Thread Number: 36868  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Working water lift vacuum test gauge explained.
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Post# 394286   7/3/2018 at 16:07 (356 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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In my humble opinion Working water lift is the Most realistic way to test vacuum motors.

Say tuned for more Test videos

CLICK HERE TO GO TO vacuumdevil's LINK

Post# 394326 , Reply# 1   7/4/2018 at 01:49 (356 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Not related to the vacuum test gauges-My freestanding MD Central vacuum is like yours.I am going to start using it more-My Lux Guardian Platinum was getting more attention.Figure my central unit is getting lonely.Have the MD attachment kit with mine.Use it with the Volt powernozzle-BIG difference!I have used both the Baird and Vacuum gauge during some TriStars sales when I used to sell them DTD with another guy.Have one of the sales kits-since those meters are sort of thrown around don't think you can really trust their accuracy.

Post# 394343 , Reply# 2   7/4/2018 at 10:54 (356 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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Your video is misleading.


You said that the Kirby is not very powerful. If that is true, how do you explain the fact that the Kirby G series machines are among the best Deep cleaning carpet cleaning systems there are?


The secret is Agitation and Airflow - NOT suction!





Post# 394350 , Reply# 3   7/4/2018 at 14:44 (355 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I leave this there. All comments are welcome :)

Post# 394352 , Reply# 4   7/4/2018 at 18:09 (355 days old) by lux14 (Leawood Kansas)        

Great video Evan! Makes total sense! Thanks for sharing with us!


Post# 394517 , Reply# 5   7/8/2018 at 13:40 (351 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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@sptyks I knew you would comment on this . I know you are in love with your Kirby's and there's nothing anybody could say,or show you facts that would tell you different. You are entitled to your opinion.
Nobody is attempting to mislead anybody I do not sell vacuums. I have no motivation to do so.

This is a simple way to test how powerful a motor is under working conditions.
Of course agitation & nozzle design can only be tested in real-world settings.

The point of this video is to show how flawed CFM only testing is.

Post# 394561 , Reply# 6   7/9/2018 at 08:38 (351 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Not in certain order, but just three most important things for great cleaning results.
And what it comes to my airflow box. It's not only airflow box. I can measure the suction also from it.
And measuring the airflow/suction from the nozzle, because it is what does the cleaning.

Post# 394699 , Reply# 7   7/11/2018 at 17:41 (348 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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@Mike811 my only problem with airflow boxes is it they very too much and often the shape of them can affect the airflow results. Now I have not seen yours maybe you've perfected it? But a lot of the ones here in the US are so poorly shaped and constructed that they would mess up any air flow test .

I'm definitely saying that you need air flow and suction to clean.
agitation in my humble opinion is not always necessary especially if you're doing bare floors. I have used plenty of straight suction machines that clean carpet as well as any machine with a brush roller.

Post# 394713 , Reply# 8   7/11/2018 at 20:27 (348 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I don't know about other airflow boxes, but when I made mine one thing was my main goal. It has to be 100%'airtight. Otherwise I don't use it. So I made it solid and airtight. That's not enough. Every nozzle has to make a good seal to it. If not it's useless. So everytime when I use different nozzle I have to make a perfect seal to it. A lot of trouble and a lot of time. So far from my collection biggest winners has been Miele C3 and Vorwerk Kobold VK 135. Both have very high airflow and suction. In real life they also are very capable. This is just a start to the real testing.

Post# 394755 , Reply# 9   7/12/2018 at 10:04 (348 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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Post# 395675 , Reply# 10   7/27/2018 at 19:34 (332 days old) by blackheart (North Dakota)        
Well I'm curious

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So I built one. While I already had a waterlift gauge I dropped mine during a test run and it broke. I used a fender washer for the end piece it's got a 1/2 opening. I'm curious to see how these machines do at the nozzle where the specs matter more than ever. I also tried it on a Kirby Avalir's hose cause, why not?

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 403950 , Reply# 11   1/11/2019 at 19:56 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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@blackheart Good Stuff!

Post# 403961 , Reply# 12   1/11/2019 at 23:30 by ilikevacuuming (Cincinnati, OH)        

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I have a somewhat stupid question that I could probably figure out on my own. Does the high altitude that you’re at in Colorado affect any of the results of these working water lift tests?
Thanks for all the great videos!

