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When I first bought my own vacuum cleaner (year 2000) it was a noisy Hoover Arrianne that screeched and whined so much, I was glad to see the back of it. When a Hoover Telios Pets model replaced it, I had that model for three years before a family member left it by a convector heater and melted the body! I was very disappointed, more so that the actual model was not available to buy anymore and this was in the days before Internet shops such as EBAY popped up. The Telios Pets was a fantastic bargain vacuum cleaner with good tools, a strong motor and all important variable suction, ideal for keeping the noise down after clearing up after parties in the early hours of morning! In its place my dear niece then bought me another Telios in the form of the "pillar box red," T5702 model. How I wished she hadn't! You see, against other models, the Telios T5702 is noisy thanks to its fixed suction of 1700 watts motor power and no variable suction control. My old Telios Pets had a quiet variable suction motor set at half way which didn't intrude too much but on the T5702 the noise is unbearable and reminds me much of the 1400 watt Arianne I initially bought.
Thankfully however, the Telios T5702 is an old Hoover that isn't on sale anymore on the high street, although it may appear at shops such as Cash Generator or Cash Converter, or even online on EBay. This is because that at new cost, the Telios T5702 in 2005 cost around £70 but prices these days cost around £30 to £40. There are three excellent small cleaning tools such as a stiff upholstery brush, crevice tool and a long bristled dusting brush that is great for getting up to the ceiling with and they all hide in a neat little tool store under a flap near the hose at the top hood of the cleaner. For the price there are silver painted metallic height adjustable extension tubes too but they fit in friction style to the top hose and handle, which also has an air slider outlet to provide relief when using the Telios. If you see a second hand Telios for sale, the parts of it may be lost but the general motors on board are sound and well sealed.
It is the air outlet slider that is worth its weight in gold however because the moment the Telios is switched on; the floor head is impossible to shift on carpets. On hard floors it is slightly better but this is only because there's a two way standard floor head that pushes much needed brushes onto hard floors. The slightest bump to the floor head often brings it off the pipes which is a downside to full suction power all of the time and although dust is picked up quickly, endless picking up of the tools or the pipes as they fall off the hose is a tiresome aspect of friction fit style tubes, tools and hoses. Although the suction is very strong, it doesn't do the Telios any favours as its 5kg total weight trundles along supported by two large plastic wheels that leave trail marks. There's a long 7 metre cord, rewinds back in at a touch of a button and a 1.2 metre hose on board which effectively gives a long stretch around rooms, but it is nothing different to any other vacuum cleaner as a rival such as Electrolux's long standing and quieter Mondo series. It is on stairs that the Telios excels because of its curvy body and it is relatively comfortable to lift because of its organic shape.
Filtration wise, the Telios T5702 has a micro filter in place and although it is made up of three layers, it keeps back most odours from the main bag. However if you have pet hair to keep in the bag, the micro filter will not hold back the smell of rotting pet hair. This doesn't bode well, particularly if you have bought the Hoover for this very reason. With normal household dust the Microfilter lasts up to five months before it needs changing over and it can cost up to £8 for a replacement direct from Hoover including a foam black and white filter that is supposed to pick up carbon from entering the room from the motor. The microfilters themselves are also not washable and if you try, they will shrink if you dry them on a radiator or even in a tumble dryer. Another filter near the dust bag acts as a 2 stage filter that protects the motor, all in all adding up to 7 layers of filtration if also taking the dust bag into consideration.
When it comes to dust bag options, there are quite a few different bags for the Telios and it's all down to the fact that by 1989 when the Telios was just about coming onto the market Hoover were pushing "clean air," as a marketing strategy to push for sales. There's the standard £5-99 pack of five brown bags that have a double filtration quality to them, or Hoover's £7-99 to £12-99 Purefilt box of 5 bags that are triple layered for extra filtration. I've used both and of the both, the Purefilt design doesn't make much of a difference despite the added cost. Hoover had Purefilt optional bags on the market for quite a few years now and were forced to change them for better filtration carrying the "Purefilt Plus," name instead. Both bags have a deep 4 litre capacity to them, last around 3 months and are incredibly easy to install and take out when they are full. They both have pull seals, which effectively seal the bag although both are made of thick cardboard, sometimes the seals don't pull up enough. Copy replacement bags have a bad habit of bursting however due to the strong suction from the Hoover motor. A large bag indicator is already set on top of the Telios even though it goes into a light green colour whenever the bag is needing replaced and can be difficult to see.
In general use, the Hoover Telios T5702 isn't a bad vacuum cleaner but it could be made better; bumps and scratches are soon apparent around the carry handle part that also acts as the main bumper for the machine and the tool lid is notorious for breaking if owners attack them abruptly. On the underside where one park position exists for the tubes when temporarily resting, the body is in black PVC to withstand scrapes and in this respect Hoover's attention to detail is better than the controls on the top of the machine, which move with weak fluidity and sometimes don't function at all. Hoover kept the Telios in production for nearly 21 years and didn't change much design to the body, only bringing out higher fixed suction motors in the UK whilst other countries benefitted from the all important "quieter," variable suction control slider.
So is the Telios T5702 worth it? Sadly not and it's all down to Hoover's inability to sort out one design point that locked the vacuum's fate - the hose handle. In the late 1990's Hoover were met with complaints following a spat of consumers who had injured their hands on Hoover's trigger suction release handle and as a result ordered a redesign of the hose handle immediately. Despite the fact that the company improved the handle offering a slider control instead of the trigger, the new hose was made with a much cheaper feeling and the connecter lock on the hose to the main body was also made with cheaper nibs. This means in normal operation that the hose is inclined to slip out of the body of the Telios making it totally inoperable - unless you're inclined to constantly travel back to the machine each time the hose falls out! Because the hose travels around in a 360° rotation, the hose connector can't be glued in either. I found a temporary position of wrapping a huge rubber band around the connector point to make it bond tighter with the dust channel on the Telios and it worked for a time before the hose slipped out again! Hoover possibly figured that because the UK models had fixed strong suction all of the time, there was no need to update the hose connector and as a result the T5702 contributes to Hoover's reliability status which even today is still below par. (Which? Consumer magazine).
A vacuum cleaner should be easy to operate and if not with certain hurdles that consumers are prepared to forgive. However in the case of the Hoover Telios T5702 with its fixed suction and several design weaknesses, it is hard to believe in a product that serves a purpose if its only purpose to pick up dirt falls at the expense of not kitting the actual machine with proper hoses and tools. The Hoover Sensory models eventually replaced the Telios and they use the same dust bags as the Telios. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010 (review substantially updated from Express Review!)
Short name: Hoover T5702