Thread Number: 41859  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Shark design changes in "newer" models ala Electrolux?
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Post# 442191   5/24/2021 at 22:07 by Zinda (Peoria)        

Recently I've been working on some of the less durable Shark models that have excluded the typical Navigator or Rotator names. The first thing I've seen is a much less durable design, typically trying to get the brush roll closer to the sides of the case. As a result the brush motor, belt and transfer design has been weakened and thin plastic pieces have been used resulting in breakage from normal use, (mostly from simply pushing down while trying to stand if up will put enough force on the brush roll to stress the entire belt powered drive and break parts). I did see this happen on a model that was still badged as a navigator but was a very boxxy design. I'm thinking it was a 700 series, it was about 1 year ago.

I've worked on a few others that had a 2nd goofy puffy brush roll and some rockets et .. but this week I got 2 others I haven't seen before NV341 and NV586.
Here's the point I'm trying to convey, after working on a bunch of terribly designed Electrolux models that were poorly thought out and seemed to have never been tested it developed for a real work use. I was compelled to write Electrolux and ask them if they need help? Specifically in research, testing and development since it seemed to me the either had none or nobody was doing their job.

Their vacuums went from small, strong, built to last a lifetime and out cleaned everything out there to the abominations that became large than the women using them and weighed about the same. They had useless features that did not work, they chose form over function and we're drawing up these futuristic pieces if crap that all utilized some crazy way of diverting air flow from bottom to wand but after a few uses, the valves would simply stick in the bottom position. No tolerance allowance for build up, used levers that would barely make the movement required to push them open and lacked spring pressure to close it. I found myself doing some major alterations to arm lengths and changing out springs to get consistent results.

Not what I would expect from a $400+ vacuum that was 2 years old. Even then the design had such sharp radius bends along the path that even the strongest sucking motors couldn't compensate for the tube diameter changes that occured and left clogs everywhere. But that's still not the worst thing, they were made in such a way that they hid all but a few screws. Everything had hidden snaps like a remote control. There was a challenge ahead of you on every model, they couldn't help themselves, making the worst possible service nightmare ever seen. It was guaranteed that the case would have at least 1 crack in it somewhere after it was done! They made the case him and cheap to compensate for the 40 lbs of insides twisting and turning to fit the exterior shape they designed first.

Ok so this is where Shark come into play, Electrolux is done with vacuums and acts as if they never made one before, basically they won't acknowledge any vacuums. So I'm thinking that their engineers had to start seeking work after their severAnce ran out and of course with Shark becoming a huge contender in the market, ready for some new ideas since they have beaten the hell out of the navigator and rotator, with pretty outstanding resultant I've always liked Shark for their simplistic straight forward design that lent itself to easy repairs. There was no hidden screws although they liked to use a ton of different lengths that were very close in size but the wrong one would end up puckering the plastic if you weren't careful.

Now I'm seeing hidden screws everywhere, thin plastic covers with tons of thin plastic tabs that aren't meant to come apart without marking the edges up crazy glue is now needed to restore any tabs the didn't make it because each one has to be there or it's not going to stay together tightly. I was successful on tearing apart a handle to inspect why the catch tht holds the handle in place on the wand tube was so hard to get to come off the tube. What I saw was typical bad ideas that I saw used by Electrolux and on the worst "dirt devil carpet cleaner" I quoted that because I could not call it a carpet cleaner. It was more of a loud noise maker that you filled with water and pushed it around while it did nothing. No water, no brush, no suction, simply unusable garbage. But it used the worst trigger type water valve I've ever seen and that answered why no water came out. The long shaft was made to push a valve open by tapering the tip in a way that the shafts til would slide against the case and the valve was mounted on its side, the problem was the shaft was not strong enough to remain straight, the angle of the tapered part was not enough to even move the valve open. There wasn't enough travel to get to the thicker part of the shaft. I tried altering the angle to be more aggressive and added on bit to the top so I could cut the tip to achieve this. Then it was just too much spring pressure in the valve to be able to get the shaft to stop bending along it's 3 foot long path from handle to valve. I scrapped it.

Shark is using some awful similar design to unlock their handles and wands now. They simply don't work, they have even put some Teflon looking material as a backing brace for the tip to ride against impossible to move the handle to release it. Even with prybar the part out push on will just bend and deform. I lubed it up and it's simply never going to work I know if I'm having trouble with it someone's grandma is certainly not going o be happy when they can't remove the handle wand or release the canister for lift away use.

My conclusion was drawn and I can only think that Electrolux has now started their poison on what used to be a too of the line product sold at reasonable prices prices have gone up on new junk and it has become unusable. This vacuum is dated 7-20! It's not even a year old and someone tossed it in the garbage! They didn't even care to try and get another or check for a recall, that's how disappointed they were with this product, that's exactly what happened with all the Electrolux models I had.

