Thread Number: 16935
Is there a recommended time limit for Vacuum Cleaner usage ?
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Post# 180890   5/14/2012 at 05:55 (2,881 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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The reason I ask this is because I gave the house a really thorough vacuuming today with my 2000 Electrolux Tango cylinder and took a whole hour doing so with the motor constantly running (I fluctuated the wattage for different tasks however).

Nothing adverse happened - it worked fine, but it got me wondering if there is a time limit as to which you shouldn't exceed with a domestic Vacuum Cleaner ?

I know dirty fan cleaners have their own cooling fan so can run for hours and hours, which is probably why they are used for commercial use, but clean fans run hotter and rely on the one fan alone to generate air flow AND cool the motor.

After a lot of non-stop use would the motor continue to heat up uncontrollably ?

I know all modern (and some older ones ?) Vacuum Cleaners are fitted with Thermal Cut-Out switches, but running a motor until it reaches cut-out temperature can't be good!

Sorry if this seems like an asinine thread, but I'm always interested in learning more about Vacuum Cleaners and this is a question that just popped into my head.

Post# 180905 , Reply# 1   5/14/2012 at 06:31 (2,881 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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When I worked at Electrolux prototype and tests machines had to run a minimum of 500 hours constantly, that was what we wanted them to run most managed 650 to 700 and some double that. 


a vacuum motor is at its hotest after you have switched it off because there is no air running through it to cool itoff, Its called heat soak and it is the same with cars too.


As long as the bag is not over full and the filters are clean it can do no harm to run the machine for any lenth of time. 


Hope that helps 


Post# 180908 , Reply# 2   5/14/2012 at 06:34 (2,881 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Thank you very much Gareth, you've been most helpful!

I did know about heat soak, which is caused by the residual heat in the motor and lack of air flow after motor shut down.

Post# 180909 , Reply# 3   5/14/2012 at 06:43 (2,881 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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One machine we tested a very quiet one the motor got 15deg hotter in the first 5 minutes after shutdown. It depends on weather there is a lot of sound deadening material in the machine aswell 

Post# 180915 , Reply# 4   5/14/2012 at 07:20 (2,881 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Is there a reccomended time limit for vucuum cleaner usage?

I have noticed on my Rainbow that it does not ever get even warm on the outside of the case and the exhaust always feels cool.
They tell you it is ok to run 24/7 in the lower speed for air cleaning. It has an 8 year warranty on the motor and cicuit board controller.
Is this because it is a switched reluctance motor or the fact that the machine uses water and not a bag with resistance to to the air flow?
I have noticed that my Electrolux's get quite warm on the outside case as do many of my other machines even after a short time runnning and the exhaust becomes almost hot.

Post# 180918 , Reply# 5   5/14/2012 at 07:31 (2,881 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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To answer your question yes its due to the new improved brush less motor, this motor is similar to the moor found in industrial equipment and they are designed to run 24 hours no problem. I have never seen the new rainbow motor but normal motors like this use a capacitor to start the motor and then its just up to the magnetic fieds inside the motor to carry on the momentum. They spin at much lower speeds normally only 1000 to 3000 rpm were as a normal new vacuum motor like those found in eurekas and bissels will run any were between 27000 - 45000 rpm that's also why they do not last. 


Wap use to have special motors for there standard industial vacuums that were long life brushless motors for machines hooked up to cnc and other industrial equipment.


You could run a normal brush drive motor all day with out it overheating however you would simply run the motor life out in about a month. if you needed a vacuum to last longer than that you would use brush less drive induction motor 

Post# 180923 , Reply# 6   5/14/2012 at 07:41 (2,881 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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As for your other Vacuum Cleaner's cases becoming hot and the exhaust air heating up, that is perfectly normal for a clean air Vacuum Cleaner.

My 1994 HOOVER Turbopower starts blowing hot air out of the exhaust after only a few minutes of vacuuming.

