Thread Number: 41648  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Water vacuums in Consumer Reports, Spring 2021
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Post# 440813   4/13/2021 at 10:54 by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

CR tested the new Rainbow SRX and Sirena. CR reports a price of $1300 for the Rainbow SRX but notes that Rainbows were mostly available through Rainbow reps. The new Rainbow excelled at cleaning medium pile carpeting, but stunk at cleaning bare floors with the snowplowing power nozzle. The Carpet and Rug institute still shows a silver score for the Rainbow (model not specified).

Although the Sirena scored gold status in the Carpet and Rug institute tests, it only scored a 2/5 in CR carpet testing. Even with a HEPA filter, the Sirena apparently failed the clean emissions test scoring a 1/5. the Rainbow SRX was the third rated bagless canister, below a Miele and Kenmore.

CR noted that the Rainbow received high praise in CR owner surveys.

Post# 440817 , Reply# 1   4/13/2021 at 13:26 by Sanitaire (anchorage, alaska)        

I wonder if CR put a after market extra wide soft bristly brush on the wand the vac would be great on a hard surfaces. using a power nozzle with the brushroll off and only straight suction... it will plow dirt....and probly scracth the surface...

Post# 440818 , Reply# 2   4/13/2021 at 13:39 by dysonman1 (the county)        

I'm not surprised since the new SRX power nozzle isn't designed for bare floors. That's why there is a bare floor brush included.

I can understand about the Sirena and the emissions. There is only a small gasket to seal the HEPA filter to the unit, I can definitely understand there would be leaks. Cleaning the Sirena water basin is difficult at best.

Post# 440862 , Reply# 3   4/14/2021 at 10:29 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
So CR said--

--Rainbow doesn't clean hard floors well and didn't use the floor brush just as they said the SE had no place to store cord and didn't use the cord hooks.

Post# 440863 , Reply# 4   4/14/2021 at 11:13 by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
Not sure about the other tests....but the emissions test scoring low with Sirena: I immediately thought about when I first used mine what struck me was how the separator gets so dirty. I wasn't expecting that because on my Rainbow, it doesn't. Back when I had my Shark I would use my Rainbow about once every 4 days to clean my Shark vacuum. I would suck the bin and filters clean...then I cleaned the separator thinking it would be filthy because that was such a dirty job. I always start with a clean separator but I expected to see maybe a little dirt on the toothbrush...But, with Sirena, even with just slightly gray water with a little cat hair and the separator has dirt all over it and if their HEPA's don't have a good seal, that would make total sense to me.

I was cleaning out my closet where I have kept my Sirena stored for so long because I don't like using it. I've lost the separator nut to it...I'm so organized I hardly ever lose things..but I can't find it anywhere.

Post# 440869 , Reply# 5   4/14/2021 at 15:06 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
All the issues of operator error and completely wrong testing being revealed makes me wonder who Consumer Reports even is now? Just a bunch of 20 something year old blogger interns? I could have sworn in order to form accurate reviews on products you needed to know all about them and how they function. It seems like they just take it out of the box, don't even read the manual and just sling it around for 5 minutes and write up some stuff.

Post# 440877 , Reply# 6   4/14/2021 at 16:09 by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

Regarding CR's bare floor tests, they test all vacuums the same. I use my power nozzle with the brush roll turned off at times to clean bare floors. I generally prefer this method for going under beds and furniture or if I don't feel like switching tools. I also use the bare floor tool at times. I guess if I had a Rainbow SRX, it would be a waste of time to use the power nozzle, and I would have to adapt for bare floors. The amazing Rainbow did manage to score a 5/5 on carpet cleaning which is fairly impressive given that it's suction was only a 3/5 and the belt runs down the middle of the nozzle.

