Karcher Window Vac

Karcher Rechargeable Window Vac WV50 Review

karcher window vacWhen it comes to cleaning windows everyone has their own idea or system that is simply the best way to have shiny clean windows with no messiness or having any streaks left behind, the Karcher window vac puts them all to shame especially when it comes to simplicity and ease of use.

Most systems for cleaning your windows to a streak free finish follow the same lines, the windows are washed using some form of water and detergent mix and then either wiped with a rubber blade or dried in some way or another. Lots of methods exist for keeping then streak free, adding vinegar to the water, lemon juice is another favourite, drying them with newspaper rather than a cloth is another often mentioned way of maintain the clarity of the glass. The problem with all these systems is not that they do not work but more about the complexity and general inefficiency of the whole process add to that the fact that you can spend as much time clearing up the mess you have made as you spent cleaning the windows and it all becomes a bit of a burden.

Karcher Window Vacuum

The Karcher window vac changes all that as it is simplicity itself in use and how it works, it does away with the need to have different cloths or newspapers for drying and it completely removes any mess involved, no drips or smears just perfectly clean and smear free windows every time, so how does it work?

It is actually simplicity itself, basically it consists or a rechargeable cordless handheld vacuum designed to suck the dirty water off your windows into a containing tank eliminating the dripping of dirty water associated with wiping surfaces. This vacuuming action as opposed to the traditional wiping action ensures the windows are hygienically clean without leaving streaks or smears. See the video below to see how simple it really is.

Video courtesy of Karcher


Buy From Ebay

8 x KARCHER WV75 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

8 x KARCHER WV50 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

8 x KARCHER WV70 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

8 x KARCHER WV60 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

8 x KARCHER WV65 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

8 x KARCHER WV55 Window Vac Vacuum Cloths Covers Glass Pads + Cleaning Capsules - Current price: £27.99

(Product data is refreshed every 10 minutes, approximately.)

The vac itself is extremely comfortable to use due to its lightweight nature making for easy working without effort even for people who have moderately restricted motion, the small and lightweight nature of it also means that it is easy to store and does not require a lot of storage space which is very important to a lot of people.

With the unit being cordless and lightweight you might expect the battery life to be an issue but our own findings here and the experience of users reporting both here and on other sites is unanimously that it is not a consideration. Our unit here runs very well for over 30 minutes on a full charge (which takes about 2 hours) which is more than enough time to do an average houseful of windows and doors. The stated running time by Karcher is 20 minutes which is less than we actually get but still ample for most household’s needs which basically means that there is no sacrifice of usability for the convenience of cordless operation.

The bad bits.
We do not see these problems with our machine, however these are taken from our reviewers and various other reviews from product users elsewhere. There seems to be three recurring complaints about the Karcher window vac, one is about the battery life one about the water reservoir and one about the accessory pack, we will deal with each one individually here.

Battery life
Karcher claim a battery life of 20 minutes of usage on a full charge cleaning around 10-15 windows, our own experience is of about 30 minutes of usage. Some people seem to be finding that the battery life gets nowhere near this and having spent a lot of time researching this we think we know why that is. As far as we can determine nearly all of the negative reviewers had purchased their products from online sources other than Karcher or Amazon and those that did so via Amazon did so through a marketplace seller (not from Amazon themselves). on further investigation these sellers appear to be selling returns or ‘A’ grade or ‘B’ grade electronics. These are generally considered to be as good as perfect but with potential problems like missing instruction booklets or packaging in the case of A grade and some minor faults or marks in the case of ‘B’ grade. Our impression is that these products have been sold as perfect but have manifested the battery problem, this is entirely based on our own observations and those of literally hundreds of user reviews around the web.

Water reservoir
The complaints around the water reservoir tank are that it is simply too small, we would agree with that sentiment but also understand that a larger tank would impede portability and add weight as the tank filled. In our opinion we think that Karcher have got this about right in balance, emptying the tank is not difficult, it does not require the removal of the tank or any other complex operation and the pay off in portability and comfort is without doubt a price worth paying.

karcher window vacuum WV50 plusAccessories
The Karcher window vac (WV50) plus comes with additional equipment which includes a detergent spray bottle with a cleaning cloth that fits to the top to make the cleaning part easy and a one handed operation, in our model this works just fine although we have since dispensed with it and use an independent spray bottle and cloth. There are a number of complaints that the bottle does not fit securely into the cap and will fall out on occasion spilling water and detergent everywhere as the open top bottle hits the floor. We can find no evidence of this being only from suppliers that may be selling sub standard (although legitimate) products and seems like it may be something that should be dealt with. Our suggestion is that if this worries you then do not buy the ‘plus’ version of the vacuum but stick only to the basics and get the vacuum alone, this does not affect how it works in anyway and in fact we dispensed with the bottle and attachments pretty quickly anyway.

