Thread Number: 16679
Are manufacturers wasting money on electronic wattage adjustment controls ?
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Post# 177877   4/21/2012 at 18:03 (2,904 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I know they do have their uses, and personally I think they are a good feature, but I know a lot of people prefer manual suction adjustment (a valve somewhere in the suction path that can open and close, such as the one in the Electrolux 500 Series, apart from the 560 of course) or no adjustment at all.


Post# 177880 , Reply# 1   4/21/2012 at 18:21 (2,904 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        
Electronic adjustment...

is better, because less power is used, noise levels are reduced, and lightweight fabrics are less likely to be drawn into the nozzle.

Manual air slide valves are cheap, but create noise due to turbulence. Suction can still be too strong (e.g. Panasonic MC-UL596 has bleed hole on hose cuff, but very noisy when open).

I prefer electronic control, and I can't for the life of me, understand what is going through the heads of the numpties currently in charge of Hoover and the like. Uprights with 2100 Watt motors and absolutely no way to alter the suction power. Complete and utter bloody madness.

The only decent machine seems to be Miele's S7 series.

Post# 177881 , Reply# 2   4/21/2012 at 18:55 (2,904 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I take it you mean the Pure Power when you say HOOVER'S 2100W cleaner ?

I hate it when Vacuum Cleaners don't have any means of changing the wattage.

Electronic adjustment is what I prefer, but if manual adjustment is all there is, I'll be greatful and accept it, but no adjustment at all... No, I don't think so!

One thing I don't like (not so much don't like but don't get) is having electronic adjustment AND manual adjustment. My 2004 Panasonic MC-E8011 has the two adjustment methods, and I just find the valve redundant, when there is electronic adjustment, and vice versa.

Post# 177883 , Reply# 3   4/21/2012 at 19:05 (2,904 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        
Both Electronic & manual suction regulators

When both are present, it seems to be down to the cost of manufacturing. It is cheaper to make one hose handgrip which has a regulator than to make two different types.

I seem to remember that the Hoover Aquamaster Electronic had variable power and a slider on the hose handle.

Post# 177884 , Reply# 4   4/21/2012 at 19:06 (2,904 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        
I take it you mean the Pure Power when you say HOOVER'S


Post# 177897 , Reply# 5   4/21/2012 at 20:19 (2,904 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
In My Opinion....

....A suction control is a better use of resources and can contribute to vacuum life. Electronic controls use rare-earth materials, and add electrical complexity.

Think of all the vintage Luxes that have a well-designed suction control, and which have survived forty, fifty years and more. There's just so little to go wrong.

Post# 177910 , Reply# 6   4/21/2012 at 22:58 (2,903 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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I prefer electronic adjustment - as Rolls_Rapide notes with turbulence - however, not only that - some manual adjustments allow a cut in the suction airflow, thus reducing the suction that comes out of the machine AND dust escaping as it flies past the open hole on the way to the bag. Not particularly handy and some manual adjusters are so poorly placed - I can recall finding the manual suction valve on the base of the Hoover Slalom - it was clearly an afterthought on Hoover's part and why they put it on the sole plate was beyond me!

Post# 177950 , Reply# 7   4/22/2012 at 05:28 (2,903 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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They put it on the base ? Wow, that's something I wouldn't have expected!

Post# 178046 , Reply# 8   4/22/2012 at 14:34 (2,903 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Variable wattage controls have never been a common feature on vacuums here in the USA as far as I know. Really 'wattage' was never a big feature point of machines here. That measurement is used more for heat producing appliances, speakers, and lightbulbs. Amperage is the big vacuum term here in the US, although older vacuums tend to give wattage on their rating plate, while later ones give the amperage.

I think some very high end Hoover and Eureka canisters had variable speed control and a few TOL Kenmores. Uprights never really have had such controls, other than those with two speed motors. Since Hoover and Eureka mostly only offer basic straight suction compact canisters now, there are next to no variable speed vacuums in the big box stores. For the most part it is just Miele and I believe most of the current Kenmore Progressive and Intuition canister line, and a Dirt Devil canister that offer this.