Post# 403963 , Reply# 13   1/11/2019 at 23:51 by broomvac (N/A)        

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Sorry if I’m late to the party. What you all have made is a homemade “orifice plate.” These devices have been used by engineers for decades to measure the flow rate of a substance. Essentially, the pressure drop across a restriction (“orifice,” which in your case is a washer) in a pipe is measured.

When properly calibrated and understood, these devices can be very accurate, more so than even the anemometers commonly used by vacuum enthusiasts.

For those of you without engineering textbooks, you can turn to Wikipedia if you would like to learn a bit of the theory behind measuring the mass or volumetric flow rate of air through the device.

Thanks for sharing!


Post# 403980 , Reply# 14   1/12/2019 at 19:48 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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That's an excellent question yes it does.

I tried to mention it in my videos but I often forget.
You'll also hear me sound out of breath sometimes, because there's not much oxygen up here.

From my understanding my results will very 10% to 20% then those done at sea level.

It also affects naturally aspirated cars quite a bit!

Post# 403989 , Reply# 15   1/12/2019 at 23:33 by ilikevacuuming (Cincinnati, OH)        

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Thanks for the response! The numbers in your videos always seemed a bit low and I always wondered why. I’ve been to Colorado, and I agree, you guys are definitely lacking in oxygen!

Post# 404002 , Reply# 16   1/13/2019 at 10:08 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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I am glad that Alex has been able to show in his video that the Kirby is not as good a cleaner as some seem to think it is.
It's a well built vacuum but there are better quieter lighter and more convenient cleaners available.

Post# 404048 , Reply# 17   1/14/2019 at 00:14 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 404051 , Reply# 18   1/14/2019 at 00:52 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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I haven't seen a video that he accurately demonstrates that.  I've seen this one though, 


that video had loads of questionable 'results'.  If one were to read some of the comments from that video questioning his methodology , a less certain opinion would arrive(very pertinent points were made).  I, for one, have many Kirbys ( along with other brands too), and NONE of them leave behind what his Kirby left behind.  I do like many of his videos though.  The precious Miele's that are so adorned in videos weigh roughly the same as the Kirby( some more, some 1-3 lbs less than a Kirby).  Quieter? yep, I'd agree with you , there are quieter ones ( Miele's for one), better? hmmm no so sure of that, if your goal is remove debris/dust from your home, those Kirby's flow about the highest airflow around  and as we all know, airflow is key to removing dirt, etc.  More convenient ? yeah, I agree with ya, its not the most at that, perhaps the most versatile though ( much more versatile than both my Miele's, Orek, FQ, Rainbow or Royal's).


just thoughts, no flames intended 

Post# 404060 , Reply# 19   1/14/2019 at 10:15 by got2bjennyg (Brunswick, Ohio, USA)        
CRI ratings?

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So, I don't own a Kirby. I've used them, but I never managed to buy one. That said, I have noticed that CRI gave the Avalir a gold rating. So, is that to mean that the CRI ratings are wrong, and unreliable? Just honestly curious as I have no ponies in this race so to speak.

I've already discovered that you cannot count on Consumer Reports to be accurate in terms of performance of products, so those results are off the table even though they did give the Kirby very highly in cleaning ability (top honors for carpet cleaning and 100 for bare floors).

Post# 404090 , Reply# 20   1/14/2019 at 21:36 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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@rivstg1 What results do you question ? I'm happy to answer any questions.
I start the video showing the Kirby has a good brush roller and has been properly tuned up and is 100% working order.
I also demonstrate with a working vacuum gauge why the results were what they were.
The Miele s6 because it showed the drastic difference It's the newest vacuum I have.
I believe the same results would show for Henry,Lindhaus,SEBO,Riccar or name any modern bypass vacuum of choice.

Despite popular belief,I really like Kirby vacuums. I have many in my collection.
You can also see the great care I took in polishing this Kirby.

You're in Colorado maybe we could organize a Colorado vacuum collectors meet up? I know a few others out here.

@got2bjennyg CRI accuracy has been a curiosity of mine I have been unable to confirm or deny how accurate they are. Consumer Reports is definitely a pay-to-play I think you'll find no argument from anybody about that.
The point of the working vacuum is strictly to measure a vacuum Motors practical use rating. By putting into a simple number of very abstract concept of airflow and suction physics.

