Thread Number: 43532  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Blackheart's Canavac Tests
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Post# 454650   7/10/2022 at 14:51 (213 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        

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I wanted to put this thread in the contemporary section, but it's not a new machine.

Power usage = 1556 Watts
Airflow @ Port = 192 CFM
Suction @ Port = 134 inches

***No Piping Installed***
Hose airflow = 111 CFM
Hose suction = 130 inches

Hook up your favorite wand(s) and power nozzle and you'll see the airflow and suction drop quite a bit further. Central Vacs are not as powerful as people seem to believe. Motor specs are meaningless because all that power does NOT make it the the nozzle. And the losses incurred are on purpose! Why? Try vacuuming with 140 CFM and 120" with a sealed rug plate on pile carpet. You can't.

Post# 454651 , Reply# 1   7/10/2022 at 14:53 (213 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Huh, looks like it posted in the Contemporary section.

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Post# 454665 , Reply# 2   7/10/2022 at 18:22 (213 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

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Bill, I knew it! Hah! Guess this will piss off some members here who think central vacs are superior :p.


Post# 454672 , Reply# 3   7/10/2022 at 20:31 (213 days old) by beagledad (Florida)        

Kirbylux77, I'm almost certain that was his intent in starting this thread. I'll take the word of professionals like Owen who know these systems backwards and forwards.

Post# 454690 , Reply# 4   7/11/2022 at 06:04 (212 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
My intent was to show off Blackheart's tests

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But Beagledad, if you know anyone that performs extensive measurements, please post the links here.

Discovering the truth is a terrible thing these days (HA!).

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Post# 454692 , Reply# 5   7/11/2022 at 06:46 (212 days old) by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

I'm just a typical user and have never conducted actual tests but I wonder how much comes down to installation and the unit itself? My parents' Nutone I had growing up worked fine. Its suction was fine/good - nothing that completely blew me away. When they replaced it with a MD Silentmaster I remember being surprised at how much suction was coming out of the house from the furthest inlet. It was easily just as powerful as their Miele canister vacuum, if not more. My current MD unit in my own home is ridiculously powerful at the hose end.

I'm not saying they're the best thing since sliced bread because many people find them awkward and annoying to use. My dad never liked using it. My very petite mom wanted it when they originally built their home in the 80's because she didn't love dragging around their Electrolux Olympia or 81' Sears Best Powermate. Interestingly enough, most homes in the neighborhood had central vacs but all my friends' parents also seemed to have stand-alone Kenmore Powermates or Hoover Celebrities/Dimensions/Spirits. These were rather large brick estate homes but the builder only gave owners the basic, straight suction tool kit. My mom had to buy the Nutone powerhead herself.

I enjoy using my current MD with hide a hose when me or my cleaning lady are doing heavy duty jobs. She will use it to clean the house from top to bottom and I also enjoy the ease of just pulling the hose around with me when dusting blinds or furniture. For everyday vacuuming, I do tend to grab a stand-alone machine.

Post# 454699 , Reply# 6   7/11/2022 at 10:52 (212 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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I've been sort of rethinking what I've said before on the topic of central vacs. My aunt owns one. She recently ripped out her carpet in the basement and her upstairs has wood floors with only a few area rugs. She also has two Siberian husky dogs. For her a central vac is great! I really think it depends on the individual circumstances and their home (amount of carpeting, etc). I know people who sell/install centrals. I'm respectful of them and their business. Do I think a central vac is the end all for everyone no!

I've been reading some of the other posts in the contemporary section about this topic. I'm a strong believer in the importance of agitation and airflow to get carpets clean. For a modern day vac you can't beat a Kirby or Sanitaire to provide both of those fundamental elements for cleaning carpets. The energy efficiently of a traditional upright will also be far greater than that of a central vac.

I understand as vac collectors we are emotional about our favorite vac. Iím a fan of vaclab and his tests. As said above although a central vac may start out at 134 inches there is a loss in both the piping and hose. On the broader scale, I tend to think about electricity, which travels at a greater distance to our homes. There is a loss when transmitting electricity. When something travels over a distance there will also be a loss.

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Post# 454700 , Reply# 7   7/11/2022 at 12:12 (212 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
Just to note

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I perform these sorts of test to sate my curiosity and gain a better understanding of different vacuums and their cleaning performance. I share the data I do get so that interested parties, few as they may be, can gain a better understanding themselves.
It's not my purpose to make any particular style/brand look bad, but rather to show their capabilities.

