“ Brand: Electrolux / Type: Brush „
When I first ventured into the world of cylinder vacuums I had been a long time upright vacuum owner, often slating suction-only vacuums because of a lack of a brush roll and for many buyers who don't know about turbo brushes, many buyers moan about the lack of deep down carpet grooming because their pull along doesn't feature such a facility. For many years it seems that most brands in the UK never offered many turbo brushes for fear that it would snatch sales of upright vacuums and a turbo brush, driven by the suction air from a vacuum could be found on the continent, particularly in countries like the U.S, Germany and France. It was in Germany for example that my parents bought a turbo brush for their 23-year-old Vax canister and we often wondered why Vax never brought it to the UK until three years after we had found it! Spurned on by buying optional tools for money, I've had some pretty awful turbo brushes that have been supposedly well made but have cost very little money whilst the plastic quality on others has been brittle and unable to clean hard flooring properly.
The whole idea of an air driven turbo brush is easy when you think of its name and how it works. It isn't electrically kitted out so you don't need a battery or a trailing electrical cord sprouting out of your vacuum cleaner. All it needs is the suction air from the tube where you would normally put a suction only floor head. Consisting of a lifetime toothed belt fitted roller brush, suction from the vacuum spins an open textured turbine which makes it spin and thus rolls the brush roller connected to it. Effectively most turbo brushes last a lifetime because the belt never needs replacing and being sealed into a plastic unit doesn't normally burst like upright vacs that have open area drive belts powering a bigger roller brush that are susceptible to breaking if anything gets caught.
Just like the Electrolux Mini "Risor Visor," turbo brush, the Electrolux ZE013N turbo brush - surprise, surprise isn't available to buy on Electrolux's main UK website although there certainly seems to be a listing available for it through Google. Of late I don't know what Electrolux UK are playing at but their Web shop is beset with errors making it hard for their existing customers to believe in their brand by buying Genuine parts because very little shows up. Three years ago this simply wasn't the case and it was easier to buy from Electrolux UK. I've had this turbo brush for example for around five years, purchased when I had an old Hoover cylinder vacuum that had loads of power on hand but a hopeless suction only (2 pedal type) floor head that could do wonders with hard floors but hopeless on carpet. The ZE013N turbo brush is not an exclusive Electrolux design though as Hoover had one out in the 1990's under the "J19" code but is no longer available and had a frosted green top as opposed to the all grey colour of the Electrolux. Numatic also make a similar one. Over many full size turbo brushes on the market, both designs are better made, have a better seal so as not to lose suction air when the floor head is jammed onto the end of the suction tube and thanks to its adjustable base, it can be used as upright as possible or flat to the floor.
In use the ZE013N is a very nimble turbo brush head made of thick speckled PVC grey plastic and a black base plate with "Electrolux," in plain small white lettering on the front left hand side of the floor head. During the five years I've owned mine, it seems to stand up well to scrapes and general day-to-day use. If you use your vacuum's hose handle on the actual floor head it makes a great stair cleaning floor head too. The design of the turbo head is also smaller than Miele's turbo brush that can often appear too bulky for it's own good. In theory the ZE013N turbo brush means your floors won't be battered thanks to 'beater-less' bristles but will have a decent chance of being groomed properly. Pet hair and general threads that suction only floor heads fail to pick up without incessantly going over and over the carpet can be removed instantly because the bristles are very spaced out. They also leave a beautifully groomed appearance when dragged backwards and forwards when vacuuming too. Thanks to the plastic strip on the underside that adjusts to floors, edge cleaning is also possible on both sides and there's even an air outlet hole on the underside if you want maximum spinning speed without extra ploughing characteristics. The air outlet switch is essential for hard flooring because if it is closed off, this floor head will stick to the floor and remain impossible to shift. How universal do you want?
Now you don't need the world's most powerful vacuum to use this floor head as even a bagged vacuum cleaner that has 1400 watts will get this turbo brush up and flying. For those who don't have a Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner, the suction may be less because only turbo brushes will work if the suction and dust has been sealed and cyclone technology has yet to move on despite Vax's best efforts of offering "non-stop suction," on their latest cylinder vacs without powered brushes. Clogged filters mean less suction and that means a less power friction given to the turbo brush. By measuring the end of your vacuum suction tube (be it metal or plastic) if it measures 3.2cm or 32mm then this tool will fit the tube. If your machine brand is Hoover, Electrolux, Goblin, Numatic vacuums, Rowenta, Dirt Devil (also Bush, JMB and Swan) and Vax, this turbo brush will also fit these models. If you own a Bosch, Philips or Miele you'll find that the tubes may measure 3.5cm or 35mm. All is not lost however - the beauty of the Electrolux ZE013N is that it comes with an adaptor so that it can fit those brands that have bigger than 32mm sizes. I'd measure the pipes though before looking for this turbo brush though just to be sure. There's also a built in clip on the back of the floor head neck so that you can slide it into the back of your cylinder/pull along vacuum cleaner for increased storage when not in use.
Admittedly like the turbo brush itself, both it and the adaptor fit on by friction fit, so dab a bit of furniture polish on the end before you fit the adaptor as I had a jolly hard time taking it off the bottom of the Miele tube before I bought Miele's own larger turbo brush. If you have seen it before in another colour, namely bright red with a black smiley face, it is also known as the "Easy Ride Airo-brush" by Numatic for their own canister vacuums but the difference is you don't get the free adaptor with it and it lacks the air outlet control on the underside for lighter gliding. If your vacuum doesn't have variable suction, the air outlet dial is of great advantage, as it will allow the floor head to become lighter on carpets. Also the Numatic brush usually costs in the region of £30 to £40. The Electrolux ZE013N costs between £20 and £27.
In terms of maintenance cleaning out could be easier than it is. This is because the ZE013N is saddled with removing two crosshead screws if anything gets clogged, and whilst pet hair seldom gets clogged, it's the little pieces of hard dust such as nails or larger pieces of dirt that can often get stuck. Getting to the actual turbine isn't a hardship since most pieces of dirt if it does get stuck can be easily accessed without moving the actual brush roll but it can take time and patience. The biggest clog I find that the Electrolux has problems with is simply curtain cords or anything that gets in the way trailing on the floor. It is easy to unravel it all by simply giving the clog a tug to free it off the brush bar however.
The immediate downside for the Electrolux ZE013N is the obvious availability. If you shop on Ebay or Amazon the Electrolux turbo brush isn't hard to find but it's an awful bind that you can't buy it from Electrolux directly. On Ebay I sourced mine from a seller (rons-best-deals) and I'm pleased to report that this company still sell the same floor tool after so many years! What a pity that Electrolux can't get their rear in gear and get organised though. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010
To see a photo of what this turbo brush looks like:
Short name: Electrolux ZE013N