Post# 404110 , Reply# 21   1/15/2019 at 10:22 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Proper AirWatts Suction And Airflow Explanation

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Working waterlift is meaningless for cleaning dry particulate. Water lift is meant for lifting WATER as the name implies. If one needs to move water (via suction), then water lift is meaningful. Water lift (aka suction) is a pressure. It is not a movement or a volume (of air). CFM is the dry cleaning component because it consists of two necessary factors:

1) a volume of air in which the dirt is contained and
2) speed at which the dirt is transported to a collection receptacle.

Cubic feet per minute (the speed of a volume of air) is what moves the dirt, not suction. Suction is a pressure that attempts to keep the airflow moving over a distance (i.e. hose) and/or any situation where the airflow is being made to do work (i.e. airflow through a carpet, bagless cyclonic bins, etc.)


Post# 404114 , Reply# 22   1/15/2019 at 13:01 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        
vaclab's comments

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your explanation seemed, somewhat intuitive....thus, I've never really understood why some argue that water lift rating is the key or so important to vacuuming your home. The Air movement approach appears to be the right explanation....thus CFM rating's importance to comparing cleaning ability.

Post# 404116 , Reply# 23   1/15/2019 at 15:18 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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yes, fellow Colorado resident! mini meet of sorts could be cool.....start a trend perhaps!!!!

I looked up tests on airflow, and contrary to your comment that the direct air machines weren't as good as tandem machines, I couldn't find any tests showing that....only found the opposite. I did find the 'working water lift' test heavily favoring those machines though.

Heres the more pertinent comment I read that gives some response/insight
1 month ago
the most substantial problem I see with your testing on the carpet and hardfloor with the Kirby with large objects didn't adjust the nozzle to the proper height ...FOR the given situation. It is intended to seal to the carpet, your'e correct , but when larger objects are encountered, adjust the nozzle for the situation. First, raise the nozzle a bit, p/u of the larger objects, then lower it for finer/smaller materials. This experiment you conducted is analogous to a sewing machine use....NOT adjusting the height of the needle when transitioning from a thin material and a thick material. Your explanation ( based on your reasoning here) would conclude that the sewing machine wasnt very good....which would be very deceptive.
Show less

Post# 404156 , Reply# 24   1/16/2019 at 08:09 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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Suction and airflow work together. They are 2 sides of the same coin.
A vacuum cleaner is not a complicated piece of equipment.
A motor spins a fan which causes a drop in pressure and air to flow. It's not rocket science 😁

Post# 404167 , Reply# 25   1/16/2019 at 13:12 by Mike811 (Finland)        

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With the canister vacuums strong suction is needed to maintain the airflow through the hose.
Direct motor (dirty air) vacuums don't need a lot of suction if (when) the piping is extremely simple and in the most cases large diameter.
One thing what I find very frustrating is using the low airflow vacuum on the bare floors. There is no brushroll helping in the pick up.
For example: Using the hard floor nozzle or just the pipe end in the tight places.
High airflow vacuum sucks up dirt from further away and with the low airflow vacuum I really need to see more effort to get the job done.
Vacuuming is faster with the high airflow vacuum.
So suction is needed to maintain the airflow.
Airflow is the important part what does the job.

Here is what I mean:

Post# 404186 , Reply# 26   1/17/2019 at 00:03 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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"tests on airflow, and contrary to your comment that the direct air machines weren't as good as tandem machines, I couldn't find any tests showing that....only found the opposite. I did find the 'working water lift' test heavily favoring those machines though. " I couldn't find this comment on vacuum land and unfortunately I've shot too many videos at this point to recall saying that. If you could put it in some context for me that would be great.

I don't think there's really any doubt that tandem Air machines carpet clean better then direct air only machines.

I did go back and read watch the video I made on the Kirby to make sure the height adjustment was adjusted. At 26:00 minutes in you can clearly see the height adjustment and it's later shown in a point of view camera as well. The machine was properly adjusted for my high pile carpeting.

Now if you're implying that one would change the height adjustment just to pick up some extra debris. In that case I think you're proving my point further and putting another nail in the coffin of the generation series.
A little bit later in the video 27:30 I do go on to explain why the results were that way.
as far as the water lift rating being important to me ,the more water lift a vacuum cleaner has the best it is at picking up heavier objects.

So in an ideal World I'd like to see a vacuum cleaner have 100" of lift and 150CFM
I don't believe we'll ever see these numbers from a portable vacuum. But they're pretty realistic numbers for a central vacuum.
The working vacuum gauge gives you a nice way of testing things in their practical cleaning ability.

I hope that clarifies everything.

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