The battery charger
We disliked the battery charger immensely, having what amounted to a plug, cable and connector we felt was a bit rubbish, some of us felt it would have been better with a cradle type of charger that the unit sat in to recharge, perhaps the unlikely possibility of a water spill means they were not allowed to use such a unit, we don’t know but will give that as a possibility. The other option is to have the battery external a bit like a cordless drill where it can be removed from the unit to be recharged, this allows for the possibility of having additional batteries so one can be charging whilst the other is in use extending the usage time by double if not more – Are you listening Karcher?


The Karcher Window Vac (WV50) is an outstanding piece of kit and a game changer for cleaning windows. The finish gained by using this product is without doubt as perfect as you can get and out performs any other system we have tried between us here, in fact it is better than the way most professional window cleaners leave your windows (I have long suspected window cleaners deliberately leave at least one smear on every window they clean just to show they have been!).  It allows you to get those perfect results quickly, easily and conveniently with its cordless power and simple design making it a breeze for anyone to use. There is no dripping of dirty water and the user has no contact with the dirty water and streaks on the finished window become a thing of the past.

karcher rechargeable window vacThe WV50 can be used for more than just windows, it can cope perfectly with..

  • windows
  • rooflights
  • tiled walls or surfaces
  • mirrors
  • glass surfaces like tables
  • shower cubicles
  • any flat solid surfaces (non porous)

Do you own a Karcher window vac or have you bought one because of this review?
Let us and other potential purchasers know what you think of it by either leaving a comment below or by posting your own review, just click the ‘comment’ or ‘Submit a Review’ button below – it only takes a minute…

UK Stockists of the Karcher window vac…

Buy it on Amazon from £45.00

Buy it from eBay – £45.00

Buy it from Argos £59.99 – Currently Out of Stock 26/04/2012.

Buy it from Screwfix – £49.99

all links go direct to product pages.

If you need any more info, check out this video courtesy of youtube.com.

UPDATE – October 2016

Just wanted to clarify a point that has been emailed to us several times and has been mentioned in the reviews and comments below. The water reservoir is removable so you can wipe over the whole machine and in theory you can clean the inside of the water tank by filling it through the inlet our outlet holes, giving it a shake then empty via the rubber bung outlet. This is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination for cleaning the vac water tank but it is possible. We felt that people were saying the water tank is not removable when it clearly is as can be seen in the first of the videos in this post.

Hope that clarifies the situation for anyone wondering

Submit a review of the Karcher window vac (WV50) by clicking the button below..

Author: DiyPeople

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  1. Thats it I’m going to get the hubby one of these for Christmas. I’m sure he will love it!

    Good to see an honest review site I hope you keep going and get to reviewing a load more products and thanks for not hitting us with a hard sell.

    Any men reading this, please do not buy your wife one of these for Christmas or birthdays unless you are looking for pain or a divorce!!


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  2. Fabulous piece of equipment. Now I can sack my muck re-arranger! (window cleaner). Will be buying the small head though for the narrower windows. Does a great job.

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    • Hi Gillian,

      Thanks for joining in and sharing your views and I’m sure a lot of people will be needing the small head as well for those small window panes.

      We agree that it’s fabulous and we are delighted to have you on board, feel free to submit a review any time

      The DIY People

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  3. Considered buying the WV50plus for around £69. But after talking to Karcher I was informed the WV50 is throw away after approx 500 recharges as you cannot get a replacement battery. Worked out that doing an average size 4 bed house weekly the unit wouldn’t last more than 2 to 3 years.

