Thread Number: 16856
Will a clean fan ever be better than a dirty fan ?
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Post# 179971   5/5/2012 at 14:12 (2,888 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I know as of now there isn't a clean fan Vacuum Cleaner available which beats a dirty fan at carpet cleaning, but do you think there ever will be ?

With the advances on suction technology being made I can see it being a possibility in the near future.

There have been attempts in the past to make clean fan cleaners as good as dirty fan ones, for example, in the Electrolux 500 series where the suction port was in the middle of the brush roll, rather than off to one side as in other Vacuum Cleaners, but obviously that failed and wasn't tried again.

Post# 179975 , Reply# 1   5/5/2012 at 14:25 (2,888 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I'm not sure on what you base your findings, Mr Murray :) I always thought the Hoover turbopower 2 & 3 & 1000 were pretty fine cleaners when it came to pick up, as was the Dyson DC07. I didn't think the location of the suction channel made much of a difference either. I thought the reason for it being where it was on the 500 range was due to the overall design of the cleaner, maybe to allow the inclusion of the socket for the hose in the middle of the cleaner on the back. Some other vacuum cleaners of that time used side channels, such as the Electrolux 152, 160, and 170, the Hoover Starlight, and the Hoover convertible, which was a clean fan.

Post# 179976 , Reply# 2   5/5/2012 at 14:34 (2,888 days old) by trebor ()        
The secret lies...

in the brush. The almost-completely sealed backing of carpets today makes it nearly impossible to pull air through the carpet. The air must travel more horizontally across the surface.

The tremendous airflow of an open fan upright is drastically reduced when the nozzle is placed on the carpet. The machine then breathes in small 'gasps' of air when the carpet is pushed away from the nozzle for a split second.

The open-fan uprights must move tremendous air to be able to clean well. Canisters use lower volume of air, with much higher force. There are commercial carpet sweepers that use large diameter cylindrical brushed to sweep and comb wide areas of carpet. Equipped with suction motors that serve only to draw what the bristles dislodge into a catch bucket, they clean very well. It is the agitation that dislodges the dirt and grooms the carpet.

Post# 179987 , Reply# 3   5/5/2012 at 16:44 (2,887 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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A clean fan vacuum cleaner lasts longer - and the Electrolux Z500 is hardly the best to use as an example. I don't know where you get your information from that a dirty fan cleans carpets better - If you want to be pedantic you'd end up removing all manner of the carpet pile, which is inferred in your statement. Clean air vacuums IMHO last longer than dirty fan. Dirty fan may use less motor energy but like I've said before, the power in a vacuum cleaner doesn't matter when it comes to energy usage unless you vacuum for hours EVERY DAY. I side with Trebor here - it's the brush roll that makes ALL the difference and its design. regardless of whether the vacuum is a clean air or not and VR makes a good point - as well as me saying that basically, you don't think your Hoover TP2 & 3 models are as efficient to deep clean carpets as the old Junior & Senior models.

Post# 180022 , Reply# 4   5/6/2012 at 03:33 (2,887 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Oh no, I do think my Turbopower 1000 is good at cleaning the carpets, great even, but I know for true carpet cleaning a dirty fan is best, hence why brands like Kirby keep making dirty fan Vacuum Cleaners.

I do agree however that clean fan Vacuum Cleaners have a longer lifespan.

Post# 180024 , Reply# 5   5/6/2012 at 04:09 (2,887 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

If I am honest, I think we are confusing too many variables from different cleaners across different decades. The longevity of a cleaner will be down to many factors, one of which being how cheaply and easily a cleaner could be put right in the event of a breakdown. By the time a vacuum cleaner falls into the hands of a collector or a repair person, the cleaner could have been mended no end of times, and yet on the surface it may seem to be in a condition like it was built at the factory.

The only specific faults which can be attributed to dirty fan cleaners is damage to the fan, the fan housing, and where fitted, the bellows. In contrast to this, whilst the clean fan cleaners do not have these problems, they have their own, for instance blocking due to all the ducting which such a cleaner requires to make it what it is, I think above and beyond anything else, what makes a cleaner last longer is how well it was built to start with. When the Electrolux 610 and 612 went on sale in the middle part of the 1980's, they were breaking down very quickly, and I know of one woman, a customer of mine, who had bought one of the very first 610 cleaners and had replaced it with a Panasonic before the 610 model had even gone off sale, due to the amount of breakdowns and problems she's had with it.

Post# 180029 , Reply# 6   5/6/2012 at 05:39 (2,887 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I agree with trebor the brush action is what does the cleaning, 


What I want to know is were do you get the idea that a clean air motor will last longer. Its just not true.


Dirty air motors have two fans , one for the suctiomn and a smaller one for cooling the motor. It is very unlikely that you will burn out a dirty air motor unless something ot jammed inside. They also spin at a lower RPM and so they last longer.


Clean air motors spin at a very high rpm, they are very susceptible to been burnt out due to over filling bags or clogs as the air that the fan sucks in also cools the motor. If a bag or filter should burst all the dirt goes right through the motor often destroying it. 


in My shop we replace about 15 motors a day , all of them clean air motors from all makes of machines. 

Post# 180038 , Reply# 7   5/6/2012 at 07:03 (2,887 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Yes, you have a valid point there, one which I may have said myself if I'd been more than half awake at the time of posting my first reply (coffee don't do work like it used to...)

I also agree that the brush roll is what does the cleaning, the suction simply lifts the dirt into the bag, but still, even then the suction does still play a big part in the process.

