Thread Number: 10977
Vintage ELECTROLUX Automatic Model setting question
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Post# 118647   12/18/2010 at 21:38 (3,222 days old) by uprightman ()        

Can anyone suggest the "correct" setting for the Electrolux Automatic models? I have the Automatic Model E (from 1957, I believe). I have the control knob set on 3. The last two times that I have had to change the bag, I noticed that the used one was packed fairly dense and had some weight to it. I got to wondering if I might be causing a drag on the motor. (I don't use a filter in it for that reason, but have always used genuine Electrolux filter bags.)

I use this vacuum cleaner semi-regularly (for quick clean-ups when company's a-coming, or if I'm short on time).

The "stuff" that I pick up is just regular dust; nothing fine like flour, or really bulky like dead insects or gritty dirt.

If someone has found a good setting and is willing to share, I'd appreciate it.

Post# 118651 , Reply# 1   12/18/2010 at 22:44 (3,222 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

4 works fine for me; not too full and not too empty, and still, depending on what's in the bag, almost undiminished suction. None of my Electroluxes see daily use (I rotate them), so I'm not concerned about the motors.

Post# 118665 , Reply# 2   12/19/2010 at 02:39 (3,222 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

The very reason for having the dial is to adjust to the various types of dirt being vacuumed. And that can vary not just from household to household but also to the particular cleaning task being done at any given time.

So there is no one "magic setting," otherwise the dial would be unnecessary.

This is clearly covered in all the instruction manuals from late LX on up though whenever they stopped using the adjustment dial -- I guess the Ultralux maybe? (I don't know much about the models past the Diamond Juibilee.)

I don't have any of my literature at hand, and this is important enough not to paraphrase. So if someone does have a copy of one of those instruction manuals handy, would you please type out the dial adjustment setting instructions, or maybe scan that page?

I will say, the language is the most quaint and flowery in the earlier models' manuals, especially the E-Automatic, with which model the dial was in its most refined design.

Post# 118670 , Reply# 3   12/19/2010 at 09:05 (3,222 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

1205 manual

CLICK HERE TO GO TO constellation86's LINK

Post# 118671 , Reply# 4   12/19/2010 at 09:07 (3,222 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

model F manual

CLICK HERE TO GO TO constellation86's LINK

Post# 118672 , Reply# 5   12/19/2010 at 09:12 (3,222 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

The Electrolux dealer in town told me I should keep the dial at 3 or less to protect the motor.
It sounds reasonable to me and the dial set on 3 packs the dirt in pretty tight with normal dust and dirt.

Post# 118677 , Reply# 6   12/19/2010 at 11:00 (3,222 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Cool, thanks for the re-post of these scans! I love the flowery language in the Model F manual, "Your friendly Electrolux salesman installed your cleaner with the dial set for efficient operation on your rugs and furnishings." I've always thought the word "installed" was kinda funny, as if all this major construction and retrofitting of the customer's home was required for "installation" of their new Electrolux cleaner.

btw my mom always kept her E-A and G set on "2" because that's what her "friendly Electrolux salesman" told her was the best setting.

Post# 118680 , Reply# 7   12/19/2010 at 11:47 (3,222 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

I forgot to add that I rarely if ever wait for the automatic shutoff on my older machines. If I think the bag is getting too full, or its starting to smell, then out it goes, not to mention that I check the bag after every single use to make sure nothing naughty was vacuumed up, but that's probably just my obsessive behavior.

Post# 118682 , Reply# 8   12/19/2010 at 12:34 (3,222 days old) by powertank ()        

You do know that when you have a full bag, you are taking a load OFF the motor, right? You're allowing it to run faster, and there really isn't a problem with that EXCEPT not enough air is flowing to keep the motor cool.

So you're right, it's not a good idea, but you've got it backwards. Blocking the output (blower end) of a vacuum bogs the motor down as it has to fight to push the air (bad), and clogging the suction actually unloads the motor. To prove it, plug the vacuum into an ammeter, then look at the current draw when you block the intake then the exhaust. The motor will draw more current when the exhaust is blocked, and will draw less current than normal (normal use) when the intake is blocked.

I second not using the shutoff. Just use your ears and common sense. A lot of the hoses that control that have deteriorated, and it may not be useful anymore. I have a few luxes where it isn't even functional.

Post# 118685 , Reply# 9   12/19/2010 at 13:09 (3,222 days old) by joe22 ()        
just saying

low setting, less dirt in bag, more bags used, more bag $ale$ ....just saying

Post# 118760 , Reply# 10   12/20/2010 at 01:34 (3,221 days old) by uprightman ()        

constellation86 - Thank you for sharing the AF manual information, and the advice from the Electrolux dealer. That's just what I was looking for. (I have my AE manual somewhere, but can't remember where I put it at the moment - probably in with the information of another vac - hopefully.)

joe22 -- I'm picking up what you're laying down. I thought about how those stealthy Electrolux salesman would have wanted to keep that bag inventory moving. You found me out - I was looking to get the best bang for the buck on the bags - WITHOUT burning up the motor. Thanks!