Post# 180946 , Reply# 7   5/14/2012 at 08:56 (2,881 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Mmm if your Hoover is working correctly, it will start blowing out hot air the moment is switched on.

Post# 180947 , Reply# 8   5/14/2012 at 09:02 (2,881 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Really ?

All my Vacuum Cleaners blow out cold air for the first few minutes until the motor heats up.

Post# 180996 , Reply# 9   5/14/2012 at 15:39 (2,881 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Is there a recommeded time limit for using a vacuum cleaner?

Thanks guys for the information about the motors.

Post# 180999 , Reply# 10   5/14/2012 at 15:43 (2,881 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Not a problem, if I helped that is :)

Post# 181044 , Reply# 11   5/14/2012 at 18:16 (2,881 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
vac running time

Above information is good for modern vacs.I have seen an instruction book(dont recall brand)for a circa 1910 canister that recommended letting the machine 'rest'from one room to the next.

Post# 181080 , Reply# 12   5/15/2012 at 06:09 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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That doesn't surprise me. Vacuum Cleaners didn't have the best cooling back in their early days.

Post# 181088 , Reply# 13   5/15/2012 at 07:10 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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For heavens sake JM stop being so pedantic, otherwise I'll pick on everything you say! Cold or hot, if there's air then it's working properly.

As for vacuum cleaners "back in their day" they were much better built than most modern TAT you can find nowadays. The motors were also better built and may well have carried warnings about what to do with machines when left idle - but then user manuals back in the day were far more positive and had more insight than a lot of user manuals these days that have an underlying marketing push to sell something extra.

I doubt that you will ever burn out your motors on the machines you have unless you are OCD about using vacuums every day for more than 10 hours each day.

Post# 181090 , Reply# 14   5/15/2012 at 07:20 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

oooooOOOOOOOOooooo!!!! Handbags at lunchtime... :P

Post# 181094 , Reply# 15   5/15/2012 at 07:24 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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mmm or an older person who is fed up of the futile non-essential threads from a teenager!

Post# 181097 , Reply# 16   5/15/2012 at 07:54 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I'd say that it was a perfectly valid question, after all, you don't learn if you don't ask, and when you have people complaining about such questions, such as yourself, then you make the forum feel more like a clique for only those who hold the knowledge of such things and refuse to share the info, meaning less people post, and less people feel welcome...

If it's non-essential to you, then go do something else, simple as that...

Post# 181102 , Reply# 17   5/15/2012 at 08:25 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Don't give me the clique rubbish, twocv - its been known before on here how you side up with JM. My responses won't chase people away, rest assured - my posts are based on longer term experience than JM. Apologies to everyone.

Post# 181104 , Reply# 18   5/15/2012 at 08:40 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Sorry, but if you want to complain about someone who's younger than you simply because they are younger than you, then you're being very intolerant and quite ageist, I'm not taking sides, but I will help defend someone who is being attacked without a valid reason, and you're not exactly giving a very good reason for doing what you are doing...

Yeah, you have more experience, so what? How did you gain said experience? Did it just "happen", or did you ask questions to learn about stuff to the point of irritating people who were older than you? This is what young people do, they ask questions, they learn, they gain experience, if you don't like that, then that's your problem, don't cast judgement on people because they're younger, otherwise it'll make you look like a sad old intolerant cretin...

Post# 181108 , Reply# 19   5/15/2012 at 08:59 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Eh - let me remind YOU of cross posts YOU and I have had! You're not so perfect yourself so keep your comments to yourself. IF JM has an issue with me directly he should do it directly. I also REFER to another posting by another member on another thread on here: Post# 180815, Reply# 27

"Jamie I have noticed your attitude of late and considering the obvious company you seem to be keeping with some of your comments and name dropping here there and everywhere its not surprising.

Might I suggest bluntly (other members have been dropping hints which you dont seem to be seeing) that you take a step back and assess what you post and how it will be percieved. Sweeping statements with no evidence or poor observing make for poor posting. Quality not quantity again..."