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    • Hey Martin, thanks for the comment, that’s really interesting and seems pretty short sited by Karcher to my mind.
      It also adds strength to my wish that they would provide separate batteries cordless drill style.
      Personally I’m happy with the unit on the basis of replacing it every 3 years, In all honesty I would pay £50 per month not to have to do my windows (and have done in the past).
      Great to have your thoughts, and anyone else who has a view on this.
      The DIY People

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      • On the whole I agree with H that 500 charges is reasonble. charging it every day would still be reasonable value compared to time saved or paying a window cleaner

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    • @Martin – it doesn’t seem that terrible to me but i would say don’t buy the plus version the spray bottle is terrible and not needed, better spend your money on a small head if you need it. its £20 cheaper to just buy the machine and it is all you need in my opinion.

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  4. they dont make the 500 charges thing too clear on any of their adverts or anything. still don’t think thats too bad

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  6. Brilliant idea but no matter what I do, I cannot get it to finish streak free. I have tried cleaning the blade several times on each window but it doesn’t work. Streaks are still there, looking like lines running down the window. Any idea as to why that is happening?

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    • Hi Moira

      there are 2 things that might be happening
      1. if the blade is damaged or slit it would have this effect, if this is the case i hope you bought it from a sensible retailer.

      2. Im no expert but i read somewhere i think that using certain detergents can have that effect, personally i spray my windows with a multi purpose surface cleaner, wash them with a damp cloth and use the vac to clean up the moisture, I get no problems with that method. Of course i do this in stages each piece of glass at a time – never allowing the window to dry even a little before using the vac.

      I hope thats of some use and helps


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  7. Thank you Terry but it is brand new and the blade seems ok. I bought it from Amazon, proper Amazon not Amazon Market Place…….I don’t use Market Place anymore after two bad experiences with damaged goods.

    I was using the Karcher detergent and that was slightly better than the Fairy Liquid I used yesterday. I will give it another bash using a different detergent and then maybe send it back to Amazon if there is no improvement.

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    • Thought I’d chip in on this too, i can imagine fairy liquid wouldn’t be ideal but if it was still wet when you used the vac I would have imagined it would have been ok.

      Glad you bought from a reputable source too, at least you can get a refund if you need to :). If you do send it back or if you keep it it would be great to have your thoughts as a review. Regardless I hope our site has been some use to you and thank you for being part of it.


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    • Try Stardrops detergent, cheap to buy and excellent results!

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      • Sandra, thanks for helping out here on this one. I love how well this community is coming together at this early stage, I wish there was some way of rewarding you guys for the awesome job you are doing.

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    • We had the same problem when we first bought our machine. I had to wipe over the windows with kitchen roll to get rid of the streaks – which rather defeats the object. However, after watching my husband use it, I realised you just need to vacuum quite slowly to avoid the streaks. Give it a go.

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  8. What a brilliant product! Came from QVC with 500ml cleaner and both size heads. Easy to take apart for cleaning. Although living in small bungalow, all windows and doors only accumulated approx. 50ml of waste water. Only fault found was with recessed windows, had to work from 2 directions, this did leave fine line of water in centre!, This however a small price to pay for it’s otherwise superb performance.

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    • Thank you Richard for your comments, they all help others make better buying decisions, can I ask Richard what the cost was from QVC?


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      • Sorry not QVC but from “Ideal world” shopping channel. It was featured today and for £59.99 + £5.99 p&p included “WV55 both size blades and 500 ml karcher glass cleaner. Avallable for two payments of £30.00.

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  9. Hi, i love my karcher window cleaner, bought it from ebay.
    Big mistake, only used it a number of times and to my annoyance its now making funny noises and keeps stopping. Think i bought a dud. So a word of warning although its a brilliant machine, dont cut corners. Buy from a shop so you can take back.

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    • Hey Donna

      Thanks for sharing, the thing is, as I said in the original article eBay can be a great sourse but sadly there are a number of sellers selling B Grade seconds without mentioning this fact. Worse still there are sellers selling pure fake type products unauthorised from China.

      having said that choosing a decent UK seller and asking the question about the grade of product they sell should get you the right product. Im really sorry you had a bad experience in that department. My own personal favourite is Amazon.co.uk directly from Amazon where possible.

      Thanks for the comment

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  10. My mother-in-law bought a karcher window vac and after watching her using it i had a go. I was really impressed with it and so was my sister-in-law because she bought one too. Me I’m a cheap skate so i just borrow the in-laws.

