Thread Number: 40318  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
An 'Epic' find...
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Post# 428254   7/7/2020 at 13:05 (885 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So yesterday, I walked through a thrift shop and saw a familiar looking handle sticking out of a white kitchen style garbage bag. I unwrapped the package and found a nice looking, albeit somewhat dusty Electrolux Epic 3500SR looking back at me. It had apparently just gone out on the floor because it had no price tag. After looking it over, but not taking it completely out of the trash bag, I decided that even though it was a nice looking machine, I really didn't need it and feeling proud of myself for being strong, I walked out of the store.

Fast forward to about an hour agoó
I was out running errands and in a moment of weakness, wheeled into the same thrift store, just to satisfy myself that I really didn't need this machineóor even better, that someone else had already snagged it, unwittingly saving me from myselfóbut no such luck. The machine was still there, still in its plastic bag and still with no price, so I took a closer look at it and was absolutely astounded at what I discovered. The bottom of the machine looked like it had never been used, no scratches whatsoever and an absolutely pristine brush roll. Next, I opened up the bag chamber and found a brand new, unused, genuine Electrolux bag! Come on, who puts a brand new bag into a vacuum before donating it?

At this point, I was in full-on addict mode and asked an employee what the price was on this machine. He looked it over to confirm there was indeed no price tag, then disappeared into the stock room, returning a moment later with a fellow employee, presumably a manager, who had a pricing gun in her hand. Without so much as looking at the vacuum or adjusting anything on the pricing gun, she randomly slapped a price tag on the bag door, looked down at it, smiled and said "Three dollars". Needless to say, I couldn't get to the checkout fast enough. I just couldn't let it sit there for that.

When I got the machine home, I plugged it in, threw the rocker switch, and...nothing. At this point, I started wondering if maybe they knew something I didn't but who cares? the brush roll was worth more than $3. But before consigning it to the barn as a parts donor, I decided to pull the handle and cord assembly off and do a quick continuity check to verify the function of the switch with one test lead on a contact on the plug and the other inserted into a female contact on the bottom of the handle, repeating until both plug contacts had been tested with all three handle contacts. Everything checked out so I reinstalled the handle, pushed the reset button for good luck, plugged it back in and threw the switch and everything worked perfectly. I even pulled out my upright accessory kit, hooked up the hose and SideKick and that worked perfectly. I do not know whether the reset button had been tripped (I didn't feel a click when I pushed it) or the handle hadn't been properly seated and I really don't care. It works and for a mere $3, it doesn't get any better than that.

So enjoy the pictures below while I contact my vacu-holics anonymous sponsor and arrange to pick up a white chip because I've definitely fallen off the wagon. Note the price tag in the first photo looks a little worn because I just wiped the machine down with a Tub-O-Towels cleaning wipe.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 5         View Full Size
Post# 428256 , Reply# 1   7/7/2020 at 14:07 (884 days old) by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Nice find! A vacuum will never not turn on unless there is an issue with the AC power coming in, or in this case, the safety cutoff switch. They are pretty easy to test and diagnose. I've never had a vacuum not work after a quick examination or precursory repair.

I have the 3500 and with mine, someone unplugged the hot wire to the switch for whatever reason and that's why mine wouldn't turn on.

Great find! I have not seen a vacuum at my Goodwill sadly in a year. They likely would have put $30 on this!

These are amazing vacuums on low pile carpet.

Post# 428258 , Reply# 2   7/7/2020 at 14:39 (884 days old) by electroluxxxx (ÖÖ)        

I have one of these that had a similar story to it except for mine was $4, the bag switch on these can somewhat be an issue from what I have gathered from having mine. I have 4 of the "discovery" style machines and only 2 use a bag switch, the 3500SR and my 2001 commercial.

Post# 428260 , Reply# 3   7/7/2020 at 14:48 (884 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

We used to have three thrift stores in this town, now we have two. The one that supported our Human Society shut down.

