The Rainbow will pick up plaster dust and trap it in the water if you
add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. I had a friend in SW Ohio that
rebuilt and sold thousands of used vacuum cleaners from his home in the
mid '80s. The Rainbow rarely had a bad motor or damaged impeller. He
would spend a lot of time buffing scratches and other marks out of the
cast aluminum Kirbys. The eurekas all needed new paint, power cords and
lots of new power switches. Most of the Rainbow were missing a wheel on
the dolly, or the hose or power cord were damaged. He cleaned them up,
buffed the plastic case and sold them for half the price of a new
machine. He usually had a six month waiting list.
As for metal content, he would give me 100 or more bad vacuum cleaner
motors at a time. I would break them down and toss parts that were too
far gone, then rebuild as many as I could because he was always looking
for some motor he needed today to complete a sale. He was amazed how
nice the armatures looked, and was convinced that i had an armature
lathe hidden somewhere in my shop. Finally, I showed him how to use a
variable DC power supply and an ink eraser to polish the commutators,
and a modified exacto knife blade to under cut the mica between
segments. I could take a a lot of motors apart to inspect the
impellers, then polish and undercut the armature in under 15 minutes.
Then he would buy them back for $15 or more.
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I\'ve got my DD214 to
Consumer Reports do not rate them well. They are heavy and nothing special
at vacuuuming. Notwithstanding a friend has one and loves it. But it broke
once and repairs are expensive just like the original vacuum.
Long ago and far away, the mother of a girl I knew asked me to
sit in on a vacuum demonstration. Might have been Kirby. He
did the usual stuff, which we thought pretty amusing.
Then her father got home, just as the salesman was getting to
the "betcha this thing can pick up anything. Find something
for me to show you" bit. Her father said "just a moment",
went into the basement, and came back with a cylinder about
3/4" in diameter, 8" long.
Just as the salesman was moving the hose towards the thing, he
asked "oh, by the way, what is this?".
"Stick of dynamite" was the reply.
The salesman was out of the house within 15 seconds...
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
Rainbow built a vacuum that would pick up a bowling ball. The only
problem was that it could also pull carpet off the tack strips. They
had to recall all of them and convert them to their standard motor.
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I\'ve got my DD214 to
The sign adjacent to our front door:
Tuesdays 7:00 PM
Tuesdays 7:15 PM
Tuesdays 7:30 PM
Haven't been bothered in years
From whence, then, could arise the solitary and strange conceit that
the Almighty, who had millions of worlds equally dependant on His
protection, should quit the care of all the rest, and come to die in our
world, because, they say, one man and one woman had eaten an apple? -
(metalworking group removed due to irrelevancy)
Despite the sales practices, the fact remains that the Rainbow is a pretty
good vacuum, if not particularly frugal. I've had mine since 1978. Had the
motor replaced once (don't EVER leave it for prolonged periods with the tank
filled, due to evaporative corrosion) and recently had the motor and bearings
overhauled due to normal age-related issues. One lives with the minor hassle
of dealing with the tank - I just dump it into an old sieve and toss the crud
into the kitchen trashcan. I have no complaints with the longevity,
reliability, and performance. Obviously paying the door-to-door price is
preposterous. I got mine for something like $300 or $350 as a model closeout
at a retail establishment, which even in 1978 wasn't a horribly shocking sum.
It's an unusual niche product which performs well.
Building Construction and Maintenance Forum
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i bought one yrs ago back before hepa filters were common. loved the lack
of "vac scent". when we had to replace the carpet, there was no dirt on or
under the pad. that doesn't happen with a regular vac. one of the
minuses is that you have to empty the container. if you have too much
dirt, which is most likely when you begin using a rainbow, you'll get mud,
so be sure to empty frequently if you're a new user. if you have pet hair,
you need to know if it's safe to flush down your toilet, else you'll have to
dump the container elsewhere. i also was able to use it as a carpet
cleaner since there was a carpet cleaning attachment. at this time, i
prefer an upright, but it's still in my basement awaiting the next time i
have need of a carpet cleaner (which may be never again).
People had pressured us to buy one for years. However, when we built a
new house, we were able to install a central vac for a little more than
half the price of a rainbow. The central vac has a huge primary filter
(cyclone separator) and exhausts the rest outside. No contest in my mind.
Here's how they come up with the high horsepower numbers:
You are, of course, correct in saying that if the thing really
developed all that power it would blow the breaker.
Anyway here goes:
You know that one horsepower equals 746 watts. Okay. So, they connect
huge wires directly to the motor, let's say #1 or #2 gage. They put in
HUGE breakers for the test, let's say 100 or 200 amps.
Now, these motors are usually series wound motors with brushes, right?
Okay. So they connect the motor to a braking system and they connect
a volt meter (probably a data acquisition unit these days) across the
incoming line. They connect an ammeter in series with the whole thing.
Now comes the fun part: They start up the motor and read the
meters. Now, they slow down the series wound motor and, as they do, the
reverse emf goes down, so the circuit current goes up because the net
resistance to current flow is reduced by the lowering of the reverse emf.
Still with me? Okay, now they continue to slow the motor down while
taking readings. Remember that they are feeding this motor with HUGE
wires, so the voltmeter across the motor leads is reading FULL line
voltage all the time. They keep slowing the motor down with the braking
system until the motor just stalls. Just as it comes to a stall, there
is NO reverse emf generated and the total resistance of the motor is
equal to its at-rest DC resistance. So the current goes sky-high!
This, of course, blows out the whole motor, but, at this moment of this
super high current, just before the motor creates fireworks, they read
that current and, of course, the incoming voltage, which is still a full
line value. Amps times volts equals watts. They could be seeing 30 or
40 amps or more for a few milliseconds. Depending on how much
horsepower marketing wants to sell, they could come up with 10 hp or so
if they can get 70 amps out of the system as it self destructs!
Of course, this had absolutely NOTHING to do with vacuuming your rug,
but that's how the game can be played without anyone actually having to
go to jail.
Ain't the capitalist system great?
And if you are a little (maybe a lot) older the radios, especially
by "Midwest" (as I remember the name), were competing by the number
of tubes. In some cases I think only with the heaters connected. :-)
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