Post# 118879 , Reply# 11   12/21/2010 at 03:24 (3,220 days old) by uprightman ()        
Our panel has come to a decision...

I want to thank everyone who responded to my Electrolux Automatic setting query. As usual, you all came through like champs!

Took your suggestions to our Lab, and here is what has been decided.....

Since electroux-137's Mom had a couple of Electroluxes, and, evidently knew how to use them, and THEN passed the torch on to her son.....who seems to expertly know his way around them...

...and, then the ever-crowd pleasin' constellation86 dug through his reference material and FREELY shared his advice from an Electrolux dealer....(and, who, additionally, inspired me to dig until I found the AE operating manual. Thanks again, Nicholas!)...

Our judges have decided to split the difference and try a "healthy" 2.5 setting...not scant, not agressive, but a HEALTHY 2.5. So, we'll see what that buys us.

Of course, depending on the situation - where I might need solid assistance - I'm not afraid to crank that baby up to sireluxomatic's 4, if needed.... but the 2.5 sounds like a good bet, as well as a reminder of some good folks who took the time to help an Electrolux neophyte out.

Post# 118913 , Reply# 12   12/21/2010 at 11:00 (3,220 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

Another point about Electrolux bags...there was a thread a while back in which Crevicetool Rick (I believe) suggested vacuuming up some rice in a new bag to prolong its life, or something like that. If Rick, or others, can chime in on this, it'd be great...I nearly went cracked trying to find the thread.

I also agree with changing the dial setting as needs change.

Post# 118958 , Reply# 13   12/21/2010 at 21:33 (3,219 days old) by mercuryman ()        
Automatic Electroluxes

My mom's Super J was always set at "3" for Medium Dirt. From what I remember, when the cleaner shut off automatically, the bag would literally be like a dirt brick.

On the contrary, the bag door on my grandma's AF never stayed shut, even with a new bag in it. So we used electrical tape to hold it shut.

I personally like to make sure that the suction of my vacs is maximized. As soon as I sense that the suction isn't quite as strong as it was when the bag was new, I change the bag.

If I were using an automatic cleaner regularly, I'd probably set it on "3" for medium dirt. It seems like a good compromise.

Post# 118964 , Reply# 14   12/21/2010 at 21:54 (3,219 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
I change when the suction sound at the hose dims off, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 full

Post# 118975 , Reply# 15   12/22/2010 at 00:20 (3,219 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Yeah. Seriously, if people are paying attention when vacuuming, it will be very clear when the suction is diminishing, at least, when using the straight suction attachments, because the loudness and intensity of the air rushing through the attachments will diminish. Not to mention, if you have to go back and forth a half-dozen times to pick up that dried pea on the floor, then it's time to change the bag!! ;P

Post# 119060 , Reply# 16   12/23/2010 at 02:55 (3,218 days old) by uprightman ()        
Dirt Brick!!!!

mercuryman: I'm only sorry that I didn't run into you earlier - BEFORE I came up with the very BORING uprightman as a username. DIRTBRICK is INFINITELY more interesting!! You have a way with words. PLUS, you introduced something that didn't even enter my mind - COMMON SENSE....if she's not pickin' up like she used to...then (BOING!) CHANGE THE BAG!

electrolux-137 - Your "pea test" has now been entered in my log as a "best practice". Knew I could count on you....something about the name, I reckon.

Post# 119074 , Reply# 17   12/23/2010 at 10:23 (3,218 days old) by mercuryman ()        
Ha ha!


I'm glad you're enjoying my "dirt brick" analogy. I couldn't think of any way to more appropriately describe the fullness of the bags that came out of my mother's Lux when it shut off automatically!

Me, being the obsessive-compulsive character that I am, I always check the bag after a good vacuuming "sesh". I like to see how much dirt was gleaned, and to be reassured of the effectiveness of my vacuum cleaner. =)

Post# 119088 , Reply# 18   12/23/2010 at 14:58 (3,217 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

@ mercuryman:

If you were really obsessive-compulsive, you'd carefully snip open the end of the bag, making sure to cut into the yellow paper only and not the blue seam at the bottom.

Then you'd very meticulously up-end the bag onto exactly three sheets of newspaper, carefully lined up so all the edges meet exactly.

Then, using a #3 knitting needle and a pair of tweezers, you would sort through and organize the contents of the bag - first by type of material (lint, dead skin cells, dead dust mite fragments, sand, cat poo crumblings, dried peas (!), etc., then by size and finally by color.

Using your digital camera, you would take five photos of the sorted dirt, which you will later print out and mount on your wall along with the other 3,456 dirt-bag-contents on your bedroom wall.

