Customer Reviews: Eureka SuctionSeal Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum, AS1104A
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on November 12, 2012
I purchased the Eureka SuctionSeal Pet vacuum (AS1104A) in November 2012, after spending more than a month poring over the Consumer Reports vacuum research and hundreds of online reviews of various top-performing models on Amazon,, and various other stores' websites. At a few points I was pretty much set on buying the Hoover UH70120 or UH70210. But after looking at those and more than a dozen other bagless vacuums in stores, I finally settled on this Eureka because it seemed very similar to the highly-rated AirSpeed Gold (AS1001A), but with a few design improvements that seem to address most of the complaints I've seen in negative reviews of that model. The AS1104A also seems much better built than most competing models, which is evident in everything from the length and quality of the accessory hose, to little things like the quality of the wheels on the machine (actual rubber wheels instead of cheap plastic rollers).
The first time we used it, my wife noticed that it was picking up a LOT of white powder in one area of the living room. It didn't take us long to realize this was the same area where a Kirby vacuum salesman had done his demo several months prior. For the uninitiated, this is how a door-to-door salesman demos a $1350 vacuum to you (you can also find videos on YouTube):

1. Dump a bag of baking soda on your floor (more than a box; perhaps about 2 boxes' worth)
2. Rub it in until most of it is deeply embedded in the carpet, or even beneath the carpet
3. Run your current vacuum back and forth over the area at various angles, counting the number of passes the vacuum makes over the spot in each direction (I think it was 18 passes total)
4. Run the latest-model Kirby vacuum over the same spot for just a few passes, using a special collection chamber instead of the standard bag so you can see everything it pulls up. Then keep running a few passes at a time, changing the filter media every few passes.
5. Offer to discount your Kirby purchase by $300 if you give them your old vacuum, since it clearly cannot pick up as much dirt as the Kirby can.

There are several flaws in this demo, but those are beyond the scope of this review. The demo is convincing enough that many people do buy the Kirby vacuum for $800 or more, and those who don't immediately suffer from buyer's remorse feel pretty good about the purchase. Suffice it to say, I was a little surprised when our new $135 Eureka vacuum sucked up almost half a box of baking soda that was still left in the carpet from the Kirby salesman's demo several months prior. Because of the flaws in the Kirby demo, I cannot say this vacuum is a better product than the Kirby (which Consumer Reports rated "Excellent" in several performance categories), but I do think the Eureka is an excellent (and affordable!) alternative for someone who can't quite justify spending $800+ on the Cadillac of vacuums.

What I like:
* Very good suction
* Seems to do a good job picking up fur
* Room doesn't smell like dust after vacuuming
* Hose is longer and higher-quality than on many other vacuums
* Easy to see blockages in the see-thru hose and its connecting elbow
* Easy to see when the brushroll is dirty
* All controls are easy to use with your foot
* Easy-to-clean dirt canister
* Washable top filter in dirt canister
* Brushroll can be turned off for vacuuming hard (uncarpeted) floors

What I don't like:
* A few plastic parts seem likely to break (in particular, the connecting elbow between the vacuum body and the hose, as well as some of the hinges and clips on the dirt canister)
* Noisy! About as loud as a Shop-Vac (you'll probably want to wear hearing protection)
* Cord slmost never fully rewinds on its own (see updates below for more details)
* A bit heavier than competing models
* Some of the plastic parts are a little difficult to properly align and snap together during the initial assembly
* The washable filter and one part of the dirt canister are very difficult to dry after washing

If you get poor suction, DON'T throw it out or take it back to the store! There are two things you can check:
* Make sure the air path selector is set to the appropriate mode (Tool or Floor)
* Check the air paths for blockage. Perhaps the least obvious trouble spot (except in hindsight) is the short hose at the bottom rear on the right side. It disconnects easily, so you might as well check it once every couple of months (more often if you vacuum a lot). Check for blockage both in that hose and in the tube it connects to. I found almost an entire cat in mine.

Update 2012-11-17:
After using it a few times and completely washing the dirt canister, I noticed that most of the canister's interior has already been permanently etched by the swirling sand and grit picked up by the vacuum. I suppose this will happen to any bagless vacuum, but it was something I didn't really think of up front, and I suspect the "fogging" of the plastic will only get worse over time. The vacuum still functions fine; it just doesn't look as pretty.

Although the dirt canister was easy to clean, the long inner cylinder and the washable upper filter are very difficult to get dry, so you probably won't want to wash them very often. You'll have to dry all the parts as best you can, then let those two pieces finish air drying for at least a day or two before reassembling the vacuum.

