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on November 22, 2001
When it came to finally chosing a steam vac, there were two major brands in the market. Hoover & Bissell. I chosed the Hoover over the Bissell because of it's sturdier build and well thought out design. The plastic housing is rigid and does not give or flap like Bissell. The two separate tanks are well laid out and can be viewed quite easily for the water level in each as well as offer ease of refilling and dispensing. Each tank has a handle which folds away when seated but the nice part is when in use it makes the tank balanced for transport. The 5 rotating brushes were integrated into one assembly and could be easily removed for cleaning. I've found that 5 independent rotating brushes to be a more effective design in aggitating the carpet than the single rod like ones found on Bissell. You can apply quicker strokes and still have direct contact with the carpet than you would with the sweeping rod type.
The one major fault I've found with the Hoover is that it's difficult to clean out the mouth of the suction path. You'll need to clean it to see what's being sucked into the disposal tank. There is little clearance between top and bottom. Hoover offers a tool they sell for $2 in their accessory catalog which I don't understand why they didn't just throw it in. I haven't order it yet because, the shipping may exceed the cost of the tool. There is an automatic mechanism which detects when the disposal tank is full. This is nice feature but when the tank is nearly full, abrupt strokes may cause this feature to trigger prematurely. You can stop and restart the vac afterwards to disengage it.
I didn't have high expectation of a consumer Steam Vac over the commercial grade ones but figured after 4 to 5 uses it would pay for itself over renting supermarket ones. To my surprise this product really works. I have a rubber runner over the heaviest traffic path which I noticed kept the carpet under it in prestine color while the unprotected area was much darker. After I steam Vac the carpet both sides were the same color.
You can vacuum your carpets 5 times a week but you would be surprised what a Steam Vac would pick up that regular vacuuming leaves behind. Shampooing just leaves the water and dirt in the carpet.
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on March 25, 2002
Just purchased the Hoover SteamVac Plus F5878-900. Nice machine, does a good job of cleaning, lightweight and easy to manuver. The 15 ft cord is far too short and a extention must be used for almost any room but that is minor. The machine is sturdy and well built, has a nice wide path, the tanks are easily removed and are easy to clean. The 5 brushes seem easy to remove and clean, and the placement of the water tanks make the machine well balanced and easy to transport.
But I am absolutely amazed that Hoover didn't bother to include the Nozzle Clean-Out Tool, a small piece of plastic (I assume, since tool was missing), this small item IS necessary to clean the debris that gathers between the suction nozzle hood and the housing. This is a very tight area and the booklet tells one 'how' to use clean-out tool (which is NOT supplied). The booklet then goes on about pouring two cups of water on non-carpeted floor and sucking that through the machine several times - a cumbersome and inefficient method plus requiring a surface suitable to pour water onto which in my case requires hauling the cleaner out to the garage.

The price of this little item in the Accessories List is [money]. ... - plus [money] to ship it. This minor item is almost enough to cause me not to purchase from Hoover again. Very shortsighted of Hoover, if I may say so...
I was surprised (pleasantly so) at how much dirt comes up as I am a daily vacuumer, leaves the carpeting fresh and nice smelling, it is just the lack of that clean-out tool that does indeed trouble me.
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on June 15, 2002
this thing works.
end of discussion.
it's an excellent product.
it might be little pricey, for as often as the average person might use it, but the investment is well worth it.
if your home is carpeted, this is something i can't imagine you could do without.
we have oak upstairs, and Pergo downstairs, so we use a lot of
area rugs.
the SteamVac is perfect.
we assemble the parts, add hot water, plug it in, and we're cleaning.
the dirty water, when we're done, tells the whole story.
i can't really think of any meaningful negatives.
it might be a little heavy for a woman, moving it around the house.
it can take a few minutes to assemble each time you decide to use
it, and another few minutes to take it apart and clean it before
you put it away again, but nothing compared to the time it would take to rent one.
and then have to return it.
it's probably not practical for small spills or spots.
but when your rugs and carpets need a good professional-style
cleaning, this SteamVac is definitely the ticket.
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on February 8, 2002
I had the little Hoover Steam cleaner and wanted to try the full size one. I could not be more delighted. When I moved in a year ago the three year old carpet was professionally cleaned. I used this machine and the carpets looked better than when the pros cleaned it. It was easy to assemble and use. I haven't used the the bare floor attachment, but that's next on my tile floors. I would highly recommend this machine
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