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jkbmmv


Location: Dickinson, ND
Joined: Oct 11, 2008
Points: 28

Back again with questions (lots)!
Original Message   Nov 30, 2011 3:24 am
Okay, so it has been a few years since I have been on this site... I've since moved back to my hometown in North Dakota and am living in a basement apartment with two long haired cats. That means I have dust and hair issues. The apartment is furnished with Armstrong vinyl tiles and carpet half ways up the walls. I'll jump into my main questions:

I have in my possession my trusty Simplicity 6 series, a Dyson DC07 and Cirrus vc248 (bought for cleaning computers and cars). If I had more carpet than a few rugs, my uprights would be fine... but I was given the Dyson, and I use it as a canister (the stupid over engineered design requires you to take the handle completely off and reverse it to use the hose so I cheat and use my simplicity stair kit attached to the handle in the storage position). I would continue doing this but I have gotten a few rugs and plan to have a few more and can't just clean my apartment without having to take a bunch of attachments out, use them, put them back or up to clean the rugs, just to take the attachments back down and out to use them again.... I am up to my eyeballs in hoses and attachments. I'd use the cirrus but the hose and cord are too short and there is no power nozzle. My bathroom is the only room that is carpeted and that is where my litter box is... The exhaust on the simplicity blows litter forward and scatters it everywhere (as well as the cat hair on the floor in the rest of the apartment) and the dyson's nozzle head is a pain in the butt and doesn't adjust as well as it should, and I can't go over the rugs I have in my bathroom with it as easy as I can the simplicity.

I have got it stuck in my head that I want a canister vacuum with a power nozzle. I started out wanting the dc23 motorhead exclusive but I can't find any of the motorhead series anymore. If I weren't skeptical of the turbine I would have purchased the dc23 animal already. My thoughts on the dyson were that I already have a dyson and it is an amazing machine for cat hair and there are no bags to change so I can dump as often as I need. I was also looking at the LG kompressor canisters but I cant seem to find them locally. I liked that they were allergy and asthma certified, but that doesn't seem to mean much more than "We paid to be listed in this program!"... I went to my Riccar dealer to price out the floor tools and small turbine heads for the dc23 turbine head since I could get that one at a discount and not the animal.. I got to talking to the lady (she is the dyson tech) and got her to tell me the ins and outs of stuff and why I should or shouldn't get a bagless canister. After about an hour and a half of playing with stuff and looking at Riccars (I found out the motor in the dc25 is the same as the 23, and they are at about 90 on the meter that measures the water and whatever else vacuum pressure) I took home a Charisma mid-size canister for the night... I love the longer hose and cord (can vacuum the entire place without moving outlets), love the new wand and I like some of the attachments though I am not pleased with the on-board attachments and am undecided about the power nozzle (the led lights on the front are useless). I did really enjoy the fact that I could get by with just using the power nozzle and jump from floor to rug and back without having to mess with anything. But the more I used it to dust and vacuum, the more I realized that if I am going to pay this kind of money for a vacuum, why not go the next step up and get the model that has the suction control etc in the handle... I jumped online and started looking and saw that some of the Kenmore canisters (which I was originally looking at because my mom had one years ago and I loved it because it had a mini power nozzle and speed adjustment, but chose to start looking at bagless) had the speed adjustment in the wand handle and were almost half the price of the riccar... So now we are at what brought me here...

What kind of canister should I look at that will work well with a large amount of cat hair (if they lay on anything during the day, I can come home and pull it off in sheets after vacuuming the night before), work well with hard floors, berber and mid-plush rugs, have controls in the wand handle (power, speed and nozzle power), have at least a 7 foot hose and 25 foot cord and be able to tuck into it self nicely to be stored? Are kenmore canisters still made by panisonic and are they worth a crap? Does Riccar make a mid-range model with controls on the wand? Is there a bagless that would be recommended? Should I really worry about a premium power nozzle that has a stainless steel base plate, metal roller brush etc? Should I even be looking at mid-range/size machines for a one bedroom bachelors apartment? Are there any turbo tools out there that I can ask for that don't get clogged by hair? Also, any suggestions on living with long-haired cats?

