Thread Number: 37121  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Why are tub style vacuums and carpet cleaners not popular in US?
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Post# 396525   8/9/2018 at 22:11 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I've noticed that Europe and UK in particular seem to have lots of tub style vacuums on the market. Including Numatic, and even bargain store style tub vacs.

Here in the states we might have a few of these offerings, but they are very uncommon. I've also noticed that the tub style wet/dry pickup machines that can also wash carpets. Even Vax still sells a model similar to the vintage ones, as do a few other "cheapo" brands.

Here in the states, the only company I know that still offers a tub/canister style carpet washer is Bissell. At one time these were very popular, in fact some of the first carpet washers we had were of this type.

On the other hand it seems some manufacturers never offered them (I do not recall any from Hoover, although they offered them for overseas) nor Eureka. They seemed to get into the carpet washer market fairly late and started with the upright style.

The tub style carpet washers seemed to be less popular after the upright styles had come out for a few years and as I said the only one that still offers it is Bieell.

Personally I think tub style dry or wet/dry/carpet washer machines are useful and nice to have. Of course we do have wet/dry pickup shop vacs that are very similar, but I'm not aware of any that have carpet washing ability. At one time Shop Vac offered such an attachment but not for many years.

Post# 396563 , Reply# 1   8/10/2018 at 11:47 by mikanic (Leeds)        
That's pretty interesting!

I think cylinder (tub-style) carpet washers aren't as popular in your area because they don't come with a source of agitation, which is what those upright ones have, for instance brush rolls.

Here in the UK, there was a brand named Ovation who did a cylinder (tub-style) carpet washer, and it seemed to have nearly too much power. We are currently under EU regulations for vacuum cleaners, which are as follows:

Power input- 900 watts or under
Noise- 80dB or under

Personally, I am quite happy with those regulations but I don't think other people are. I could go into a huge debate about efficiency but it would take up too much time. I know this Ovation vacuum cleaner from a video on YouTube. Might just show you!

Going back to the regulations, we won't see much of that Ovation machine as it is over 900w in power input. I don't know how much, maybe 1100w.


Post# 396578 , Reply# 2   8/10/2018 at 19:35 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

The less set up and or assembly required makes it much easier to use for those that don't want to mess around with it. As we all have heard from the General population "how difficult a Kirby is to use".

Post# 396584 , Reply# 3   8/10/2018 at 21:36 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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That Ovation is actually the one I was thinking of too.

I agree on the setup being easier with the upright machines.

Yes, agitation is probably a big reason too. Although, some of the canister style machines did have motor drive brushrolls either included with the unit or as an add on, I know Bissell and Kenmore offered and of course Rainbow does sell the Aquamate.

The main issue with such a motor driven brush is it makes setup even more complicated if the hose isn't a direct connect setup. It is awkward with the solution hose and power cable having to be strapped to the hose during use and having to be all removed when changing attachments.

Upright cleaners are a lot easier in that way. But of course I don't know of any upright carpet cleaners that can be used as a regular wet/dry vacuum as well, in the way that many canister style cleaners can/could.

I was surprised to see Vax in UK still offering that 3 in 1 cleaner that looks very much like the orange and black version that was sold for so long. We even had them in the US for a time, although they don't seem to be as prevalent as Bissells steam cleaners. They still seem to use those same rectangular tools too. Wish we could get new ones here.

Post# 396595 , Reply# 4   8/11/2018 at 01:30 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Is Thermax still around?think this would be a "tub" style machine.

Post# 396607 , Reply# 5   8/11/2018 at 11:43 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Yup appears to be.


Post# 396646 , Reply# 6   8/12/2018 at 08:27 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
tub vacs and washers

I have a numatic Henry, very nice machine. I actually much prefer any type of canister cleaner over uprights. The motor that Numatic is using now is very good, it only uses 620 watts but is easily as powerful as higher wattage motors, and it's very quiet.
I think one reason the upright carpet cleaners are more popular is because of the spinning brushes. You could probably use an upright carpet cleaner to vacuum up wet spills as long as the motor unit would not be totally under water, probably would not work for cleaning up a flooded basement, although some upright cleaners have a hose so using that may work better.
If you have a wet dry vac, you can turn it in to a carpet or hard floor cleaner. The main thing to get is a wand with a spray jet. I have a couple of these, along with a 40 foot water hose to connect to a faucet and an attachment such as a squeegee for hard floors or a cleaning head for carpets. This doesn't really provide any brushing action, you are basically just spraying the water on the surface and then vacuuming it up, but at least for hard floors it works pretty well. I also use this set up with my water vacs such as the Sirena and Quantum. Granted I don't use it that often because it does require a lot of set up, but it does work.

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