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VAX 101/121/2000
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Post# 207824   11/26/2012 at 10:47 (2,686 days old) by suctionselector (Leeds, England)        

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Just wondering, as I would like one, are the VAX Combination cleaners - ie. 101/121/2000- worth the 40/50 they can sometimes go up to on eBay. Most of them still have their original boxes and manuals etc.

Also were the 101/121 earlier then the 2000 followed?

Weren't they also Britain's bestselling vacuum for a while?



Post# 207827 , Reply# 1   11/26/2012 at 10:54 (2,686 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

yeah im pretty sure they were britains most popular vacuum at one point! until everyone wanted one of these new bagless'dysons' and the vax's were confined to under the stairs, or in the garage. i have to say my parents did the same thing, until my mum sold the vax when i was born!!!
btw i wouldnt pay 40/50 for one!!!! maybe for a 6131 or one of the new ones!

Post# 207830 , Reply# 2   11/26/2012 at 10:56 (2,686 days old) by suctionselector (Leeds, England)        

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Guessed so too, read about it in James Dyson's book. My uncle has a boxed 2000 in his garage but the box has a bowl on top for catching water and my uncle says I can have it when he sorts his garage out.

Post# 207836 , Reply# 3   11/26/2012 at 11:06 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

101 was the original cleaner, with transparent brown recovery bin. It had s few other subtle changes to, like a very deeply reccesed on/off switch and a set of white tools, the hose of which was different in style from the 111.

The 111 looked exactly like the later 121 which was the model that sold for the longest. 111 had white tool kit, the 121 had black. Despite many design changes after 121 went on sale, the model number did not change until the 2000 around 1989/1990.

I am sure Vax claimed their cleaner was the best seller, but I do not know on what figures this was set against.

Post# 207837 , Reply# 4   11/26/2012 at 11:07 (2,686 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

lol theres a 121 in my friends garage, and a 121 in my neighbors shed! i might inherit one one day....

Post# 207838 , Reply# 5   11/26/2012 at 11:11 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

There are a good deal of Vax cleaners still boxed it seems. People bought them partly due to fashion and partly to replace worn out or broken cleaners. The adverts sold up to the fact the cleaner could dry vacuum and wash carpets, making it look so very easy. What the upright loving consumer did not bargain on was how difficult the Vax would actually prove to be as a vacuum cleaner. Because of this, many reverted to an upright cleaner and boxed the Vax up with the intention of using it to wash carpets as and when the occasion arose. Whether they did wash or not is another matter of course. Out of sight, out of mind.

Post# 207839 , Reply# 6   11/26/2012 at 11:27 (2,686 days old) by suctionselector (Leeds, England)        

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Thank you for the information dysondestijl and vintagerepairer. My uncle borrowed this machine 10 years ago from my aunties friend for a bit of carpet cleaning and the last time it was used was 10 years ago! The friend has never asked for it back & my uncle says that my auntie doesn't see her any more!

Post# 207850 , Reply# 7   11/26/2012 at 12:43 (2,686 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

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I would say the recovery bucket on the 101 is transulcent black, and a 111 actual is slightly different cosmeticlly to 121's, in that the top motor vent is very narrow, but on 121's is much larger, but vintagerepairer is spot on otherwise.
Other differences in the washing heads, solution clips, wheel layouts etcc.

Email me if you want to know more as I have all of the 100 series, and spent alot of time noting differences etc
I think the 121 may have sold up to about 1992?
Is it worth about 40/ 50, well maybe. They are very popular still after all these years. You can pick up a bargain, keep searching on ebay for one locally with no postage offered and collect it.
I got a mint boxed 121, for 23 because it was local with no postage option.

Most I have paid is 36 I think it was for my 101, but did have to drive 100miles or so to collect it.
You can see videos of some of my vax's on youtube :)
Pictured here is the 101, 111, 900W 121 and 1000W 121. There is also a later 1000W 121 which used castors similar to office chair's that I did not picture at the time.