I've also noticed that after only a couple more vacuuming sessions, the cord rewinder already seems to have a lot more trouble than it did the first couple times, which is annoying.

Update 2012-12-10:
After a few more uses, including vacuuming the linoleum floors in the kitchen and foyer, still hasn't disappointed in terms of performance. I know part of any bagless vacuum's perceived performance is psychological (Gross! You can SEE all the nastiness that was in your carpet!); so in a way, I wish my old bagged vacuum could be easily retrofitted with a cyclone canister so I could visually compare how much it picked up in comparison to my new Eureka.

This weekend when I was vacuuming the linoleum with the brushroll turned off, it turned back on by itself one time, which was a bit startling. Maybe I just didn't have the brushroll on/off lever firmly in the off position, but it seems that raising and lowering the handle of the vacuum (like when you push the vacuum away from you, then pull it back toward you during normal use) wiggles the on/off lever a little--maybe enough to switch it back on after a while. I'll have to see if this happens again in the future.

I did forget to switch the mode selector to "Tool" one time, and it took me a while to figure out why the attachments weren't working very well. Once I did switch it, the crevice tool did a great job sucking the dust from the corners between the baseboard trim and carpet, and around the edges where the linoleum meets up with the kitchen cabinets. I've also used the (non-powered) brush several times and it worked great on dust and sawdust.

The inconsistent performance of the cord rewinder still baffles me. A couple times I've used it, it has rewound the cord all the way without much trouble. You almost always have to rewind it until it stops, then pull it out a couple feet and rewind it again a couple more times. Even then, you often have to hold the cord rewind button with one hand (which is awkward since the button was intended to be pressed by someone mashing their foot on it) and help the rewind mechanism by pushing the last couple feet in. Sometimes it requires a lot of messing around to get it fully rewound.

For the time being, I'm still happy with the purchase and would still recommend this vacuum over most others. I don't expect that any of the other bagless vacuums in the same or lower price range would have fared any better, but I suspect that I'll have to get something on it repaired or replaced before the 3-year warranty is up.

Update 2015-08-09:
Today my wife was vacuuming the living room when the vacuum started to rumble, then suddenly it started making a horrible high-pitched grinding or fluttering sound. After removing the brushroll cover and brushroll, it looked like the toothed belt for the brushroll was fine. I then removed the top of the vacuum (the top side of the floor "head", where the pile height adjustment is) and found lots of really tough threads of material wrapped around a couple parts, a few inches long each. I think it used to be a belt with embedded reinforcement threads. Looking at the diagram for replacing the S-belt, I see no other sign of the belt that is supposed to link the two parts that were wrapped in the threads. I had thought about contacting Eureka since the vacuum is still under warranty for a few more months, but since the belt is considered a consumable I guess I'll just need to buy one.
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on June 6, 2012
I'm giving this 5 stars for the time being because it works very well, but I know vacuums decline over time (so my rating could change). I just received this Eureka vacuum in the mail today, and it works miles better than my previous vacuum, a Bissell. I'd had the Bissell for only about 6 months, and it had already quit on me. I thoroughly cleaned and washed all the filters, and it still wasn't working well enough to pull the dog hair out of our new rug (black dog hair and a cream colored rug, so the hair shows badly). So, I decided to replace the Bissell with a higher quality vacuum (the old one was only about $60, this Eureka is 3x the price, although I bought it on sale for $141). I've only used it once, but I'm pleased so far. It pulled ALL the dog hair out of the rug, and it looked very clean for a few hours (until my dog laid down and shed all over the place again.) I'm also pleased with the pet tool hose attachment, which is the first time I've had a brush tool that was actually able to remove all the dog hair from the couch. I've had many vacuums in the past, and none of them were able to get the hair out of the couch very well, but this one surprisingly actually does. I also really like the design of the vacuum base, because it is very slender and actually slides under the couch. I've also never owned a vacuum before that did would always be too big, and I would have to use the hose to get under the front edge of the couch, but I don't have to do that any more!

My only complaint at the time is that the hose is a little awkward. It stretches kind of like a slinky and looks really cool and modern, but it doesn't stretch easily enough and the vacuum kept falling over when I was trying to use the hose. It's a silly little problem, that I fixed by moving the vacuum closer, but it was awkward. It's also large and heavy, but that's okay because small, lightweight vacuums tend to not work very well.

