Thread Number: 34759  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
got a new rainbow!
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Post# 375361   7/14/2017 at 10:18 (343 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

Yes, I decided to add another water filtration vac to my collection, a new Rainbow E2 black. So far I'm really liking it, stay tuned for a full review, and I will try and compare the Rainbow to the Sirena.

Post# 375367 , Reply# 1   7/14/2017 at 12:18 (343 days old) by Dysonman1 (undisclosed)        

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I love my E2 as well. Congratulations on your new machine.

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Post# 375552 , Reply# 2   7/18/2017 at 21:26 (339 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
my review of the Rainbow E2 black

The rainbow probably does not need an introduction, it is the water filtration vacuum that has been around the longest, I think the first one was introduced in 1936, it probably has the most market share of the water filtration vacuums although the Sirena is really starting to make a name for itself as well. After getting a Sirena and finding that I use it more than I thought I would, I decided that I did want a rainbow in my collection, I got a new one because, unfortunately, many of these vacuums are not maintained well, and buying one used could cause problems later. The rainbow is quite a bit more expensive than the Sirena, there's no getting around that, is it worth the higher price? I will wait until the end of the review to answer that, because it depends on several things. Since this is my second water filtration vacuum, I will be comparing it to the Sirena, but I don't think one is better than the other, they both clean well but each one has advantages and disadvantages.
The rainbow has three basic parts, the motor unit, the basin, and the dolly. In this regard, it's similar to the Sirena. Also, the layout of the two machines is similar. On the front, you have the inlet which includes a cover that can be used when using the rainbow as an air purifier. The handle is on top, unlike the Sirena the handle has a soft pad on the bottom, this may or may not make it easier to carry, for me, I don't really notice a difference. On the back of the motor unit is the exhaust port, again there is a cover that goes here when you are not using the Rainbow as a blower. The controls are different than the Sirena, with the Sirena, you have two buttons on the front, to use low speed you press the top button first, then press the bottom button to change to low speed. With the rainbow, there is a switch on the top of the machine, pushing it forward is low speed for air cleaning, the middle position turns the machine off, and pushing it backward is high speed for vacuuming. The motor on the rainbow has a very interesting sound, it is known as a switch reluctance motor which means it does not use brushes the way universal motors do, in theory, this should allow the motor to last longer. On the other hand, these motors do require a circuit board to drive them, and circuit boards in vacuums are known for problems, so let's hope the rainbow circuit board is designed well. The Sirena's motor does use brushes, and I think it has a circuit board as well because the buttons are not mechanical, they are electronic, so it must use some kind of solid state control to turn on and off and change speeds. Changing the hepa filter is also different with each machine. With the Sirena, you remove the exhaust cover, take out three screws and then remove the filter. With the Rainbow, you remove the exhaust cover and you have to pry out the filter cover and then remove the filter assembly. I haven't tried either one, but I have read that some think the Sirena's approach is a bit easier. The rainbow also has LED lights on the bottom that light up the basin, I'm not sure if this helps with seeing what is in the basin, but the Sirena does not have this, whether this is important is up to you. One other thing I should mention before moving on to talk about the basin, the Rainbow is heavier than the Sirena, you can carry either one in one hand, but you will definitely notice the weight difference if you have access to try both of these machines.
The basin is one area where I think the Sirena is definitely better. The Sirena's basin is open all the way around like a large pan. On the other hand, the Rainbow's basin has a hole on top where the water goes, but the hole is smaller than the basin itself. This makes the Rainbow basin more difficult to wash out and also makes it harder to get the motor unit on to the basin properly. I'm a blind person and I do everything by touch, and sometimes it was taking me literally a minute or more to line everything up. Tom gave me a suggestion that does help a lot, he suggested putting the basin in the dolly first, then attaching the motor unit. This does help a lot since this keeps the basin from moving around as much, but I still think the Sirena is easier when attaching the motor unit, since there is a larger area to work with, lining everything up is just easier.
Ok, on to the dollys. They are similar in their shape and purpose but do have a couple differences, though I'm not sure if they matter much. The Sirena's dolly has four wheels, the Rainbow's has five, I don't notice any difference when pulling them, and you do need to hold them still while attaching the machine or they will roll away from you. Also, the Sirena's release button is in the back, where as the Rainbow's is in the front. I have read that some users think attaching the Sirena to the dolly is more difficult, but for me this has not been the case. It works best to insert the side that does not have the release button first, then insert the side where the release button is, they both lock in place pretty easily that way.
