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This hoover is good for light use on a Sunday afternoon but as soon as the going gets tough, it falls apart. I have had to replace the cable holding thing on the back because it's so badly made it just falls out every five seconds and it blew up. Literally. It stank of rubber burning and smoke came from the underside. I never found out what caused it but I got it repaired eventually and turns out it was the rotating rubber on the underside but still, I don't know what was to blame.
I usually just use this for the suction tube rather than the floor vacuum as we only have one room with carpet. The carpet isn't that thick, it's slightly fuzzy and rough. It does struggle with this using the floor vacuum on the carpet but suction power is more than acceptable from the tube, maybe because it's more concentrated or because i push the tube closer to the carpet, i'm not sure but it does seem more effective. The suction comes from the same place and you can swap between the two but I just found man power with the tube works better than the underside vacuum.
When using to clean the car this is where I give it full marks. It runs for a very long time and copes fine. Cleaning with the pipe in all the crevices and around the glove compartment is a pleasure, it has sufficient suction and can really lift the dirt out of the fabric fibres from about 2 inches away, any closer and it's almost guaranteed to clear the heavier and more woven in dirt.
This isn't any noisier than other vacuums i've had and it doesn't vibrate any more either so I can't knock stars off for this, but equally it isn't any quieter, so it doesn't gain any stars. I've noticed it is a slightly higher pitched vacuum and makes more of a whining noise than a lower humming or whirring noise.
Build quality is shoddy. The plastic scratches easily, the cable tidy thing on the back falls off easily, the plastic on the back is thin and this thing has blown up on me before like I said, so for the sake of saving repair costs, I would buy a more expensive better made hoover, this just doesn't cut the mustard.
To clean it's "ok" as there are a lot of grooves that need a good going over with a cloth, especially around the back. To empty you do need a bit of effort to get the tube separated but once done you can quickly get the disgusting dust and dirt out with a bit of shaking and banging on the side of the bin. It all rotates and blows around inside so you may get a few clumps of it build up in the bottom but I just use a stick to get this out.
Overall not a great hoover, there are better value for money ones and it's unreliable. Vax parts are expensive so you might as well buy a more expensive, more reliable hoover. Not recommended.
Having reviewed both my lovely little handheld vacuum and my steam cleaner, I realised I'd never actually reviewed my main vacuum cleaner, a Vax VS-19
My previous main vacuum had been an Asda Smartprice one, but t had completely lost suction, so three years ago in the post-christmas sales, I decided to get myself a new hoover, as I was sick of having to manually pick up fluff and put it down the nozzle of the old one . I went for this 1500w Vax model, which was £70 at the time, reduced from £99.99.
I got it home (using a taxi since at 7kilos the box was a little too heavy to walk with) unpacked t, and was immediately baffled. You see, I'd never owned an upright bagless vacuum before, only small compact bagged vacuum cleaners, and I was staggered to see that there were screws in the box. Surely I didn't have to assemble the hoover myself ?!
Turns out I did, but a quick glance at the manual made things relatively clear and simple, and after nipping round and 'borrowing' a screwdriver from the brickie next door (which is still in my kitchen) I managed to get the main body of this assembled with no problem. Then, I had to fit the dust container, (which, you'll not from the picture above, is handily see through, making it easy to see how full it is). This wasn't too complicated, although it was quite stiff to fit, as it's a pretty simple click into place job.
Then I was ready to go vacuuming. Initially, I used it just as an upright, doing the main body of the carpets, and the fact thaty it automatically adjust to different pile lengths made vaccuming my carpet and various rugs an easy job. At the time, my ex and his big black labrador will still living with me, and I was pleased that this managed to pick up all the various dog hairs without any hassle. I also liked that the power off/on button was a pedal at foot height, as was the pedal that allowed this to lean back when pushing. I did (and still do) get the pedals mixed up from time to time, but thats me being forgetful.
However, I personally have long hair, and seem to moult just as much as the average dog, and did find that I would regularly have to pull tangled hairs out of the brush head of the vaccum.
Then, I played with the tools - there were two tool included with this , a 2-in-1 dusting brush and extension tube, and a crevice tool, which eat had their designated storage spot on the body of the vacuum. Using the tool meant taking the main hose out from the bottom of the vacuum, where a little spring loaded flippy lid would cover the hole, and then simply slotting the tool onto the hose. The hose itself stretches to a length of 1.5 metres, which made getting the crevice tool behind the cushions of the sofa, and vacuuming half the stairs fairly easy, although sadly the hose would not stretch to the top of the stairs.