Post# 180039 , Reply# 8   5/6/2012 at 07:06 (2,887 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I agree about burnt outs on dirty air cleaners, and in my own experience it was the same few models again and again which had the problem. Two which spring to mind are the later Hoover Junior cleaners and the Hoover Turbomasters. But overall, motor failure of an upright cleaner was rarely the reason that cleaners came to me for attention, whether clean air or dirty air. Mostly it was blockages and belts or damaged cables. Then after that you could take your pick of the countless problems an upright cleaner might have.

Cylinder cleaners were the ones where I saw many motor burn outs. I suppose this is because one can keep using and using a cylinder vac right to the end, so long as it still sucks. I saw a good deal of cylinders which had handles, wheels, buttons and so on missing, but had still been used until the bitter end. And why not. However, I think that modern vacuum cleaners sold in the UK rarely burn out these days as people are rather keen to get shut of them at the first chance, as the performance of so many is very poor and they are so cheap to buy here.

Post# 180040 , Reply# 9   5/6/2012 at 07:14 (2,887 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I totally agree Benny that cylinders have the hardest lifes.

With an upright you have to maintain it, or it simply won't clean your carpets well/at all, but with a cylinder because of the simplicity in their design they will keep sucking practically until the motor blows, as you said.

My 2000 Electrolux Tango was in a terrible state when I bought it and was one of those cylinders which had been used, almost it seems, to the end.

The pre-motor filters were missing, the bag compartment was full of dirt, and the exhaust filter was absolutely CAKED in dust and dirt, probably due to being used without a bag or with an improperly fitted bag.

I gave it a good clean out, replaced the pre-motor filters, cleaned the exhaust filter, properly fitted the bag and hey presto, she works like new again, but a few more weeks being used in the state she was in and her next stop would have been the bin lorry.

Post# 180041 , Reply# 10   5/6/2012 at 07:21 (2,887 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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One cylinder which in my experience refuses to die is the Numatic range.

I've seen numerous Henry's which have had the bag filled until it bursts, the filter clogged with dirt and yet still worked fine for months before eventually being serviced.

On the other hand I've seen plenty cheaper models of cylinder at the side of the road with obviously blown motors (black soot around the exhaust) which are only a year or two old.

Of course I'm not condoning using a Numatic like I've experienced some being used, but I'm just saying they are the only brand (in my experience) that can take that sort of abuse and live to tell the tale in most cases.

It isn't so much about how a Vacuum Cleaner is treated, as is how it is made.

Post# 180045 , Reply# 11   5/6/2012 at 09:10 (2,887 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
It isn't so much about how a Vacuum Cleaner is treated,

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Ah JM, I'm sorry that you don't seem to have much experience and keep passing off these fleeting statements "dirty fan is better than clean fan." Clearly the concept ISN'T. Kirby aren't the only companies who produce dirty fan systems, yet you're confusing their built in features that make the vacuums what they are - AS WELL AS BEING VERY HEAVY despite self mechanism drive elements.

Before I learnt from others through forums, I thought Kirby were brilliant. When it came to actually using one, I could see the benefits but I would never EVER want to own one. Too big for me and for my cleaning requirements I'd require a hose and changing over bits isn't my idea of quick efficiency - neither is the Oreck experience - having to get out a separate canister when an upright combo all in one or a compact canister aided by turbo brushes or PN's do the job faster. ORECK is good enough as an electric sweeper, ideal for the market they were originally made for - hotels. Fast and quick to clean with, they do serve a purpose even if their dirty fan system is inclined to break dependent on the version you have (Commercial Red models versus the others as the red ones have metal fans instead of the thin plastic. ) I had an Oreck and it was good at the time but I grew quickly to dislike it for various problems.

Also I suggest that you get yourself a job as I did as a contract cleaner - the money is good and you'll learn over time what goes wrong in vacuums. In terms of Henry, the worst aspect to break are the hoses and the tubes. They eventually go, but the hose is the worst, usually unsealing itself from the twist connection that goes into the body and can't be replaced - a new hose has to be ordered. The floor heads are better made, with the only weakness is that the twin pedals start to loose their springs, impossible to put the bristles down when cleaning vinyl. Henry isn't perfect then - and Miele, Sebo- their domestic models are better made in that respect.

On the other hand if anyone was to ask me what the best dirty fan upright is on the market I wouldn't be able to swing in favour of ONE brand. Sanitaire's commercial upright that was available in the UK for some time is probably good enough but the weight is something I take issue with and I may as well buy an old Hoover Senior if I want something with as much cleaning "power" and weight - and there are more of them on EBAY than the Sanitaire.

The Senior in my opinion, is probably one of the best made uprights built to last, second to the Powerplus model that had more plastic exterior parts. It has its weaknesses like the soft bag zip going - but likewise if you're a collector - you'll take care of the machines you have in your keep.

For contract cleaners, there's a reason to why there are still those Senior based/Hoover commercial uprights are being used. The classic ones are built to last.

Post# 180061 , Reply# 12   5/6/2012 at 16:30 (2,886 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Yes. They Have Been Out For Decades:

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Central vacuums produce equal or more airflow at the inlet than a Kirby. There are many power-nozzles that clean just as well as a good direct air machine. When you use a central vac with a Virbra-Groomer III, you can feel the nozzle sticking to the carpet, almost like a Kirby, but much lighter. Plus most high-end central vacuums normally use top-quality Ametek motors. This picture should prove my point.

Post# 180098 , Reply# 13   5/6/2012 at 21:19 (2,886 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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But you don't use a central vac directly at the opening. How does it read at the end of the hose?

Post# 180104 , Reply# 14   5/6/2012 at 22:17 (2,886 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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I've read a new 30' hose will get you an 8 out of 10 on an airflow meter. But this is quite impressive as the air still has to move inside the tubing in the house, and this is created by a bypass motor.

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