Thread Number: 17593
Opinions or Suggestions on Vacuum Setup?
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Post# 190297   7/17/2012 at 08:54 (2,816 days old) by criswan (The Internet)        

Hey folks... over here from the "other" forums which seem to have died off and need some advice. I am pretty well versed in vacs and my preferences tend to lean towards higher end brands. I have almost always had a nice D2D brand and a big box brand as my backup. I have owned Hoovers, Eurekas, Electrolux(real ones not Eureka knock offs), Montgomery Ward, Dyson, GE, Big Power, Bissell, Bissell, and Thermax. Here is the current setup...

I bought a new house about a year ago... I had originally planned on putting a central vac in with powered ports throughout but unfortunately when the guy came out to give me a price it was not going to be feasible to get the tubing up to the second floor of the house as its finished and without clear access through the 1st floor. We toyed with the idea of putting a powered port at the base of the stairs and just running hose up the stairs when we want to clean but we have our dogs' room up there and that's where the majority of the cleaning is to be done. We abandoned our project and instead, I purchased a Dyson DC28 Animal for the main floor, a DC31 Slim for the upstairs, and took my Thermax AF2 with the 25 ft hose to the finished basement where most of the carpet is and the hose can reach uninterrupted.

We are wanting to simplify life a bit and I am considering selling the AF2 and the DC28 and purchasing a new Rainbow E2 Onyx, since it is smaller and lighter and I wouldn't have to worry about lugging it around. We also are considering the Dyson DC23 and the Hyla GST. I am kind of partial to water vacs because I don't care for polluting the environment with bags, kinda swore that off AND we benefit from the moisture added to the air since we both have allergies.

So, give me some thoughts and suggestions folks. Basically the breakdown is laminate and tile through the whole house except for the basement which is wall to wall beige plush and 8-10ft area rugs in the dining room, master, and living room. Any thoughts... suggestions on finding a good place to sell an AF2? Local vacuum guy is interested but I wanted to field opinions first. Are the newer Rainbows, Hylas, really that much smaller than the AF2?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Post# 190344 , Reply# 1   7/17/2012 at 13:48 (2,816 days old) by shelly (california)        

I do love the new Rainbow, it is very easy to use, lightweight and powerful. The nozzle works very well and I love that you don't need to change hoses.

Post# 190349 , Reply# 2   7/17/2012 at 14:08 (2,816 days old) by criswan (The Internet)        

That is the primary reason for having an interest in the new Rainbow. I LOVE my Thermax... LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! BUT.... it is heavy and bulky. The darn thing weighs a ton and to lug it up and down stairs is a pain in the you know what. If i could find a water vac that was lighter and more easy to maneuver then I think that would answer our problems.

Post# 190361 , Reply# 3   7/17/2012 at 15:50 (2,816 days old) by shelly (california)        

I have an older Rainbow SE, it wasn't that heavy, just seemed like a bit of extra work to change hoses and sometimes the vacuum would come off the dolly when I picked up to put on stairs- those nuisances caused me to use it for deep cleaning only. Now with the newest Rainbow Black version, I haven't looked at my upright, not once. It isn't lightweight, but it's so easy to use-everything attaches to the one hose, and you can even connect the Power Nozzle directly to the hose to easily clean the stairs. Check out William's post, it says it

Post# 190404 , Reply# 4   7/17/2012 at 23:06 (2,815 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Sealed system bagged

durango159's profile picture
Hi Andrew,

Just wondering if you had considered a sealed system bagged vacuum? As I'm sure you are aware bags have come a long way and many good machines now have bags that either automatically seal or you pull a tab and it seals or some bags have a little paper flap that you fold over into the opening. Hospitals and millions of others with allergies have been quite successful with bagged over bagless and with emptying a bagless, generally you have to carry the whole machine or dirt cup outside and empty it into a garbage bag outside so the dust doesn't pollute your home environment, although personally I still shower after I have to empty a bagless vacuum. My bagged vacs I'm fine with. Sebo, Aerus, Miele, Riccar, Simplicity, even the Hoover Windtunnel Anniversary Edition has a nice system now. The Royal Lexon SR20 looks like a nice system as well. Suction unit is similar to the Hoover Anniversary bagged, but the power nozzle on the Royal is a major upgrade. Go Vacuum has a review of it youtube, they are quite impressed.