The Goodwill store here has even expanded and gets huge traffic from migrant workers. However their main thrust is clothing. The rest of the stuff is stuck in a nasty part of the store that is continually pillaged. Vacuums are stuck in a corner and I've never seen anything older of interest.

I have more Electrolux tanks than I know what to do for the present I stay away from vacuum 'finds'.

Funny how something breaks for someone early on and they just stick it a closet for yrs. Enjoy your next to new upright!!


Post# 428266 , Reply# 4   7/7/2020 at 16:04 (884 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Yeah, I totally needed this machine like I needed another hole in my head. This makes my fourth Electrolux upright. In addition to today's acquisition, I've got a Discovery II that I nabbed from the curb about three years ago, a Discovery Plus with onboard tool storage, and a Genesis LXe, which is essentially the same as the Epic, acquired a few years ago for $8 with a hose. As I count up, it's also my tenth Electrolux, as I have six canisters as well.

The nice thing about this machine is it came to me absolutely ready to go. I've stopped counting the times I've gotten a machine on the cheap that that just needed "a couple of little things" that ended up costing several times the price of the machine.

Post# 428302 , Reply# 5   7/8/2020 at 09:11 (884 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Very nice lucky find there Edgar! My local shop would have had probably 50 on that.

Post# 428308 , Reply# 6   7/8/2020 at 11:43 (884 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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The funny thing is that a few years ago, I walked away from an Epic in the same store that they wanted $35 for and it sold within 24 hours. I thought the universe was giving me a break a couple of days later when I found my Discovery Plus in another shop for $25.

Yesterday was a case of the manager following the lines of least resistance. Wanting just to make a quick sale, she slapped a random price on it to get it out the door. In observing the way she did it, I honestly don't believe she was aware what price she was putting on the machine until the sticker was in place. There were three other plasticrap vacs sitting next to it that were all priced in the $15-$20 range. Ironically, it was by far the best quality vacuum they had in stock.

Post# 428319 , Reply# 7   7/8/2020 at 15:42 (883 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
First Run Reactions...

human's profile picture
After all testing and writing about the Epic, there was only one thing left to do with it and of course that was to put it through its paces, doing what it was designed to do in the first placeóvacuum a room.

The machine made quick work of my bedroom, thoroughly cleaning each swath of carpet with a single pass. It even had a 'new vacuum' smell as it was running. It was also quiet enough that one of my cats (the calico seen in the third photo on the original post) sat on the bed and observed the proceedings with little or no outward indication of concern.

Electroluxxxx mentioned this model is known for having a wonky bag switch and mine does. Fortunately, a light rap on the bag door with the heel of my hand puts things to rights. Interestingly, it is missing the little rocker bar on the left that my other Lux uprights have. I don't know whether it came off or was just never there. The switch is actually a vertical bar on the right. If it becomes problematic, I might just have to tape a penny over it or something. I'm certain this was the problem I was having yesterday when it wouldn't turn on, but hey, for three bucks, it's a problem I can live with. Even so, it would be nice to be able to adjust the switch to improve its function.

Post# 428325 , Reply# 8   7/8/2020 at 17:57 (883 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Great score. Like others have said, I'm sure that would have been at least $25/$30 around here. Enjoy it!
Oh. And...kitty!!!


Post# 428327 , Reply# 9   7/8/2020 at 19:32 (883 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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The cat's name is Lily. She's nine pounds of pure calico cattitude.

Post# 428372 , Reply# 10   7/9/2020 at 17:01 (882 days old) by Jo (Dallas,TX)        
A solution to your problem....sell for a profit!