Whilst the vacuum does have a long cable at 7.5 metres, I found that at nearly 7 kilos, this was quite bulky to actually carry up the stairs to get the top half done. Luckily, only half my stairs are carpeted (getting a proper carpet being on my list of things 'to do' to the house) so I could sweep the top ones, but this could be an annoyance for some .
When it comes to emptying this, it should theoretically be a doddle - the container is nice and clean so you can see when it's full (it has a 3 litre capacity), and has a nicely sized handle that is easy to grip. However, I find that actually emptying this can be a messy process, with dust flying everywhere resulting in the need to vacuum again! So, I've taken to emptying this right into the wheely bin outside, with the result that on a windy day I look like I've been flour bombed if I stand downwind of the container while banging it out into the bin. The actual filter housed within the dust container can be removed and brushed clean relatively simply though .
The filter itself is a HEPA filter. Apparently (I looked it up!) HEPA stands for 'High Efficient Particle Arrester', which is really a pretentious way of saying that it has a high level of filtration, which enables it to trap smaller particles of dust and muck, and results in a cleaner environment which is generally better for allergy sufferers. I don't have any allergies myself, but this was still a nice bit of'bling' status for my vacuum when I purchased it .
Three years + down the line, how is it performing ? Well, within a couple of months of having this, I managed to break the spring loaded flippy bit that keeps the hose hole covered when using tools. I emailed vax a couple of times asking about obtaining a replacement, and never got a reply, and couldn't find any way to order the part. This small broken component effectively rendered the tools useless, as I could not seal up the suction hole, so was effectively left with just a basic upright cleaner. It also meant I could no longer vacuum the stairs (which led to me purchasing a hand help vacuum for that purpose) and down the back of the sofa. I could fix the hole with duct tape (marvellous stuff) but that would mean having to peel it off again every time I wanted to use my hoover as an upright, or change from upright to tooled mode.
With that said, it's suffered no loss of suction, and still cleans my carpets brilliantly 3 years on . It's quite a noisy vacuum cleaner though, and those with anxious pets may want to shut them safely in another room while vacuuming as until the dog moved out with my ex, he would get very scared and bark and growl at the hoover.
Overall, I think it's a very good vacuum cleaner, it's just a shame that the spring loaded flippy bit (which I'm sure has some wonderful technical name) broke so soon after purchase and rather limited the functionality of this vacuum . I know of one or two friends who have had the exact same problem with similar models, and feel this is a design flaw that needs to be addressed.
Should you want to purchase one of these, they are currently just under £92 on amazon.co.uk.
3 stars .
It is a very light weight hoover, so suitable for people who struggle to lift a weightier vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately it is a real nightmare to put together. I wasn't sure at first that the item in the box was acutally a hoover! You will need the instructions to put the unit together. You will also need a philips screwdriver and they do not give you one in the box to use.
Once you have put it together and plugged it in, it is very easy to push and use, apart from when you decide to try and use the tools on the hose. Out came the instructions again! I can't say I've ever had to use the instructions with a hoover before, but this unit just didn't seem logical at all.
It is tricky to unclip the hose and when I finally managed it, I broke the little door that covers the port on the base.
Time to dismantle and take it back to the shop for a refund!
The Vax Bubble (VS18) upright has been one of the cheapest upright vacuum cleaners on the market for the last six years consecutively despite later and more modern models being launched by Vax. Although not exactly built, designed wholly by Vax, the Bubble model is instantly recognisable as it is coloured in deep purple and black with yellow bubble decals located on its front floor head and front of dirt bin. It has a short hose and three tools which fit snugly on the back of the machine and from a distance it looks like it is up to the job. For the most fun, it is ideal for people who like their machines to have a character just like Numatic's Henry. I used to use a Bubble upright on and off in my second job as a cleaner at a local office and conference centre - amongst many other vacuums, hence the experience!
The Bubble upright vacuum has had a few different looks over the years ranging from the original Purple version to other colours designed to entice the buyers and align the range of existing design in line with the rest of Vax's cleaning products. And whilst the colours have been added, so too have motor ratings and the odd small turbo brush added in as a final incentive for your cash. However the latest VS19 is now coloured in orange against Dooyoo's blue Vax photo but the specs have hardly changed since launch and remains to be a cut price vacuum. Currently it is available for example at £54-99 at Comet.
For three weeks I've been using the latest version, the VS19 to clean at my other second part time job but it's been trial and patience with this very outdated model. Nothing much has changed between the fun-looking purple Vax and this Orange/Blue version and Vax have done little to distinguish it from its American roots. Take away the badges and the bagless upright bin and you'll be left with the skeletal remains of an American Dirt Devil that has a generally poor reputation on the market and is no longer sold.
