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I had a Electrolux Z2255DZ Powerlite Bagged upright Vacuum cleaner.
All I wanted was to overcome all the problems that my previous Electrolux Z4706 AZ Pet Lover gave me (see my previous review).
Given to me by some one who thought it was broken and had purchased another cleaner the Z2255DZ is avalible for less than £50 on Ebay so are cheap anyways. Mine needed a new drive belt and bag to go.
A trip to Argos for some cleaner bags had me purchase five for £5.99 however they do not sell belts. So it was onto the internet and a visit to eSpares where I purchased two belts for five pounds plus postage and a week later they arrived they lasted about a week before they snapped. The next two I purchased were cheaper and from a different supplier but more on the belt.
The belt is easy to fit as only two screws need to be undone. The screws are on the top not bottom of the cleaner and there is a little diagram inside the cover which tells you how to connect the belt to the pulley. On connection the belt should be turned by hand twice around the brush so it is in the correct position. Then with the new bag in place the cleaner is ready to go.
My carpets were in need of a good clean as I had been using a cylinder cleaner since throwing away my previous upright cleaner in a rage as it annoyed me so much.
One of the most annoying points of my previous model Pet Lover was that the hose which pushes into the base of the cleaner will not stay in its socket. It kept getting blown out of there this does not happen with the Powerlite. I never had to stop and push the hose back into its socket and the hose can be taken out to suck up lose items and edges very easily first problem sorted.
The bag less design of the pet lover showed it filling up fast with an awful lot of carpet fluff this does not happen with the Powerlite bagged cleaner as it only fills up with crumbs and dust as it has not needed changing after a month of use. It did a good job on the carpet but that is not all that matters.
The filter does not need to be cleaned as it has not been blocked up suction is always good..
It has a small brush on the handle and a extension to the hose.
The brush has a height adjustable for different surfaces such as short or long pile carpet or hard floor. It never gets blocked up. It has a long wire which allows me to vacuum my whole flat with out changing sockets.
Overall a very nicely designed cleaner which over comes all the problems experienced with my previous model. I had a vacuum cleaner that picks up the crumbs on the floor and leaves the carpets where it should behind.
I will not be recommending this model however even if a bagged is better than bag less as it blew up after only a few months use. This model destroys belts I was on the fourth one when it caught fire And that was the end of it.
In recent times there have been a few members on Dooyoo who have often asked me what the best budget vacuum cleaner is on the market that can cope with cleaning up pet hair and I have to say I find that a difficult answer to offer just one brand or model. Usually most buyers aren't happy to go down the bagged route of vacuums because they have to buy bags. However in my experience, when it comes to clearing up a pet, there's nothing worse than having to remove the hair and put up with the odour when it sticks to the top of cyclonic filters which are claimed, by design are easier to remove when it comes to disposal. Cats are supposed to be clean, aren't they? So why does their hair often end up smelling like their urine; or for those who don't have a cat, think "Tweed," by Lentherique!
You get what you pay for when it comes to paying for a vacuum cleaner under £100 these days and some consumers who have asked me for advice in the past will not be prepared to pay for any more. Sadly the Powerlite isn't a wonder vacuum cleaner; it does a few things well and it has a few features that make me wonder what Electrolux have been smoking! Out of the box came the Powerlite Pet Lover Z2255DZ at a cost of £59-99 and only needs slight assembly by the handle via two crosshead screws. A synthetic disposable dust bag is already fitted and by unwinding the 6-metre cord and fitting to the back of the vacuum on its points, the Powerlite was ready to go. From this Swedish company, this Chinese built vacuum is clearly very plasticky but it doesn't disservice itself from the power it exudes.
From the moment it was switched on (power button down the side) I'm delighted to find that the high power 1700 watt motor isn't as noisy as the older model and this is a big welcome for anyone who has owned a Hoover Purepower/Dust Manager and just like that model, the Powerlite has a height selection adjustment and from five settings available including a hard floor cleaning height available, this Electrolux adjusts well to many floor settings. It also has two excellent cleaning sides that clean right up the skirting boards and I'm impressed with the pick up against those who have to whip out the hose and pipe at the back on other machines. The Powerlite beautifully glides over all surfaces with the lightest of movements; faithfully I could say my own mother could get her arthritic hands around this machine with ease, helped by the top looped handle to make it easier to point and direct the vacuum over carpet surfaces. Indeed it is very similar to the older model, but this new Powerlite feels even lighter to use, and its claimed weight of 5 kg is something I'd very much agree with (those who read the stats will find sellers have quoted the boxed weight of 6.2kg). Even on the closest setting to carpeting, I found the new Powerlite to be lighter, has immediate pick up and a better efficiency than the last model and the all-plastic handle is just as comfortable as it always was. There is also a slight feeling of this upright surging ahead on its own which is similar to the "self powered" mechanism that many upright vacuums in the USA have.
In its hard floor setting, the Powerlite does make a fine job of picking up dust but unlike its carpet performance a little more time is involved. Sadly at this price, the Powerlite beater bar will not stop spinning when the handle is put back upwards or when the hard floor setting is dialled in although the vacuum will happily clean flat to the floor when asked of it, making under floor storage cleaning helpful and easy thanks to its reasonably flat floor head.