Post# 440887 , Reply# 7   4/14/2021 at 22:09 by electro (Indiana)        
Rainbow Five Star Service

I had to take my 10 year old Rainbow Aquamate for repair. When I went to pick it up today there was no charge. They not only repaired the Aquamate but did a complete clean up of the unit. It looked brand new.
I have had my Rainbow for 10 years and it has had a lot of use with no repairs. It has had the hepa filter replaced one time and the old one was still very clean.
One other time I needed to take it in, I had broken a hose latch. It was out of warranty but my selling dealer sent me a new latch and I took it in to this Rainbow Center. They fixed it for me at no charge.

Post# 442555 , Reply# 8   6/3/2021 at 19:19 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Your running a brushless motor meaning no carbon burning. Their filtering must be inadequate. Who used the carpet cleaning power nozzle to clean the floor. Use the floor attachment.

Post# 442661 , Reply# 9   6/6/2021 at 05:41 by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Well, as for using the powerhead on the Rainbow SRX to clean bare floors, I think they are trying to replicate what most people will use it at home. The reality is, unless they have a second set of wands, most people won't use the floor brush. So to me, that is a realistic bare floor cleaning test, as it simulates what the consumer can expect in real life conditions used in the way most people will use it.

The poor cleaning and filtration results for the Sirena doesn't surprise me. The powerhead uses horsehair bristles and looks poorly designed. Plus it's made in China with a Italian made motor. Go ahead and pull up a parts schematic for the Sirena and see the low quality components used. The vacuum is poorly made Chinese junk! If I bought a Sirena, I would immediately swap out that powerhead for a Wessel Werk EBK340.

One other thing Tom didn't point out that would affect the filtration is the HEPA Filter on it is small....not much surface area compared to the Rainbow....and it's a washable HEPA Filter. Those DO NOT provide quality filtration, the proof of that is that there is currently no other high end canister brand besides Rainbow and Dyson that claims to use a washable HEPA Filter. Also, if you read the user manual for the Sirena, interestingly they recommend changing the HEPA Filter every 18 months....very strange they would suggest that for a washable HEPA Filter. I think that's pretty much an admission they know the filter is low quality. So, when you take into consideration that Consumer Reports most likely would have filled the water basin to the minimum line suggested in the user manual and not fill it up to the max fill line like Mark has said here he does with his Sirena, that explains the poor filtration results in their tests. Even if they did fill the water basin to the max line, it would only make a slight improvement in the vacuum's filtration.

The ONLY WAY I would buy a water filtration vacuum now if I wanted one, is I would buy a used Rainbow E Series 1 speed with the GS Electric motor, have new carbon brushes installed, buy a spare motor and spare set of carbon brushes, any other spare parts needed, buy the 4 quart basin for extra capacity and carpet extraction, and replace the powerhead with a used Kenmore powerhead without the quick release or a Wessel Werk EBK340. You don't need the low speed for air cleaning....who would REALLY use it for that anyways?!....and thanks to parts being available for the E2 Black, you coukd upgrade the hoses, shampooer and any attachments you want and get a QUALITY water filtration vacuum that cleans carpets properly, can be used as a carpet extractor that deep cleans properly, and will last a lifetime. That's the ONLY WAY you could get me to make a signifigant investment in a water filtration vacuum. Unfortunately, the other competitors available in the market are either low quality, are brands with questionable future parts availability, don't have good cleaning power and carpet cleaning performance, poor filtration, or don't have good attachments or many optional attachments available without having to jury rig something. The fact of the matter is, for water filtration vacuums, Rainbow is the best option right now, IF you are willing to buy a used E Series.


Post# 442775 , Reply# 10   6/9/2021 at 15:52 by dysonman1 (the county)        

Sirena offered the EBK340 Wessel Werks nozzle as an option about 2 or 3 years ago. Don't know if that's still an option. I do know they make the cleaner in black for 'select' dealers. Can you imagine how much emissions there would be with THAT deep cleaning power nozzle? Also, the Sirena electric hose is way too short. And the motor is non-repairable.

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