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Vacuum Recommendations Request

weather: heavy rain
outside: 15°C
mood: curious
music: Joan Sutherland, Jane Berbie - Lakmé, Flower Duet (Delibes)
Our old Kenmore canister vacuum is looking like there are more days behind it than ahead.


We have a Beam® Central Vacuum System built into the house, but it's a big pain in the ass. Not to mention, it's more of a partial status symbol than a practical household tool. These things have to be built into the walling of the house and sealed in behind the drywall, with only the sockets where the hoses plug in (they look like electrical outlets with a round flap covering a hole). Most people wouldn't have it unless they were building a new home anyway or gutting the whole house entirely. And they're not cheap.

It's way cool to show off at the housewarming party ("Watch! Watch! I just plug the hose into the wall!"). It feels practical for about the first year. Then you realize the hose is long and unwieldy. You spend most of your time managing the hose, twisting it to the length you need, then twirling it back when you're done.

And may all the known Deities of the Universe and their aides help you if you ever get anything stuck in it.

If you're thinking of introducing the kids to chores, then you really don't want this. It's not easy to handle for a person who doesn't have the height, upper body strength, superior hand-eye coordination, PhD-level experiential understanding of plastics, inertia and centrifugal forces. I've lost count of the number of knicks I put in the walls of my parent's house from twisting and twirling the hose. It's very hard to control and it can suddenly whip off in some unexpected direction.

I just want to clean the crap off my floors, thank you. We've just been using the old cylinder vacuum and it's worked fine. We have both carpet, tile and marble floors... some linoleum(?), but not much.

So, what type (category or brand/model) of vacuum do you have? Are you happy with it?

I thought a Wet/Dry Vac would be useful for an all-around housie-cleanie thing, but can you really use the same machine to suck up spaghetti with sauce, then vacuum loose dirt off your carpets? Is it easy to clean? Is it light weight?

Should I get a lighter stick vacuum for the kitchen and another upright for the carpets?


Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
serennig
Oct. 17th, 2003 08:42 pm (UTC)
I can't recall our vacuum name, rank, and serial number, but I do have an added comment re: the central vac and children.

Small toys. Keys. Jewelry. All these are things that the enterprising young 4 year old will drop down the central vac tube.

I don't think anybody uses the one we have in my parents' house anymore. It got too annoying, too, I think.
bride
Oct. 17th, 2003 09:04 pm (UTC)
All these are things that the enterprising young 4 year old will drop down the central vac tube.

Ah, of course. =}
trigeekgirl
Oct. 17th, 2003 09:01 pm (UTC)
We like our Eureka bagless canister. It's relatively light and does its job. We have a DustBuster wet/dry for small or wet stuff. It really seems to do well.

Also, while this might not be the reference you're looking for, there's a line like that in Harlan Ellison's "Susan." :)
bride
Oct. 17th, 2003 09:07 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks for the feedback =)

Harlan Ellison's "Susan."

Hmm... it might be too common of a phrase then. =P Oh well...
wolvy
Oct. 18th, 2003 01:35 am (UTC)
A few weeks ago I bought the Hoover "fold away" - named such because the handle folds down so it takes up less space for storage. I love it! It's got several attachments, all of which are stored on the back of the machine; it's got a cord long enough that I can vaccuum an entire room without having to switch plugs, AND instead of a regular vaccuum bag, it's got a plastic...whatchamacalit, where all of the 'stuff' goes, plus HEPA filtration and all sorts of things like that. Also, it has different height settings - so you can vaccuum hardwood floors, carpeting, and...dogs? I'm not sure what the high setting would be used for - but I'm sure I'll use it one of these days.

The only drawback so far is actually being able to see how much gunk was in the carpeting before I swept it. Truly shocking.
bride
Oct. 18th, 2003 09:38 am (UTC)
you can vaccuum hardwood floors, carpeting, and...dogs?

Oooo, we need a Stupid Bird setting.

The only drawback so far is actually being able to see how much gunk was in the carpeting before I swept it.

Haha =D
kat_box
Oct. 19th, 2003 12:25 am (UTC)
Ummm... whatever's on sale when you decide to actually buy one? ;)

I used to have a Dirt Devil upright. Pain in the butt after a while. It took bags and those were a pain to change. Then after a while it stopped cleaning as well as it used to (and no, it was *not* because the bag needed changing). There are a couple service agents locally but when the tune-up/repair cost is almost what you paid for it brand new...

Now I have a Eureka Whirlwind Lite. It's a bagless with a couple other filters. I *LOVE* it. It has several height settings and is dead easy to empty. There are also several attachments that store right on the unit.

The *only* thing I don't like is that the cord must be wound _off_ the pegs as well as wound on. See, it has these "L" shaped pegs/brackets/doo-hickeys that you wind the cord around when not in use. On my old DD, the top one would rotate down to make the cord instantly loose. On my new one they are fixed. But that's the ONLY thing I don't like about it. Bagless is the way to go, IMHO.
bride
Oct. 19th, 2003 04:30 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks =)
life_beautiful
Jan. 9th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
We had one of those built-in systems in our old house, and to tell the truth, I was glad to be rid of it. Actually, I'd never even heard of anyone else even having one, so I was kind of excited when I realized I knew exactly what you were talking about!
We've got this one called a "Shark" or something like that. It's alright; it's got lots of attachments and can be upright or on a strap. I wouldn't totally recommend it, though; it's a bit unwieldy and if you want to wash the cannister it takes twenty-four hours to dry.
science_vixen
Jan. 9th, 2005 09:03 am (UTC)
I've got an original Dyson Cyclone, which is bagless and works very well.
The only disadvantage is that you get to pour all the dust and muck fromthe cannister to your dustbin, which is a job better done outside as the dust usually flares up again.

I really like it, and if it breaks down I'll probably replace it with one of the new Dyson models.

One note of warning btw, if you decide to go for the Dyson upright cleaners: These are strong! If you have a hand-made high-pole carpet, they have been known to suck out the 'pole' if left standing at one spot for a moment. For the rest they are great.

Cheers
SV
Holder of X&Y Chromosomes
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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