Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some Assembly Required

I purchased a vacuum cleaner yesterday - a Hoover Wind Tunnel Bagged & Bagless with Pet Hair tool.

I don't have a pet, but since I have long hair …

I got the Hoover because I've always had Hoovers. This will be my fourth in 25 years. So not a bad track record. My old Hoover upright still had a lot of suction but the last two times I used it … well there was this burning odor. Made me nervous. Plus it made the house smell like an ashtray. Remember those? Do people even have ashtrays any more?

Okay – back to the vacuum cleaner story.

So … I've been looking on-line to find the perfect vacuum cleaner. Okay, an almost perfect vacuum cleaner. The perfect one would have a maid attached. I also had to consider price. I didn't want my vacuum cleaner to cost more than my car.

I also wanted to try a bagless vacuum. I have a terrible time remembering to buy vacuum cleaner bags and then when I remember to buy them, I can't remember what kind of bag my vacuum cleaner needs. So a bagless vacuum seems like a good solution.

Of course I've heard that bagless vacuums have less suction power than bagged vacuums. And I do have lots of allergies – in particular an allergy to house dust. But don't you think that if I will use a bagless vacuum more often because I don't have to fool with bags, that fact would even out the negative of less suction?

When I found this model that offered both a bagged and a bagless option on the same vacuum, I bought it. I ordered it on line, then picked it up at the store. No shipping costs that way.

The box holding the vacuum was at least four feet tall. That freaked me out a little, but after I got it and the packing out of the box it was the regulation height for an upright vacuum.

Then the hard part started. A label on the box indicated that there was some assembly required. Always a bad sign. If the manufacturer is going to put something in a box that is almost twice the size of the item, why can't they send it assembled?

The handle was not attached to the vacuum. The hose carrier was not attached. I got out my reading glasses and a screw driver.

There was a little piece of cardboard on the handle that had a message in size 6 font – it said, "Remove before attaching handle." So I removed it. A little annoyed that I had to assemble anything, I vigorously removed it. The cardboard was holding four screws that I didn't see before ripping the cardboard off. I spent about 30 minutes searching the carpet for the four screws that had gone flying.

After finally attaching the handle and hose carrier, I was ready to check out the bagged and bagless canisters. You choose one and insert it into the vacuum assembly. The bagged option had a bag already in the canister. The bag was attached to a plastic piece. The plastic piece should have been hooked at the top and bottom to the canister – it wasn't. I spent about an hour trying to attach it.

Finally I took the bag off the plastic piece and then worked to attach the plastic piece into two tiny slots on the canister. I was afraid I was going to break the canister. There was a tag on the plastic piece that said, "Do Not Remove." No kidding!

Apparently in the shipping process someone had removed it. Two broken nails and 30 minutes later, the plastic piece was snapped into the canister. Then I added the bag.

Finally assembled, it looked very nice – black, smoky gray, with a copper colored chassis.

I should have plugged it in last night and tried it out.

But it was late when I finished, almost 9 pm. I'd been at it for 3 hours.

I think that's enough housework for any one day.

I guess I should have held out for the model with the maid.

Evelyn David


  1. My 15-year-old Electrolux broke a few months back (gee--maybe that's why my house had looked so dirty prior to my figuring out that the vacuum had no suction) and Electrolux was a) more than happy to fix it to the tune of $350.00 (we paid $400.00 in 1994) or b) give us a store credit toward a new $700.00 machine. I opted for neither and asked my sister if she had an old vacuum around. Turns out she did and we've been using that. You can buy the bags in the grocery store (Type A--just like their owner!) and we've already gone through five or so. I hate spending money on things like vacuum cleaners so I'm using this one until it dies a suctionless death. Let us know how you like the new Hoover, please. I fear that my time with the old vacuum may be coming to a rapid close. Maggie

  2. I am a poor housekeeper, but that's not my reason for breathing air, anyway. So, I have just accepted it about myself. Saves a lot of useless guilt.

    We have a Hoover Wind Tunnel, about 10 years old and works pretty well. We have/had/will have cats. I have longish hair. But, I'm a lousy housekeeper. Figure it out: the vacuum is in pretty good shape because I don't use it much.

    A few years ago, I got a burning wire smell when using it. My husband is good with mechanics and checked it out. It was a faulty on/off switch. I ordered one on-line for about 10 bucks and he replaced it. No more burning smell and I've been not-very-frequently using it since.

    I always have the suspicion that vacuum cleaners are one of those items that is MADE to become obsolete and broken down every x-number of years specifically so we have to keep churning the economy by buying new ones.

  3. I have about four vacuums, all of them work, I don't use them. If I can't find someone to pay to do it, it doesn't get done.

    However, I do Swiffer hard floors and just did the front bathroom and hall and the kitchen--took me two hours!

    Much too old to work this hard.

    Now to the writing.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith