Before anything, let me apologize for the quality of the photos on here, they were taken with my cell phone in low light with no flash, tried to edit them to make them a bit better for you, the viewer.
This phase should be the simple part of this project, though the entire project isn't very difficult. A friend had a carpet cleaner they didn't want and were planning on filling a bit more of a land fill with. With summer on the way and already planning on building a small hydroponic system for some small starts I asked if I could gut it before they got rid of it.
Old carpet cleaner
Philips head screw driver
Maybe a hammer
Plastic sheet or work area you're not afraid of nasty old water spilling on.
Step 1: Tear Down.
Most vacuums/carpet cleaners for home use are pretty simple to dismantle. The screws which hold them together are fairly simple to spot, and if you can't figure out what it keeping a couple pieces together just look for a black hole that may have been covered by the last part of the housing removed, most likely there is a screw down in it.
Step 2: Gut.
Once I got all the covers off it seemed like there was a plethora of parts to pull from the carpet cleaner! I was surprised at the amount of tubing/hoses contained inside. There was even a small water heater which I forgot to snap a picture of. For a 5 year old machine which was neglected pretty bad the internal parts were in fairly good condition. The motor had a little rust on it, but didn't appear too bad to be cleaned up with a little bit of vinegar and a toothbrush.
Step 3: End Result
I was able to get quite a few useful items out of this,
About 10 feet of 1/4 inch hose with clamps and connectors, a belt driven pump, a small electric waterheater, a thermostat, a motor, and about 30 feet of wire connected to a grounded plug and 3 switches, 2 of which I can use in no less than 3 other projects I have planned for the summer :)
Make sure you check back soon for Phase 2 of my hydroponic garden!