What to look for in a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Part 2

Not Read - What to look for in a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Part I

In Product Review, Knowledge Resource, Vacuum cleaner

Not Read - What to look for in a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Part I

ChoosingWide Area VacTWAVWhen selecting the correct type of machine you should carefully consider the following points:

Type of waste to be removed - whether the waste is bulky, dry or wet.

The working environment - whether there are space constraints, the location of the waste (i.e. high level).

The needs of the user - working posture adopted.

The nature and size of the task - size of the area to be cleaned.

Health and Safety - working at height etc.

There are also technical considerations which govern the operating characteristics and performance of commercial/industrial vacuum cleaners of the dry tub, wet and dry tub, and battery operated tub vacs and upright vacs with brush heads.

The parameters to consider are:

Length of Cable

This is measured from the base of the plug to where the cable enters appliance. The cable, for general use should be no less than 7.5 metres long.

Motor Power

This is shown on the appliance in two designations:

• Maximum wattage

• Nominal Wattage Pmax, the maximum wattage is the theoretical maximum load capability of the motor.

Piec, the actual wattage utilised when the vacuum cleaner is in use under normal operating conditions. It is actual wattage that is the most useful measure of the power consumed by the motor. The motor power should not exceed the capability of the available supply (e.g. from a 230v, 50Hz, electricity supply the motor power should NOT exceed 3kW).

Air Flow

The measure of this is as significant to performance as motor power and vacuum. Air Flow is dependent upon length and diameter of the vacuum hose and the nature of the accessory fitted to the end of the hose and the overall design of the product. For comparative performance analysis, the air flow should be measured at the hose fitting connection at the body of the machine, ie without a hose fitted.

Air Wattage

Machines will often have air wattage quoted in their performance details. It is generally recognised as being of use as a comparative measure of performance and efficiency of a particular vacuum cleaner.


Cylinder Vacuum CleanerThe vacuum measured at the end of the hose or at the mouth of an accessory on a hose, varies from one hose length/accessory fitment to another, and is not useful in comparative analysis. The vacuum performance of a machine is best measured at the machine hose inlet, with no hose fitted and the inlet closed. Performance of any machine is a combination of air flow, vacuum and motor power, generally in that order of significance.


Capacity is always measured in litres. This is variable dependent upon the application:

Dry Vacuum Machines

If a bag is fitted, the capacity is measured by the physical capacity of the bag. If the machine is stated as having capability for operation in a dry mode without a bag fitted, the capacity of the machine is measured by either the physical volume of the tub up to the bottom of the hose inlet connector or up to the top of the tub container if the inlet is higher and not integrated into the tub container capacity.

Wet and Dry Vacuum Machines

When used as a dry vacuum cleaner the comments of the section ‘Dry Vacuum Machines’ above will apply. When used as a wet vacuum cleaner, the wet pick-up capacity is a measure of the volume of fluid the machine is capable of collecting before the safety-cut off device is actuated, with the machine standing on a flat surface. This is not the capacity of the container.


The statement of weight is associated with the weight of the cable and machine only, ie excluding hose and accessories, as these can vary, dependent upon the application and affect the overall weight accordingly.

Filtration Dry vacuums

The greater the quoted surface area of filtration, the longer the operating time without the need to clean the filter. This quoted surface area is not the dimensional size of the filter, but the surface area of filtration material exposed to the air flow. It should be noted that the use of a dust bag extends the operational life of the filter.

Wet vacuums

Filtration is not normally required in a standard application where the wet material is non-hazardous. If an application is considered by a user as ‘non-standard’ then specialist advice should be sought from the supplier or manufacturer.

Wet/Dry Combination vacuums

These are vacuum cleaners that can be used in both wet and dry applications without any change of filtration method. In this instance refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to identify correct use of machine. Note: For use outside of what might be considered typical use, a wide range of specialist vacuum cleaners are available incorporating all the necessary filtration requirements.

Container Size

Typically, this is the volume of that element of the vacuum cleaner construction that houses the dust collection element of the machine. It should not be considered the dust capacity of the vacuum cleaner.


Before use, it should be confirmed that the rated voltage stated on the vacuum cleaner is compatible to the supply voltage of the power source.

Static Electricity

Certain vacuum cleaners have an anti-static feature quoted. These machines are recommended where a build-up of static electricity may be expected, such as when collecting very fine dust or cleaning certain textile surfaces, static electricity build up is also likely when the atmosphere is particularly dry.

Noise Level

Normally quoted in the unit dB(A). Most standard vacuum cleaners operate in a range of 60-80 dB(A) or less, but such machines, particularly when operating at less than 60 B(A) may not have the same performance characteristics of standard vacuum cleaners due to reductions in air flow. Whatever machine type is selected, care should be taken to ensure all staff are suitably trained in its safe use. Further guidance in relation to the safe use of electrical equipment can be found in the Health and Safety Awareness Guide.

Equipment &

Homecare Homecare Accessory Kits 32mm - JV1

Vacuum cleaners are provided with a range of tools and accessories that increase their adaptability for tackling a wide range of cleaning tasks. Examples of these are:

Crevice Tools that are used for cleaning in hard to reach and awkward places.

Upholstery Tools which are T shaped and without bristles for cleaning delicate fabrics.

Dusting Brushes, traditionally round or oval in shape, incorporate soft-bristles to dislodge dust particles and resemble a traditional vacuum head.

Combination Floor Tools can be used on both hard and carpeted floor surfaces. A pedal on the tool changes the use from a gliding tool on carpets to a floor brush for hard floors.

Squeegee Tools are used on Wet & Dry machine only, and are used to collect water or fluids from a floor; these usually have rubber blades and can be either fitted to a floor wand or as a fixed outrigger on some of the bigger wet and dry machines.

Care00003213Vacuum cleaners, like all other items supplied to operatives must be cared for properly in order to maintain high levels of performance and prolong the life of the machine.

Therefore, consideration should be given of the following points:

• Never use the machine when the dust bag or container is full as this will overload the motor (this is usually indicated by a noticeable change in the sound of the machine).

• Remove all tools and accessories from the machine following use and store safely.

• Empty dust bags and containers regularly and frequently.

• Always clean and dry the collection tank of wet pick-up machines after use.

• Always clean all tools and accessories after use.

• After each use, wipe the outside of the machine and clean the cable.

• Hang up all hoses after use and do not allow them to trail on the floor.

• Never pull the machine by the hose when in use.

• Do not use the same hose for wet and dry vacuuming.

• Ensure that the cable is coiled around the machine when not in use.

• Clean filters regularly and change whenever necessary.


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If you want to buy a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner at competitive prices, or simply want advice or need more information, call us on 020 7700 3322 and ask to speak to our engineer or email sales@janitorialexpress.co.uk

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