side to support the upper body.

Looking inside, you will see a mess of wires and hoses. We are going to focus on the clean water side, as that is where the pump resides. You can feel free to test the pump if you wish. If your SpotBot is not spraying water, I would say that it is very likely the pump has given out, but you can remove the pump and check for suction if you feel like it. Otherwise continue along.

You first want to remove the two leads that power the pump. This pump runs on 120V, so you want to make sure that you have unplugged the SpotBot before touching these wires. Note the orientation of the leads: red facing up towards you, white facing away from you.

ote the orientation of the power leads on the SpotBot pump.  Red is facing up towards you, white away from you.

Remove the two black screws that hold the water pump retention bracket and pull the pump away from its mount as seen in the pictures below.

Remove the two black screws to remove the pump mounting bracket from the upper body.Here is the pump, disconnected from the upper body portion of the SpotBot.

Looking at the pump, you will notice that it is connected to two hoses, one for the inlet and one for the outlet. The inlet hose is not pressurized, so it does not require a hose clamp. The outlet hose however is subject to pressure, so it utilizes a relatively large clamp. Disconnect both ends of the pump, using any combination of twisting and pulling. Just be sure not to stress any of the other hoses. When you are done, you should have this:

This is the Invensys pump used in the SpotBot. OEM Part number 203-6659 - Invensys CL1 120v 60Hz 14w continuous.

The culprit

This is an Invensys continuous flow pump, rated 120v at 60Hz, 14w. I have it held upside down so we can read the label – note the flow indicator arrow. My SpotBot used the CL1 model of the pump, though I believe the newer model is CL11. I searched high and low to find this particular part online to no avail. With help from my Geek Republic counterpart Matt, I was able to locate the part online. If you are hunting for it, the Bissell replacement part number is 203-6659. You can likely find it at any local Bissell repair shop, however I ordered mine online. You can order one at Amazon or at SVCVacuum, where I bought mine.

Before you reconnect your pump to your SpotBot, I have one piece of advice: Shrink any hoses you have disconnected from their fittings back to proper size. This includes the two hoses you disconnected from the pump as well as any hose you might have removed for testing or dislodged by accident. I found that when I reconnected everything, I had leaks wherever I removed a hose, despite the hose clamps. I found that heating the tip of each clear polyurethane hose with my heat gun would return them to their original diameter, allowing me to refit them as if they were new. I used a heat gun on the low setting, though I bet you could probably use a hair dryer. Evenly heat the hose ends until you see the tubing retake its original shape, let them cool for a few minutes, then reconnect the fittings. You will be glad you took the extra time to do this, trust me.

Reconnect the pump to the water inlet hose as shown in the picture, paying close attention to the flow indicator printed on the pump. This shows you which way the water should flow through the pump, which is with the small fitting at the top and the large fitting at the bottom.

Ensure that you attach the SpotBot pump so that the water flows correctly.

Before attaching the “T” connector back to the pump, slide on the bracket that holds the pump to the upper body. If you forget to do this now, you will have to pull the hoses back off to properly reattach the pump.

Reattach the bracket to the pump before attaching that last hose or you will have to do it all again!

Attach the bottom hose, then mount the pump back into the upper body of the SpotBot using the two black screws you removed. Reattach the power leads in the orientation shown earlier.

Now before you test the unit, you should ensure that all hoses and wires are attached in their proper locations. I did not do this and found that the manual attachment would not spray any water. I poked around for a minute and noticed that the sensor wires for the manual attachment were disconnected from the main board. At some point, I must have moved the top of the SpotBot body too far from the base, disconnecting the wire. You can see the red and yellow wire pair in my hand, though the picture is a touch blurry.

This pair of red and yellow wires is the flow sensor for the manual attachment. Ensure that this is still connected to the main board after you have completed your repairs.

The wires connect to the main board just to the right of where I am pointing my finger. I had to reattach them using a pair of long nosed pliers.

Manual hose sensor connection on the SpotBot motherboard.

To test the unit, fill the clean water tank half way and place it on the top half of the body. You will likely need to hold it steady during testing. All you really need to do is ensure that the tank is positioned so that water can flow to the pump. Plug in the unit, be careful not to touch any electrical parts, and turn it to manual mode. Depress the manual attachment pump trigger and hopefully you will see something like this:

Houston, we have liftoff - The repair was a success!

Success!

Now that the pump is working, check for leaks at all of the connections. If you heated the hoses before reconnecting, you should be in the clear. If not, shame on you.

Now it’s time to put everything back together. As you reassemble the unit, just make sure there is no pinching at the point where the hose for the manual attachment leaves the body of the unit. The only way this would have shifted is if you removed the dirty water outlet I briefly mentioned earlier. Check the spot in the picture to ensure proper water flow.

Ensure the water supply hose is not crimped

Finally, before closing the unit, make sure the water hose shown below is routed to the outside edge of the screw receptacle. This should ensure a smooth reassembly without any sort of hose compression or undue stress on the lines.

Route the water supply hose around the plastic knob to ensure a good fit.