I find my bagged canisters very easy to carry up and down stairs, and even use on stairs. A water system the unit would have to sit either at the top, bottom of stair flight or landing if you have one.

Happy vacuuming and good luck choosing the perfect vacuum to suit your needs!

Post# 190406 , Reply# 5   7/17/2012 at 23:26 (2,815 days old) by vacu-finder ()        

Just go with a central vac system, it also increases the sales value of the home.
Good feature to have.. Depending on who does it, the total cost of unit and install about $2000.00 on a existing home.

Post# 190423 , Reply# 6   7/18/2012 at 04:10 (2,815 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Andrew, Rob is right here....what you really need, as much as you don't like the thought of throwing away bags, is a good bagged HEPA canister vacuum with a Sealed System. What I would reccomend is to buy an Aerus-Electrolux Guardian canister vacuum. These can be found very easily all the time on Ebay, have TONS of user-friendly features, convenient to use, inexpensive parts & supplies, a Sealed HEPA System, & more importantly, the legendary quality & reliability of Electrolux. Having said that, DO NOT GET THE NEW AERUS GUARDIAN ULTRA!!! The HEPA filter on these is NOT a True HEPA filter, & although they claim to be sealed, it doesn't have a good quality filter on it, so whether it's sealed is irrelevant. They are also much cheaper quality, too, the original Guardian is much better made than the Guardian Ultra.

If you are considering a water vacuum, do yourself a favor....DO NOT get rid of the Thermax AF2. They are about the same size & weight of the Rainbow & Hyla, not really much difference. Plus the Thermax also has the most Waterlift & Airflow ratings of all the water vacuums, so although the New Rainbow is a very nice fancy machine, unless you want all those fancy schmancy features, you are best just keeping what you have.


Post# 190446 , Reply# 7   7/18/2012 at 09:07 (2,815 days old) by criswan (The Internet)        

Thanks for all your input so far... here is some talking points in reference to your suggestions thus far.

Before I bought the Thermax, the local vac shop let me take a Sebo with the hospital grade filtration on it home(sorry I don't remember the model number) and demo it out for a few days. It worked great and was a dream on the allergies, but I just found it bulky to break out an upright in all the hard floor areas; almost like I was wasting power pushing around a big upright on laminate and tile. I took it back and funny enough took home a Guardian, which also was great but the idea of throwing away so many bags every year was kinda bothersome(yeah we are that green... we compost, recycle more than we throw away, and even serve everything on real dishware at cookouts. lol). I finally settled on the Thermax with the giant hose because it met a lot of our needs. The Dyson DC28 does a good job at getting crap out of the deep pile carpet, but I have to clean it after every use or else the dust can and will escape and make the situation worse than it was.

The central vac is still an option, i just don't know where we would store the hose(s) as the ones he showed me were monstrous! The total install cost for the ports, main unit, hoses, and nice Sebo-style power head was $1600. I appreciate the info that the new Rainbows and Hylas are not any smaller than the Thermax, that actually helps make my mind up quite a bit in that direction.

Post# 190457 , Reply# 8   7/18/2012 at 10:49 (2,815 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

A new Rainbow is going to cost as much, if not more than getting a Central Vac installed. As cool as the Rainbows are, there's no comparison to a central vac. We had a central vac when we moved into our second house when I was a kid.. my grandparents had one in their house as well. It's something I really miss having! In fact, I have one, it just needs to be installed. I need to find the time to install it! Central vacs are definitely the way to go, if you can get around obstacles in existing homes.