Sorry about the lengthy post but hopefully someone will chime in!

Sorry about the edits as well, didn't realize it would all get mashed together...
This message was modified Nov 30, 2011 by jkbmmv


Joshua
Replies: 1 - 9 of 9View as Outline
Venson


Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Points: 1900

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #1   Nov 30, 2011 5:56 am
Are you grooming your cats regularly? 

I've had cats and a dog and hair problems seemed to fare a bit better if my first line of defense was regularly brushing them through the week.  Matter of fact, one cat I owned and the dog both loved the feel of the cool air on their skin when I set the vacuum on low speed and used either my bare floor tool or dusting brush to brush them.  Loose fur and dandruff went straight to the cleaner's bag.  Any fur build-up on the tool used was easily whisked away with the end of the hose.  Nothing special is required and its a great opportunity for "one on one" with each pet BUT your animals must go along with the idea.  If the noise of a vacuum is upsetting to them in the least, then a regular daily brushing by hand will do just as well. 

If shedding is a real annoyance, preventive maintenance has it as best to keep furry friends out of certain rooms while you're away during the day.  That's especially helpful if you often happen to have impromptu visitors drop by as it alleviates need for apologies to guests for things not looking up to muster.  You can try keeping the cats, their beds and toys in a decently sized area where you have bare flooring and food, water and their litter box are easily accessible 'til you get home. Then, let them have the run of the place if you like when you get in.

The HEPA on a bagless vac means nothing when you are actually emptying one.  The filters are only meant to promote the emission of highly clean exhaust air while the cleaner is in use.  They protect nothing when it comes time to dump a bagless vac's dust collection bin.  Yes, you can try wrapping a plastic bag around the bin to reduce your exposure to the dust and fur you want to discard but the prospect's still can be a messy one and more work than necessary.

To be honest, per the machines you've listed you already have a houseful of vacuums and adding another is more a matter of whim than necessity.  Been there -- done that. That said, many high-end canisters have power nozzles with plastic sole plates and serve well.  There's no need to worry over sole plate type as an apartment is really too small to lend much to worry about as far as durability goes.  The machine's general size should relate to whatever will store well and easily in the places you may choose.  Since you already have uprights, you may be better served with a not overly expensive straight suction canister than footing cost of one with a PN.  Bathroom rugs, which should be washed regularly, do just fine with a suction-only sprucing up, before the next trip to the laundry.   Area rugs in a household with just a person or two can also survive quite well with straight suction cleaning and use of an upright occasionally.

As for bagless or bagged, that's completely your call.  While looking at bagless machines see which offer not only satisfying performance but the easiest clean up of the dust bin and filters.  Bins that can be washed and dried without much to-do get a thumbs up.  For bagged machines, pay attention to machines that offer good dust capacity and filtration but also use affordably priced replacement bags and filters.

Venson

jkbmmv


Location: Dickinson, ND
Joined: Oct 11, 2008
Points: 28

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #2   Nov 30, 2011 10:41 am
Thanks for the reply.

If it helps any, I am looking for a canister that will allow me to get rid of or put the uprights in storage until I move into a house. As far as grooming the cats, I try to brush them as much as they will let me. When I first got the cats their hair was so matted/knotted I had to have them shaved because I couldn't work the clumps out. Since then I've kept up with regular shaving and brushing. That being said when ever the vacuum comes out they dart out of the room. Also, this being a 'bachelor' apartment, there really is only one giant space that is divided up into areas. There really is no way to close off areas besides the bathroom. Also, North Dakota being in the oil boom that it is in, I keep 3 jobs plus run my own consulting business (cleaning computers, physically) so I am looking for a machine I can take out and have everything at once, clean everything at once and put it away. I'd almost be tempted to get a roomba if it weren't for the abundance of cat hair.