There you have it. Once you reassemble the rest of the unit, you can congratulate yourself on fixing your SpotBot for $20 instead of buying a new one for over $100.


One final tip: Care and feeding of your SpotBot includes emptying and rinsing the dirty water tank after each use, as well as flushing out the waste return hose. I failed to flush the return hose recently and had a nice coating of slime on the inside. I poured a mixture of bleach and water into the end of the manual attachment hose and let it sit for awhile, flushing out the whole unit with about a gallon of clean water afterward. It did a great job of cleaning everything out, so I recommend you do it about once a year.





35 Responses to “Bissell SpotBot Pump Repair”

  • Adam B:

    Thanks for the info. I used the instructions to gain access and change the vacuum hose.

  • Devin F:

    I found that the pump can “loosen” itself. Take the pump completely out according to your instructions and use two pliers to tighten the top to the bottom. (one plier on top and the other on bottom and tighten) Put the pump back in the unit and it seemed to resolve my pump issues.

    • Mike:

      Devin, interesting fix. I don’t recall my pump feeling “loose” in any way, but your tip just might help people save a couple of dollars. Kudos.

  • Kim:

    Thank you. this SO fixed my issue plus my local vaccum place had the part.

  • Michelle:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial, I could have cried when my Spotbot was less than a year old, over $100 and broke…this made my day :) not to mention I was able to put a tiny screw in the T tube blocking water from flowing to the auto clean brush at all, no more water leaking from there every time I use it!!!

  • Ted:

    This was in incredible tutorial. Right on target as i had the exact same situation. Thanks for taking the time to put it together! My new pump came with new hoses attached so the resizing was not necessary.

    • Ted,

      Awesome, I am happy to hear that the writeup was helpful. I nearly pitched my SpotBot before I decided to give this a try, and I am quite glad that I did!

  • Worked perfectly! Thanks Mike.

    Just an FYI. My pump came packaged with a black upper and lower short hose, so I didn’t need to reuse any of the clear hoses.

  • worked:

    I ordered a new pump on amazon. Installed it and my SpotBot works again!!! Thanks for this handy tut!

  • inspired:

    thanks for the great tutorial.

    i was widowed less than a year ago. everyday is an adventure learning new things that i never had to be concerned about previously.

    your tutorial gave me the inspiration to try this repair myself. i figured i’d be no worse off if i couldn’t complete the repair because the spot bot did not operate properly in the condition it was currently in. and, if necessary, i could always purchase a new spot bot.

    i am pleased to advise you that i successfully completed the project and my spot bot is up & running again!

    a thousand thanks!

  • Kara:

    I have a question: my Spot Bot no longer sprays and the motorized brush no longer spins, either, but the manual hose did have suction. I took the unit apart per your instructions and put it back together, mainly to see if I could do it. Now I no longer have hose suction. My questions are 1) based on the brush no longer turning and nothing spraying, does it still sound like I need a pump and 2) what did I do wrong that it no longer has suction? I would appreciate any help!! Thanks in advance.

  • Kara:

    Ok, I got suction working again. Still leaves me with the question: if the motorized brush won’t spin and the buttons won’t even turn on, does it still sound like the pump?

    • If the brush does not spin and the buttons do not work, I would check to make sure all of the connections to the control board are in place. I honestly don’t remember if there were any fuses inside the machine, but you might want to check those too.

      If you have a multimeter handy, you can always check the terminals that connect to the motor to see if there is power there. If you get a reasonable voltage reading there, but the brush does not turn, you can assume that the motor is bad. If you get nothing at the motor, you will have to double check all wiring as well as the control board.

    • Sue:

      If you replaced the pump and the manual setting works but not the automatic settings, I discovered that the hose has to be plugged into its return slot. There must be a circuit in here to tell the unit that you are not using the brush and hose.

  • Kara:

    THANK YOU so much for your help :)

  • Kimoleto:

    Mine was not spraying, since I’m not in the US a replacemento was hard to get, I took it all te pump apart, a check valve had some dirt trapped, detailed cleaning was a must, put I back together carefuly and it worked again!!!!!

    Thanks

  • Rufus:

    Thanks for taking time to put this together – exactly what I need.

  • Kris:

    Bought the part from Amazon, and once installed, our Pet Spotbot was back! SO much less expensive than going to a repair shop. Thanks for “showing us the way.”

  • Tony:

    Great tutorial! After watching Spotbot brush the carpet without dispensing any cleaning fluid was bracing for the cost of a new one. Found your tutorial and ordered the pump from Amazon. Replacing the pump is quick when you have step-by-step instructions and are warned of pitfalls to avoid. Successful repair for $20. Avoided 7x replacement cost plus my Spotbot didn’t end up in a landfill. Thanks for taking the time to document the process and put these instructions online.

  • Peter T. Kerekes:

    Thanks for the well detailed instructions and pictures. It saved me a ton of time in getting directly to the pump.