Post# 207853 , Reply# 8   11/26/2012 at 12:55 (2,686 days old) by hooverhoover98 (Wales,South)        

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OMG! we have had two of these, the one is working fine, and the other was sold.
Absoloutly fantastic vax machines :)

Post# 207879 , Reply# 9   11/26/2012 at 14:29 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

James the 121 with the different castors was the best of them all as these castors did not allow the cleaner to fall over. As you rightly say, the 111 had a different castor placement, whereas on the 121 all five castors were equally spaced out. Why Vax never used the double-castors which they eventually settled on I just don't know. Other brands of cleaner had them, but not Vax.

Vax also changed the wand on the end of the hose on this model. The plastic grip was circular and not square. This design was so good that Vax resurrected it around 1993 to use with their 3-in-1 upright and then used it across the upright & cylinder ranges of wet cleaners for a good deal of years.

I must say I though the 121 had finished by the later part of 1990 though. But I am not 100% sure.

Post# 207881 , Reply# 10   11/26/2012 at 14:46 (2,686 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

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To make it worse, the 101 and 111 only have 4 castors, and are very unstable with 3 of them at the back, and one at the front! Certainly a little wobbly.
The earlier 900W 121 had 5, but not equally spaced. I think the equally spacing was introduced on the very late 900W 121, or on the 1000W models.
Also wonder why they never used the double wheeled castor, but I do like the original style castor they have, very odd.

Yep my 8100SX and New Wave 1300 both use that style of hose :)
I do really like the original 121 style. And the 101 and 111 styles of wand end was very similar to an Electrolux hose.

Not sure why I think 1992, as I can't seem to find any evidence to back it up, even my double wheeled castor model has the date "april 1990" inside it.

Post# 207882 , Reply# 11   11/26/2012 at 14:55 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

The tools used by Vax will be forever a mystery. I think originally they were made by a company who made pattern parts for lots of cleaners. As to why the Electrolux 3-peg fitting was used, I don't know, and I was surprised that the design had not been copyrighted. Of course the Vax fitting was longer so as to reach the bag collar adaptor, but the overall fitting was the same as Electrolux. I have seen a few Vax cleaners in a terrible state due to an Electrolux hose being used. I recall also that in the 1970's ETA also used the Electrolux 3-peg fitting.

The small dry tool with the original Vax was identical to the one used by Electrolux up until the model 64 ended. That was about 20 years before Vax picked it up. Very strange.

Post# 207924 , Reply# 12   11/26/2012 at 17:17 (2,686 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        

I always thought the Vax 121 machines were top-heavy.

I greatly preferred the Hoover Aquamasters. Better stability, better suction power, better tools, lighter extension tubes. They reminded me of Daleks, and they weren't orange...

Post# 207925 , Reply# 13   11/26/2012 at 17:25 (2,686 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I just had this picture in my mind of a Hoover Aquamaster pointing it's extension tube at a Vax and saying "EXTERMINATE!".

Oh boy my life is dull.

Post# 207926 , Reply# 14   11/26/2012 at 17:38 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Of the two cleaners, I prefered the Hoover clean over the Vax for the reasons mentioend by Rolls. What I did not like at all were the wobbly tubes and the fact that the shampoo tube ran through the suction hose. Hoover designed the suction hose so that it would not turn through 360 degrees (you had to manually turn the hose bag when it became locked, this was to avoid damage to the shampoo hose inside) and this made dry vacuuming even more of a deal.

Post# 207927 , Reply# 15   11/26/2012 at 17:40 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Excuse my appalling message just now but I could not lay hands on my reading glasses.

Post# 207928 , Reply# 16   11/26/2012 at 17:42 (2,686 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I did think that was rather off for you Benny.

What exactly did you mean by the "hose bag"? I don't understand.

