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To replace or not to replace?

March 23rd, 2021 at 02:36 pm

Vacuums, I recently discovered, are no longer a relatively inexpensive home appliance. After having some problems with my current one, I was thinking of springing for a new one, but this is not an easy decision when many vacuums I looked at cost many hundreds of dollars.

I've had my Eureka canister vacuum for 11 years, judging by its label.  I like it because it's lightweight, doesn't use disposable bags and does a relatively decent job in vacuuming.  Now I seem to have lost about 50% suction. I spent quite some time looking for a clog, but didn't find any. This included dropping coins through the disconnected hose to see if the clog was there (nope), and I even unscrewed the machine itself, looking for a clog. Nothing worked. Most online sources say to use a broom handle to poke through the hose, but a broom handle is not long enough to go all the way through the hose.

I have had this vacuum repaired before, for not too much money. I plan to call that repair shop this morning to get a price, but at the same time, the retractable cord on my Eureka has recently begun slipping, so it doesn't stay pulled out, so you lose a lot of cord length as you vacuum. A real nuisance.

The other issue is that I recently broke off a hinge on the cap that you can open/close to empty the contents. It still snaps back on with a clasp on the other side of the cap, but you have to be more careful when emptying the contents.

So basically, 3 issues here: 1. Lost suction, 2. Broken hinge on cap, 3. Retractable cord doesn't stay retracted.

I also have another, even older Eureka canister. I think this one could be over 25 years old. It works fine, except that the on/off switch doesn't work, so to turn it on, you have to plug it into the outlet.  It also uses disposable bags, which can be hard to find since it's such an old model. I've had that on/off switch repaired and it only stayed fixed for a time. I've kept this one in the garage, mainly to vacuum my car, and now I'm using it until I decide what to do about my other Eureka.

To get another canister with the same features i have now and like with my newer Eureka (retractable cord, HEPA filter) but with bags, and going by Consumer Report, which says the highest performing brands are Miele and Kenmore, I'd have to spend about $220 on a Kenmore that is not bagless. (The only Miele on Consumer Report's recommended list that was a canister and bagless cost $900.)

Update: I called the vacuum repair shop and the deal is that you have to drop it off, wait an estimated 2-3 weeks (!) for them to look at it (they're evidently in demand), and then they call and give you an estimate. They're located in a part of downtown where it's always hard to find parking, and the further away you park, of course you have to lug the vacuum with you.

At this point, I'm inclined to get a new vacuum. Both my vacuums, I'm pretty sure, I didn't spend more than $100 each on.


6 Responses to “To replace or not to replace?”

  1. PatientSaver Says:

    Hi, LifeBalance.

    The Consumer Report story I referenced is here:

    FYI, of the 10 recommended canisters, all Kenmore and Miele models, only one was bagless. I came away with the conclusion that the trend was actually going in the reverse direction, from bagless to bagged as a result.

    I think they did a separate review of uprights, which they say generally perform better than canisters but are heavier and not as convenient if you have something other than a one-story home.

  2. Wink Says:

    I have had an Oreck upright with bags for about 12 years now I think. It's been great. I did take it in for an inexpensive repair about 5 years ago (I honestly can't remember what it was for) and it's still working fine.

  3. Carol Says:

    I bought a Dyson V8. It is bagless and you empty it out each time. I can't get over how much it picks up!! I love it!

  4. starfishy Says:

    I went through the same scenario recently - my at least 20-year-old kenmore canister vacuum (hand me down from brother who got as hand-me-down from his mother-in-law, so not sure how old it really was!) finally gave up the ghost after I had it for at least 16 years. I bought a $30 tiny Bissel upright as an interim vacuum, which I ended up using for about 2 years (!) and finally broke down last fall and invested in a Miele bagged classic C1 canister vacuum for $330 (included 3 bags and a filter). I love it! I have all hardwood floors/no carpeting, so was able to get the low-end model which is designed for floors. Would love to have gone no-bag, but do enjoy not having to empty the dirt bin and kick up dust (better for my allergies). Just me and one cat, so I don't anticipate having to change the bag all that often. I really like how the exhaust air shoots up from the machine rather than out the back and so dirt on the floor isn't blown around. Great suction, easy to move around. I love the flexibility of a canister vacuum with hose that I can use in tight spots and on the ceilings and walls to pick up cobwebs, etc. Good luck with your decision!

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Wow, that's quite a wait on the vacuums. I bought a new one a few years ago and was shocked at how much they had gone up. I would be inclined to take the older one to the repair shop to see what it would cost to fix it to see if it was worth it and you could still use the other one, just be careful and go from there.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I have a dyson I bought bagless and I love it. How much is it for you to get it looked at? If it's cheap then I would definitely do it. If it's more than $100 then I would skip it and buy a new one.

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