With the rugs and area rugs, the straight suction canisters really don't work for me. I've tried the Cirrus (which pulls a 70 on the suction meter by the way) to do my dusting/quick clean up and it just seemed to be more aggravating than anything. I know I need a brush roll of some type just with the way the cats lay on the rugs. I really do like the way the Charisma performs, my only real want from that would be a wand handle that has the ability to control everything. I think if I move into a model with the controls all in the wand, I'd be happy... I liked the way the machine cleaned and what not, but when I moved from my drapes to the walls to the window sills I think I'd prefer having the power control in my hand instead of having to stop and adjust. I am not a lazy person, but when I do get the time to come home and clean, I want to be able to just do it and not have to stop and fumble with anything because really, I only get an hour here, 45 minutes there and then its time to go to sleep. As bad as this may sound, I want vacuuming and dusting to be an enjoyable process.

Oh, I did forget to mention that all of the floors are cement basement floors (think ice cold) and the bathroom is just a flat carpet (no pile) glued onto slightly uneven cement so all of my area rugs are a medium pile plush rug. In the bathroom especially I need a brush roll to get litter remnants. And as far as dusting goes, I like a longer hose because with my cats and what not, I really don't like the idea of spraying chemicals and wiping things down. I try to vacuum all of my surfaces then wipe with hot water and vinegar using microfiber rags. I don't mind spending the money on the machine if it is something that I will see a return out of (clean apartment, not dreading pulling it out to clean etc). That being said, the price that I was offered on this particular machine is 299 below msrp so that is making me wonder how much wiggle room I have on the options I am wanting (the owner was matching the price of a dc23 animal without trade).

As it stands, I think I've talked my self out of the dyson and bagless machines because I really didn't grasp all the surface area dust actually touches before going into the collection bin.

Why does the post editor just jam all the paragraphs together and not leave the proper spacing with out my having to go back and put html tags?
This message was modified Nov 30, 2011 by jkbmmv


Joshua
Venson


Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Points: 1900

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #3   Nov 30, 2011 6:47 pm
"Why does the post editor just jam all the paragraphs together and not leave the proper spacing with out my having to go back and put html tags?"

I really prefer Google Chrome as my web browser but found that posting here is easiest if I set it to Internet Explorer mode.  All it takes is a click on the browser icon in the URL window to switch back and forth.  The tool bar shows up for text adjustment, URL and image inserts.  In Chrome mode it does not. 

I also had the same problem with other browsers leaving me to use HTML to post.  If you don't like Chrome and don't care much for Explorer it's still probably best to download Explorer as at least a backup to browse sites designed for it.

Venson

This message was modified Nov 30, 2011 by Venson
jkbmmv


Location: Dickinson, ND
Joined: Oct 11, 2008
Points: 28

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #4   Dec 1, 2011 4:44 pm
As far as the editor goes, I forgot I had to use something not chrome to post to this site.. but I found that if I turn the advanced editor off in my profile, the posts have the correct spacing etc.

Now, for a canister, I decided to go with the Riccar 1700... It was a store demo and hadn't had the registration sent in yet, so I got it for the same price as the Charisma would have been, plus I got a Riccar Supralite RSL4 with it for my mother's Christmas gift. They are giving me until the middle of January to decide if I want to return the machines or not.

The salesman also gave me several attachments of my choice to go with the machine. I decided to give the dyson mini-turbine head a try and after vacuuming the cat hair off of my couch, I can say I have fallen in love with this tool... It is designed better than most turbine brushes... He sent me one from a hoover as well, and the brush clogged and stopped turning after using it on one seat and back cushions (they aren't caked with hair, but it is long hair that wraps)... I compared the two tools and noticed that the dyson's turbine bypasses the dirt flow and has an intake on the side so the exhaust (suction) is piped into the neck after the spinning brush so there really isn't a chance for the dirt/hair to get in. Also, the brush has a 'quarter' slot to twist a cover and clean the brush after use. The hoover was a direct flow through the fins so that would be the main problem.. Plus you couldn't take the brush out to clean it with out ripping it all apart. He told me to throw the hoover one away, he just wanted to prove a point I guess... After sitting here thinking about it, it makes sense that a turbo tool that is bypass based instead of direct flow would work better for pet hair and whatever else you throw at it. Sure you loose suction with the bypass, but with the suction you loose from a direct flow turbine trying to turn with dirty air makes up for it.... I had previously purchased the Riccar softsweep and really enjoy using that with this new canister. Now the only thing I am looking for are some nice dusting attachments... Is there an attachment that is like using a swiffer brush only its not a one time use?