Then you would gently place the Electrolux bag in the exact center of the newspaper, carefully fold one corner at a time of the newspaper over the bag, making a rectangular-shaped container.

Then you would select three rubber bands that are the exact same size, shape, color and thickness. You'd seal the newspaper sack with the rubber bands, making sure the distance between each of them is exact.

Then you would place the paper sack by your front door, making sure to lean it against the door at exactly a 21-degree angle, and exactly 2.645 inches from the left side of the door.

Then at exactly 6:55:55 a.m. the next morning, you would carry the sack out to your trash can and sit on your front porch for 5 minutes and 5 seconds waiting for the trash collecting truck to come by, as the driver is due at your house at 7 a.m. sharp.

Oh dear.

The truck is a minute and three seconds late.

Your perfectly timed and calculated routine has been irreparably impacted by the stupid truck driver. Flying into a blind rage, you go screaming out to the curb, hurl the trash can lid open, grab the newspaper sack in your enraged, trembling hands, pull off the rubber bands, tear the bag open and into a thousand little pieces.

As the bits of newspaper, Electrolux bag, filter liners and schmutz merrily rain down around you, you scream and bellow at the truck driver for being late.

The driver, terrified out of his mind, slams his rig into gear and roars off down the street in a cloud of oily diesel smoke.

You just stand there for a few seconds, quietly.

You go inside and to the telephone. You call the Trash Collection Department and report to them that the trash collector dumped trash all over your front yard, making a big huge mess that someone has to come back and clean up.

Then you write a letter to the editor, complaining about the shoddy service that City workers are providing. After counting the number of words in your letter, you carefully sign it with your special pen. You look in your box of #10 envelopes for one that is perfectly white, uncreased and with no marks or blemishes. You address the envelope, using a t-square to make sure the handwritten lines are perfectly straight. You carefully stamp the envelope, making sure there is a precisely equal distance between the stamp and the side and top of the envelope.

You walk two blocks to the corner mail drop, counting the squares in the sidewalk and on each 10th square whispering to yourself, "10."

Now THAT's obsessive-compulsive.

Post# 119090 , Reply# 19   12/23/2010 at 15:32 (3,217 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

arh1953's profile picture
Funny but disturbing! People like that really do exist, not capable of a happy medium. I don't mean Mercuryman or anyone else on the forum either.

Post# 119310 , Reply# 20   12/26/2010 at 21:30 (3,214 days old) by mercuryman ()        

Charles, you crack me up!

Post# 119354 , Reply# 21   12/27/2010 at 14:34 (3,213 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        
From what I remember,

When I sold Lux units - The numbers on the dial represented the amount of air flow lost when the auto system kicks in. In other words, the 1 = 10% air flow loss 2 = 20% and so on...
Keep in mind, a quarter cup of flour can clog a bag beyond the 10% mark within seconds, while five pounds of sand (a filtering agent in it's own right) will barely diminish the air flow at all. It's the combination of fine dust and course "dirt" that comprises said "bricks".

The rice is supposed to dislodge clogging particles from the inner (genuine Lux bags) filter linings, allowing them to coalesce, thereby maintaining airflow longer than if not used at all.

It is imperative that the rice be Mahatma long grain yellow rice, uncooked of course - and no more than 134 individual grains.

(Disclaimer: the above sentence is an attempt at humor and should not be considered a fact)

Frankly, I don't pay much attention to the automatic feature. I do have mine set at 2.5 (or thereabouts) but rely on the sound of the motor and sound at the nozzle when deciding to change the bag.

The automatic feature is cool to play with though - especially on a LX!

Post# 119370 , Reply# 22   12/27/2010 at 15:52 (3,213 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        
According to my count, I sucked up 2754 grains of...

...Minute Rice 100% long grain rice, so it might end up expanding inside the bag and turning into a rice souffle, or something like that, but...

Thanks for chiming in on the rice situation; I knew you'd said something about it before, but couldn't find the thread.

Post# 119444 , Reply# 23   12/28/2010 at 03:38 (3,213 days old) by uprightman ()        
Very glad that you chimed in.....

Crevicetool...sireluxomatic mentioned the "rice" trick earlier; looked for the thread and was unable to locate, thanks for the repeat.

The measurement of air loss associated with the setting was interesting to read. So, there was a method to their divine madness....

Really grateful for your input!

sireluxomatic: Thanks, mate. I have a feeling that you contacted Crevicetool to help me out - and I really appreciate your efforts!

Post# 119475 , Reply# 24   12/28/2010 at 10:33 (3,213 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

I brought up the rice issue solely for my own capricious whims and pleasures :)

It remains to be seen how the rice will affect suction and airflow. I just put a new bag in one of my machines yesterday and added rice, so we'll see how it does in the near future. As I said, though, none of my vacuums sees daily, regular use, so bags last quite a long time with me anyway.

At the very least, you can have fun looking inside the bag when the machine is running and watching the mini cyclone of rice whirling around.

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