Ok, on to the hoses, here we have a big difference. The Sirena has two hoses, one is electric for using a power nozzle, the other is nonelectric and can be used for wet or dry vacuuming, I'm not sure how long they are, I think seven feet. On the other hand, the Rainbow uses one hose for wet and dry vacuuming, and it's also an electric hose that is eight feet long. This can be a good or bad thing. It's good because there is only one hose to deal with, but the down side is that you still need to be careful not to get the receptacle on the hose wet, therefore you probably could not use the rainbow to unclog a toilet or sink, but this would be no problem with the Sirena since there is no receptacle to deal with. Neither one of the machines' electric hoses swivel, this is something I wish both companies would add, it makes a big difference. The Sirena's nonelectric hose has a curved wand that attaches to it and this does swivel. When comparing the electric hoses for both machines, the rainbow does have a couple things the Sirena's doesn't. There is a trigger on both hoses that you press to activate the power nozzle, the Rainbow hose has a switch that you can use to lock the trigger in the on position, this is a very nice feature. With the Sirena, you must hold the trigger in order for the power nozzle to work. The rainbow hose also has a suction relief switch, although I doubt this would be needed, these water filtration vacuums are less powerful than other vacuums, more on this below. I also like to pair my machines with other power nozzles than what they come with, that's part of the fun of collecting vacuums and attachments. This works much better with the rainbow, the Sirena has such a loose fit that I don't do this much because of the risk of sparking, but this works well with the rainbow hose because the holes on the receptacle are closer together. Both machines use the standard 32 MM, 1-1/4 hose end, allowing the use of many different attachments.
The power nozzles have some differences, the Sirena's power nozzle uses a flat belt, not sure about the rainbow's, does anyone else know this? The Sirena's power nozzle offers three height adjustments, the Rainbow uses automatic height adjustment. I'm not sure if one is better than the other, some people think that manual height adjustment provides better control for different kinds of carpet, and I suppose that's true. Supposedly the Rainbow power nozzle can be used on hard floors, but I don't plan on trying this, the brush on the nozzle is fairly hard and I could see it scratching a hard floor, I prefer to use a hard floor brush, or my Centec ct10 power nozzle which is designed specifically for hard floor surfaces. The Rainbow's power nozzle also has round edge cleaning brushes.
When it comes to wands, the two machines are quite different. The Sirena includes two telescopic wands, one has a holder for the power nozzle cord and the other is just a regular wand. the rainbow includes two straight wands with receptacles on each end. The rainbow uses a direct connect interface for the power nozzle, you put the two wands together, then attach the assembly to the hose and power nozzle, there are no exposed cords. For the Sirena, you attach the telescopic wand and plug the power nozzle cord in to the outlet on the hose. So, both machines offer an advantage and disadvantage here. With the Rainbow, you can probably switch attachments a bit faster, just remove the power nozzle and attach the hard floor brush for example. Or remove the entire assembly from the hose and attach the dusting brush, there are no cords to deal with. On the other hand, if you need to clean higher places, the Sirena is the clear winner, you can hook the two telescopic wands together, extend them both and that would probably give you an extra six feet of reach.
Both machines include the typical attachments, and there is not much difference between them. They both include a hard floor brush, dusting brush, appoulstry tool, crevvis tool and an inflator tool that you can use to inflate things such as mattresses. I actually like the Sirena's inflator tool a bit better, it consists of two pieces that attach and lock together. The rainbow's tool is also two pieces, one part goes in to the hose, and the other part is the inflator tool itself, but there's nothing to hold it in place. There is also a longer piece that attachs to the hose part that can be used for cleaning coils, vents and other places where you need something even smaller than a regular crevvis tool. My Sirena also included a mini turbo brush, it uses a turbine to spin the brush, I'm not really a fan of these, they rob airflow to spin the turbine and are also very prone to clogging because everything goes through the turbine.
There are several optional accessories that you can get for the Rainbow that Sirena does not currently offer. There is the Aqua-mate for shampooing carpets, the Rain Jet for scrubbing hard floors, there is also a mini power nozzle for cleaning appoulstry and stairs, does anyone know if rainbow's mini nozzle is motor driven or if it also uses a turbine? Apparently the price for the mini power nozzle is around $150, for that price, I would hope it has a motor, I didn't get the mini nozzle since I already have the Wessel Werk HEB160, it's a mini electric brush that you can get for around $89 and it fits the rainbow hose perfectly. I think there is also a shampooer attachment for appoulstry available for the Rainbow. Even though these are not available for the Sirena, I was able to make a home made add-on that gives the Sirena the same capabilities, but this is not something the average consumer is likely to do so hopefully Sirena will introduce some add-ons in the future.
