“ Brand: Miele / Type: Extension Tubes / Wands „
The other day I received a message from a lady who is looking for a vacuum cleaner but didn't want to spend loads of money on a vacuum when the one she had was perfectly acceptable. In my vast experience there's nothing more I like than checking out the latest household appliances and out of the list of vacuums she chose, they all had one common feature; an extra long hose. She was most surprised when I replied she could buy an extension hose for her Hoover even though the Hoover shop online failed to state that the extension tool kit could also fit her vacuum cleaner. The kit worked out to be a cheap but worthy investment; much better than considering to turf away a perfectly working vacuum cleaner. After all, do you know that you can buy an extra length extension hose to make your vacuum cleaner more versatile? Providing it has a hose on it to begin with some brands have been offering extension hoses without shouting about it. Consumer household retailers such as Kleeneze and Lakeland have sold extension hoses claimed to fit any size of hose but the "universal" hoses they sell only fit via a friction fit tapered end with the hope that it will stay on in use when in reality it seldom does. There are some problems with these hoses; for a start they attach to existing vacuum hoses via a friction fit and tapered end which means you may well get extra length on your hose but they seldom fit properly and have small mouths in which any other large clump of dust can get clogged at the entrances. Additionally with any time depending on the cleaning task, if the hose keeps clogging you spend more time having to take it apart and cleaning it out. Then there's the size; 6 metres of extra hose, enough to bang off painted doors and create more floor mess for you to clean up after.
** This is a long review, but handy if you own a Miele **
As far as I'm concerned however, Miele have once again come up trumps with their extra cleaning accessories and this time it's a novel attachment which fits onto Miele's cylinder vacuum cleaners. Dyson may well think that they have an exclusive link up of accessories, but Miele trumps Dyson on the variety of tools and attachments that constantly follows its old Germanic company line, "always better." If the standard hose on your existing Miele hose isn't enough to satisfy you for extra reach and cleaning versatility, Miele's Extender Flexhose SFS10 (part number 7252210 that replaces 6483883) offers another 1.5 metres reach on top - it is however an extension hose with a difference. This isn't a wriggly, wiggly hose that flops and twists up banging off the walls in your home; this one is compacted down into its holder already fitted on the hose and in my view it's not a product that will break the bank - depending on who you buy from. The Extender Flexhose SFS10 can be fitted to Miele vacuums S380 to S5000 and to S5899 models, which means that for most consumers, it covers the entire Miele UK cylinder/pull along vacuum cleaner family. The cost of this product from Miele is £12-77 with a postage charge of £5-75. To be fair Miele have yet to put this onto their accessories shop with their free postage scheme but against a more recent EBay vacuum cleaner spares seller I came across selling this item at £25 with an extra £8-95 P&P, I feel then that even by phone call card payment to Miele's excellent customer service division, their own pricing alone is cheaper than the claimed seller on EBay.
Now where Miele are concerned, the hoses on most of their cylinder cleaners have always been flexible and long enough to get around with; though in recent years Miele have updated the lengths provided on the more updated models to 1.5 metres stretch to compete with rival's models such as Bosch, Dyson or Sebo. For the purpose of using on my Miele S4210 and S571 vacuums (one is a newer model, the other an older model) both have the same type of hoses that can be disconnected at the handle simply by squeezing lightly on the lock cogs to take the hose out. It's a simple but welcome design to ensure clogs of dust can be removed or simply if transporting the vacuum cleaner so that the handle doesn't break in transit (Hoover and Electrolux would do well to offer something similar instead of charging a fortune when it comes to replacement hose & handles). The Flexhose simply attaches and locks onto the main handle where the existing hose used to be, and the part of the hose that originally went into the handle locks in at the other end of the Flexhose. Nothing could be simpler for fitting whilst both ends lock properly and easily without fatigue inducing or the lack of need of producing the screwdrivers!