Post# 454704 , Reply# 8   7/11/2022 at 14:54 (212 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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When I was younger, I wasn't that fond of central vacs. Even though I grew up with three of them, our house has one, our storage shed has one, and we even had one from our last cabin. Not to mention that I have other family, friends, and neighbors that have one as well. I always thought that I liked using an upright and even a canister more than a central vac as a kid. But later as I got educated with a central vac with not only how they work but also the benefits of having one and what power any model would offer, I have then later found and concluded that not only they became the favorite type of vacuum that I like using but also they are my go to vacuum to use. Every vacuum has it's pros and cons, there's really no such thing as a perfect vacuum. But there is however the best vacuum for that person to have in their home. If they like uprights the best, then they should stick with the one that they like using the best. If they like canisters the best, then they should stick with the one that they like using the best. Or if they like central vacs the best, then they should stick with the one that they like using the best. As for me, well I can definitely say that I wouldn't ever want to go back to using an upright or a canister. Unless if that home can't have a central vac put in, I would never live in a home without having a central vac. They are easier, faster, and more fun for me to use. They are also more quieter than having an upright or a canister, they do a better job I find, I love that I don't have to smell any nasty odors coming out of a upright or a canister, and they even add more value to the home. I could technically get paid back completely for installing in a central vacuum versus trying to sell a used upright or a canister. So overall regardless of video tests, nothing would ever convince me to change my mind about what I think of central vacs. I've done my own testing and experience, as I said before I would never go back to using an upright or a canister. In fact I've even permanently retired my direct air machines after what a terrible service my grandparent's self propelled Kirby have done after ripping their carpets out because I am no longer convinced that agitation and airflow is what cleans carpets, there was a BUNCH of sand and grit underneath the carpet that it should've picked up. And don't get me schooled, there was NOTHING wrong with the Kirby.

Post# 454706 , Reply# 9   7/11/2022 at 16:45 (212 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Attached is all my 2 cycle sand pickup tests

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And if you want to see what high airflow and proper agitation can accomplish in a controlled environment, checkout my sand under the carpet tests (and other stuff under the carpet tests).


I noticed that nowhere have you ever stated what year and model your Kirby was. Also, what brushroll was installed a what was the condition?

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Post# 454713 , Reply# 10   7/11/2022 at 20:40 (212 days old) by beagledad (Florida)        

Dude, you clearly believe your Kirby is the best vacuum. Great, enjoy it. No one starts threads trying to take that from you. For those of us quite happy with our central vacuums, why can't you give us the same courtesy? Why is it bothering you so much? You can throw up as many spreadsheets as you like but they have zero weight to me. This just isn't a good look man. Be better.

Post# 454714 , Reply# 11   7/11/2022 at 20:44 (212 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Hi Bill,

The Kirby was a G4 from 1994. In fact that house had two G4s' since I later brought my personal one from 1996 to my grandparents due to the fact that I don't like carrying the Kirby up and down the stairs so I kept one for upstairs and one for downstairs in the house. Plus one had served as a back up machine to use while the other one went out of service. Both of them were completely serviced not too long ago, in fact I maintained both of them more than suggested like bag and belt changes. Both had fans replaced, both had carbon brushes replaced, both motor bearings were replaced, and both had their brushrolls changed. Both uses the brushrolls that are meant to fit for the G3 and G4 models which I like better because I don't like how the bristles are shaped for the G5 and newer models. So both of them were working just as well as when they were bought new. I'm actually glad my grandparents passed on the Sentria when they did after a Kirby salesman tried to scam them again. The Sentria including Kirby's newest model uses the same bag, the same belt, and the same motor that the G4s' use, it never made any sense to me of spending a thousand dollars plus a trade in for something that works exactly the same. I would've gladly paid $40 or so to buy another Dirt Devil that my grandparents used to have because I found that thing worked SO MUCH better on the carpets that we just ripped out than the G4 including the Tradition 3-CB I used to have that I kept over at my grandparent's for a while.

Post# 454723 , Reply# 12   7/12/2022 at 00:43 (212 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Electric power distribution equipment is more efficient today than it used to be.The loss has been reduced.Higher voltage distribution has reduced loss becuase smaller guage cable can be used.

Post# 454726 , Reply# 13   7/12/2022 at 06:12 (211 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        

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I have no such "belief's" about something that can be measured, tested and quantified, of which vacuum cleaner performance can be. Any summation is directly derived from repeatable, testable data for those who care to examine it.

I am loyal to no brand or type or cleaner, but I am very interested in their performance. As I have said, I like all vacuums because they are labor saving devices, but when I see claims that blatantly aren't true, I do have to present the evidence to the contrary. Why would a degreed Mathematician do otherwise?

Too bad you refuse to look at the spreadsheet, you might be surprised by the results. People need to get their collective heads out of the sand (HA!) and stop being ostriches.


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