You are actually taking sides because you are flogging a dead horse here - I'm not ageist but I am against those who are ignorant and posting constant, less important threads with underlying information that has APPEARED BEFORE in past threads. AND for your information - I listened and I read people's advice before handing over my own observations on likewise forums and I'm still members of those. I learnt a lot from older established members who have been collecting vacuums far longer than I have. I didn't try and increase my viewpoint without good basis of evidence to raise points, ask theories or otherwise.

Granted the whole principle behind knowing how long a domestic vacuum cleaner should run is perfectly justified and open to discussion. BUT then adding more information about how a dirty fan vacuum runs for longer than clean air is MISLED and unsubstantiated. There are clean fan commercial vacuums that are tested to run for 1000 hours, thus proving that JM has been wrong to suggest the latter. In this instance if JM had been appropriate with the amount of wording and actual single question, it would have been just enough to open up a perfectly good question and for those to answer without my initial response.

Post# 181112 , Reply# 20   5/15/2012 at 09:14 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Here's a question, if something appears on TV that you don't like, do you sit there complaining about how much you don't like it, or do you leave it be and change the channel? Because it seems you're stuck on the same channel and just finding anything to complain about...

Yeah, these sort of posts like what we are doing now are not constructive in any way, they're pointless, and they're ruining the forum, but, if I'm not mistaken, you are not in charge of the forum, nor are you a moderator, neither am I, so it's not for you to say this thread is not valid or helpful, it is for those in charge to decide what is and isn't worthy of being on a forum, not yours, if you don't like threads like this one, then don't view it, don't contribute to it, just report it and go find another thread to read and contribute to...

Everyone is different, and people express opinions in their own way, be they right or wrong, it's their choice, you can correct them if you wish, but do it in a nicer, more friendly way, rather than a derogatory way like you're the fountain of all knowledge...

Post# 181123 , Reply# 21   5/15/2012 at 09:49 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Post# 181124 , Reply# 22   5/15/2012 at 09:51 (2,880 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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WOW this got nasty fast 


Just to put down how much of a valid thread this is.

My DAD has a carpet cleaning company. he mainly uses two prochem truckmounts but also has a few prtables. 

These units are equipped with auto fill and dump , meaning that when the machine reaches its max capacity it will pump the water out and the machine will als refill itself, with clean water, so you can run them all day wihout stopping.


They are equipped with a 240v dc  fresh water pump fitted with a voltage rectifier converting the power from ac to dc for spraying the cleaning solution.


Recently he had been doing a big job cleaning seats in the theatres, he was basically burning out a pump a day and at nearly      $ 300.00 dollers for these pumps it was getting expensive, It was only when I started talking to the local importer for these commercial pumps that he told me they should never run more than 4 hours at a time or they will overheat and burn out.

These pumps are fitted to a very well known ( in the industry ) professionally carpet extractor by the manufacturer a USA company . Not just that but they fitted them to a machine designed to run for hours at a time.


So Jmurry your question at least in my veiw was a very valid one


Post# 181125 , Reply# 23   5/15/2012 at 09:52 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I was simply responding in a similar that manner you used, it's not nice is it?

Post# 181127 , Reply# 24   5/15/2012 at 09:53 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Note that my last reply was for sebo_fan, I forgot the quote...

Post# 181132 , Reply# 25   5/15/2012 at 10:30 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Who is the webmaster on here?

Post# 181134 , Reply# 26   5/15/2012 at 10:34 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

"HooverCelebrity", or Fred...

Take a look here to see:


Post# 181137 , Reply# 27   5/15/2012 at 10:40 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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What the heck did I do to make you go off on one sebo_fan!?

I asked a question stating is there a recommended time limit for how long you should use a domestic Vacuum Cleaner non-stop - A thread which I can't see a problem with, I did see a good reason to create, and nobody else has complained about (at least not to me).

