OT: Vacuum cleaner criteria

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SWMBO started harping on me, last night, to get a new vacuum cleaner. Old one still "works" but I guess after a few decades of looking at it, she's decided she wants to look at something ELSE, instead.
Knowing this was "coming", I've been casually trying to notice the "current offerings" in various places that we shop -- not going out of my way to chase down all the possibilities (e.g., specialty shops).
It seems like damn near all are uprights -- in some form or another. And, all are "cheap plastic" (though not "cheap" as in "inexpensive"!).
As this will eventually turn into a maintenance task for me ("Don, the vacuum's not working..."), I'd like to avoid any obvious "issues".
My current short list of selection criteria to be wary of includes: - availability and cost of replacement bags and filters (if any) - power cord retractor reliability - "drive motor" mechanisms (e.g., rug beaters, etc.) - overall durability - physical "deployment" requirements (e.g., nothing to be carried!)
I don't expect to find any *current* offering like a Kirby (in terms of "durability") or even an old Electrolux canister. But, it seems like most things are more "fashion statements" and "marketing hype" than anything else. Comments from neighbors suggest that anything "new" will likely be short-lived: PLAN on replacing it, sooner than you'd like!
[Cost isn't as important an issue as wanting to avoid the time and effort of ANOTHER "shopping adventure", shortly after *this* one!]
Rather than asking for make/model recommendations, I'm more interested in issues/criteria that folks have noticed/discovered in their appraisals and actual use of these appliances. E.g., my "retractor" concern stems from years of fighting a poorly designed cord retractor in the current device (WASTING many minutes to coax the cord back into it after each use).
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Don Y wrote:

Not interested in built-in? We've been using built-in since mid-70's. Now they evolved to better product. Lighter more powerful DC motor power head, lighter hose, no extra power cord, etc. Our cleaning lady just loves our new German made power head. One big, one small with telescopic swivel wand, etc. Has attachement for dog grooming too.
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On 11/29/2015 9:16 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I considered that but it would be virtually impossible to install, after-the-fact, in this particular style of housing. No basement. No attic. Running pipe through the limited overhead spaces in the presence of the power, signalling, gas, and HVAC would be a kludge, at best.
[E.g., the typical way of "adding an electric circuit", here, is to put EMT on the outside of the building and run it *across* the roof, then down into a wall-space -- and sealing the opening in the roof. There are even homes wherein the HVAC plant and/or ductwork are on the OUTSIDE of the building/roof]
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On Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 10:36:03 AM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

The easy way to eliminate the cord retractor issue is to buy a model without one. The cord on our upright simply wraps around 2 brackets on the back of the machine. The top one swivels to release the cord in a single move. To wrap it takes ten wraps, ~10 seconds, and a cord clip.
The bottom cord bracket is 3-4" wide and serves as the carrying handle. It's positioned so as to "balance" the unit while you carry it.
I won't buy a bagless unit. I can't stand the mess, the smell or the whole idea of removing dirt from the floor and then having to transfer it to someplace else. There are lots of websites that carry replacement bags in bulk which are much cheaper than in the stores. Yes, there are low quality bags that clog up quickly, but if you do your homework, you can find good bags fairly cheap.
Two good features are the ability to *not* use the beater brush - floor mode vs. carpet mode - and a direct drive brush (no belts). Direct drive systems simply release when they get jammed, instead of stretching, burning or breaking the belt.
My upright is a Kenmore Intuition which was ranked very high when I bought it a bunch of years ago (I don't recall when) The only problem I have with it now is that the foot release for the handle doesn't always work. After stepping on the release, I sometimes have to tap the lower part (motor, etc) with my foot to pivot it down.
I believe the Intuition has been discontinued, I don't know what model replaced it.
I rarely use the upright for anything except as an upright. I have a dedicated canister for doing walls, ceilings, cars, stairs, etc. I find using the hose and tools from an upright to be more of a fight than a convenience.
My canister is Sanitaire SC3683A, which is the commercial version of the old Electrolux Mighty Mite. I had a Mighty Mite that lasted over 20 years, so I hope to get at least that long from the Sanitaire.
http://www.sanitairevac.com/Cleaning-Products/Canisters/SC3683A/
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On Sun, 29 Nov 2015 08:23:22 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

One cannister style I got out of the trash had a vinyl bread bag in place of or covering the the bag. Clearly, the owner didn't apppreciate the idea of the air going through the cloth or paper. Then when it didn't work, she threw it away.