There is about a 600 dollar difference between Charisma and the 1700 so this comment doesn't really need saying, but it really doesn't make since.. The 1700 makes up for all the shortcomings the Charisma had... The problem is, they both still have the same motor etc, so there really shouldn't be a 600 dollar difference when all you are gaining is a bigger power nozzle with steel brush and plate, bigger tools that are stored on board and the on-wand controls... That should have been included at the 600 dollar price because in all honesty, I could have gotten a panasonic or kenmore canister that had most of those features for 400 dollars. But, just like how I justify owning a Cadillac, I like what the name means and the service, support and guarantee behind the machines.

Joshua
Venson


Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Points: 1900

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #5   Dec 1, 2011 11:35 pm
Hi Joshua,

I bought a BMW for all the same reasons.  It's good that you've found  a machine you'll enjoy and hope you were able to bring in both it and the upright for your mom at a good overall price. 

All the best,

Venson

This message was modified Dec 1, 2011 by Venson
jkbmmv


Location: Dickinson, ND
Joined: Oct 11, 2008
Points: 28

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #6   Dec 2, 2011 10:36 pm
Venson,

How would the Miele S5981 Capricorn compare to the Riccar 1700?

Joshua
Venson


Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Points: 1900

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #7   Dec 3, 2011 6:45 am
jkbmmv wrote:
Venson,

How would the Miele S5981 Capricorn compare to the Riccar 1700?

Sorry I can't say as, for whatever reason, I was just more enthused by the Miele.   I've heard many owners highly recommend Riccar and Simplicity and don't doubt them however I just never wanted one.

What I can say for Miele is that my Capricorn has served me most ably and offered a lot of convenience by all the controls being in thumb's reach save for the main switch and cord winder of course.   From the handle, I can switch the cleaner on or off, access a wide range of speeds to adjust suction as I work plus power the PN on and off too.  That's not news however, many vacuums offer the same yet I'm believing the payoff will be quality.  The indy people here can tell you more about that than I as they see which brands and models with bells and whistles show up in their shops the most. The bag change alert is mechanical not electronic but I've never decided if that's a blessing or curse since I check the bag myself every couple of cleanings anyway.

Quiet operation is an essential for me and my Capricorn lives up to claims.  If I run the machine at mid-speed in my low traffic household I get even more quiet but flooring and carpeting all get done just as quickly and as well as it does when I set to "high."   The good news also is that my Capricorn appears to live up to Miele's air filtration claims which at first drew nothing but a, "Yeah right," from  me.  The high filtration bags do hold on to what you pick up and do give you your money's worth fill-wise.  That's made obvious by how clean the bag chambers stays. 

The cleaner has lots of safety features which I see as important in just about anyone's home.  My dislikes regarding the Capricorn are that there's no blower port, the finish is no where near what I'd expect of a machine that costs as much and optional attachments and consumables aren't fairly priced --  but that too is happening everywhere.  Hoover and Kenmore are asking ten bucks for a pack of two high filtration bags.

My only caveat is that there are lots of current lower-priced machines that have great emission and noise level scores and that may give great service and long use if users give reasonable care.

jkbmmv


Location: Dickinson, ND
Joined: Oct 11, 2008
Points: 28

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #8   Dec 3, 2011 1:57 pm
With that being said I have to ask, are the Mieles made by Miele or are they made by someone else with a Miele motor?

