Thread Number: 36851  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Kenmore Progressive Inteliclean Upright
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Post# 394141   7/1/2018 at 10:54 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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So I found this yesterday at Habitat for $10. I'd just been Thursday but thought I'd give them another stop to pass the time. Couldn't believe it was $10 and had a new cloth bag and all of the onboard tools. I've gotten most of it cleaned up. Aside from some marks on the bag door, it seems they took good care of it or it didn't have much use.

I'm not usually big on newer vacs, especially uprights, but this was one that I had in my mind that if I found one for cheap, I'd get it. I'd actually seen one at Habitat in the past but it was $25 or $35 I forget.

Can someone tell me when these were made? I know the Inteliclean feature was not made very long. I think this was the last of the fancy Progressives before the Intuition line came out and since then they were always just one speed machines and didn't have Inteliclean or the two speed agitator.

I am guessing it's about 2006-2010 or so.

A friend of mine had one and I washed her windows one time and got to use it to clean the screens. Hers had all the same features but it was purple and bagless.

When I was cleaning this I did find what was likely the reason it got donated. There was a dryer sheet stuck in the intake in the agitator, and a big clog going up the lower hose and main hose. I guess they changed the bag, and it was still clogged. I didn't check the suction when I tested it in the store, but it did seem to be louder than normal...

Post# 394142 , Reply# 1   7/1/2018 at 11:08 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Overall with a good wipedown and a little magic eraser on the scuffs it looks close to new. I want to get in the agitator area and get the clear plastic cleaned up. The manual doesn't indicate how since there's no belt to change.

The bag compartment was pretty clean but in the motor pre filter I found a bread clip a wirenut and some stickers that escaped the bag somehow.

The attachments are really not bad for a tools on board upright. The wand telescopes and has a suction control valve plus the motor has 3 speeds itself. It came with another really long crevice tool that I think goes to a Shark. According to the manual these did come with an extra wand and a large floor brush. It's just a generic horsehair one like the new Hoover Constellations and other modern canisters have.

This is a nice hose setup too, the clip keeps the machine from falling over which was always a problem for me with uprights with retracting hoses. I haven't tried the tools yet but I remember my friend's didn't tip on me like most.

Anyway I don't know how much i'll use this but for $10 I figured it'd be fun to play with for a while. Especially since these were TOL in their day and made by Panasonic.

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Post# 394144 , Reply# 2   7/1/2018 at 11:23 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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The Inteliclean is probably more of a gimmick than very useful. But its supposed to vary the suction depending if the dirt pickup is light moderate or heavy. Supposed to save energy and noise level. The Gentle sweep function is nice it turns the brush very slowly for rugs or berber oe delicate carpets. I bet it would work well on hard floors too. As soon as you put the handle up the brush automatically stops or you can push the button twice to stop it if the handle is lowered.

These are unique machines and probably worth a place in a collection.

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Post# 394146 , Reply# 3   7/1/2018 at 11:35 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I had two friends with that model a few years back, mother and daughter, they were HARD on things, so they both died, I think taking the bag out to change and someone using it with none a few times!! Cleaned well, the long hose though got stuff caught in the bends, stuff one shouldn't vacuum up of course

Post# 394149 , Reply# 4   7/1/2018 at 11:52 by broomvac (N/A)        

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$10 is a very fair price! I paid $5 for each of mine, but I took apart one to make spares for the better one.

They clean very well, as I am sure you discovered. The bag life is tremendously long; you can really pack them with dirt before the suction will drop off.

Accessing the brush roll is a pain. All of the screws on the bottom must be removed. Then, you must release the two tabs on either side of the sole plate. Finally, you must muscle the sole plate out past the rear wheels, which is tremendously hard to do. You must really bend the sole plate a lot--enough that you feel like you are about to break it. Getting it back on is equally difficult.

Alternatively, you could remove the rear wheels, but this is also difficult because they are held on with one-time use push nuts. They can be undone, too, with great care.

I recommend leaving it be.


Post# 394151 , Reply# 5   7/1/2018 at 12:16 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

"I had two friends with that model a few years back, mother and daughter, they were HARD on things, so they both died"

David...sorry to hear about your friends.

Post# 394154 , Reply# 6   7/1/2018 at 12:56 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Thanks, I tried, but they weren't the care for type of folks, buy new junk!

Post# 394161 , Reply# 7   7/1/2018 at 16:15 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Well I guess the problem was bigger than I realized. Went to test it out since I'd gotten it cleaned out, but apparently the clog was more major. When I turned it on it squealed like there was a blockage and the Performance Indicator comes on and the dirt sensor red light is on. As soon as I open the bag door the Performance Light goes off and it gets quieter. I removed the bag and I can feel the blockage like there's a big plastic stick right in the end of the hose but I can't fit it through. I guess I'll have to get it out the other end of the hose somehow. It feels like a pinwheel stick or tinkertoy, plus there was a plastic straw in there I was able to get out.

