Top critical review
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MAJOR REPAIR ISSUES CURRENTLY WITH THIS VACUUM, BUYER BEWARE!
on October 19, 2007
The Eureka 4870 is consistently rated very highly by Consumer Reports. I am still scratching my head trying to understand why. There are certain vacuum cleaners that are brought in for repair that I can guess what the problem is before the customer tells me. This is one of those machines.
This vacuum cleaner is our number 1 repair customer. The Eureka 4870 is brought in for repair MORE THEN ANY OTHER VACUUM CLEANER. The only reason I have given this vacuum 2 stars, is because when this vacuum is working, it actually does clean very well, however the number of times you will have to bring the vacuum in for service, outweighs how well it cleans. Let me first tell you about the Pros to the Eureka 4870, as this can be summed up with a few sentences.
The Eureka 4870 motor actually is a very high output motor, and creates a decent amount of suction power. The motor is the only metal component to the vacuum, and is the only part on this vacuum that I have never seen problems with, or had to replace.
The vacuum has a nice selection of on-board attachments. Included is a nice on board hose, an extra wand for above the floor cleaning, a nice long crevice tool for those hard to reach nooks and crannies, a dusting brush, as well as an upholstery tool. The "power paw" (as standard attachment on the 4870HZ) attachment leaves a lot to be desired, as most of the time the rotating brush driven by suction stops as soon as you put it on upholstery, or stairs.
The electrical cord on this vacuum is a nice long 30 foot cord, allowing you to be able to clean more square footage without having to go and unplug the machine from room to room. This feature will actually save you substantial time on vacuuming.
The vacuum bag is a "top fill" bag. This means that the hole where the dirt goes into fills from the very top of the bag, allowing you to really jam pack the dirt in the bag, and filling the entire bag before there's any suction loss. A lot of other vacuums have the hold on the side of the bag, which is really pointless, as you have to throw away the bag before it's completely full.
The price is probably the best feature on this vacuum. For right around $150, the machine is very affordable, and feature packed for this price. You do get what you pay for in terms of quality.
Weighing in at 25 pounds, this machine is VERY heavy. If you have multiple floors, and you have to take the vacuum up and down the stairs, you will surely hate this vacuum after the first few times of carrying it up and down stairs. The carrying handle is not very conveniently placed either, causing the customer to have to pick up the machine by the handle which makes it seem even more heavy.
The Eureka R belt "Extended Life Belt". The belt on this machine was a new design by Eureka. The belt is actually not made of rubber like most belts. It is actually a plastic belt. Eureka claims that this belt is "Extended life" however some of my customers are replacing this belt 3-4 times a year. If you vacuum anything that gets stuck in the roller brush while vacuuming, the belt usually stretches to a point where the brush will not spin, or if it does spin, it will spin very slowly, and sometimes even stop as soon as you put it on the carpet.
The roller brush itself. A typical Eureka roller brush, this roller brush (sometimes referred to as a "beater bar") has two PLASTIC bearing caps on each side. If something is vacuumed up into the brush while it's spinning, a lot of the times, the brush bearing caps will actually melt! Eureka does not sell these caps separately either, and you'll have to purchase the entire roller brush assembly if this happens. Do not expect to get any more the 1 year out of the roller brush before some melting happens. The plastic bearing caps are not sealed either. If you have pets in the house, or females (some males are also included) that have very long hair, this hair will get inside the bearing of the roller brush shortening the life even more. One way to prevent this from happening is take the roller brush out, taking the bearing caps off, and remove the hair, thread, etc that has wrapped itself around the bearings. You should do this every 2 weeks for best results.
The dreaded Carpet/Floor switch. Out of all the problems this machine has, this is by far the most common. Not only is the most common, it can also be the most expensive, as the amount of time and labor that it takes to replace the switch is very difficult, and you will have to take it in to a local repair shop to fix it. If you talk to any independent vacuum store, and ask them about this repair, 9 times out of 10 you they will tell you how difficult of a repair it really is. This is my least favorite repair to do out of ANY VACUUM CLEANER. You basically have to take the entire roller brush housing apart, and fight with a spring to fix it. The design on this switch is the problem. If a customer does decide to purchase this vacuum from me (I certainly don't recommend it) I always open the machine, assemble it, and I always test the machine before the customer leaves my store. I have opened probably 10-15 of these machines brand new out of the box, only to test it, and find that the Carpet/Floor switch is broken. Brand new out of the box there should never be any problems.
The last issue on this vacuum is the filtration. Eureka claims that this machine is "True HEPA filtration" vacuum. I have found this to be more like a "False HEPA filtration" vacuum. One of the many cool gadgets we have to diagnose and test vacuum cleaners is what's called a Particle Scanner. This very expensive machine will actually measure with lasers how many fine dust particles are leaking from a vacuum per minute of use. I measured the Eureka 4870 like I do all vacuums I sell. This machine registered 25,000+ fine dust particles per minute of use being leaked out of this machine. Now this number is definitely lower then any bagless machine on the market, however for Eureka to claim that this machine will help allergy and asthma sufferers is just false. If you own this vacuum try vacuuming in the sunlight, and you can actually see some of the larger micron dust exhausting from the machine. This is only the larger particles you can see. The most damaging particles to humans are the ones that are not visible to the naked eye. If you or your family has any breathing issues such as Asthma, Emphysema, or allergies, please beware of this vacuum.
You can kind of tell the quality of a vacuum cleaner by the warranty the manufacturer will give you. The Eureka 4870 has a 1 year parts and labor (required by the government, I'm sure they would give less if they could). Consumer Reports loves this vacuum, but as a vacuum repairman, I would tell anyone that asked me to STAY AWAY FROM THIS VACUUM CLEANER.