So PLEASE, if you see a problem with a thread or post I make, REPORT IT! Don't start having a go at me any anybody else (David in this case) who disagrees with you.

This isn't YOUR forum, so if you don't like something, ignore it, or better still - Report it if you feel that strongly about it.

David's analogy was very apt - If you turn the TV on and there is a programme screening that you dislike, you'd change the channel, you wouldn't start cursing at the screen about how much you hate it.

Post# 181140 , Reply# 28   5/15/2012 at 10:43 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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gsheen - yes the original question was valid but it was the info that came after. "I know dirty fan cleaners have their own cooling fan so can run for hours and hours, which is probably why they are used for commercial use, but clean fans run hotter and rely on the one fan alone to generate air flow AND cool the motor. "

Where's the proof that clean air vacuums don't last? It's a sweeping statement - it infers the poster knows that ALL generic clean fan vacuums can't run for hours and hours - it's the way it's been worded that has caused conflict. Doesn't say a lot for those IVAC uprights and other commercial units that sell and are used in the trade - and those are clean fan!

Post# 181143 , Reply# 29   5/15/2012 at 10:49 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Was that all it was!?

All you had to say was "I disagree with that", for Pete's sake!

And for the record, the reason I assumed Dirty Fan cleaners would run for longer is because of the fact they have a fan dedicated to motor cooling, they wouldn't run as hot and thus would probably last longer.

Maybe I was wrong, but whether I was or not you had no right to reply in the manner you did.

Post# 181145 , Reply# 30   5/15/2012 at 10:52 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I don't see anything in what I said to insinuate sophism, but maybe that's just me.

Post# 181149 , Reply# 31   5/15/2012 at 10:59 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

If a clean air motor is left to run with a clogged bag or filter, yes, it'll overheat, but, it shouldn't burn out, as most motors are fitted with thermal overload switches (you can usually see them tied to the windings of most motors), it would eventually damage the motors though to the point where they would fail (usually the bearings due to the higher RPMs from the lack of airflow), so yes, a clean air motor can fail sooner than a dirty fan motor, but it just depends on how well it's maintained... :)

That's the explanation that was required, it's not that hard, and it's a lot nicer than some of the posts in this thread...

Post# 181150 , Reply# 32   5/15/2012 at 11:02 (2,880 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Dont preach to me about etiquette JM - Your previous thread about "dirty fan is better than clean fan" has all the evidence of poorly written words. Oh there are tons of other posts on here where your wording hasn't been thought out before posting. Your posts antagonise others and when you don't like the response you serve up the etiquette card.

EXAMPLE -- now you say "thus would probably last longer," and "I assume" as opposed to the original "I know.." To know infers something that is concrete and something that is established. To state "probably," is more of a neutral word to use if there is info that the poster is unsure about, or is assuming a theory is correct or otherwise.

And, thermal cut out switches are normally built into more modern vacuums so that a vacuum's motor doesn't burn out when or if dust gets clogged and the suction can't escape. It doesn't automatically mean a thermal cut out is fitted to cut out the motor if the vacuum is used continuously - ALONE.

Post# 181154 , Reply# 33   5/15/2012 at 11:10 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I already said to you in another thread that I would endeavour to write things in such a way it would cause you, and perhaps others less distress - An endeavour I am trying to achieve.

Bear with me.

Post# 181156 , Reply# 34   5/15/2012 at 11:12 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Thank you David, for posting what I needed to know in a friendly, informative and calm manner.

It is much appreciated :)

Post# 181158 , Reply# 35   5/15/2012 at 11:17 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

So, JM stated something in the past, was found to be wrong, and now says that it's "probably", would that not be classed as "learning"? Gaining "experience"? You know, the very much essential things in life in these, and I quote; "futile non-essential threads from a teenager"?

Post# 181159 , Reply# 36   5/15/2012 at 11:19 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"t is much appreciated :) "

No problem, I can't stand people who deride those who are learning, everyone learns, even I do, regardless of age, height, colour, sexual preference or state of mind... :)

Post# 181162 , Reply# 37   5/15/2012 at 11:24 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Neither can I.