When I have these great finds I canít resist, I usually end of either giving the unit away to someone who will appreciate it, sell it at a garage sale, or just sell it on eBay...though I have yet to do the last as Iíve always found someone to pass the vacs on to. Or had to set up a garage sale for some reason or another. Recently my collection has grown a bit and Iím considering selling a very nice Kenmore progressive canister I got from the trash and purchased a new neck for the power mate to repair that part as it was broken. I can get around $250 on eBay for it and I only paid $19.99 for the repair part. Also got a Dyson DC07 and considering selling that too but my niece says she wants it so I may give it to her, it needed a new hose which I got for $14 and I got some attachments that are copies of the originals and ride on board for $9.

Personally I love the Electrolux products and have passed a few but not many at thrift stores. I almost passed on a Lux Legacy barely used as it was $40. All parts were there with it. I decided to take it anyway and it rang up $22 because (unknown to me) it was half off all appliances weekend! Last I saw was just before everything shut down in mid March for covid and was an Electrolux Olympia One. I did not buy it, it was heavily used, had the power nozzle and a generic gas pump hose that was ripped at both ends. Some days I think I should have gotten it for my niece as she has asked about my Electrolux when Iím there working on the house using my Electrolux to clean up after the job but Iím sure Iíll come across another someday or just decide to pass one of the ones I have on to her as I have 6 currently. All canisters. Iím not much of an upright person as I have back issues and pushing a weighty vacuum is not for me so havenít bothered to pick up any of those yet, but I may just to experience one someday. I did see one years ago at a Goodwill but left it there.


Post# 428384 , Reply# 11   7/9/2020 at 18:37 (882 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I find the Electrolux/Aerus uprights of the Discovery II/Genesis/Epic/etc. design have a good balance to them, are actually surprisingly easy to push around and they aren't ghastly heavy. They aren't self-propelled like a Kirby G series but the action of the brush roll does help pull them forward. But like most uprights, they can be a little difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, although definitely better than any of my Kirbys. That's why I decided to use my newest canister, a Diplomat LX that I rescued from beside a dumpster a couple of months ago, to vacuum my dining room today. It's a dirt-hungry beast in its own right.

As to whether I prefer one to the other, it's really a toss-up. Both have their advantages. I think if I had to pare things down to just two machines, an Electrolux canister and upright would be the perfect combo for my needs. My new Epic would fit the bill nicely on the upright side but the canister would likely be a tougher decision. I'm thinking a mix-and match pairing of my Diamond J with a shiny PN2 might be the ticket.

Post# 430833 , Reply# 12   8/28/2020 at 11:00 (833 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
After-bag / pre-motor filters...

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I don't know what got me obsessing over it the past few days, but I decided the Epic needed a new after-bag / pre-motor filter. I knew I had bought some on eBay a couple of years ago for my Discovery II and Genesis LXe but I couldn't remember whether I had any left. In my normal fashion, I shopped eBay for a fresh supply and on one listing I brought up, I got the blue bar across the top of the screen that said "You Bought This Item". I came within an inch of re-ordering them but the nagging feeling that I might still have some wouldn't go away. Boy, am I glad I listened to that feeling!

Thankfully, I fought off the temptation to click the "Buy it Now" button long enough to dig through the shelves of my laundry room, where I keep my vacuum cleaner parts and supplies, and after a few minutes, came up with the package of filters. Talk about overkill, according to the invoice, I had bought a 10-pack of filters! It was with a great sense of relief that I put a new filter into the Epic from my existing supply and then deleted that item from my watch list. I guess every once in a blue moon, over-shopping pays offóprovided you can find the over-shopped item when you need it.

Post# 430847 , Reply# 13   8/28/2020 at 13:48 (833 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
I maybe should look for an Electrolux upright, been years since one lived here, just very comfortable with that brand, I suppose it's my normal default. I'm very okay with that!

Post# 430886 , Reply# 14   8/28/2020 at 23:30 (832 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
I have increasingly become a fan of Electrolux uprights over the years. I've got four of them and they're usually my go-to unless I've got a specific task for which another machine is better suited or I'm just in the mood to use a Kirby or a canister. My house cleaner has fallen in love with my Discovery II and she was utterly astounded when I told her it was a trash find.

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