ETA: I wanted to add that it really does create a nice "suction seal" for each floor setting. I vacuumed again today, and first did my high pile rug, so I set it on "high carpet", and did a very good job. I moved onto my low pile rug, forgetting at first to change the setting, and it wasn't working very well. I was confused, but then I remembered, and changed it all the way down to "low carpet" which allows the bottom of the vacuum to suction itself right to the carpet, and it works very well. This is a feature I haven't seen in a vacuum before.

2nd ETA: I read the only other review so far (by Jodi C) and I wanted to comment on her review, since she reviewed the vacuum quite poorly. Yes, it is quite heavy, but I see weight as good quality. I hate really light flimsy appliances and electronics. I feel like this vacuum is built to last, where as my previous vacuum, which was very lightweight, was not. About the cord placement, I think she missed the hook for the cord on the handle. You hook it up there, and then it won't get in your way. I don't know what she's talking about with her attachments not working, it comes with three attachments, and I've used all three just fine. Mine fit onto my hose. Maybe she didn't put it together right....
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on August 23, 2012
This is an excellent vacuum for both pet owners.
1. The suction works moving from carpet to linoleum like a dream. It sucks better than a Dyson, they were NOT kidding.
2. The entire collection assembly comes apart in the kitchen sink for sanitizing, INCLUDING the filter.
3. No clogged tubes, I've gone through five vacuums in 7 years from clogged pet hair issues. This one, no issues whatsoever.
4. I don't mean to sound gross, but if you have an old cat or dog with IBC issues, you know that their bloody poo surprises that they try to put in dark places, like behind furniture, dries like concrete to the carpet by the time you find it, and it's hours scrubbing with gloves on to get up. The hand held Pet Hair attachment can break up the hardened mess and sucks it up.
5. The Pet attachment has a magnet on it so it STAYS PUT. No more knocking off while you're vacuuming, and having to pick it up over and over (take a note, Sears).
6. The cord is the kind that sucks in with the touch of a button.
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on August 18, 2013
So what's a guy doing rating a vacuum cleaner? I'm retired and have taken over some/most of the house cleaning chores so my wife doesn't have to clean on her days off. I refer to myself as my wife's trophy husband.

We've had several hoover vacuums over the years with the most recent one being a Wind Tunnel T Series Pet Bag-less which worked OK for almost 3 years. It cleaned OK; I replaced a few belts and the turbo head but it was never a vacuum that you could say "I really like this vacuum cleaner"! It was kind of like driving a nondescript Buick or Chevy; it would get you there but the ride and style were missing. Being in a rut, I thought I would buy another Hoover BUT, after reading the reviews, there is a significant percentage of motors failing and many reviewers had the same complaints that I had noticed but lived with. The Hoover I had ran hot; I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

The hunt was on for a new and different vacuum cleaner. I like to read through the different Amazon reviews but like anything else, you have to weed out the non-issues like, "it's too noisy" or "I keep running over the cord" when you know that most vacuums come with a cord hook. Noisy? Try working around jet aircraft for awhile.

I found a nicely rated lower end Eureka but it didn't have a agitator switch or a manual carpet height adjustment not to mention a turbo wand which is a must if you have pets. I visited the Eureka website and found everything I wanted in this model. But, when I came back to Amazon, I notice a 4 out of 5 star rating. After reading through the reviews of this vacuum and others brands, I still settled on this model as it has everything I want in a vacuum.

When the vacuum arrived, I quickly assembled it after reading through the instructions thoroughly. I never could get the handle to "snap" into place but it's held in place by a locking cam. I had the same problem as a few other reviewers in that the tool holder fell off which is because the locking cam failed to engage. I re-assembled it and it hasn't given me any more problems. The turbo wand is held in place by a magnet rather than snapping in place like a hoover. I haven't had trouble with it falling off like other reviewers but I make sure it's seated before it clicks into place via the magnet.