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Don Y wrote:

evacuumstore.com is good vacuum store. I some times buy stuffs from them. If I need upright type, probably Miel is my choice.
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On Sun, 29 Nov 2015 08:36:34 -0700, Don Y

It doesn't work well? My friend, who is not stupid, used her vacuum for months or years without knowing that the belt that turns the brush was missing. Her boyfriend had to show her. She likes it much better now.

Yes, isn't that strange.
I got rid of my mother's cannister, which worked fine after 40 years, but for 39 years the tray with wheels kept separating from the rest of the vacuum. I guess I could have glued it but the thought never occured to me until just now.
I got rid of it because of that, and because I have a cannister cleaner that I must have found in the trash when it was clogged. They all clog and, after you get good at it, take 15 minutes to un-clog.

I use deer kibble to tempt it inside.
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On 11/29/2015 12:37 PM, Micky wrote:

CY: I had a part time cleaning job which involved using vac cleaner. Same deal, every unit they had, belt was broken. I had the old guy get me belts from some where, and I replaced them. Cleaned out all the hair and mop strings while I had the machines apart.

CY: I had a part time job (different one) fixing vacuum cleaners. At a vacuum cleaner sales and service place. I'd been battling some medical problems, and the job didn't last long. But, I did replace a heck of a lot of belts, bags, and other parts.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 11/29/2015 9:36 AM, Don Y wrote:

We've had several vacuum's over the years, but the best one I've had so far is our current one. No bags to empty or tear or make sure I have more bags in the closet, kind of vac. It was a given that at some point a bag would rip while inserting or taking it out, or I'd run out of bags when I needed them. PLUS, when I'd go to buy bags there weren't always in stock so when I did find them I'd have to buy 2 or 3 packages to avoid that scenario in the future.
Ours is an upright Dyson made for vacuuming animal fur because we have a long-haired collie and fur gets all over the carpet. This machine is a work horse. Occasionally, we clean out the roller that beats the carpet of any dog fur, and emptying the dirt collector is pretty easy.
--
Maggie

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On 11/29/2015 10:50 AM, Muggles wrote:

Yes. I want less hassle going forward. There are only a few places that sell the bags for current vacuum. So, it's a "special trip" (even if it is on our normal shopping route) to REMEMBER to purchase them -- and HOPE they have them in stock!
I had a small canister (the square-ish style, not the cylinder) Panasonic many years ago that was ideal! It was durable (metal case), light-weight (due to small size), cord wrapped around some posts on the top (so no retractor to fail, no lifting of the canister unit to get the cord wrapped around it), attachments "plugged" onto "nubs" on the top that mimicked the diameter of the metal tube at the end of the hose, bags were inexpensive and readily available, etc. You could take it out, vacuum a small mess, wrap it up and have it back in storage in less than 2 minutes!
I think it was at least 20 years old before it got "left behind" in the most recent move.

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On 11/29/2015 3:16 PM, Don Y wrote:

I have 2 vacuums. One is a small dust buster type vacuum that has a carpet setting that spins a bush, and a floor setting that doesn't spin the brush. It's great for a quick cleaning to get surface stuff off the carpet and it actually does a decent deeper cleaning, but the canister needs to be emptied more often.
The other one we bought because we have a dog that sheds long fur. It's the best purchase we've ever made for a vacuum. It gets everything.

--
Maggie

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On Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 4:16:08 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

You could always call first.
In any case, have you tried this site?
http://evacuumstore.com/c-1-vacuum-bags.aspx
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Whatever you get, make sure it can suck up all those extraneous quotation marks floating around your house!
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Per Don Y:

First, I would add Noise Level to the criteria.
Maybe tough to test out but, IMHO, significant.
We have a Sears machine that works quite well, but requires hearing protection to be worn in order to avoid ear pain.
OTOH we have a much pricier/heavier Miele that I can use as-is....no noise issue at all.
Second, I would think about bagless machines like Shark. The windsurfing shop I frequent has a bagless Shark and it's not only relatively quiet, it also picks up the nastiest stuff without any problems.
My little battery-powered Hoover is bagless... and it works like a charm.
Next time I bought a vacuum cleaner (which will probably be never...) I would not consider anything that required bags.... bagless just works too well.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 11/29/2015 12:08 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Hmmm... I'd never have considered that. I guess it's one of those things that I'd "discover" after getting it home! Thanks!