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  11. Wondered if anyone has had the same problem as me we bought our Karcher window vac last weekend from Makro tried it and it seemed great we put it on charge and when the light stopped flashing turned the charger off at the plug and surprise surprise the vac turned itself on!!! We turned it off with the trigger, then turned the power on at the plug when the light stopped flashing turned it of at the plug again and lo and behold it turned it self on again. We returned it to Makro and they offered refund or exchange so we had an exchange as it seems such a good product, unfortunately this one is the same if you pull the charger out of the vac before turning it off at the plug it doesn’t turn on and if you turn the switch off,it come on, then on then off again it stops and seems fine. Any ideas would be gratefully received as I don’t know if it’s faulty or not and I am really looking forward to dry and clean windows.

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    • Yes I have just had this problem. Bought Kercher some time ago and it worked fine for about a year or so. Today it has a problem with the on off switch, started turning on when I disconnected the charger, now stops working after a couple of minutes, or works until I turn it off and then cannot turn it back on. After leaving it for about 5-10 mins it turns itself on and won’t turn off. Now it just comes on and off intermittently . I had to wait until it was on to plug it back in to recharge, if I plug it in when it is off, it won’t recharge. It us driving me crazy, took all afternoon to do a few windows. Anyone know how to stop it? I think I have had it too long for a refund and cannot find the receipt.

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    • Hi we had a WV50 that switched itself on in the dead of night and would not turn off. We go it exchanged for an updated newer version and after two weeks they same thing happened – 4.30 in the morning it switched itself on and could not turn it off. Placed in the garden until it automatically turned off but then 2 hours later they same happened. SO ANNOYING

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  12. Has anyone any comments on performance on leaded glass?
    I would not expect 100%, but is it passable?

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    • Hi John

      Thanks for stopping by, no-one here checked it how well the karcher window vac cleaned leaded glass, however i took a few moments to have a look around and found three comments about it. 2 people on Amazon.co.uk both said

      it cleans leaded glass fine but not as good as normal glass

      and the following comment was picked up from a reviewer on the Karcher site (you decide how much you want to value it)

      “Well I bought this product and even then he was sceptical – they won’t work on the diamond lead he says – well they do plus the conservatory – all of them. I have even had people stop me when I am cleaning to ask me what I am using”.

      Hope that helps

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  13. I love this window vac. I live in the US and can’t find a place to purchase the small attachment to use on my paned windows. Does anyone know where I can purchase one?

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  14. Terrific device. Bought one, completely satisfied – but one matter bugging me.
    You claim, others also, that it is possible to remove the water receptacle for an even more thorough cleaning. Well, you’ve fooled me because no matter what I do or try, mine certainly appears to be NOT removable.
    How about a video of how you do it? Does it need a screwdriver, or what? I can’t be the only thicko around.
    The ‘instruction book is dreadful, in covering all languages it is really just a mess, no illustrations matched to instruction at all, just numbered items, unrelated to text. So.
    How about that ‘remove the bottle’ assistance/video then. More use than ‘How to clean windows’

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    • Hi Norman

      Sorry your comment question got lost in the noise 🙂

      If you haven’t worked it out yet or for anyone else wondering getting to take the water tank out can be a bit fiddly bit the videos on YouTube below show it being done.

      Essentially, remove the blade and the headpiece after each other and then the tank comes out with ease, I believe some models have a screw in the head assembly to allow this to happen.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9LaKlgNuhs – In German but shows the process

      Hope that’s useful

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  15. Used it 6 hours ago. Then suddenly it turned itself on. Now can’t turn the bloody thing off. Locked it in a cupboard till battery is drained.

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  16. Brilliant gadget,ideal for cleaning down the shower after use,trouble after 12 months,it won`t switch off,any ideas?

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  17. Just phoned Karcher about my vac not switching off,it appears that if it`s older than 12 months dump it as the repairs will cost more than a new vac would,thought it would last longer than the 12 months I`ve owned it,it`s been a good machine and I`ll certainly get another,hope it doesn`t turn out to be like a singing birthday card though as it`s switching itself on and off in the middle of the night which wakes my parrot up who then begins shouting things like “Shut the F… up” chaos rules in this house because of the Karcher window vac,good machine though.