You learn all through your life, so much to sebo_fan's dismay, I'll probably still be posting question threads when I'm in my 60s, but with every question thread there will be an informative member who will give me the answer, as you did.

Post# 181164 , Reply# 38   5/15/2012 at 11:27 (2,880 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Ok as some of you know I own a vac shop and we repair allot of vacuums a day , any were between 20 to 30 machines a day. So I tend to know a thing or two about vacuum reliability. We repair both commercial and domestic machines all makes  


Thermal cutout, in our experience they hardly work, 99% of the motors we replace that are burnt out have thermal cutout.


Dirty air motors WILL in general last longer than a clean air motor for a simple reason, they run at slower speeds and therefore are do not face the same stresses that high speed clean air motor would face 


They have there own cooling fan not relying on the suction air to cool them down so when the machine is blocked or the bag is over full it does not affect the cooling of the motor as it does on a clean air motor. 



Post# 181165 , Reply# 39   5/15/2012 at 11:29 (2,880 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"So I tend to know a thing or two about vacuum reliabili

Can't say fairer than that... :)

Post# 181167 , Reply# 40   5/15/2012 at 11:32 (2,880 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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You sure can't.

Post# 181292 , Reply# 41   5/16/2012 at 05:30 (2,879 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Well, all I can say is you can't beat personal experience of ACTUAL ownership. One member may slate a Dyson for what not, but unless you have real experience of a product that continues to go on and on without burning out, it is impossible to take on what others say, to agree to that point. There isn't a clear answer here, no matter what a repairer finds because, again like the upright versus cylinder theories, there are different cleaning needs per person/company/client and uses.

gsheen - you've mentioned already that you work with clean fan vacuums that burn out etc - but in a domestic setting, a clean fan vacuum cleaner isn't going to work less efficiently as a dirty fan and one has to remember specific brands that fall fowl to repairs as well as a domestic vacuum only working to set hours compared to the longer hours (and daily) hours that a commercial clean fan vacuum has to endure.

Now where I'm concerned and my experiences in jobs, the vacuums that tend to last are the Sebo BS series and the old X1/Stealth based uprights (my own parents one lasted for 15 years and has been sold to a family friend who uses it as a daily driver) I know that you've repaired them and I know that you get a lot of them - previous threads that you and I have cross over with show that you have repaired them and they're not perfect. But in my experience, I don't think there is a perfect upright vacuum cleaner in the commercial field UNLESS you choose the bigger ones with 60cm floor head sizes that do massive expansive floors in two sweeps! The better, simpler all-rounder is the Numatic Henry canister tub.

When I worked as a cleaner, the uprights that were "left to be repaired" was the Oreck XL machines. They had constant clogging problems because the fan power wasn't sufficient enough to push all dirt up the handle spine to the bag. Other problems existed with the main suction channel continually clogging up - so here's an example of a dirty fan vacuum that doesn't offer as good reliability as others, yet the XL is generally known in the UK as a "hotel vacuum" or a commercial vacuum as well as its similarly built domestic model. The companies I worked for bought the Orecks because at the time, the dust bags were cheaper to buy through a commercial agent compared to the domestic prices at the time - now I'm talking 1980's here when I was a teenager and was paid triple time to clean offices with a Numatic or an Oreck on short pile carpets and tough thick velour in conference rooms. Back in the 1980's it was impossible to buy copy dust bags for Orecks although copy bags did exist back then, they weren't available to buy as a bulk purchase for the companies I worked for.

The Orecks were eventually replaced with a whole line of Numatic Henry's - completely different machines, canister tubs with long hoses and simpler to maintain as well as use.