We hung our hose in the garage when I was a kid, the powerhead and tools were in a coat closet. We also had a second hose specifically for the garage and basement. My grandmother kept her hose coiled up on the floor of a closet, underneath a shelf, and all of the attachments in a drawer in the laundry room.

Post# 190590 , Reply# 9   7/19/2012 at 11:34 (2,814 days old) by criswan (The Internet)        

Thanks for the input everyone. I had the guy come out this morning from the central vac place and he even came down in price a bit, so I think that is the direction we are going. I have to go over and look at a few demo units this afternoon. I have decided to sell my Thermax AF-2 since we are going this route. I have posted it on eBay if anyone has any interest. Thanks again for all the pointers, folks. I'll post pictures of the central vac once it is installed!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO criswan's LINK on eBay

Post# 190596 , Reply# 10   7/19/2012 at 12:34 (2,814 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
Installing a central vacuum is absolutely the right choice! I have had my VacuFlo system for 6+ years now and I can not say enough wonderful things about it! No matter what house I buy in the future, not matter what the cost of installation, a central vacuum is something that I can not be without. The ability to mix and match your favorite attachments with the central vac is great, and the choices of power nozzles that you can match to your own cleaning needs is endless.

Two very important central vac tips are: 1) buy the most powerful unit that your budget can afford, 2) install direct connect electrified inlets. These inlets make it so much easier to use and you don't need to worry if the inlet is close enough to an outlet so that the pig-tail plug will reach.

As for storing the hose, I have both the standard VacuFlo TurboGrip low voltage hose kit and an electric hose. The low voltage hose is hung on the wall in a very large closet in my foyer along with the attachment bag that came with it, the TurboCat is on the floor and my Kirby sits next to it. If you hang the hose on the wall, every hose should include a hose hanger, it really takes up very little space. Even in a small closet you only need to allow about 6 inches for which the hose and hanger stick out from the wall.

Good luck with your purchase, you will love it!!

Post# 190624 , Reply# 11   7/19/2012 at 17:07 (2,814 days old) by joshdonnell ()        
I wish

I could own a central vacuum,sadly that won't happen until get a house. But as soon as i move in to a house i'm gonna buy one . But i will not buy a bagged or bagless one. I'm going with the Aqua air . There really no maintaince. All the nasty suff that comes out of the home goes down the drain . No storgeing the house dirt .

Post# 190671 , Reply# 12   7/20/2012 at 01:46 (2,813 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

durango159's profile picture
Bimmer740--- do you have an electric power nozzle too or just the Turbocat? If so do you like your electric power head and what model is it? We're actively searching for one. Not trying to break the wallet but want good performance and reasonable durability to be able to handle thick dense carpet and lightweight throw rugs. Thank you so much!!

Good choice on the central vacuum. Get the larger 35' hose. The 30 seems big but our house has a few areas that the central doesn't reach well, another 5' would do quite well.

Yes hoses are quite long, but get a plastiflex crushproof style, they are lightweight, definitely get a hose sock to protect your walls, furniture and in general the hose follows you around much easier. Storage isn't as bad as you think there are a few options. Most kits give you a carry all bag which allow you to store all of the attachments in. This bag can easily hang in your coat closet and have power head and bare floor wand set on floor below. Hose can be hung on wall with special hanger, or we purchased a small rubbermaid bin and coil it up inside there. It is stored in the garage but really would fit on bottom of close or so. There are also numerous systems out there of special closets being built just for central vacs or hide a hose systems, where the hose stores inside the wall. You might consider getting a hose or kit for each floor of your home, and then you always have a back up and don't have to carry it all upstairs as it can be cumbersome.

I definitely appreciate your green desire. We compost, plant many of our own vegetables, reuse and recycle. However get the bagged central vacuum system. The bagless ones can be a real mess to clean out. You don't want to get into cleaning a filter on a bagless vacuum that's been collecting dirt for 3 months!! Our bagged Nutone central is essentially maintenance free on the suction unit.