One of its most able design factors is that whilst it may appear bulky thanks to the rear wheels and large 14" floor head, the VS19 upright will adjust automatically to any surface. However it's not by magic that without a precise dial to adjust the height selection there is an assumed lightness and glideablity. The VS19 suffers on thick carpeting surprisingly whilst additional rugs on a carpet surface come in for more increased pulling and pushing. On normal flat thin carpeting such as velour or short pile and thin patterned textures, the VS19 comes across light and reasonably easy to manoeuvre with the occasional recurring problem of becoming tiresome to hold and push thanks to its rear wheels which mimic Dyson and can come across as being too big for its own good. But the wheels are the least of the VS19's problems where other practical aspects are concerned;
The front floor head has a raised curved section which is permanently bonded on where the hose locks to and whilst this may well be welcomed when this kind of front hose design doesn't allow the vacuum to fall over unlike other upright vacuums which have hoses from the rear, the front section prohibits cleaning under low furniture then it gets stuck between chair legs not helped either by the big dust bin. And because there is so much going on at the back in terms of smaller cleaning tools (two plastic extension pipes, a crevice tool and a separate upholstery brush) you can forget about cleaning flat to the floor because the hose and tools at the back snag on the floor all too easily whilst the floor head will not remain flat. At least the sides of the floor head have edge cleaners which can clean up to the edge but in practice I found the Vax struggled at times to maintain this design aspect whilst bare floors meant dirt flies around rather than be sucked up.
Despite its new look I can recall using a Bubble upright five years ago when they first appeared and back then the hose was disappointing. The rear hose is now still too hopelessly short and only reaches at the maximum two stairs at a stretch; this is unbelievable given that Vax claim it has a 1.5 metre hose in length! Before you even consider using the hose you have to connect it to the front of the floor head and twist to lock it in which in this day and age is a bit old fashioned and harkens back to the old Hoover Junior of the 1960's. The hose itself and plastic tools come directly from Dirt Devil's hand held cleaner which means that whilst they are functional, they have rough edges and can feel sharp at corners. The plastic quality is also very thin against the smaller cleaning tools, which are thankfully easier to use and have large apertures that suggest good suction but forget quality here in general use; the plastic wand part feels bendy in use and made of shiny plastic, you are always reminded of its cost price.
Carrying the VS19 is easy enough if the cleaner is carried from the rear handle. I completely forgot this and went to lift the cleaner by the bin handle which looked like a handle and was rewarded with the upright falling down a flight of wooden stairs with the bin and I at the top and the machine on the bottom landing. Thankfully nothing was broken even though the Vax landed on its front bumper. At a weight of around 6kg the VS19 is not a heavy beast but it is bulky and thanks to its huge rear wheels if carried from the side it can be sore if knocked against the owner!
The motor noise of 1500 watts is also too loud and for its age it doesn't have much sound insulation built in, its only claim to fame being that it does have a HEPA yearly change filter built into its design which is similar to its cousin, the V045 Quicklite series. Just like that model, this vacuum uses a paper pleated filter cone, which must be cleaned after it is used a couple of times. It can be washed but like the usual excuse, it has to be dried for 24 hours before you can put it back in. Replacement filters are available and already catalogue companies such as Littlewoods are offering replacement kits at a charge of £29 that includes pre-motor filters (little foam squabs which can be washed) and a new cone filter. So for pet owners you can just about get away with a vacuum like this but be prepared to do a lot of filter cleaning for all that increased pet hair. What you do get however is a large 3 litre dust bin capacity so in between general use at least the bin gets a chance of being filled up for longer than other rivals and it easy to take off and put back onto the Vax by way of simply pressing a button to release the bin.
However removing the cone filter is time and patience since it is much bigger than the one on the Quicklite and has the same twist and lock mechanism. And being made of paper means by grabbing the bottom of the filter, the pleated sections do get crushed so you have to be as gentle as possible. If you don't like touching dirt, then this isn't the vacuum you buy, although many owners will forgive this simply because of the price it has been sold at and some owners will probably use rubber gloves to unlock the filter from bin. Ignore the filter however when it comes to empty out and only a quarter of dirt collected will be able to get past the filter since its located at the top of the bin. More modern uprights have a trapdoor at the bottom to release the dirt, which would have been easier here. The top lid that comes off can also be pesky to fit back onto the rim of the bin and whilst Vax have fitted a carry handle to make literal aspect of carrying the dust bin to another refuse bin, they could have made the fitting of the top lid to the bin a little easier than just putting arrows.
