Pros: Strong Suction, nice handle to carry up stairs, stair / upholstery attachment, lifetime HEPA!
Cons: Poor design, belts, hoses, stability, hard to keep clean, weight, overheating
I have owned this vacuum since mid 2008, so, a little more than a year and a half at the time I write this article. I bought it to replace an older hoover bag-less that broke after 8 years of admirable service. I assumed that the next generation of Hoovers would work equally well. Boy was I mistaken.
Initial opinions of the vacuum were positive. It was a little bulky but it seemed to have good suction and worked pretty well. However, it didn't take long for problems to start. It started with the light. Once it burned out, I could not get a replacement to work for more than a few days. No biggie though. I have plenty of light! The other peeve is the flex hose. Its literally wound up like a spring. Sure, its long enough but, when you try to pull the hose even a couple of feet, the cleaner falls over onto whatever is beneath it. There were more pressing issues - specifically, the belts slipping, sagging, motor overheating an turning off, and the bends in the hoses getting clogged. I'll hit these in order.
1. The belts - specifically the brush bar drive belt. I have low pile berber carpets throughout my home so I have to set the vacuum low to the carpet. This is a problem as the belt does not engage tight enough around the brush bar to turn the bar. The result is that the belt spins away but the brush does not move. This leads to premature wear from friction. I've replaced the belt once - no small task people!! - but less than 6 months later the same problem has occurred. Even when the belt is engaged, it sits too loosely around the bar to turn it. In order to get it to turn I have to lift the vacuum to a point where the brush makes no contact with the carpet which defeats the purpose.
2. The Overheating - I have a 3300 sqft home with carpet in most of the rooms. So, a lot to clean on a routine basis. I can generally get about 30-45 minutes of use out of this before it requires a rest. This is down from more than an hour when it was new. The machine is kept as clean as I can without taking it apart (which is another design issue I will mention later). I empty it between uses and periodically blow it out with a wet/dry vac. The irony! I've called Hoover about it and they say that its a safety feature. I agree! Its a safety feature but why do I need to be protected from my vacuum? The economy, terrorism, social unrest, war, and my Hoover Cyclonic! No wonder therapists are in such demand these days!
3. The Bends - The inner vacuum utilizes a "flex tube" to route dirt from the floor to the holding tank. The flexible hose is ribbed inside and out and that is the problem. Those little flex ribs stretch and move with the vacuum causing it to pinch and collect dust as it passes by, especially in the bends. The result is blockage up in the points of the vacuum where your fingers can't easily reach. The only way to clean it is to use the shopvac or air compressor, or take it apart and fish out the obstruction with a pipe cleaner or wire hanger. This hose is really a poor design. Smooth bends would have helped greatly.
Each of these issues on their own could be reason enough to pass on this machine, but, combined they make for a poor performer no matter how you look at it. If we can assume, for the sake of argument, that the light and the motor are defects, that still leaves some pretty staggering design problems. It falls over when you try to use the extension parts on the hose, the hose binds at the corners due to the internal ribbing of the hose, roller brush does not turn, belts slip and wear prematurely, and cleaning. I said I'd get to that. he cyclonic container has a secondary chamber that collects fine dust. The problem is that there is NO way to get to it without flushing the whole system out with water. There is no access point. You can't shake it or "thump it" as the support person claims. You can blow it with a compressor or with a water hose but that's it.