Attachment we're not doing well right now, we're searching for a new power nozzle kit, and I have another thread open seeking advice for it.

I'm a little surprised you wouldn't keep your AF-2 for use as a carpet shampooer, back up vacuum, wet/dry, etc. Does the AF-2 work good as a carpet shampooer, I was always curious about that?
Best of luck and happy vacuuming!!

Post# 190708 , Reply# 13   7/20/2012 at 10:48 (2,813 days old) by criswan (The Internet)        

I demo'd the Wessel Werk 360 head in the store and not gonna lie, kinda fell in love with it. You cannot tell a lot about an item in a vac store, but that head sucked to the floor tight even on commercial carpet and the grooming was nice on the plush they had. Not sure still what unit to go with.. the NuTone was nice but they had a Eureka that was also nice for the price and had a better warranty. As for hoses, we are definitely going with longer is better! :)

As for the AF-2... it is the closest thing you can get to a full truck mounted extraction unit without having one come to your house. I wish it agitated the fibers more in some way, but the suction and the level of dryness after cleaning is pretty darn amazing. I have measured a few times and pretty much what you put in the carpet, comes out in the extraction tank. We are not keeping it because ultimately our plan is to replace all the wall to wall in the house with wood/laminate/tile and just have area rugs. I have a Spot Bot that works great for quick pick ups on those.

Post# 190751 , Reply# 14   7/20/2012 at 16:20 (2,813 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

durango159's profile picture
Wow, I'll have to think about one of those Thermax's if the deep cleaning ability is that level. But that will be years when I have my own house and better budget for that, for now the Hoover Steamvac Widepath will have to do.

Were you able to try the Nutone power nozzle. I went to a Nutone dealer and was able to look at the power nozzle, but they did not have it connected so I have no idea what it sounds like or anything. I've not seen anything on the market similar to Nutone's new CT700 power nozzle. It is lightweight, has LED headlight, toe operated handle release, and agitator looks nice. However I am a little worried about durabiltiy as its probably the lightest weight power head I've ever felt especially considering its larger footprint. In addition I found the agitator cavity narrow. My experience is that a narrow agitator cavity does not allow the proper airflow and space needed for dirt swept into the nozzle to then travel along the sides agitator cavity wall and into the suction duct.

Post# 190804 , Reply# 15   7/21/2012 at 00:43 (2,812 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
@Durango159, I have both a TurboCat Zoom and the 14 inch Lindhaus power nozzle. Both my hoses are genuine VacuFlo hoses which are made by Plastiflex. The TurboGrip low voltage hose is 35 feet, and the electric hose is 30 feet. I wish they made a 35 foot electric hose when I purchased mine but I was unable to find one, even from another central vac manufacturer. The 30 hose is long enough for my house as that is the size hose I planned on using so the inlets were placed accordingly but it would be nice to have those extra 5 feet.

As for the Lindhaus nozzle, I don't abosuletly love it but I don't hate it either. Several months ago we had another thread about central vac p/n's and Trebor had some really wonderful things to say about the Lindhaus from his own experience. His posts are always very informative and he certainly knows what he is talking about, and so I decided to dig out the Lindhaus and use it exclusively for a while. Well its been more than 2 months of using it and I have to say it does clean better than I remember and my dirt bin seems to be filling up much faster than usual so I should give it more credit than I did. Also hair does not accumulate around the roller brush, and the airflow across the entire nozzle seems to be evenly distributed and very strong. I hope my Kirby Diamond Edition will forgive me for neglecting it lol I did not pay full retail for this nozzle, I found it brand new sealed in the box on eBay. Someone was liquidating a store and had about 10 available, and I don't think it cost me $75. I'd love to purchase the Wessel-Werks nozzle since I loved the one that my Miele had, but I really don't "need" it considering I have harldy any carpet in my house.