    During the disassemble I notice that parts I was removing were sticky. I got this idea that the inside of the pump would probably be sticky internally. I feed compressed air ( 20PSI) into the inlet in a short time I could hear the inside of the pump start to run. Next I ran clean water with a small hose through the pump to flush it out. I tested the pump before reinstalling with a cheater cord and it worked. Reassembled the unit and it works great. The whole process took 20 minutes and cost was $0.00.

    Thanks again for your post

  • Kathleen:

    Thanks for the instructions and information. At this point, the manual setting on my spotbot is working (both spraying and suction), but the automatic setting does not spray. The brushes move as if cleaning, but there is no liquid dispersed. Taking this into consideration, I’m guessing this is not a pump issue, but I cannot seem to determine what could be the issue. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  • Peter:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. After replacing with a brand new pump, I wasn’t getting any flow from the “t” near the spring to the sprayer. It turns out there was an obstruction at the spray discharge. When the pump was running, it built up pressure in the tubing, so when I was able to remove the pet vomit blockage, it promptly relieved pressure in my face … not the most pleasant :-P Anyhow, thanks again for your help!

  • Geno:

    I dismantled the spot bot (somewhat newer model than shown in the illustration-the pump mounting bracket has been redesigned and now incorporates a guide for the wiring harness to the control pad, but the idea is the same), found no evidence of pump electrical failure, so dismantled the mechanical section of the pump. (Mine is an ARS C10) Pliers on each end will allow the two halves of the pump to be removed from the motor portion. Removing an “o” ring from the discharge end of the pump will allow dismantling of the mechanical components. Lay these parts out in order, and in correct orientation until all that remains is a ball, seat and spring in the discharge end. Assuming the previously removed components are clean (mine were), you may find the ball is stuck in it’s seat. (You should be able to easily suck through this portion of the assembly, but not blow through it. If you can not, the ball and seat do not lend themselves to easy removal, however, I found that by using a pick inserted alternately through the two ends, I was able to free up the ball enough to suck through it slightly. Then by filling the housing with clean water, I was able to suck a little water through. Repeating this process several times allowed me to restore full flow through the ball and seat. Reassemble the remaining internal components in the order laid out during dismantling, assemble this to the motor portion, then straight forward reassembly of the spot bot, and everything working well again.

  • Steve:

    A thousand thanks.

    The replacement pump I bought through Amazon included new hoses. Getting the old hoses off was challenging until I pointed a heat gun on low at them for 30 seconds or so. I tested the pump before full assembly by plugging the intake with my thumb, but didn’t really feel anything. Dismayed, I reassembled the whole thing for safekeeping, and tested for the heck of it. Worked a charm!

  • Susan:

    I was having a leakage problem and disassembled the spotbot. It was leaking because the cleaning solution would not stop “dispensing” and would leak into the housing, out a little hole. I inspected the little dime-sized filter and pin. Cleaned it. Put it back together. Now it won’t even turn on. The lights don’t even turn on. What could be wrong? I’ve unplugged it, and plugged it into a different outlet. Nothing. No power.

  • Lorraine:

    Thank you so much for the info. This fixed my problem!

  • WHA:

    My spot bot stopped pumping water, so I used google to find your article to get a leg up on repairing the thing.

    In the process of preparing to open it up, I cleaned out the tanks. Then it started pumping water again….I suspect one of the vents on the supply tank got clogged (the rubber check valve did come loose when I was rinsing it), and it developed a vacuum lock.

    If it was not for your article, I would have thrown it out and gone without a replacement until this economy improves.

    • Mike:

      Awesome, glad to hear it!

      I hate to throw out a *barely* broken item, so it’s great when I can help others keep theirs working too!

      • ron:

        ron:
        May 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm
        Hi Mike,

        This is a great string of info; thanks. My problem is that spotbot sprays water but the brushes do NOT rotate. It seems to run fine other than the 2 buttons that get the brushes moving (not the “hose” button) do not light up. Is it possible that the motor needs to be replaced that moves the brushes, or is it something else? Thanks again.

        Ron

  • ron:

    Hi Mike,

    This is a great string of info; thanks. My problem is that spotbot sprays water but the brushes do NOT rotate. It seems to run fine other than the 2 buttons that get the brushes moving (not the “hose” button) do not light up. Is it possible that the motor needs to be replaced that moves the brushes, or is it something else? Thanks again.

    Ron

    • Mike:

      Ron,

      It’s very possible that is the case – I have never actually run into that issue myself.

      It could be the motor or perhaps the power/relay supplying the motor. I would check to see if there is a measurable voltage on the motor leads when it should be running to verify power to the area. If that’s the case, then I would think the motor is the problem. If not, the problem likely lies somewhere upstream.

  • Angela:

    I did it! Bought the pump for only $14. That beats chucking the machine and buying a whole new one entirely!

  • Tom:

    I disassembled the unit, and put a voltmeter across the pump to make sure it was receiving power – 88 volts AC when the pump is on (in hose mode). The pump says 120V, so I thought that was a bit odd. Given the number of people that have had success swapping the pump, I suspect that will resolve the issue, but has anyone else measured the pump voltage? Is there something to reduce the voltage on the control board? Series resistor or diode? Was this Bissell’s way of reducing flow without changing the part?

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