Post# 181304 , Reply# 42   5/16/2012 at 06:24 (2,879 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Ok then I will add this , My Dad and i co own a cleaning company, we employ 80 cleaning staff and have over a 100+ vacuums in inventory, We clean hotels, offices factory's 

sebo  x1 ( x1 about 2 years  and far to expensive to repair ) these are in the storeroom 

370 also not reliable when fitted with the dommel motor they rarely last 1.5 years withou total meltdown taking out most of the body with them ) fit the older lamb motors from the older 360 you loose some suction but the machine can then do 3-4 years 

Old 360 the best sebo often lasting 8 years 

New bs ok about 3 years 

Karcher uprights, 2 years 

Ivacs up350 about 20( fair last about as long as a new sebo bs about 3 years ,

Numatics of various shape and form  old ones good I have one that is 20 years pld and still going new ones average 2-3 years )

wetrocks bantum 6 & 9 ( uses lamb motors but they two burn out 2-3 years) 

Hoover guardsman Dirty air, never had to replace a motor, I bought these when I first started 10 years ago before they pulled out of SA

Clarkes all there are 20 years old dirty air never given any trouble.


We have more but this is MY PERSONAL OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE. As the co owner of the company I tend to keep an eye on how long the machines last 

My only regret is I cannot get my hands on any more guardsman machines , I buy every one i can find second hand, funny thing they never need motors just a belt and away you go.


We also have big scrubbers those are fun to play with  

Post# 181308 , Reply# 43   5/16/2012 at 06:59 (2,879 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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I used to use the ride on Taski machines - they were a lot of fun!

Where Guardsman is concerned, could you not ship some over from the U.S and just change the voltage?

Post# 181309 , Reply# 44   5/16/2012 at 06:59 (2,879 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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BTW how is your Felix getting on?

Post# 181310 , Reply# 45   5/16/2012 at 07:21 (2,879 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I have one taski swingo ride on , its nice to use, we also have a tennant t20 that runs on lpg, that thing is great but cost more than a BMW 540i new. 

I don't use the felix in the business Its in the shop as a show model, ametek motor does well, what I don't like is how the machine smells after a few uses, I used it at home for a bit, we have pets and it got that Miele smell to it. 


I forgot to add to that list the 5 g 1 sebo's we have, those are nice but they are only a few months old now.


I did import two from the USA and fitted new 220v motors but its two expensive. I really wish we got sanitairs here again. I have used one and they are great. You cannot find them second-hand here.

Post# 181323 , Reply# 46   5/16/2012 at 09:23 (2,879 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"Well, all I can say is you can't beat personal expe

Not really, add knowledge of what you're using and the physics of what goes on to the mix, and you might have a point, but without it, you're just trolling to bump up your post count...

For example, a clean-air motor in a domestic situation where someone fills bags to bursting, and only buys cheap generics, then the fine particles of dust that get through to the motor will end up sandblasting the motor windings, and I'm sure you must have seen the effects of sandblasting stone walls and metal panels, so, this in turn erodes the enamel off the wires, and reduced airflow causes the motor to heat up, weaken the enamel that's left on the wire, and eventually, you have a short-circuit, motor burns out and it's game over...

In a dirty-fan motor, you have the separate cooling fan that is only for clean air, so you don't have the fine dust going through the motor (as that's the only way for most clean air motors to vent through), regardless of the state of the bags/filters or what you're picking up, so the motors last longer as they're not being eroded away, and are constantly cooled, yeah they end up with a build-up of dust over the years, but it isn't enough to cause the enamel to be worn away, so they will last longer before they end up burning out (if at all)...

And there's also the bearings, dirty-fan motors run at much lower RPMs, so the bearings last a lot longer, even with belt tension applied, whereas your average single-stage clean-air motor in a cheap upright has to deal with both the belts and the airflow, and the high RPMs, the bearings will wear out sooner, so that is another cause of death for the clean-air...