OK, how does it clean? I've used it for 2 weeks and find that:
- Everything works as advertised. I especially like the positive Suctionseal which literally pulls the rug up off the floor as you pass the vacuum over the rug. When vacuuming tile or wood flooring, the Suctionseal feature puts the vacuum close to floor surface; it does a great job!
- The hose is much longer than the Hoover and is more handy to use "on the fly". If you unwrap the hose off the top and bottom rails, there is less likelihood of pulling the vacuum over as you stretch out the hose.
- This model comes with rubber wheels that really make a difference when vacuuming tile or wood flooring. I think the Buick/Chevy analogy can be used here as the vacuum is much more responsive to steering in and around furniture. This model weighs a few more pounds than some vacuums but my petite wife used it this weekend with no problems.
- I like the foot controls especially the agitator on/off. The agitator also stays off when the vacuum is in the upright position. I think this is a great feature that allows you to use the hose and tools as you pass by furniture.
- There is a large clear plastic window for the agitator so you can see if it's turning/working. You can also see if any string is wound around the agitator.
- There is also a large clear plastic window on the cord rewind spool. If you wind too much cord up in one area of the spool and it won't fully retract, you can pull some cord out and redirect the cord so it winds correctly and allows the cord to retract fully. I had to guess on the Hoover.
-The noise level is much better than our past 2 Hoovers. The Eureka has a deeper, less shrill whine.
- One of the largest differences between this vacuum and the Hoover is a tool/floor rotating vacuum switch. This switch is much more effective in directing the airflow to either the hose or to the vacuum head. But, you have to remember to switch it back to floor after using the hose setting! Since I suffer from CRS syndrome that so many older Americans suffer from, I have found myself re-vacuuming areas after I suddenly remembered to switch back to the floor setting.
- The last nice feature is the clear bumpers located around the vacuum head. The Hoover had black bumpers that left black marks on the wall and moldings. The vacuum head is also thinner than the Hoover so it slides under some of our furniture better.
- My wife emptied the canister easily enough. I use to clean and wash the Hoover canister each week as the holes around the cyclonic insert would clog up with hair and dirt. I've noticed that the Eureka cyclonic insert holes haven't clogged up so I haven't felt the need to wash it out. The plastic on the inside of the canister doesn't seem to attract and hold dirt the way the Hoover did. Perhaps this is because it's new? Time will tell.

As I've been thinking of all the many attributes that I like about this vacuum, I could think of only one negative. This model didn't come with a headlight like the Hoover. It was kind of nice to light your way down a hallway especially in the winter when the lighting was poor. Certainly not a deal breaker. All in all, I recommend this vacuum and gave it 5 stars.

3/15/2014 Update:
After about 6 months, the roller/belt system failed. At first, I thought it was a broken belt. After taking it apart and replacing the belt, the roller still wouldn't turn. I took it apart again (4 screws) and saw that one of two belt pulleys had stripped on a metal shaft. I contacted Eureka Customer Service via email and described the problem. They returned my email within 24 hours and directed me to call and talk to a Customer Service Rep. The Rep said that Eureka would replace the vacuum in kind and would not require me to return the old machine - sweet! I peeled the manufacturing label off the old machine and mailed it to a Eureka dealer in Illinois. A week and some later, I got a new 1105A model which is basically the same machine but an upgrade. So, to recap, I still think the 1104A vacuum merits a 5 star rating eventhough there is a design flaw in the roller drive system (plastic pulleys on a metal shaft). I also think Eureka Customer Service merits a 5 star rating for accepting the fact that their vacuum had a design flaw and making it fairly painless for the customer (me) to get a replacement. How many other companies would have required the old machine be boxed up and sent to a repair center for a lengthy period of time?

In a few weeks/months, I'll rate the 1105A that I got as a replacement.
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on August 24, 2013
We had gotten years of service out of a cheap $50 Bissel bag vacuum, but eventually it went bad (after about 4 years). This time around I wanted a bagless vacuum, preferably a more expensive (read higher-quality) one. A Dyson is way out of our price range, but this seemed perfect, especially since it's a "pet" vacuum, and we have a number of cats.

Bad news first, we got this vacuum from Amazon twice, and each time, it stopped working in the same fashion. There is a switch on the side which turns on and off the brush roller. The inner mechanics of that switch involve 2 belts, one from the motor to a sprocket, and one from the sprocket to the brush roller. The switch that turns the brush roller on and off mechanically forces a tensioner against the belt leading from the motor which either makes it taught or slack depending on whether the switch in on or off. What happened in both vacuums we received was that the sprocket connecting to the brush roller would cease to spin when the switch was in the on position. And best as I could tell, it has to do with the axle which connected the two sprockets. After the problem started I (both times) went to investigate if the belt had broken, and in both instances, I determined that the axle connecting the sprockets was spinning the way it should have, but the sprocket connecting to the brush roller wasn't moving. So whatever feat of engineering was intended to keep those sprockets moving with the axle had failed. I have NO doubt that had the on/off brush roll switch was taken out of the equation the vacuum would have worked flawlessly. There is clearly a design flaw here.