Post# 207929 , Reply# 17   11/26/2012 at 17:50 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Hello Jamie

I didn't mean anything, my computer edited 'back' with 'bag'. I maybe spelt it wrongly to start with. So you see, it should read "you had to manually turn the hose BACK when it became locked"

Post# 207930 , Reply# 18   11/26/2012 at 17:53 (2,686 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Ah, if it becomes kinked you mean?

Post# 207932 , Reply# 19   11/26/2012 at 18:20 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Yes that is exactly it. Because there is a small shampoo hose running inside the suction hose, the hose is designed so that it cannot turn through 360 degrees. You get to about 359 degrees (a guess but it must be about that) and a plastic moulding inside the handle prevents the hose turning any more. The user has to then turn the hose back. The machine end of the hose was worse still, because as well as only going about 359 degrees, the hose fitting has to be screwed onto the cleaner like a Numatic does. So, without complete freedom to twist round the hose, when attaching the hose to the cleaner, the hose fitting locks at say 359 degrees and then the hose starts turning round too. I must stress that this was on the models with the fixed carry handles, the type which came after the cleaner shown in the photograph above. As you can see there, the shampoo hose on that cleaner is very similar to the Vax and clips to the outside of the suction hose.

Post# 207933 , Reply# 20   11/26/2012 at 18:26 (2,686 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I understand 100% now, thanks Benny.

Post# 207934 , Reply# 21   11/26/2012 at 18:41 (2,686 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Looking again at those pictures of the Vax cleaners, it seems heartbreaking to see such a quality brand as it was then, now being linked to the appalling imports which grace our vacuum cleaner market today. I understand it, of course I do, it is called survival and Vax has done what it feels it needs to do in order to stay in business. A good deal of people today wouldn't even know that Vax started out as a 3-in-one carpet cleaning system with only a single model to its range. But to me it is still sad. One normally only sees such a decline in quality after a name is sold off to someone else, but I am not sure what happened in the case of Vax, as I believe they are still based at Droitwich.

One of Vax's biggest mistakes was when they attempted to launch a range of true 3-in-one upright cleaners. The television advertisement said that Vax knew people wanted a carpet cleaner, and also they knew that people wanted an upright vacuum. To that end they invented the 8000 series. The build quality was appalling and had numerous flaws, but not only that, such was the design and the size of the cleaner, and the need for the consumer to store two large water tanks and a FULL set of hoses, tubes, and attachments for wet use, that anyone in their right mind would have seen that the may as well have bought a standard Vax canister cleaner for wet use, and a small upright for vacuuming. This would have offered maximum convenience for daily vacuuming, and offered a high quality machine for carpet cleaning.

Overall, and given the extra large price of the 8000 upright cleaners, I think Vax should have made a canister carpet cleaner which was not capable of being used as a dry-vac, and teamed it with a standard dry-only upright cleaner -be this one of their own making or the Vax name on a competitors cleaner- and sold it as a complete home cleaning system.

Post# 207937 , Reply# 22   11/26/2012 at 20:03 (2,686 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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My Powa 4000 is still going strong - I donated it many years ago to a local pound shop owner who was and still is very grateful. The variable suction is worth having against the fixed suction of the earlier machines. It was the weight of washing carpets that finally pushed me over the edge to get rid of it.

For a while a couple of years ago Vax Australia had a whole long range of Vax 6131 based canister vacs from see through ones (Vax "Sukka") and lots of other ones, either with the variable control dial or fixed. But I will agree with VR, the current range is poorly made and nothing like the older ones; even my Powa 4000 was well made, hence probably why the only thing that ever needed to be replaced it on it was its recovery bucket.

Post# 335190 , Reply# 23   10/4/2015 at 11:05 (1,644 days old) by jake1234 (greasby)        

I used to have a hoover aquamaster but it broke beyond repair so I skipped it. I also had a vax 2000 until the motor gave way. I currently have a vax powa 4000 and vax 6131.

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Post# 335192 , Reply# 24   10/4/2015 at 11:33 (1,644 days old) by citroenbx (england)        

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I love my vax 121 1990

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