Thread Number: 9690
Dial A Matic
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 105987   8/14/2010 at 19:42 (3,481 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Has anybody else had poor suction with their Dail-A-Matics? Today I purchased one and I wasnít that impressed. After taking everything apart and washing the internal filter (beside the fans)the suction is still poor. I noticed that it was leaking air around the bag compartment so I used some weather stripping to make a good seal, it helped a little but still the suction is poor.

Any suggestions? I expected the vacuum to be a little quieter since it is a clean air upright. I know the motor has bad bearings and parts/bags are hard to find so I may trade it in tomorrow and get another Hoover Convertible. How many people actually use the Dail-A-Matic as their daily driver?

Post# 105988 , Reply# 1   8/14/2010 at 19:45 (3,481 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
By the way i just noticed Lady my families cat. She is an outside cat and she is napping by the back door. I thought the picture would be smaller. Oh well

Post# 105989 , Reply# 2   8/14/2010 at 19:48 (3,481 days old) by vintageroyal611 ()        

I've never been a fan of the Dial a Matic. If you're not happy with it, do what you wish. They're not the easiest to fully service.

Post# 105991 , Reply# 3   8/14/2010 at 20:15 (3,481 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I have a DAM just like yours. I think mine is a Model 1118. I can't remember for sure. I tore mine apart too (almost lost my religion over that) and got rid of all the rotting insulation, and washed it thoroughly. It only got louder! LOL! The suction didn't improve either. It's not very good through the hose either. I think the DAM is way over engineered compared to a Convertible. But a lot of people are very fond of them. When I put new brush strips in the brush roll, I discovered that it groomed the carpet very well. I intend to keep it because it was the first clean air upright that Hoover made. I remember the motor had "April 1968" stamped on it, so I assume the vacuum was manufactured around then too.

Post# 105992 , Reply# 4   8/14/2010 at 20:19 (3,481 days old) by joe22 ()        

do you have the dial on the back set wrong? if set on tools the suction will be diverted

Post# 105997 , Reply# 5   8/14/2010 at 20:33 (3,481 days old) by timborow (Georgia)        

Check the hose that leads from the power nozzle to the bag. I have seen them packed with carpet fuzz and pet hair. There could possibly be a clog there.

Post# 105998 , Reply# 6   8/14/2010 at 20:42 (3,481 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
It grooms the carpet very well. But it will hardly pick up anything. Personally, it is a real disappointment to me because the Hoover Convertibles worked so well. For a clean air upright my Electrolux Discovery III works so much better. So tomorrow I will ask my friend if he will let me trade it for something else.

Yes, Eurekastar it was very difficult to take apart. You do such an excellent job with your Kirbys.

The carpet suction is on max and still there is very little airflow.

Post# 105999 , Reply# 7   8/14/2010 at 20:47 (3,481 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Thanks Tim, I have already checked that. Today I washed all the parts (not electrical) including the hose in a bucket of soap and water outside. I don't want to drag a dirty vacuum inside my house. It had to be done, the previous owner looked they had tried to vacuum up kitty litter without a bag. Gross!

Post# 106000 , Reply# 8   8/14/2010 at 21:07 (3,481 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

bagintheback's profile picture
I think that the weak suction is the vacuum itself. I bought a Powerdrive Dial-a-Matic last month at the Goodwill. I thought it would be a great vacuum because I love the Convertibles so much. It's very disappointing. It cleans my carpet worse than my Oreck and the bottom-fill bag is very abnormal. The belts are a pain to install too. I like my Hoover Elites much better.

Post# 106001 , Reply# 9   8/14/2010 at 21:34 (3,481 days old) by electroluxxxx (Somewhere out there)        

electroluxxxx's profile picture
I have a dial a matic and with the tools the suction seems to be ok, however the machine is kind of hard to push and pull. belts I have not had to install yet but will need to when the machine is pulled out of storage.

Post# 106007 , Reply# 10   8/14/2010 at 23:45 (3,481 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I have several. The suction is great on all of them.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
Dou know that that orange one was the FIRST? It is known as the "Bewitched" cleaner. Do you nkow why? Agnes Moorehead was friends with the HOOVERS. It was a great fee ad. It was the first time America got to see that new idea from HOOVER... Samantha had it run itself. Even if you don't like it's performancce, it is a piece of history.