And as far as the options, the Charisma was a Mid-sized and the 1700 (new model is the impeccable) is a full sized machine. The differences are that the motor housing is a bit bigger and heavier, has more filters and doesn't have the suction control on the housing. The 1700 has all the controls on the hose handle, power nozzle and machine power as well. The Charisma just had the power nozzle. I believe they all have the same motors in them, just different size collection bins and options. I think that is part of my main complaint about these machines... The high end midsize doesn't have the touch controls on the wand, you have to go into the full size. I would have gotten the Pristine if it had the controls on the wand because I really don't need a full sized canister. Another complaint is that the bags are the same for the full-size and mid-size machines, so what is the actual capacity? I mean the mid's collection bin is a bit smaller because you have to fold the end of the bag over to get it to fit where the full sized takes the entire bag. Something I don't like that is 1700-impeccable and immaculate specific, the machines don't feel like they are built to match their price... I mean they don't feel cheap, but they just don't seem to have the fit and finish machines in that price range should have. There should be tighter tolerances with the body pieces and the parts. The cord and power switches should feel more solid than they do, and the buttons on the power wand should have more definition so you don't have to stop and look at the handle (more often than not I turn the suction down on the machine when I am trying to turn the power nozzle off).

That all being said, I love the suction of this machine... I truly am impressed with the power this thing has... Riccar should make wet/dry vacs... There wouldn't be anything those machines couldn't do. I love how quiet the canister is. I was using it next to my cirrus yesterday and the cirrus having a 70" water lift rating and the riccar having about 100-103" you could definitely hear cirrus over the riccar. The riccar sounds powerful and refined, the cirrus just like a regular vacuum. I was going to ask, who makes cirrus, I am going to guess Tacony because every simplicity/riccar dealer seems to carry them.

I am still very very impressed with the Dyson mini-turbine.. Why hasn't anyone else made a turbo tool that is a bypass? The more I think about it the more it makes sense.. I am tempted to buy the turbinehead attachment just to have it.. I really enjoy my softsweep with this canister. Its a hard floor tool with a washable microfiber pad on the back to pickup any dust that may have been missed. Are there any other dusting tools that would have microfiber pads on them? I thought I'd like the dyson dusting attachment but I really don't... Its just too bulky to dust with. Are there any good websites to find attachments? Riccar doesn't even have half the ones with their name on their website.

Joshua
Venson


Joined: Jul 23, 2007
Points: 1900

Re: Back again with questions (lots)!
Reply #9   Dec 4, 2011 4:14 pm
Hi Joshua,

For all my musing on the matter I actually did some poking around on the net and am led to think that Ametek-Lamb or some outsourced company like it somewhere is the current producer of even the motors Miele uses. Gone global, Ametek's been in the business a very long time (  http://www.ametekfsm.com/About_Us.aspx   ) so we've had quite a few American-made vacuums using the same motor from the same producer over the years.  It's my belief that only the benefit of good design made a difference. 

Unfortunately, difference in design is not much displayed in most of what's on the market.  If you take a close look at vacuums now you can easily see that many obvious components come from the same place.  As an instance, the tools on my Miele are basically the same as those used on Bosch and many vacuums originating from abroad.  The same goes for power nozzles -- a lot of varying brand names, yes but different PNs , no.  All this makes me wonder at times since, if tools and motors are coming from the same place, why don't all these macines match up in the ratings -- AND -- are we often buying the same vacuum despite the different brand names and paint jobs?  Because of the usual MSRP, I'd like to think that Miele made everything all the way down to the screws . . .

I get the feeling that the majority of cleaner bags are subcontracted too.  If because of all the bagless vacs on the market I don't know but bag size is not the selling point it was and may be the reason that vacuum makers don't tout, "My bag's bigger than yours," anymore.

Not my figuring in motors, electrical necessities, etc., I'd have to say Aerus (Electrolux), Rainbow, Kirby and Filter Queen are probably the last American machines still in production that are 75-percent original by way of complete design.  Meaning to say that the machine itself, above-the-floor cleaning tools  and power nozzles are exclusive to each brand.  (There was a time when I could look at a vacuum attachment, even a suction wand, and tell you which vacuum brand it sold with.  No so now . . .)

You should be able to get extra accessories at any decent vac sales and repair shop or you can also check out:

http://www.hescoinc.com/  or  http://www.ristenbatt.com/

Venson

This message was modified Dec 4, 2011 by Venson
Replies: 1 - 9 of 9View as Outline
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