In terms of design and durability however you get what you pay for, and it doesn't take long for the unpainted white and grey plastic looking shabby or the back wheels that look like they will snap off. At the back of the vacuum, there's a heck of a lot of plastic points that suggest the use of the rear hose and its smaller cleaning attachments, not least design points that show everything is designed to fit in snugly. A hose is fitted but it is really too short to be of any use for extended reach and I noticed straight away that whilst the hose has no wire coils to suggest flexibility, it doesn't like to be stretched out and for all the use that it has, seems to be have been fitted with the least amount of thought here. It will stretch to about one or two stairs but if you need something more you'll either have to carry the upright with you a step at a time, which is a bit of a nonsense and one of danger. Like the previous hose, the grey ribbed hose can be locked under a flimsy piece of plastic, which prevents the upright from falling over if the hose is pulled roughly but what a pity that, for all this vacuum represents good value for money and good power; that a hose of such limiting reach should still remain.
Whilst pick up and suction is boundless, the Powerlite Z2255DZ suffers from having no bag fill indicator, so again just like the old model you have to guess when it comes the time to emptying the bag. For most owners, feeling the synthetic disposable bags however shouldn't be a problem and installing the bags and taking them out are very simple; the bin door is a really lightweight door and very flimsy though. Replacement bags cost £6-99 and upwards, coming in a box of 4 bags and a replacement motor filter. Each bag has a largish capacity of about 4 litres, which is usually twice the capacity offered on bagless variants. However unlike Miele or Sebo, there is no sealing cap so when the bag is pulled out, some dust leaks! A secondary washable foam filter fits below the bag in the main bin area whilst the main exhaust filter at the front is a cheap plasticised paper pleated HEPA (High efficiency particulate air) filter cartridge that prevents the smell of dust and hair odour to permeate in the rooms you are cleaning. For all that the motor is high powered though I'm relatively impressed that Electrolux have improved the airflow here and the amount of hot air that billows out the front is minimal to the older model. Motor filter underneath the bag is washable and over paper bags, the disposable material bags can last up to three months, with a claimed added 10% longevity promise - something that I'd say is reasonably true since the material doesn't tear like paper.
The piece de resistance however is the pet hair turbo brush thus qualifying its "Pet Lover," associations with its name. Hair, thread and loose dirt pick up in small areas is excellent with Electrolux's patented "Risor Visor," turbo brush. The visor at the mouth of the pet hair turbo roller for example can be slid downwards if you need to clean vertical parts of the stairs. Then turning it upwards means you can clean floors or low-based areas with the brushes hitting the floor.
However it is not all perfect. Whilst the blue and grey tool sits easily on its own mount sited on the top of the Powerlite handle, it doesn't lock in snugly and can rock in its holder whilst the holder itself is made of cheap and thin plastic that doesn't inspire longevity. You have to remove two screws on the base if something gets clogged, which is somewhat disappointing. The budget price reveals a few more disappointments too. Instead of offering another extension pipe, Electrolux have combined the crevice tool and extension pipe in one, ensuring that on this budget priced model at least the owner only gets one long extension pipe with an angled edge to justify both the separate uses of each tool design on other brands. The separate upholstery brush is a better idea however and as cheap as it is, functions well helped by nylon bristles that take the dirt in; it is also located just below the handle so finding it is very easy. As with all the tools, the pet hair turbo tool can also be put on the extension crevice pipe to maximise reach and versatility but thanks to that short hose, the total reach given here is still too short for most cleaning tasks, at best only being able to clean sofas or beds with the hose at its most extended.
An advantage of this model's simplicity however means only two crossheads on the top hood have to be removed if the drive belt snaps; a god send to those who have experienced having to flip an upright vacuum over and remove five screws or more. The user manual is well written too and includes everything you need to know about this model with easy to read diagrams.
Some little tips from me though! In lieu of the short hose offered by Electrolux, it could be adapted to make it longer by purchasing another hose. Electrolux would possibly like to take note here because the additional one they supply on the Powerlite Stairmaster isn't available to buy online or at their web shop. I was delighted to find that my Sebo X1 hose could be reversed and mounted onto the back of the hose whilst all the tools can fit onto the rubber end of the Sebo extension hose with ease. A Sebo extension hose (6 metres in length) can be bought online for a cost of £9-99; John Lewis stores also stock them, so it's worth it in the end if you need a longer hose.
Another tip is to avoid buying brown/grey paper disposable bags for the Electrolux Powerlite upright. The reason being that the force of the suction rips the paper apart (something which Miele discovered when they updated their motors to 1700 watts in the 1990's) thus rendering the cheaper paper bag useless despite initial cost buying prices over the more expensive synthetic material dust bags.
At the end of the day however the Electrolux Powerlite Z2255DZ isn't the most versatile of vacuum cleaners but it will do the job you need for cleaning up dust without it becoming a messy proposition. True, it does use a bag and for that purpose alone when needing to think in advance, it means having to shop beforehand for bags. However as a vacuum cleaner designed for pet owners on the fact that its high filtration bags, filter and turbo brush should tick all boxes, Electrolux haven't got the most ideal model. The main issues are that it lacks quality and build whilst a longer hose and a much needed bag indicator on the front would minimise owners doing a lot of guess work, and in this day and age for the market price, the Powerlite Pet Lover Z2255DZ needs a little more thought to make it more appealing. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009.
Integrated turbo nozzle with unique Riser Visor for cleaning on both horizontal and vertical surfaces / Short name: Electrolux Z2255DZ