I have never used a machine with variable speed control. I would think it would be preferable to a suction regulator valve. Power consumption and noise level can be reduced with a variable speed motor. The only time I open the suction regulator on my vacuums is when I want to do very light dusting of something or occasionally when using the crevice tool. A few times I was vacuuming carpet with my Kenmore Whispertone canister and realized after I had vaccuumed most of it that I had left the the suction control open!

Post# 178054 , Reply# 9   4/22/2012 at 15:20 (2,903 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Never seen the point of then and on bag less vacuums they actually hinder the cyclonic ability of the machine , ( thats why you will never find one on a dyson ) Cyclones need to spin the air at a certain speed and if you turn the power down the cyclone becomes inefficient and clogs 

Post# 178057 , Reply# 10   4/22/2012 at 15:31 (2,903 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

If it was a question of cost, you wouldn't see electronic controls on cleaners which sell for 30 and less. The cost of the parts is nothing these days. The assembly probably costs more.

I read with interest the comments above about electronic control at lower settings hindering the speed at which the air moves through the cyclones on bagless cleaners. It would explain the need for Dysons and others to have the valve inside the machine which draws in air from outside of the machine if the airflow is restricted through the cleaner head or hose. I never knew this as I was led to believe through, I think, one of James Dysons own articles many years ago that he didn't like gimmicks and extras, which is why I always thought Dyson cleaners had no electronic control. The only thing I would throw into that one is the suggestion that the cyclones must also be affected by the airflow through the machine in general, and that if the air is restricted at the nozzle this would reduce the air flow through the machine and have the same effect as a slower running motor. In that sense, one might be forgiven for thinking that some kind of electronic control would make sense so as to use the cleaner on lightweight surfaces which get sucked into the cleaning head.

I wouldn't say I ever found variable power a necessity, but certainly the option to have at least two settings is handy for curtains and things like that. I don't particularly like the bleed valves on hose handles for two reasons. One is that they can easily come open in normal use, and the other is the noise they make when open.

Post# 178061 , Reply# 11   4/22/2012 at 16:02 (2,903 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I think the speed control is one of the reasons I kept the Miele, it may have some toasting electronic components, but it is handy to set it to the lowest setting for quiet cleaning or for cleaning the dust out of the vintage things I have, or to full whack to clean out between the gaps in the living room's floorboards (though for floor cleaning like that, I switch between that and the Tristar, depending on what I fancy using that day)...

The Miele does have a suction relief valve in the handle is also handy, but the noise it makes is just plain annoying, it's like a high-pitch whistling coupled with someone constantly blowing through the remains of a burst balloon, and of course has the habit of opening by itself somehow, if it wasn't used, I'd tape the damned thing up!!! :S

I need to open up the miele actually, just to check on those toasting components, just to make sure they're not going to catch fire any time soon... :\

Post# 178213 , Reply# 12   4/23/2012 at 19:04 (2,902 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
Dyson without suction control ? um no..

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Well gsheen, maybe all you are used to in the Dyson line up is uprights - some of their cylinder/canister vacuums have variable suction control dials.

Post# 178215 , Reply# 13   4/23/2012 at 19:06 (2,902 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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The good thing about Miele's valve control on the handle is that it has a grid on top of it - I can recall other makes that just have an open hole and can suck in loose garments at the time of use or just things dotted around if you are using the handle alone with a cleaning tool on the end.

Post# 178219 , Reply# 14   4/23/2012 at 19:15 (2,902 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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When I think back to my old 'Lux Z500 with its manual air valve dial, one could just say that this was a more obvious way of allowing airflow to escape = same with the air valves on many other brands. SEBO don't have them on their vacuums though - if you want lower power you just set the machine at the lowest.

Post# 178277 , Reply# 15   4/24/2012 at 07:13 (2,901 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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The relief valve on the 500 Series from Electrolux didn't actually make a slurping noise though, at least mine doesn't.

Post# 178384 , Reply# 16   4/24/2012 at 15:59 (2,901 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Regarding the Electrolux 500.It wouldn't as it didn't have that much power behind it. The hose on many cylinder cleaners had a lot of powerful suction going up the tube. That is where the noise comes from.

Post# 178386 , Reply# 17   4/24/2012 at 16:05 (2,901 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I suppose you're right Benny, the 500 was never a "beast", but even so I do have to turn the valve to fully open if I'm vacuuming a light mat (the cat's litter and food mats) or else they would end up in the brush roll housing!

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