In use the hose extension is particularly useful for any of the S4000 models despite being able to be fitted on other machines. My older S571 for example has a 10 metre power cord on it, so it can go from one room to another with ease thus not necessitating use of this extension. The S4210 model however has a short 7 metre cord which means it struggles to get from one large room to another unless I swap plugs over; bringing the plug nearer to the machine for the next room's cleaning challenge or having the machine near to me. Not only that, but the Flexhose literally gives the facility to extend when you need it and when you don't you simply let it retract into its holder and locks back in.
The Extender Flexhose SFS10 is made of the usual Miele plastic that all of their attachments are made of; thick, good quality PVC plastic and further to the extra protective ribbed plastic that Miele incorporate into their hose ends before the main body of the vacuum, the whole attachment feels well made, coloured in black with a contrasting grey hose to show its extra length when in use if you forget to lock it back in. That's the key here, because without it being extended and already fitted to the existing hose you'll find that the SFS10 measures approximately 40cm. A slight downside however is that with it being locked onto the main hose, it adds an extra 400g onto the hose. Now for most people used to the lightweightness of a simple plastic hose on a vacuum cleaner, the weight can be disconcerting but it doesn't add strain in use due to the beauty of Miele's standard sloping handle or if you have the later S5 Cat and Dog model, the silver handled part. You do know that the Flexhose is there at the back when it's fitted though.
In usage the Flexhose has proved to be a winner both in the home and outside. When connected to an electrical plug trailing arm, the Miele vacuum copes well when it comes to cleaning out the car, but instead of having to pull the cleaner towards me to get into the other sides of the car, thus endangering markings from the paving stone to the vacuum's soft wheels on its body, the Flexhose simply has to be unlocked, the grey hose inside emerges and with its mechanism, is easier to pull the hose out for extra length than trailing the whole vacuum around the car. The next biggest surprise was clearing out the floor of our small garden shed; getting in between pots and planters the Flexhose came into its own for getting into the nooks and crannies when before, I always had to take the Miele into the shed with me.
In the home, the hose extension is great for supplying extra reach when used above the floor even though Miele's standard extension pipes are long enough; the Extender Flexhose prevents having to pull more of the vacuum cleaner behind me. My high ceilings have been liberated of years of dust and cobwebs due to just being able to clean it all in a quicker session and without standing on a chair or a ladder when the hose gives me more access. Around corners with floor cleaning, the hose twists just as well as it does normally and getting around ground based TVs and other entertainment systems have simply been a doddle! Over an upright where everything is in front of you, Miele cylinder vacuums are a lot lighter to use generally and doesn't suffer from feeling too bulky even though in use the hoses can bang off doors, a fault that all cylinder vacuums suffer from if used quickly or in a rush. Because Miele hoses tend to be longer it easier to hold the handle with one hand and excess hose with the other thus minimising any danger of banging off walls. If you are careful about cleaning and take your time, most vacuum cleaners deliver good reach generally; the difference is that whereas I've normally used the pipes for extra reach, I don't always have to use them with the Extender Flexhose SFS10 fitted on the back and given that Miele's crush proof hose is a lot lighter than the pipes themselves, it makes more sense to consider the Flexhose as an extension attachment aiding for pin-point accuracy of dust removal.
So how do you get one? For the moment you'll have to phone Miele's customer service division. Until the part actually appears on their website as a buyer, there is a natural downside to its online availability. Over private sellers who have proved to charge a fortune however, Miele have an excellent rapport and an excellent customer service phone line; on their website you'd still have to use your credit/debit card regardless of the procedure of payment even though online postage and delivery is free.
At the end of the day if you are a Miele owner, it goes to show that once again this company really know how to offer extra attachments and accessories to bring your old Miele vacuum back up to date without having to consider buying a completely new model. Coupled with an excellent customer service department and ease of helpfulness, Miele go the extra mile, and even if it's only by 1.5 metres, the Extender Flexhose SFS10 alone is a nifty little time saver. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
See the Flexhose in action:
Short name: Miele SFS10