Is that an exaggeration? Vacuum cleaners can be loud (the shop vac sounds like a jet aircraft) but I don't think it approaches the threshold of pain... I guess I don't expect vacuums to be particularly quiet so perhaps tolerate a bit more noise (?). E.g., I also am tolerant of the 8 high-speed fans in each of my servers -- something that would make most "PC users" cringe!

Miele has come up a few times from chats with neighbors.

We have a little mumblemumble cordless bagless that we use for *tiny* jobs -- e.g., I spilled a bunch of peanuts (and "peanut dust") the other day; too much work to drag out the "real" vacuum. But, it tends to only see use picking up visible crumbs (never used for general cleaning -- dust, etc.). So, I'm not sure how the bagless aspect would fare with that finer stuff.
From time to time, we've had to spot-clean portions of the carpet. The stuff we use dries to a white powder. Vacuuming this up with the "real" vacuum results in heavy clumps of the stuff in the bag. I'm not sure how that would fare in the (admittedly tiny) bagless.
And, sanding drywall would probably be an issue (bagless "shop vac" just seems to suck it through and blow it right out the exhaust!)

So, is the "compartment" that holds the debris cleanable? E.g., if you vacuumed up a bunch of drywall dust, would it be captured in there? And, would you then be able to wipe/wash the white powder out, later?
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Per Don Y:

OK... maybe "Discomfort" is a better word.
But my understanding has always been that once noise crosses over into the discomfort level, the nerves in the listener's inner ears are being permanently damaged. Maybe very slowly... maybe only very slightly... but it is cumulative and permanent.... so I do not take excessive noise lightly.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 11/29/2015 1:39 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

I think damage happens *before* that discomfort level. (I am interpreting discomfort to really *mean* discomfort and not "I don't like that noise". I don't like the noise our vacuum makes -- nor the noise from the fans in my servers -- but wouldn't consider any of them "discomfort". Sort of like folks who claim to be "allergic" to cigarette smoke when, in fact, they just don't LIKE it.)
I don't think many people realize how much abuse our ears take in our typical lifestyle. When I can hear the OTHER PARTY on someone's cell phone "from a distance" (i.e., it's not AT my pinna), then it's probably way too loud for that person to have it against his!
Unfortunately, it's yet another of those "long lag" control loops that humans are so inept at handling -- when the feedback is so displaced (in time) from the action that any attempt at control (i.e., altering those actions) is essentially impractical.
[Other examples are weight control, smoking, many addictions, sun exposure, diet, etc. -- i.e., most of "living" :> ]
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Don Y wrote:

Enter "canister vacuum" at Amazon and you'll get 61 pages to peruse.
If not plastic, what? Steel? It dents. Personally, I LIKE plastic for things like this as long as they aren't moving.
We have one from Sears, house brand, bought it about 20 years ago. The only real complaint I have with it are the wheels (one small one centered in front, two larger ones outboard on the rear sides). The front one gave up the ghost many years ago, replaced it with a 2" caster through bolted through the case and a wood backup plate. The rear ones expired too, they were junk...plastic on a plastic axle. I made a simple ply carriage, attached it to the case, added a 2" caster on each side. All works fine.
The retractor works wonderfullye. So well that it ulrimately broke off the plug, easy to fix.
I also replaced the motor 10 or so years ago, cheaper than buying another.
The tools store inside the case.
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On 11/29/2015 10:36 AM, Don Y wrote:

Our Dyson is still going strong after 15 years or so. We bought a spare filter so we don't have to wait 24 hours for the other one to dry after we've washed it.
There must be a lot of people who have no clue how to use these. My brother-in-law says he has picked up a bunch of them that have been left curb-side, and all that they needed was for the filter to be cleaned.
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

evacuumstore.com is place I some times go to get parts. They have many in stock of all kind cleaners. Most of them 30 day trial period, if don't like it return it for some thing else.
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