Why aren't backpack vacuums more popular in the home?

I don't dislike vacuuming, what I dislike is the hassle of moving the canister around my narrow row house and having to hold it for the stairs or to vacuum high things. I'm fit with no back problems. I have no carpeting. So a backpack unit makes sense. But they are sold for commercial applications. What is so different?
Many are available: (Amazon.com product link shortened)ºckpack+vacuum
And no way to easily compare them. I'm leaning to the first one listed, the most popular, and shortening the 50' cord to something more reasonable for a 20' x 48' house with plenty of outlets.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Don Wiss wrote the following:

I have a whole house vacuum so I only have to drag the hose and wand around.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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willshak wrote:

Bingo! Central vac is why backpack units aren't popular for residential. Even many hotels use central vac since it's a lot quieter than having the cleaning staff drag around standalone units.
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Try a central vac. Have one now and in the past 3 homes. WW
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I put in a central vac when I renovated my Tribeca loft. But it is not feasible to retrofit into an 1891 four-story row house.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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I feel your pain. I use a backpack vac at work on occasion when I do drywall work or anything else which may dirty up the offices. I can't recall the name brand but that little thing is not only quiet, it's a powerful little sucker. I've often thought about getting one for home since as you've indicated, the canister vac is a PITA to move around. The backpack would be a breeze.
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I guess on Tuesday you'll be back at work and can see the brand.
There aren't that many reviews for all the models at Amazon that one can't easily read them all. In general people love them. You have to remain conscious that it is on your back, so to not bump into doors and knock over lamps. Some models have the hose coming straight out at the center of the top and the hose can swivel around over the head and be annoying. A couple consider the 50' cord to be a big plus, as they can do a couple floors without having to switch outlets.
I want a standard 1 1/4" connection. I want a choice of attachments. I toss any nylon brushes and buy horsehair. Some of the backpacks appears to have proprietary attachments.
Their weights range from 9 - 11 lbs. Obviously lighter is better. 6 quart capacity is enough. And I don't see a need for a HEPA filter.
It might be hard for me to use in some tight places, like in between my desk and the bay window in front of it I would have trouble turning around. But just for the four floors of hallways, and three flights of stairs, it would be worth having one.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

My says they have a couple at the country club she manages. The cleaning ladies say they are too heavy, the guys like them.
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2011 13:04:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's probably a good reason. It certainly isn't because central vacs are superior. And I don't buy that it is because of the popularity of carpeting, as there is a robust market for canister vacuums. I was thinking that maybe they were prone to knocking things over.
One thing is they are hard to get on the back. I think people tend to multi-task when they clean a room. Vacuum the floor, dust, etc. My idea of cleaning is you simply vacuum everything (which may be a male thing). Having the hose above you will facilitate this. Then with one on your back you would have the incentive to finish the job and not get distracted.
I went ahead and ordered that Hoover. I searched for the Amazon seller and found their website. It was cheaper to buy direct. I got two packages of replacement bags included for spending the same as shown at Amazon.
After receiving it I plan to buy a bunch of attachments from here: http://www.sweetsweep.com/vaclatandto.html
Then comes how to carry around the attachments. I was thinking of a Velcro strip strapped around the canister and companion strips around the attachments.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Vacuums really don't do much on carpet unless you have the beater brush in the head.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:30:03 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I've thought of that. I do have some rugs (no carpets). I will still have my Miele canister with Turbo Brush, but I'd really prefer to not have to pull that out. So I looked into a beater brush. I found this, which appears to have the standard 1 1/4" connection:
Oreck XL Compact Canister 11" Turbo Brush Attachement http://www.google.com/search?q=Oreck+XL+Compact+Canister+11%22+Turbo+Brush+Attachment
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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For a beater brush, you should get one with a power supply. You will find beater brushes that run from vacuum suction can't do a good beating because putting pressure on them to beat the carpet slows down the beater due to a lack of suction power.
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 10:04:04 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

But do any exist for the standard American connection?
My vac arrived this afternoon. I had ordered paper dust bags. I found out that it comes with a reusable cloth one, and I didn't need the paper. I started with the paper and did a test vacuum before having to run out for an errand. All was fine, except for all the plastic and rubber outgassing.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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I've been using backpacks in my commercial cleaning business for about 16 years. They almost never break down as there are no moving parts except for the motor. We're still using the oldest one but had to replace the motor once. On some types of carpet (mostly cut pile) they don't work real well and in one account we successfully use a turbo head attachment. The only ones I've ever purchased are the Pro-Team vacs. Pro-Team was the originator of the backpack (to my knowledge) and are pretty much the standard in the commercial cleaning industry. They are kind of pricey for home use, about $400.
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I can't speak for everybody, but for me the showstopper would be the noise. I want that sucker as far away from my ears as possible.
Cindy Hamilton
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On Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 4:18:19 PM UTC-5, Don Wiss wrote:

Backpacks are overall much more physically exhausting and annoying than you would imagine. Ask any commercial cleaner who is forced to use one. They a lmost ALL hate them(dusty smell, noise (your head is 2 feet from the motor) but even more is the uncomfortable physical aspect.
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<stuff snipped>
<Backpacks are overall much more physically exhausting and annoying than you would imagine. Ask any commercial cleaner who is forced to use one. They almost ALL hate them(dusty smell, noise (your head is 2 feet from the motor) but even more is the uncomfortable physical aspect.>
True. One reason commercial cleaners use them to avoid knocking into things with the drag-along type. Back in the day I had a cleaner plug her vacuum into my small UPS which caused the magic smoke and a loud pop to escape. The long cords on commercial vacs allow the cleaners to plug into hallway outlets which can usually tolerate the load. Don could try making a papoose-like sling for his cannister vac to experience the reality of the weight, heat and noise of a vacuum near his head. (-: (Just funning you, Don!)
--
Bobby G.



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I bought a back pack. The motor is at the bottom, so not near the head, but at the lower back. Not objectionable.
I kept the 50 foot card. I use it for my parlor level, the four flights of stairs, and the hall on the bottom floor, where the rental is. I have a shop vac for my top floor, and a Miele cannister for my middle floor. Those stay on their floor.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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<stuff snipped>

Good. I've had them pass me by in the halls when I was working late and it didn't seem too loud but I suspect each model is different. The weight could *weigh* on you after a while though. <g>
I use a central vac because it exhausts the air outside the building. No backpack, no noise but a lot of hose-wrangling. I ended up getting hoses for each floor in the house to cut down on the wrangling.

When I used a canister and the short 12' cord failed I replaced it with an 25' extension cord that had gone bad at the socket end. Very handy to have a long cord.
--
Bobby G.




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