Post# 106008 , Reply# 11   8/14/2010 at 23:47 (3,481 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
the very first did not have the bag check indicator.

Post# 106015 , Reply# 12   8/15/2010 at 11:32 (3,480 days old) by powertank ()        

Rebuilding a Dial a Matic is kind of fun (ok for me at least). They are a nice challenge, and their motors are very interesting.

I have a tired (but clean) DAM in line for a rebuild, but it picks up very well. DAMs are very prone to loosing suction when the fans in the motor get coated with dirt and hair and other nasty junk. Taking it apart and rebuilding/cleaning the motor should improve the suction greatly.

Post# 106016 , Reply# 13   8/15/2010 at 11:34 (3,480 days old) by powertank ()        

Oh, post some pictures of the bottom plate removed (brushroll etc exposed).

Post# 106018 , Reply# 14   8/15/2010 at 12:32 (3,480 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Luckily I took some pictures of the underside. This morning I traded it in for a Hoover Spirit canister with which I am very pleased aside from the noise.

Post# 106019 , Reply# 15   8/15/2010 at 12:42 (3,480 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Here is the Hoover Spirit. Many of you probably think I am crazy, but I just wasn't that impressed by the Dial-a-Matic. Yes I did blow most of the dust out of the motor. The suction would have probably improved if the fans were washed.

Post# 106028 , Reply# 16   8/15/2010 at 13:39 (3,480 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture

It has been a while since I have used a Dial-A-Matic, but memory tells me it had OK suction (air-flow), nothing great, but far better than a convertible. The one I used seemed to clean very well, just ahd problems with the loose handle.

The Spirit you traded for is a nice machine as well. Simple but a good performer.

I someday would like to have a simple Dial-a-matic in my collection. I have a power drive unit...Hoover never made a good power drive, to jerky. Eureka and Kirby hold the market there.


Post# 106032 , Reply# 17   8/15/2010 at 13:52 (3,480 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
You Like What You Like

eurekastar's profile picture
Kenny, sounds like you made a good trade. You like what you like!

Post# 106034 , Reply# 18   8/15/2010 at 13:57 (3,480 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

arh1953's profile picture
A Dial-A-Matic for an upscale Spirit is a decent deal. Enjoy it!

Post# 106048 , Reply# 19   8/15/2010 at 17:02 (3,480 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Hey Guys,

Have a couple of questions. I didn't get any attachments (besides the powerhead) however I did pick up an older set of Hoover Convertible slide in attachments with the lock in connections and I know that these will work.

Did this model originally have a tool rack? Does anybody have a manual for this model that they could scan. I plan on buying some genuine Hoover bags but today I picked up a cheap pack at Kmart to get by. As many people have said before ACE is the best place for bags.

Overall, I am very impressed with this canister. One last thing. When was this model introduced? S3263-002. Serial 00012054. Thanks agan

Post# 106054 , Reply# 20   8/15/2010 at 18:21 (3,480 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
Kloveland, we had a DAM when i was a kid,,i remember my mother bought it at KMart in 1973. It was the Power Drive model,,cream and taupe colored. It had VERY POOR suction from day one,,and the little hose from the brushroll to the bag was FOREVER getting clogged,,cutting the suction even more.
Whats more, i remeber that vac being loud,obnoxious, jerky to use,,and blowing more dirt than it picked up. The "Check Bag" light never worked either.
Changing the bag was also a problem. If you didnt want to spew dirt all over, you had to lay the vac on its back when you opened the hatch.
Since actually owning and using one many times,,and it was our only vac back in the day,,i believe having the suction opening only at one side of the brushroll is a design flaw. How do you get suction on the other side, or middle of the brush?!
Even brand new, right out of the box,,our DAM was a miserable failure. Poor suction and poor performing. Infact, i dont remember it actually grooming the carpet that well.
Cleaning a large 1970s house with thick heavy wall to wall shag carpet,a DAM was a poor choice.
I could see maybe for an older lady, living in a small home, or appartment, with thin, easy to clean carpet it would have probablly been OK.
Since i was in charge of vacuuming at our house growing up,,as soon as i was able,,i took that DAM to a vac shop and traded it for a fairly new (rebuilt) Red Kirby Classic 3.
You should have seen how fast the Kirby bag filled up after pulling in all the dirt that DAM left behind in that thick shag. The Kirby bag would be so full after just one thorough vacuuming,id have to take the Emtor off the Kirby, take it out to the back yard and turn it inside out in order to get the dirt loose.It would be packin in TIGHT!
After witnessing and cleaning out 100s of Kirby bags FULL of dirt that the Hoover DAM had left behind,,all i can say is i wouldnt want one. But, i can see why Hoover/Vac collectors like them.