Filling both machines is similar. With the Sirena, the directions say to fill to the minimum line, instead, I suggest filling to right below the maximum line or to the max line itself. Having more water will keep more dirt and dust off of the separator. With the Rainbow, the directions say to fill to the top of the post that's in the middle of the basin.
The way you maintain both machines is very similar. They do require more work to maintain than a bagged vacuum, but definitely less work than the typical bagless machine. First, of course, you dump the contents of the basin, this will hopefully take most of what you have vacuumed with it. At this point, I suggest taking the basin to the sink, and washing it with dish washing soap, very similar to washing a pot or pan. I do find the Sirena's basin a bit easier to clean since the entire basin is open on top. With the Rainbow, the hole is smaller, and this makes it more difficult to wash the inner sides since there will be a cover right above your hand. Both machines include a tool with a brush on one end and a wrench on the other for removing the separator. While this works, I suggest a different approach. Only tighten the nut finger tight, there is no need to go any tighter than this, and this avoids the need to pull out the tool. Rather than using a brush, loosen the nut and remove the separator, drop it in to the basin and wash it right along with the basin itself. Letting the soap and water go through the grooves will remove anything that might be in there and probably does a better job than using the brush. Once all the soap is rinsed out, reattach the separator to the motor shaft and tighten the nut, again, finger tight is sufficient. Even though the instructions for both machines say to clean the separator every few times they are used, I have gotten in to the habbit of cleaning them every time, it literally only takes a few extra seconds to remove and reattach the separator, and this makes sure that nothing has a chance to build up on the separator and possibly be more difficult to clean later. With both machines, do not store them with the basin attached when not in use. Both machines will attach to the dolly without the basin attached and this is how they should be stored. You can store the basin next to the machine or somewhere else where you can get to it easily.
Ok, now for what everyone probably wants to know, which one cleans better. My answer is that they both clean equally well. I honestly do not think one cleans better than the other, they both do a great job. That being said, I did do my usual test with a turbo brush. While this doesn't mean that one vacuum will necessarily clean better than another, one way you can measure the raw power of a vacuum is to attach a turbo brush and see how fast a vacuum can spin it. I was a bit surprised with the results of this test. I was expecting the rainbow to be able to spin the turbo brush faster, but that wasn't the case. With the electric hoses, the Sirena spun the brush slightly faster than the rainbow, and with the Sirena's nonelectric hose, it spun quite a bit faster, although still not as fast as my bagged canisters. Again, they both should clean equally well, but if you want the machine that has the most airflow, the Sirena comes out ahead, especially when using the nonelectric hose. That being said, when it comes to raw suction and airflow, these vacuums are probably around 30 years behind other vacuums, the water filtration motors simply do not spin as fast as the motors that are used in other vacuums. But, as long as they remove the dirt and dust, they are doing their job.
In conclusion, the Rainbow E2 black is a great water filtration vacuum, it does work as advertised and is well made. Now comes the most difficult question of this review, is it worth the extra price. The Rainbow costs three times the price of the Sirena and the cleaning performance is the same, the Sirena actually has slightly more power. As vacuum collectors, we often think differently than the average consumer. As a collector, I wanted a rainbow for my collection and was willing to pay for one, although I do have mixed views on the method that Rainbows, Kirbys, Filter Queens and Aerus vacuums are sold, through in home demonstration. This inflates the price of the product quite a bit. On the other hand, a company should have the right to sell their product the way they want, if it's too expensive, no one will buy it and the company will either change their sales approach or go out of business. Rainbows have been sold this way since the beginning and they are still here, so they must be doing something right. On the other hand, you can buy the Sirena directly from their web site or in vac shops at a much cheaper price. The real question is, do the advantages the rainbow offers justify the much higher price for most consumers? The biggest advantage is the brushless motor, although I'm not sure how much of an advantage this actually offers. The rainbow also has direct connect wands and a slightly longer hose, and it offers the shampoo attachments. I think if someone asked me which water filtration machine to get, I would first ask them if they were interested in the extras that the rainbow offers, if they are, I would suggest a rainbow. If they just want a water filtration machine for vacuuming their home, I would probably suggest looking at the Sirena first. For the average consumer, I don't think the rainbow advantages justify paying three times more for it. Of course, you can find used and refurbished rainbows at cheaper prices, but these may or may not be in good condition. For myself though, I think the Rainbow is a good machine and I'm proud to have one in my collection.