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  18. Had mine just over 12 months (brilliant machine)but now the thing will not hold a charge!!completely useless now

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  19. Well were to start bought my first Karcher May 2013 lasted 4 weeks trigger problem wouldn’t switch off took it back to outlet store the Karcher people had it a month couldn’t repair it gave me a new one fine, 6 weeks later same problem again took it back again new one , at the moment it works fine but makes a grinding noise when shutting down , I’m in Cyprus so on a visit to Uk in November 2013 Currys had white ones on offer for half the amount you pay here in Cyprus so I bought one , I’ve used it half a dozen times now it won’t switch on unfortunately I can’t see Karcher CY repairing this Uk bought product so sorry thumbs down for this product from me.

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    • Had the same problem the switch is a weak point. Mine failed after 11 months and Karcher refused to honour the guarantee as I didn’t have the original receipt only a B&Q dated warehouse slip. Won’t ever buy Karcher stuff again. They should remember a dissatisfied customer will tell 20 others!

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  20. I use this to dry my shower screen and wet wall. The only problem, I find is that, sometimes, water comes spraying out of the sides. meaning that all the water that you have xollected can sometimes empty itself all over tha lready droed area. No sure if thes is a fault.

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  21. I have a similar problem to some of the above, the unit will not turn off unless put back on charge. It is just over one year old so guess out of warranty. A great tool . Any suggestions how to self fix?

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  22. I bought the karcher wv 50 and it won’t turn off ??? Can anyone help me please?

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  23. Rubbish. Will not switch off,very poor support from customer service.
    Only way to switch off is to let the battery go flat.
    As soon as the charger is removed it starts up. Rubbish no use stall like this. Waste of £50

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  24. My Karcher (3 yrs old) has suddenly started to switch itself on and off spontaneously. Quite spooky in the early hours of the morning as it is kept in the shower room.

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  25. Bought this today …brand new same problem as Moira…really not happy streaks on all the windows ..eventually just used water and got a slightly better result …the rubber strip with the grooves causes the streaks.

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  26. Borrowed one of the very effective WV60 window cleaners from a friend. After only a few minutes it began to switch itself on & off! Charged it up thinking it was flat. OK for a short while after a full charge then it became difficult to switch off & now only switches off if the charger is attached. I guess that the circuit board senses charge level and that this is now up the spout. Tried leaving in a warm oven, because it leaks slightly and the insides were a bit wet. if you try it DO NOT USE A HIGH TEMPERATURE!” But, it made no difference, it still stays on and will not switch off. I note from various forums that this appears to be a fairly common problem so will not be buying a Karcher, but may try one of the cheaper alternatives available on the net. Ths must be a design/specification fault as I reckon it is not an adequate design. Problem is that i now have to explain it to the friends that lent it to us to try. HOPE THEY STILL HAVE A VALID GUARANTEE!

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    • Hi I had exactly the same problem with the WV50 and then with the updated version – on and off in dead of night by itself. SPOOKY and really ANNOYING.

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  27. Purchased WV55 window vac 18 months ago. Annoyingly it has to be totally upright or water pours into the motor with only a tiny amount in the tank. The battery failed after six months so I replaced it with a larger capacity battery. Now the motor has failed – the bearings have worn out after just a few hours of use.
    Karcher’s response – go and buy a new unit as parts are not available.
    I have bought a new one but a Vax this time!

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  28. My first Karschner vaccum window washer lasted just over a year – the the switch would not turn off …. Just kept going. I didnt bother complaining but simply ordered another one from Amazon.co.uk. This one lasted only three monts when the same problem occurred… Stays on all the time. Clearly the switch is rubbish and reading that many others have the same problem, and yet Karschner are able or unwilling to fix this problem. I will try to return this one to amazon, but not sure how to go about this wothout original packaging!

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  29. Bought product window vac wv. 50 had it just over 1yr. Developed a fault whereby it kept switching on by itself.couldn’t switch it off so therefore I now have a defunct window vac was told it was the battery and couldn’t be replaced. When you think you clean Windows once a fortnight that’s just over 26wks of usage not very long for a battery. Just not on . Sorry wouldn’t recommend it to anyone . Very disheartened

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  30. I too am on my second window cleaner, Annoyed when the current replacement under guarantee from B & Q from 15 months ago failed to work this morning. Checked in here to see what people were saying about the red flashing light and was prepared to throw it in the bin as out of guarantee. Never say die thou and took it apart about 10 screws and it splits the case, press switch nothing then spun the fan by hand it was “stuck” spun until it freed up and hey presto it works. Probably a slight corrosion problem and maybe a hole could be provided to spray in some wd40 or similar. Reassembled and all ok. Hope this helps others.

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