On a similar note I had a phantom or fantom? Commercial vacuum years ago that looked to be well built, solid and quiet. It had very poor suction and every review was terrible and all said it had poor suction. I took it apart to see if it was a design flaw, Evey last single part was lying in front of me and the very last thing
I removed was the part of the case that connected to the exhaust cavity and then through a tunnel into the HEPA filter. There is a gasket that goes between the 2 case parts, the case had 3 square holes with thin strips of plastic that acted as braces to keep the holes the same size and shape. The opening was curved and the opening on the exhaust part was the same way but opposite curve so it was less likely to loose shape from the hot air. But the problem was in the glue they used while they assembled the very 1st 2 case pieces that started the build of that vacuum. The parts didn't simply get pushed together face to face but had to be rolled into position. While they were turned into place out could no longer see the opening. The gasket had stayed in place but not on the piece that was tuning but rather stayed covering 60% of the openning. Rotating it back apart revealed that the gasket needed to be glued onto the receiving part that did not have the braces in place if it was ever going to work. So that meant the glue needed to be permanent during that one skidding into position moment. Then after that it made no diffence since it couldn't move since the pressure from the 2 case parts was so tight it couldn't move. After a few tries I compensated for the slippage and found out where the gasket needed to be positioned before sliding them together. A peak inside the HEPA filter opening showed it had 96% or so clear. After a full day of reassembly that vacuum (all 35 lbs of mostly metal parts) was one of the best vacuums I have ever used. A simple error on a gasket caused that maker to go under. They only made a few models and I had the home version as well but it was complete garbage. It had a 3/4 tube at one point for dirt to clog up. Loud, plastic was so brittle it broke into tiny bits as I smacked it on the floor trying to unclog it every 5 seconds. I still have the 1 metal piece of the 3/4" tube handle.

I really hope Shark sees these problems and takes the proper corrections needed quickly, also I hope the engineer responsible leaves the vacuum business. Ruining Electrolux is unforgivable but then Shark? No f'n way should they get anymore chances. Now I could be wrong and if you have any inside info on sharks employees please say so and confirm my suspicions or tell me it's not so (but they're probably related or old college buddies.
Thanks for reading my ramblings I just can't believe what I'm seeing, there as no vacuums that I can honestly recommend t this point in time. You know we are always being told his new technology has so much more to offer and has made our lives beter, strange how I have not seen this to be true in any way shape or form other than automobile engines have become much better and car stereo prices have finally gotten reasonable, TV's got bigger and clearer, thats only 3 things that have really improved everything else has turned to junk and dies in 3 years.

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Post# 442194 , Reply# 1   5/25/2021 at 05:32 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I always say it, and people don't like to hear it - but the only vacuum around today that has.....

1. tried and true design
2. made out of metal and as little plastic as possible
3. rugged
4. reliable
5. simple to use and does what it is supposed to
6. no fancy gadgets and gimmicks
7. can withstand dumb owners and careless abuse
8. will last you your entire life Kirby (and maybe Royal as well - but not their plastic line)

Even Sebo, TriStar, Dyson, et. al., they all have powernozzles, power wands, lots of intricate electrical pin connections running through the hoses and position sensors, circuit boards, logic boards, and all that - it adds more stuff to fail (and they do).

Post# 442196 , Reply# 2   5/25/2021 at 06:43 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Don't forget Sanitaire-another tried and proven design.TriStars don't have circuit boards.Same with Filter Queen.Rainbow now has boards-they didn't have before.Just hope Kirby doesn't use boards in future models!NOT NEEDED!!!

Post# 442205 , Reply# 3   5/25/2021 at 14:10 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
This thread eloquently elaborates every reason that I hate modern vacuum cleaners. They are literally built to FAIL!

Post# 442206 , Reply# 4   5/25/2021 at 14:21 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

A large portion of consumers aren't going to be willing to spend that kind of money on a new Kirby vacuum, regardless if the vacuum will last them 30 years. People are about cheap, inexpensive units that they can dispose of every 5 or less years, buy a new one, and still be ahead price wise compared to a vacuum like a Kirby. Manufacturers know this of course and make cheap vacuums to fill that niche. They generally don't care as long as they make a profit. Vacuum collectors may not mind buying a used, high quality vacuum, but many people would scoff at this. It's where we know big savings can be found!

It is kind of interesting though to see what consumers are willing to spend big money on, but smaller appliances like vacuums usually are not one of those things, especially when a consumer can go to a local store or online and buy a cheap unit. Of course, there are some pretty expensive brands around today, like Dyson, Dualit, etc. that make small appliances with hefty price tags. Even those have cost saving features.

Another consideration when buying a vacuum that manufacturers know folks are concerned about is weight. Those metal parts which make the Kirby and other premium units durable is what some older people (and others) don't like, so there's a trade off with longevity. Circuit boards are lighter and cheaper to manufacturer and the general public again typically doesn't care if their vacuum won't last more than 5 years.

Post# 442207 , Reply# 5   5/25/2021 at 14:36 by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
filter queen and circuit boards

blackheart's profile picture
Rex, Filter Queens have had circuit boards in them since the 112A introduced in '98

Post# 442213 , Reply# 6   5/25/2021 at 15:43 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Most Budget Machines

vaclab's profile picture
Are meant to be sold as quickly as possible and thrown out in a similar style. Get the latest features and/or color schemes and next year, they will make you feel "left behind", just like phones.


Post# 442240 , Reply# 7   5/26/2021 at 02:24 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

In the Filter Queen -what did the board do?

Post# 442241 , Reply# 8   5/26/2021 at 04:13 by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
FQ boards

blackheart's profile picture
They were used for the two motor speeds. Unsure if they have other functions like shutting down for overheating.

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