Yeah, in a perfect "clean room" test environment, they're going to last hundreds of hours at a constant rate of use under the same conditions, but in a domestic or commercial environment, they're subject to all kinds of variables (temperature, hours used, maintenance, treatment of the machine, etc.) which change according to the user and environment they're kept in, so some will last longer than others. Even identical brands, one may keep working for 10 years, the other may fail after 1 year, so the only real way to show which would last longer is to have an understanding of the physics that goes on inside the average vacuum cleaner, and apply said knowledge to figure it out to formulate an answer that is both reasonable and intelligent...

Actual ownership means very little when knowledge of the field you're discussing is applied...

It's like science, there is no hard fact in science, what happens for one person in a laboratory may not happen for another, due to all kinds of variables, so they can't say "This is what substance A does and will always do it", because that's THEIR experience, and unless they can prove it is such with all the variables included, then it is not fact, it's just their experience, and cannot be claimed as gospel...

So, now you know that, shall we continue the blind ignorance, or shall we just leave it there?

Post# 181392 , Reply# 47   5/16/2012 at 18:51 (2,879 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Who is we? If actual ownership means very little knowledge, what was the point of this initial posting? Was it to collect theories, personal experiences or just not say very much to offer up different viewpoints?

Science uses many variables and where applicable for testing theories etc, science does actually have facts, but they also have assumptions. If a doctor gives you medicine that they assume will make you better and it does, science in this instance offers a fact based on an assumption.

I wouldn't say that the machines I used and observed were used in a "controlled" environment. Not in the hands of less experienced cleaners who are dragging uprights up and down stairs thus damaging the base/floor heads by not lifting them up properly by the carry handle, or pulling on the cord to release the plug because they're too tired to walk over and remove the plug from the mains socket.

Controlled to me says a testing laboratory like those that consumer testers use, like Which or even own brand's labs like Miele or Dyson. Miele well may claim for example that their cord rewind functions continuously rewind back each time fully into their canisters/cylinders when the pedal is pressed, but if you watch their videos, it doesn't go as far enough to test a vacuum if it is in a different position such as on stairs when the pedal is pressed, or at a different angle. I know from my own experience then that sometimes even the cord rewind on the back of my Miele machines don't always return in the way Miele claim. THUS personal experience here is different to manufacturer claim.

This is exactly the same as suggesting that clean air vacuums are less efficient/can't run for as many hours as dirty fan vacuums - on here it seems gsheen's experience of clean air vacuums seem to be in a multitude of repair states, but then they've are commercial units that have probably seen a lot of abuse at different stages, and a lot more abuse than is used in a domestic environments. I accept HIS experience but I don't take it as GOSPEL.

In this instance, there are other variables that go in tandem LEADING to the motors being burnt out. However, as you outline in saying "...In a dirty-fan motor, you have the separate cooling fan that is only for clean air, so you don't have the fine dust going through the motor.." is a little bit confusing - if you were to take a Hoover Junior as a skeleton example, dust does go through the fan and is liable to break or damage, same as the dirty fan on an Oreck and other brands. Clean fan doesn't have any of that - so in the actual process of working, dirty fan systems should get damaged more easily compared to Clean Fan that keeps the dirt away from the fan system and just flows through a suction channel towards the dust bag.

Post# 181396 , Reply# 48   5/16/2012 at 19:40 (2,879 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"is a little bit confusing"

No it isn't, you just don't understand it...

As you say, taking a Junior as the basis for this, yes, dirt goes through the main fan, well done for being observant. But, what you're missing is that the air that goes through the motor is not part of the dust path, it is separate, the air is brought through by a separate and unrelated to the dirt path fan, and therefore it is not behind the filters and bags, and therefore the sandblasting effect is not as significant as in a clean air motor...

If you've ever actually taken a well-used clean air motor apart, you'll know that there is usually a coating of fine dust all over the fins, the armature and the windings, thus demonstrating my point, fine dirt from what you pick up in a clean-air vac will get through the bags and filters, and then will bombard the motor, causing damage by eroding the enamel off the motor's windings, causing the motor to eventually short out...

