Thread Number: 16906
Live and Learn - Riccar
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Post# 180505   5/10/2012 at 02:46 (2,883 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

As I've mentioned here before, I get thrashed-out vacs and refurb them for resale. Mostly, I stick with what I know best and what has made the most money for me in this effort. That means Kenmore and Hoover, with some odd Kirbys, Miele, Electrolux and some others thrown in. No Dirt Devil, only one model of Bissell (Lift Off), and precious few Eureka. Once in a while, I get something exotic like a Miracle Mate, Vortech or similar. Rainbow, once in a while I get one that is more or less complete but mostly these come to me as parts. No Dyson (too complex and fragile) or Oreck (too cheaply made).

To minimize costs, I'm pretty selective about what I take in. If it's too far gone, there's no money to make on it. And there's the brand preference that I mentioned above.

Now once in a while, a Riccar or Simplicity comes along. These are fairly expensive machines when sold new and it stands to reason that they might bring a premium in the secondary market. I've passed on a few uprights, but I can remember having one canister and now two uprights. The canister was a newer machine; with some work in diagnosis I got it set right and resold easily. It didn't impress me as being any more well-made than a Kenmore canister of similar vintage but it did have a fancy paint job, not just color molded into the plastic. But some of the latest Kenmores have that too.

Then there are the two uprights. I still have a Simplicity Six Series (Model 6670). Not a top end model, but not at the very bottom either. It didn't need too much work; it's pretty clean and has the virtue of being lightweight. Buyers have looked at it but more than one has expressed anxiety about it using a proprietary bag of limited availability. It will sell when the right person comes along, and there is a right person for nearly everything, given time.

Then there's the Riccar 4000 Preferred, Model R300C that I bought a few days ago. It's gone already, but not out the front door. This machine was a bit older model, not bottom-end, but not in the senior series of its time. It had a metal brush roll and metal bottom plate, but it went downhill from there. The rest of it was fairly cheaply made, but with relatively few parts certainly was simple.

Odd as this may sound, I find that I have made bad business decisions when I'm hungry. When I have a full stomach, I'm more deliberative and cautious. I bought this Riccar late in a morning that I hadn't had my brekkie yet and that in itself is unusual. I was selecting dud machines and came across this Riccar. It was beaten down, missing attachments and the fixtures that hold them onto the body of the vac. When you tot up missing parts on a Riccar, you get visions of banknotes fluttering away. The telescoping wand was there but broken and missing the inner section. Okay, plug it in and see if it's a winner. I don't always do this with Hoover and Kenmore because these are numerous and can be used as donors if the motor is bad. So on comes the Riccar with the sick sound of an out-of- balance fan. I'm thinking, "Hmmm, might only be debris caught in one channel, it'll clean out." No ticking or other interference sound.

When I get one of these, especially a singleton that I have no source of used donor parts for, the first thing I check out is the source of this abnormal noise before I spend any more time/$ on it. I opened up the Riccar, noting it's simple construction, mentally making a note something like, "No wonder they are so light; there's nothing in here to give them any heft." When I got into the motor compartment, bits of shredded plastic fell out. There was a little pile of tiny shredded plastic particles on the inner exhaust filter, and larger pieces in front of the fan. There were pieces of plastic stuck in the fan blade itself, which was causing the out-of-balance sound. There is a plastic bulkhead inside the motor compartment that the pad on the front of the fan rests against. What had happened was about one quarter of this had disintegrated and got ingested into the fan. The motor wasn't amenable to being taken apart; it might be possible but not without a struggle and after doing so, might not be in a condition that would allow reassembly.

So I took a $4 chance on this Riccar but it didn't work out. Not everything in business works out, but sometimes I'm tempted to stray out of my comfort zone and try something different. For the several reasons I've mentioned above, I probably won't dabble in Riccar or Simplicity any further.

All three of these Tacony products I've worked on said "Made in America" but the fine print on the bottom tag said, "Assembled in USA of globally sourced parts" or something like that. Electricals were all Chinese. I don't know if the three Tacony pieces I've worked on constitute a representative sample, but they give me the impression that Matsushita-made Kenmore is a better product.

Post# 180591 , Reply# 1   5/10/2012 at 21:55 (2,882 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        
Riccar's where are they made????

pr-21's profile picture
I recently wrote Riccar and asked that question about their canisters. There reply was the two top of the lines were now made in America, but the rest of the canisters were made over seas, meaning china. They are going to bring them back to America as they have already done with the uprights. However it is a work in progress. The vac shop I go to said to wait unless I wanted one of the top two. I want the Charisma which means overseas......The vac shop said when they sold the overseas models, something was missing or broken and they had to fix or order parts. Not always but alot of the time........

Bud Mattingly

Post# 180688 , Reply# 2   5/12/2012 at 03:53 (2,881 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

And for awhile Riccar was having problems with hoses on the 1700,1800 canisters-the connectors would break or the powernozzle connections would burn.They would replace the hose at no charge during the vacuums warrantee period.

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