No idea how they sucked up so many large objects. I assume that's why they donated it, it got clogged and changing the bag didn't fix it.

Post# 394170 , Reply# 8   7/1/2018 at 19:03 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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See, that long wrapped hose again!

Post# 394180 , Reply# 9   7/1/2018 at 22:58 by broomvac (N/A)        

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Just remove the screws from the piece which holds the hose to the vacuum (I believe there are 3 screws), pull off the hose retainer plate, and release the hose from it. This will allow you to run a broom handle thru the hose and remove the blockage.

The performance indicator is simply a pressure sensor. The light illuminates when the pressure at the motor inlet drops below a threshold.

Good luck!

Post# 394194 , Reply# 10   7/2/2018 at 09:15 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Exactly what I had to do, a few times, pencil, pen, ect

Post# 394249 , Reply# 11   7/2/2018 at 22:07 by fan-of-fans (USA)        
Three Screws

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Yep that's what worked. I took out those three screws and removed a large plastic object and tons and tons of dust kept coming out. I bet the hose was plugged most of the way through. It's a lot quieter now and seems to be running properly.

I'll have to spray the hose down and wash it and make sure it's clean in and out.

As for the brushroll area, I may leave it as is. Sounds hard to remove the cover. I just would prefer to have the whole thing cleaned, because I don't like the idea of using a vac with someone else's crap inside in my house. The brushroll looks very good but there is black spots on the tips of the bristles. They don't look worn at all though.

I noticed too when I was trying to remove the clog, when it's plugged in there's a very faint but noticeable sound coming from the dirt sensor light area when it's turned off. I guess it's normal, must be some capacitor or something.

I agree the hose path seems prone to trapping stuff, particularly when large items were sucked up as it seems a lot of them have.

Post# 394252 , Reply# 12   7/2/2018 at 22:33 by broomvac (N/A)        

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Mine makes a faint electrical hum when it is plugged in, too.

After I took apart the one to make spare parts, I can attest to the electrical complexity inside those things. Just under the first meter LED strip are 2 or 3 PCB and a whole rats nest of wires. Something in one of those circuits must hum.

Although working through the wires may seem at first like trying to unravel the mystery of the universe, it would not be all that hard to replace a PCB if you were careful and organized. There are no permanent wire connections, so the boards can be simply unplugged or wires untwisted from each other. I kept all the PCBs from the salvaged unit for backups for my good one.

I have no reason to believe these electronics will fail on me, though.

Post# 394267 , Reply# 13   7/3/2018 at 07:55 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland)        
@ JustJunque & Suckolux:

I read that sentence the same way, that the mother and the daughter both died!

I presume Suckolux means that the mother and the daughter both had their own versions of the same machine, and that both machines got beaten into the ground.

Post# 394269 , Reply# 14   7/3/2018 at 08:25 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you!

I figured he meant the machines died, but I made a sort of tongue in cheek response, hoping someone might find a little humor in it.

Not that a mother and daughter dying would be funny, mind you.

I'm glad you got it! 😉


Post# 394270 , Reply# 15   7/3/2018 at 08:39 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland)        

Cheers! :)

Post# 394313 , Reply# 16   7/3/2018 at 22:47 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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The first time I saw these came out, it was probably no earlier than 2005. Right when the first generation of Progressives were discontinued. These were inspired by the "Icon" models which were also known as the "Performance Plus Platinum" in the US. Right when these came out, Panasonic also made a version of themselves known as the "Power-On-Demand". It also had dirt sensors and had the same feature where it provides a boost of cleaning power depending on how much dirt you pick up. Only differences though is that they are bagless, they use a different hose and wand set up, there's no manual height adjuster, and it only uses belts since Panasonic at the time no longer used beltless brushrolls on their own vacuums.

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Post# 394346 , Reply# 17   7/4/2018 at 12:56 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I did try this out today. Two things I noticed. This and my Kenmore Progressive canister are the only machines I have or have ever used with dirt sensors. I've noticed the dirt sensor on this is way more advanced than on the canister. The canister just has two red and two green lights and it only shows red or green, and it only changes if you can hear large particles being picked up.

The dirt sensor on this upright though has four colors of lights green two orange and one red and it seems to be much more sensitive than on that canister. It changed from green to orange or one orange to two several times while I used it.

The second thing is I tried the attachments and they worked pretty well as I expected. I kept the hose clipped in and it didn't tip over. My mom used to have a bagless Kenmore Quick Clean with cord reel. It just had the hose that looped over the back. While it didn't have any clogging issues, if I tried using the hose it almost always pulled the machine over.

And 2005 sounds about right to me. My mom's Quick Clean looked similar to that Panasonic picture and I think it was a 2005. It wasn't very fancy, one speed, no brush shutoff but it did have a headlight and a cord reel which I liked.

It would be cool if these Direct Drives had a cord reel but the machine is already heavy enough without one!

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