The point I'm trying to get across to you is your lack of understanding of how a motor is assembled and how the air flows through, a clean air has all the air it draws up through the nozzle of a vacuum through itself and out the exhaust in one continuous line, but a dirty fan motor has two separate lines of airflow, one through the dirty fan through to the bag and out through however it exhausts, one through the cooling fan attached to the armature which vents out the side or top of the vac, the cooling fan does not pick up the dirt from the floor, and no matter what the state of the bag, the dirty-fan motor's cooling is not compromised by how full or empty the bag is and therefore does not suffer in the same manner as a clean air motor...

Also, as I've mentioned already, a clean air motor runs at much higher RPMs and use more power, thus they generate more heat, whereas a dirty fan motor runs at much lower RPMs using a lot less power (think 250 Watt Dirty-Fan Hoover Junior vs. an 800 Watt Clean-Air Electrolux Z1185e), and thus generates less heat, which reduces the damage to the enamelled wiring preventing failure...

So, there you have it, the most simple, adult explanation of how these two types of motors work, and why one can outlast the other, the next step is infant school multi-coloured pictures, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to feel like you're being treat like a child in school...

I won't even go into bypass motors, it'll blow your mind, pardon the pun...

Post# 181398 , Reply# 49   5/16/2012 at 19:49 (2,879 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

A by-pass motor is merely a hybrid of the two styles. In its simplest form one could say it is a high wattage dirty fan motor, onto which one or two sets of clean fans are fitted, and the set up with the dust bag and filters is identical to that of a clean fan vacuum. These are used mostly on wet & dry cleaners, so that if water is picked up by the motor, it is ejected out of the side of the fan unit and not blown over the motor. The suction fans are totally sealed from the motor and a separate cooling fan is used to cool the motor, all of which is identical in principal to your ordinary low wattage dirty fan upright motor.

When I said mostly used on wet & dry, there was a Goblin cylinder, the 702 I think, which used a bypass motor, but that was dry only cleaner, so I don't know what the thinking behind that one was.

Post# 181690 , Reply# 50   5/18/2012 at 17:24 (2,877 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Most vacs these days have motor overload protection; when its activated, the user must wait at least 30 minutes for the motor to cool down.

Post# 181726 , Reply# 51   5/19/2012 at 04:15 (2,876 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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the problem is that in most vacuums by the time that over load has kicked in the damage is done. Most of them kick in when the motor has already blown to prevent total melt down and heavy lawsuits 

Post# 243533 , Reply# 52   8/3/2013 at 12:20 (2,435 days old) by dressur ()        

I know that this thread is old. Now it makes most sense that if you don't take care of your clean air vacuum the motor will wear out, like one mentioned the clogged filter will make the motor spin much faster and lead to bearing failure and the broken bag will sand blast the windings. BUT I have many old Nilfisks that are OLD and every one of them run and run and run. I have an old Electrolux that is still running. it is the way someone cares for the vacuum as a car. All the old vacuums mostly were through flow motors and still run. the clean air motors you are referring to are most likely the single stage ones running at 45000 rpm. they hurt my ears and they last for maybe 500 hours. I have a Bissell with one and after 6 months of normal use I can hear the bearings starting to grind. The Nilfisk GA/GS series only runs at 12,000 RPM the old Rainbows about the same. Lambs run at 28,000 and they last much longer than the single stage units. the dirty air motors need less maintenance regarding bags and all. As far as time of use. Nilfisk calls their GM/GS/GA series and their CFM single phase or universal motor vacuums intermittent duty and their induction motor 3 phase units continuous duty. They use the wrong term. I call it "duty rated" if you need to vacuum a house and it takes 2 hours, it will run with no problem, if you need to vacuum a small area and it takes 5 minutes no problem. there are consumables on universal motors and to run them continuous would work till the brushes wear out but to run a vacuum like a Nilfisk or an old Electrolux for three or four hours won't burn them out. In the USA the term "continuous duty" is three hours or more.

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