Other maintenance aspects consist of clogging which can happen on any vacuum and the VS19 has an easy enough to undo hose and pipe design to unclog anything that should get trapped. What isn't easy is removing the six screws on the bottom sole plate if the belt snaps and after that is done the plastic inside is sharp and bendy so you need to be careful how you go about replacing the belt. Belts are generally quite expensive if buying from Vax. I however use EBay sellers (around £3 to £5 including postage and packaging) who are much cheaper and for the same price charged by Vax I can usually buy three times the amount of belts!
EBay sellers also sell the filter kit at a much lower price than the marked up £30 from Littlewoods and Vax which is frankly an atrocious price for what should be, in effect much cheaper given the history of this vacuum cleaner and its popularity.
Five years ago then, the Vax Bubble upright represented good value for money in a market where only a few manufacturers began to churn out bagless upright vacuums at cheap prices. But the market has moved on and Vax have not. In the case of the VS19 you definitely get what you see rather than what you pay for. Compared to more modern uprights which have an easier and faster application of whipping out hoses and fixing tools and smaller floor heads, the VS19 may have capable suction but is flaws are easy to see based on its older design; it takes a bit longer to use this upright on a day to day basis than other vacuums and that's with the hassle of having to bend down and fit the hose to the front of the floor head. Vax are going to have do a bit more than just dressing up their oldest bagless cyclonic upright vacuum in new colours. The maintenance alone for this vacuum is more trouble than it is worth whilst the cost of replacement parts should be a lot cheaper. Out of the box, it also takes 4 screws to put the handle on when other uprights only need one screw; final proof that this is one very old vacuum which badly needs to stop production. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
We have had this hover now for over a year after having problems with our Henry hover we had to say bye bye to Henry and hello to Vax.
*** Assembly ***
I was quite surprised by the box and thinking is their really a hover in there. Of course their was. This is a nightmare to put together and you will need a screwdriver. I do strongly recommend that you do read the instructions to this they are clear and quite easy to follow. Though in a nutshell you have to click a few things together and a couple of screws in the handle.
*** On Board Tools***
You do get on board tools but these again are flimsy and 2 of ours have broke now. You get with this a square one for the stairs, A long one for seats and the pipe.
Well I did not put this together my other half did but once he had done it I had to have a play. The hover is lightweight and looks like you can snap it in 2 with one stamp on it. Ok I have not tried this one out yet as I don't want to break it. Plugging it in though and to me surprise I did think how noisy this one was after hearing Poor old Henry. Hovering up though it's easily pushed along and picks up well.
Right floors done now time for the staris ..
I thought at one point that I had broke the hover as this was not picvking anything up nor was there no suction. Though after going through the book I realised that I needed to unplug the pipe from the hover and attach it to the hose. Yes I have suction now. Picks up quite well on the stairs in the end. Though you will have to take your hover up stairs with you as the cord is not long enough to reach.
Though this looks easy it's not. I had problems with unlocking the dam thing and still do. Though once you get that done it's only a matter of emptying it in to your bin and placing the fitter back in and the top back on.
On carpets you could not ask for better. We have a long haired rabbit and he does come in to the house and drops hair. The hover picks these up easy and leaving none behind.
Food and crumbs are picked up easily though this wont pick large chunks off food but then again there is not a lot of hovers that will.
Normal dust and dirt again this is sucked up easy.
Wood floors are a nightmare to do. Our Henry hover did these without and problems at tall. This Vax is a nightmare and more the often throwing the crumbs backwards so you have to the floors more then once which does take up much more time and this can be a nightmare when you have kids crying at your ankles or your in a hurry.
Pet Hair 5 out 5
Food 5 out 5
Dirt 5 out 5
Stairs 3 out of 5
Carpets 5 out 5
Wood floors 0 out of 5
Auto carpet height adjuster
Lightweight - highly manoeuvrable
3 litre dust bin.
On board tool storage
7.5m cord with cord storage.
*** Price and where to buy***
I picked one up from Argos and only paid £59.99 and this was in the sale. It's a good bargain. You can find one of these nearly about everywhere now. Prices ranging from £59.99 to £89.99. Worth shopping around.
Well I have had some minor problems with this hover like it's easy pulled over by kids and the hose does not reach to do the stairs. Though I empty mine now to half full so it does not tip over or knocked over. It does seem to work on carpets much better then tiled floor and wood floors. I have had to stop using this on my kitchen floor as I could be hovering the floor all year as it sprays most things backwards.
A nice little bargain really but I would only give it 3 out of 5 due to the fact of the above problems.
If you have carpets then I would buy it. If you don't have any carpets in your home then look for something better.
Thanks For Reading.
Short name: Vax VS-19