Before the failure occurred the vacuum did surprise us with the amount debris that our previous vacuum had missed. But in each instance this vacuum suffered from this failure before we could even finish vacuuming our whole house (1500 sq ft). When we received the second vacuum we deliberately set the height adjustment to the maximum to see if that would change the outcome. It didn't, the result was the same, and the vacuum failed almost as quickly as the last. Keep in mind that the motor continued to provide suction to the brush roll area, and the tools continued to work fine, the flaw was very specifically tied to the brush roller and how it's indirectly connected to the motor in order to implement that on/off switch

I am not prone to writing scathing product reviews, but this flaw seems as though it should have been caught before the product was even mass produced. What's more annoying is the frustration with having to repackage this product and return to Amazon 2 times. Ultimately we decided that the next vacuum would be purchased from a brick-and-mortar store so that an return issue would be more easily executed. Hopefully the one we replaced it will we serve us a thousand times better than this one; we very deliberately sought a vacuum that did not have a switch that would enable/disable the brush roller because of this experience.

Other than the failure in this mechanism, I believe this had the potential to be a long lasting quality product. Unfortunately I doubt I would ever buy a Eureka in the future, this experience has soured me on the brand.
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on June 8, 2013
We had a dyson that was not doing a good job. We bought this vacuum and it blows the dyson away. We first vacuumed our hardwood floors with the dyson and followed with the eureka. The eureka picked up the dirt that the dyson didn't.
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on September 23, 2013
Have been a Eureka product user for many years. This is not the quality of their past products. Very disappointed. Update 10-31-13: had the unit less than 3 months and the beater brush no longer works. Eureka says that I must take it to a service center but they can't tell where that would be. I have to go to FedEx and get a box to ship it in; then they will tell me where to ship it AT MY COST. No FedEx store within 200 miles. Product is essentially useless and I am $150.00 out of pocket. _MOST UNHAPPY
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on June 26, 2013
I purchased this vacuum approximately 2 years ago. It worked well for about the 1st year, but we started to have small problems shortly after that. Then last week, our vacuum completely stopped working and it will no longer turn on. The vacuum has a 3 year parts and labor warranty so we called the customer service number to find an authorized repair place. I ended up calling customer service 3 times for locations and every location I called said that they do not honor the warranties because Eureka does not reimburse enough for it to be worth their time. I finally gave up when the gave me a warranty center 2 hours from my city. You would be much better off paying more for a vacuum that is from a company that follows through with their warranties.
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on April 23, 2013
While this vacuum cleaner does a good job, there are some drawbacks in owning it. The beater's belt doesn't last very long even when used INFREQUENTLY. It is stretched when the machine's height is not adjusted perfectly so as not to let the beater go against the carpet too much. When there is more resistance from the carpet, the beater's drive belt slips and that wears out the belt rather quickly. The belt cost $7.00 and our lasted only four months when we used it once very ten days in our small house. Secondarily, one has to pay substantial attention to any thread or hair off the axle of the beater's star shape coupling. If hair wraps around the axle too much, it will bind and again chews up the drive belt. To remove the wrap around hair, one has to buy the torque drive bit to turn the screw CLOCKWISE (as compared to the conventional counterclockwise to loosen) to remove the star shaped drive wheel. Hair also gets easily between the stationary and the rotating portions of the beater and that requires removal as well to facilitate smooth operation. I just don't know how any house owner who is not into mechanical things keep this kind of maintenance going throughout the life of its usage.
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on May 18, 2013
I have had a BIssell Pet Hair Eraser for years. It finally gave up on me and I have tried to find something comparable for a decent price. This Eureka is fantastic! I have 2 dogs and am taking care of a friend's cats while they're overseas. As such, there is lots of hair in my house. I also have a baby in the crawling stage, who is always rolling all over the floor. I really needed something that gets the hair out of the thick carpet. The Eureka does a fantastic job! My BIssell used to surprise me at how much hair it would vavuumed daily. I opened up the Eureka and it picked up even more! It really does seal to the floor. My advise is to play around with the height control. If it's not picking up as much as you expect, get it as low to the carpet as you can, but don't get it slow close that it's hard to push. It kind of has a "sweet spot" where the majority of hair is picked up.
I have a small dyson that was loaned to us. I have to say, Eureka claims that this vacuum picks up better than Dyson. And IT DOES! And for 1/6 of the price, this is an amazing deal.
WARNING: When I received my first Eureka, it didn't pick up any hair. After trying to trouble shoot it, we realized that the height adjustment wasn't working. It's easy to determine if this is the problem: after you get the vacuum assembled (which was really easy), twist the floor adjustment lever. If it swings back and forth freely, IT IS NOT WORKING CORRECTLY. It should click into place with each one, and you can actually see the machine move when it does this. We contacted amazon and they overnighted us another vacuum. Therefore, this still gets 5 stars, because once I got one that worked correctly, it did an amazing job!
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