December 19, 2014

Vacuum Cleaners

vacuum

hooverHere are a few thoughts about vacuum cleaners. I think the basic differences are between the uprights and the canister types. I’ll admit right here that I prefer the canisters. I grew up with the old Hoover Constellation that came out in the 1950′s. The world was getting excited about space travel and that excitement was showing up in people’s homes. The Constellation was advertised to “float on air.” I remember my mother getting her new upright in the ’70s and how heavy it was. So much has changed. If you are interested in vacuums and their history, you can visit www.137.com , which has a cyber museum with a variety of pictures and information.

Uprights seem to be most practical for wall-to-wall carpeting. There are many now that come with attachments, but I find them awkward to use. The wands are stiff and usually too short. Canister vacuums are more versatile. They are perfect for hardwood and other hard flooring as well as carpeted rooms. They are generally lightweight and easy to maneuver which is important in a two story house. Stairs are often carpeted and if you don’t want to buy two vacuums, you’ll be carrying that baby up and down more than you want to think about. Depending on the model, canisters have four or five attachments to use on an arm of adjustable lengths.

eurekaWhen I got married we were given a small Eureka canister called the “Mighty Mite”. It was satisfactory and gave us no trouble until the day, twelve years later, it completely gave out. I shopped around a bit and decided on the Miele White Star. We have had it for about five years now with no trouble at all. I like the variety of heads it comes with to accommodate any flooring or fabric. One of it’s best features is the infinitely adjustable suction that prevents curtains and other light fabric from being sucked up.

We don’t have allergy problems, but I still appreciate the fact that Miele offers a variety of filters for this model, although some come at additional cost. I discovered that the bags are not available at discount stores like Target, they must be purchased at vacuum stores that specialize in Miele products and are a bit pricey. I believe Miele is discontinuing this model soon, but they are sure to be coming out with a similar one. The newer one will likely have more standard features and be a bit more expensive. That just seems to be the way it goes.

I haven’t tried all the brands available out there, but it seems to me that a vacuum is a fairly straightforward machine and that leaves the consumer deciding on a brand or model for it’s ease of use. If anyone has an opinion they’d like to share about performance, service, or their experience with a particular vacuum, we’d love to hear about it.

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts

RECALL: Atico Espresso Makers

atico espresso maker recall inboxAtico International USA, Inc. Recalls Espresso Makers for Burn and Impact Injury Hazards

Name of Product: Espresso Express(tm) Espresso Makers

Units: About 54,000

Distributor: Atico International USA, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Hazard: The espresso maker’s heating element can forcefully separate from its base during the brewing cycle. This poses burn and impact injury hazards to nearby consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Atico International has received 42 reports of incidents involving the heating element forcefully separating from its base. Among these incidents, there were nine reports of minor scald burns and seven reports of consumers being hit by parts of the espresso maker.

atico espresso maker recallDescription: The Espresso Maker has a black base and a silver water reservoir. The coffee carafe is smoke-colored plastic with a back handle. The words “EspressoExpress(tm)” are imprinted on the black base. The item number is W14A7166, which is located underneath the base.

Sold at: CVS Pharmacy, Farmacias El Amal, Happy Harry’s, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Kerr Drug, Bartell Drug and Lewis Drug from August 2005 through October 2005 for between $15 and $30.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled espresso makers and contact Atico for product verification and instructions on returning the product for a refund.

Consumer Contact: Call Atico International USA, Inc. at (877) 546-4835 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go the company’s Web site at www.aticousa.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product.

RECALL: Weil-McLain Ultra Series Gas Boilers

weil mclain boiler recallName of Product: Weil-McLain Ultra Series Gas Boilers

Units: About 16,000

Manufacturer: Weil-McLain, of Michigan City, Ind.

Hazard: These boilers were manufactured for use with natural gas, but could have a blue tag incorrectly indicating to installers that they are intended for use with LP (propane) gas. If an installer connects one of the boilers to LP gas without installing a propane conversion kit, carbon monoxide (CO) can build up due to incomplete combustion, posing a risk of CO poisoning.

Incidents/Injuries: Weil-McLain is aware of one incident where two consumers reported CO poisoning when the boiler installed in their home was connected to LP gas.

Description: The recall involves Weil-McLain Ultra 80, Ultra 105, Ultra 155, Ultra 230 and Ultra 310 condensing, high-efficient, gas-fired boilers for space heating. The user’s manual and installation manual have “Ultra Gas-Fired Water Boiler” on the cover. The boilers are wrapped in a glossy silver/flat black jacket and either stand on the floor or are wall-mounted. The serial numbers range from CP5071716 through CP5327000. When the panel on the front of the boiler is removed, a bar-coded label with the serial number is located on the lower right hand side of the boiler itself. “Weil-McLain” is written on the front panel of the boilers.

Sold by: Plumbing and heating wholesale distributors to plumbers and contractors nationwide from May 2005 through July 2006 for between $4,000 and $7,000.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers who had a Weil-McLain Ultra series boiler installed for use with propane and have not already been contacted by their installer should contact the installer or a heating professional for a free safety inspection. If the boiler was not installed with a propane conversion kit, one will be installed at the time of the inspection at no charge. Heating professionals may contact Weil McLain Technical Service at (219) 879-6561 for more information.

Consumer Contact: For more information, call Weil-McLain toll-free at (866) 426-6172 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.weil-mclain.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product