I've raved about my VacuFlo in past threads and after 6+ years its been a pleasure to own. I have the 566Q which is rated for 6000 sqft (my house is half that size), it is vented to outside the house, and it does not have any type of filter just a small mesh screen you need to brush off when you empty the bin. This wire mesh screen only collets a very minimal amount of carpet fuzz or cat hair that was not deposited into the bin. There is no other maintence that is required or parts to buy. It comes with a lifetime warranty and my unit is VERY quiet. I believe it is rated at about 61dBA and you can barely hear it from anywhere in the house while its in use. I had a problem with my TurboGrip hose when the handle swiveled, there was an awful noise like something was stuck, I took it back to the VacuFlo store and they shipped a new hose right to my door. The VacuFlo units are not cheap but I'm a believer in you get what you pay for, and its been worth every last penny! Several other members of the forum have also raved about SilentMaster Central Vacs, I haven't used one but they seem to be well made and are also about the same price as a VacuFlo.

Post# 190805 , Reply# 16   7/21/2012 at 00:47 (2,812 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
I forgot to mention one other important point about the Lindhaus power nozzle, it is very quiet!! The Wessel-Werks p/n is quiet as well but I think the Lindhaus may be even more quiet. I'm a die-hard Electrolux fan but the Lux p/n are fairly noisy so its a nice change to listen to the Lindhaus quietly hum away.

Post# 193094 , Reply# 17   8/3/2012 at 16:34 (2,799 days old) by vacuumman206 ()        
central vacs

I like central vacs for the quietness and not having to pull a canister around behind the hose, but don't like them for several reasons. 1, with a regular vacuum when you are done with it, you grab the (obviously lightweight) power cord, wrap it around the machine, and toss it all in the closet. with a central vac, you have a lot more "cord" to wrap up and store. heck, the worst part of using the central is what you have to do after you're done! 2, (and this more/less applies to my central) we had the turbo head, and had to buy an electric one. problem was the turbo head had an electric control for the suction on/off, and the new one only shuts the pn off. so to shut the annoying sound of the suction off momentarily, we have to pull the hose out of the wall outlet. in the end, even with 6,000 sq. ft. to clean, the upright gets used more. My last issue with centrals is also on the hose. when working around furniture or in smaller rooms, the hose is always always in the way. I would find myself constantly having to lift/move the hose, or toss the powerhead over the hose.

Post# 193163 , Reply# 18   8/3/2012 at 23:52 (2,798 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

durango159's profile picture
To Vacuumman 206. "With a central vac, you have a lot more cord to store."

There are several different hose kits available on the market for central vacs. With exception to the very cheapest of kits on ebay for about $169 most power nozzle equipped central vacuum kits include an electric hose with 3 way on/off switch: All off, Suction Only, Suction and Powerhead. Because of the electric hose, the electric cord for the powerhead is in the hose just like most power head canisters. Most companies also are using crush proof hoses which are fairly lightweight compared to the old thick rubber ones. I still recommend a hose sock though!!! The electric hoses have either a pigtail cord set up or direct connect. Your system is probably a pigtail since your outlets were not originally wired to run a power nozzle. The pigtail cords are only about 6" long and run from the hose end which connects to your outlet to the nearest electrical outlet.

Yes, hoses are cumbersome to carry up/ down stairs and around the house, and storing but they do have systems available now for hoses to be stored in a built in cabinet or in the wall. I coil mine up in a small Rubbermaid bin and its stored in our garage,but would also fit in a closet where the power head is stored. Many central vac owners also have a standard vacuum for quicker or more convenient pickups, automotive interiors, etc. and use the central for deep cleanings.

Many people like central vacs because the suction power can be several times more powerful to that of a normal household vac. Allergens are virtually eliminated as most systems vent their exhaust outdoors instead of in your bedroom or whatever room you're vacuuming.

Not trying to be aggressive here but I was a little confused on some of what you typed, so this is just my opinion for shining light on the subject. I hope this information is helpful and informative.

Happy Vacuuming and I wish all a great weekend!!

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