Post# 106057 , Reply# 21   8/15/2010 at 19:00 (3,480 days old) by powertank ()        

It's too bad you didn't like the DAM, but that is a nice Spirit canister. They clean really well, and the motors are damn near indestructible. The only issue is the switches on models like yours are a real Rube Goldberg device. I hate them, but luckily you can put a plastic Eureka "stomp" switch underneath the pedal instead.

Post# 106119 , Reply# 22   8/16/2010 at 14:10 (3,479 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

kenmore81's profile picture
I like them both. I had 2 orange DAM power drives. The suction was decent but not great. Thr DAM"s motor seemed to be the dame motor as the Slimline IMO, Fred can you confirm that or am I dreaming lol. I sold the 2 years ago but I still want to find a decent non power drive as I do kinda like them.
The Spirit is nice I think I still have one in the shed if dear ol dad didn't get to it =O, I belive your Spirit had the tool caddy that sat inside the bag compartment wich people tended to loose or toss.
I can't tell by the serial # but looking at it I think its a 85/86 model.
Good luck with it. Kenny H.

Post# 106122 , Reply# 23   8/16/2010 at 16:04 (3,479 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

I would have kept the DAM, especially since it was a fairly early non-powerdrive version. Powerdrive versions are a little clunky and awkward. Suction could have been affected if there was a leak between motor housing halves. On that pic of the underside, it appears as though someone used some type of adhesive to seal the gap. The Spirit is a good canister, but the Celebrity is the most powerful IMHO.

Post# 106123 , Reply# 24   8/16/2010 at 16:18 (3,479 days old) by joe22 ()        

motor was/is the same in the slimline, portable, and dial a matic

Post# 106140 , Reply# 25   8/16/2010 at 21:22 (3,479 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
I'll probably go back and get it this week. The man I bought it from called me today to fix his sons laptop and I will ask his wife how about it. If I donít pick it up it will probably end up in the dump. One of the other reasons that I didnít want it to begin with was the motor really sounded bad. I know the bearings are worn.

Thinking back the poor suction was probably due to a misaligned gasket when I put the motor back together. I didnít test the suction to begin with, as it was really gross. The pre-filter was caked with kitty litter, so I had no choice but to break down the whole thing and wash the non electrical parts. I just canít stand not knowing how dirty the fans and motor are and it would have smelled horribly.

So yes I will ask about it although there are a few other vacuums that I would rather have. If nothing else I would be happy to take it to the convention and we can take it apart. I also have a Kirby Sanitronic that needs its bearings greased.

Yes I did have a green Hoover Slimline when I was about five years old. My grandmother had given it to me as a Christmas present. One of the neat things I remember about the Slimline was that it had a place where the user could add a drop of oil for the bearings, underneath the cardboard that surrounds the motor. Someone please correct me if my memory is incorrect.

Thanks for everyoneís feedback,
Kenny L.

Post# 106145 , Reply# 26   8/16/2010 at 22:00 (3,479 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Actually guys I know better than to leave a piece of history behind. Sometimes decisions just seem to be logical at the time. Growing up I remember encountering at least three Dial-A-Matics although it was so long ago, and that's why I asked about the suction.

As for the Spirit the model number is: S32630-022. Compared to the Lux the bag setup seems to be a little weird. Please tell me the Celebrity and the other Hoover canisters had a better setup, I can hear a very small amount of air leaking around the hose. Initially I was really impressed by the performance, but I will always be comparing every canister to the Electrolux. But that's just me. Along with these three vacuums I also picked up a Golden J but the plastic is very yellowed and I broke one of the runners putting it into my truck but that really doesn't bother me.

Thanks again for all the information. I know I've been posting a lot lately.

Post# 106172 , Reply# 27   8/17/2010 at 09:21 (3,478 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
You can NEVER post too much!

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
Especially, when you have something intelligent to say! The wheels on the Dial-A-Matic (not the rear), and the Portable and Slimline were all the same. The bags in the Connie, portable, and, slimline were the same. Now, THAT is cost-effeiciency, along with the same tools. Glad you're interested in preserving history.