Post# 375614 , Reply# 3   7/20/2017 at 07:44 (337 days old) by Dysonman1 (undisclosed)        

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What an awesome, well thought out, and interesting review of one of my favorite vacuum cleaners in the world. Now we need to find you a Delphin.

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Post# 375617 , Reply# 4   7/20/2017 at 09:25 (337 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

Glad you liked the review Tom, I try to write reviews of vacuums that I get assuming they are still available. I have definitely become much more of a believer in the water filtration machines than I thought I would. In my review of the Sirena I had said that I didn't plan on using it very much, I may have to eat those words, I find myself using the Sirena and Rainbow very often. I would love to have a Delphin, I found the United States distributor and I have contacted them, didn't see any delphins on ebay at the moment.

Post# 375620 , Reply# 5   7/20/2017 at 09:45 (337 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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Delphin is one I'm looking to add to my collection as well. How well do they compare? I've never used one.
I recently bought a rather challenged Big Power and hope to someday be able to run it.

Post# 375627 , Reply# 6   7/20/2017 at 15:13 (337 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
water filtration comparison

I'm not sure how they rigged this up, I think they tried to have the two vacuums suck the water out of the other one, here is the Rainbow verses the Hyla, and I think the rainbow wins.


Post# 375628 , Reply# 7   7/20/2017 at 15:16 (337 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
another comparison

And here is the pro-aqua verses the Hyla, I think the pro-aqua uses the same motor as the Sirena, again, the Hyla loses. I had thought about getting a pro-aqua but since it uses the same motor as the Sirena, it would probably be redundant.


Post# 375629 , Reply# 8   7/20/2017 at 15:22 (337 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
getting a delphin

So far I have not heard from the distributor, the Delphin does seem much harder to get, but if I can get one I will, I would be curious to know what that three fan motor sounds like. Apparently the Ocean Blue was a good machine also but is no longer made. It would be interesting to find out how much sales of the Sirena have competed against sales of the Rainbow. The other water filtration machines are definitely not as well known.

Post# 375647 , Reply# 9   7/21/2017 at 08:52 (336 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
lots of refurbished rainbows

If you want to get a rainbow but don't want to pay the full price, here is a link to a page of a company that rebuilds them and sells them at a good price, they do offer a 5 year warranty on them and it looks like they have some really good ones.


Post# 375690 , Reply# 10   7/22/2017 at 08:19 (335 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
a few more comparison comments

Going to run them both this weekend I think. I'm going to use the add on I made for my Sirena to wet clean my couch, it should work really well. Just a few more comments on comparing the two machines, when it comes to running them on low speed, I actually like the sound of the Sirena better. You can actually hear the water moving around and it sounds like a hot tub or whirl pool. With the Rainbow, you don't hear the water and it has kind of an annoying whine on low speed, I know there has been some debate as to whether the low speed does anything with these machines, it definitely does pull in air, although I think a regular air cleaner probably moves more air than these machines do on low speed. I'm still trying to figure out why the Sirena's nonelectric hose has more air flow than the electric hose does, the two hoses look very similar.

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