Post# 106179 , Reply# 28   8/17/2010 at 10:15 (3,478 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I have a Hoover Celebrity. I really like the vacuum. It's powerful and the Qudraflex nozzle works really well. But those bags! They don't filter very well. And they are hard (for me at least) to get on. By the time I get them on, it always seems like the cardboard mounting collar is all bent. That's probably one reason why my bags don't filter well! LOL! I've seen older Celebrity bags that have a stiff plastic mounting collar. Wish they still made them that way.

Post# 106189 , Reply# 29   8/17/2010 at 11:13 (3,478 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
The bag I pulled off of my Spirit was a genuine Hoover Bag and it had a rubber collar. The key is to have genuine Hoover bags. The cheap bags that I bought from Kmart just have a flimsy cardboard collar.

Eurekastar - I don't know if you are using genuine bags or not. By the way great deal on the Kirbys these small town vac shops really pay off.

Gottahaveahoover - Thanks for pointing out the similarities between Portable Slimline and Connie. I helped my dad tear down a trailer home awhile back and underneath the front porch sat a Connie but it was far gone. The metal shell dome was rusted through. I would like to find one along with a portable, I will check my source.

Post# 106201 , Reply# 30   8/17/2010 at 14:20 (3,478 days old) by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        
Check your e-mail Kenny

jfalberti's profile picture
I sent you an electronic copy of a users guide for the Hoover Spirit. Hope it helps.

Post# 106321 , Reply# 31   8/18/2010 at 18:34 (3,477 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Went back and picked the Dail-A-Matic today and worked on it this afternoon. It's fixed!!!!!

The two halves of the motor housing did not have a good seal, over time the gaskets had probably worn out. I used weather stripping to seal the motor compartment. Now the suction is fantastic, almost a 90 percent improvement. The weather stripping will not damage anything. In my opinion it is better than using glue or adhesives. It can be easily removed from the plastic.

This picture was taken before I applied the weather stripping to the motor halves.

Post# 106322 , Reply# 32   8/18/2010 at 18:43 (3,477 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
I need to clean it up a little more and use some goo gone to remove the residue from the masking tape on the handle. It will have a good home along with some of my other vintage electronics. Now I just need to make a pre-filter for it.

Post# 106323 , Reply# 33   8/18/2010 at 18:58 (3,477 days old) by sanimatic ()        

Wow Kenny, what a great ending to the story. You were obviously not going to rest until you were certain that this vac absolutely could not be redeemed. I have to admit I'm a little relieved. I grew up when this model was popular and though my family always had Convertibles, I was always intrigued by the DAM.

And after reading your initial thoughts on this, I have been looking for the Consumer Reports from my grandfather's collection that was very favorable about the DAM and was so enthusiastic that finally an upright could do a decent job at both carpet and above floor. I didn't find it yet, but still looking.

Post# 106332 , Reply# 34   8/18/2010 at 21:15 (3,477 days old) by joe22 ()        

BRAVO ! ! !

Post# 106606 , Reply# 35   8/21/2010 at 22:25 (3,474 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
Hoover D Bags

kloveland's profile picture
I have to say the Dial A Matic has grown on me. I picked up another Wednesday it is one of the later models with the power drive in white and blue.

Does any know of a good source to buy D bags in QUANTITY??? Ace is a good place however I would like to have a supply of bags on hand. Thanks

Post# 106608 , Reply# 36   8/21/2010 at 22:41 (3,474 days old) by vintageroyal611 ()        

Ebay is always good.

Post# 392738 , Reply# 37   6/3/2018 at 05:23 (631 days old) by Gj3476 (Prosper,TX)        

gj3476's profile picture
Kloveland, I have the same with my DAM 1149 too, the suction very weak and I think it needs weatherstrip too. 2 things, what kind of weatherstrip did you use and did you wrap it where the large gasket is located? Thanks. P.S, love your DAM 1118!

Post# 392739 , Reply# 38   6/3/2018 at 08:58 (631 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Kenny, I had no idea you've been around since time flies! It's been a privilege to know you all these years!

Post# 392789 , Reply# 39   6/4/2018 at 09:26 (630 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
I agree Kenny,
It's been a pleasure. My how time flies

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy