The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Vacuums and the EU ruling


By bamboo


I’m so frustrated by all the crossness generated by this new EU ruling, and the lack of proper information about it, I felt driven to write this, even though this is a garden website. So, here goes:-

Worried because you won’t be able to buy a really powerful vacuum cleaner any more, as the EU has restricted motor size to 1600 watts? Don’t be, its a great thing that’s happening.

What I didn’t know about vacuums until a few years back is that the power of the motor is not related to the amount of ‘suck’ the machine will generate. Like a lot of people, I thought, the bigger the motor (wow, 2100 watts, that must be a brilliant vacuum) the better it would work. Nope, not true – what counts is the air watts, and this is a piece of information that can be difficult to get hold of, manufacturers not being given to publishing it widely.

What it means is, you can have a 2,100 watt motor – but the air watts might be as low as 175, meaning you’ll be vacuuming twice as long to try to get that stubborn pet hair or whatever off the carpet. What you actually need is something that has an air watt rating of over 300, preferably up to 350 – that means the machine will suck up most stuff with no trouble at all, and the power of the motor is largely irrelevant. At 360 air watts, a machine usually comes with a warning, and a dial so you can reduce the ‘suck’ power a bit – without that, if you tried to vacuum curtains, it’s likely to rip the curtains and the track off the wall.

So, what the EU wants is for manufacturers to make machines that use less power, but provide more ‘suck’ – and this air watts reading should now be present when they sell you a vacuum. Result all round I reckon, and I’m hoping they’ll apply the same thing to garden leaf blowers and leaf vacuums in the near future.

More blog posts by bamboo

Previous post: Bamboo the Battleaxe and Lily2 at the Roof Gardens

Next post: Steragram



Thanks for the info Bamboo , didn't know that !

1 Sep, 2014


I know most people have no idea about this - I didn't know for years, dunno why its been such a well kept secret...

1 Sep, 2014


Yea, I saw people on the news last night who'd rushed out and bought the most powerful machine they could find - what a waste of money! And all that electricity they'll be using, all out of ignorance. And did they mention the facts on the news? No, they certainly did not. I bet the Daily Mail's having a field day...

By the way, Snoop, the blog's not a rant at all, just wanted to get the info out there. I often do have a rant, but this isn't one!

1 Sep, 2014


Well blow me down!
or not it seems......
well done Bamboo, thanks for explaining it so clearly, we just get news that makes the headlines rather than simple facts and more to the point Why its being done.

I gripe about being talked down to and not being expected to understand.......

hairdryers next it seems........

thinking about it I guess the manufacturers and retailers are rubbing their hands in glee at all the old obsolete cleaners flying off the shelves......

1 Sep, 2014


I'm an old stick in the mud and very cynical so rarely believe the hype anyway, if I have a machine that does the job to my satisfaction I will try my damndest to get a replacement of the same model if it dies on me..
As you can imagine we need one that is good at getting up the pet hairs here and I too found out years ago that the one they guaranteed more powerful because of the wattage wasn't the best ....

1 Sep, 2014


Very useful Bamboo. I for one had never heard of air watts so googled it. I think your post will set a lot of minds at rest.

1 Sep, 2014


Hi Bamboo, thanks for this, I bought a dyson ball about 6 months ago, and it has a lot of sucking power, so I assumed it must have a fairly powerful motor, when I heard that the e u were going to impose a limit, I checked the wattage, and was surprised to find that it is only 1200 watts, so well within the proposed limit,{ for now }, I think it is eventually going down to 900 watts, but not for a few years yet, Derek.

1 Sep, 2014


Perfect information, Bamboo, I even didn t know such rule is on the EU table, as we solve another problems.
But I remember, that last year, when I was buying a new vacuum cleaner I used another strategy then reading labels. Primitive maybe. I asked the shopkeeper to switch them all for me and then I tested personally the sucking power of each machine :-) It was noisy in the shop, but I bought the most efficient, lol.

1 Sep, 2014


Thanks for the info I found it useful.

1 Sep, 2014


Very informative. Now, consider some variables. Suction power (SP) being a constant (c), it would take a more powerful motor(M>) to achieve the air watts(AW) required to sustain SPc in a vacuum with hose to attain the same level of SPc than an upright one without a hose. Also, a vac with a heppa filter will require a more powerful motor -M>-to make the AW> to sustain SPc at a level which a vac without one would over a period of time. So, hose length and heppa filter being resistance (R) to AW one comes to the following equation: SPc= AW/R x <~> M. Which means the best vacuum to buy would be an upright model as opposed to a canister since it would take a less powerful motor to provide the air watts required to achieve the suction power required for ones individual needs. E= mc2? Pooh, move over Einstein! :)

2 Sep, 2014


Oops! That would be an upright model of vacuum without a heppa filter :)

2 Sep, 2014


We have Vac hoover and have no problems with it. Maybe that is because my wife dose all the hovering,,Lol

2 Sep, 2014


Losestrife, I do not know. When I went to a large moll for electronics on last X-mas, I had had intention to buy upright model, as it doesn t take so much space. I was recommended not to buy them, as they do not have such sucking power as "horizonal" ones. They are considered to be good for brief cleaning, but if you have dog, children, garden, then you are usually recommended horizontal vacuum cleaners, which at the moment have the strongest sucking efficiency. I have the recent model of Philips, horizontal one, with HEPA filter and very high efficiency and I am happy with it.

2 Sep, 2014


I find the same thing you do Katarina. The floor models do seem to have more power than the uprights. It the end I think what counts are not equations or comparative studies with enhanced product labeling. What counts is personal experience with the product and whether or not it gets the job done for you to your satisfaction. In any case I will send my equation to Steven Hawking to see what he can make of it. LOL

2 Sep, 2014


I now have a Bosch small cylinder vacuum, with HEPA filter - its labelled pro energy, which apparently means it has some fancy new technology that allows it to perform as if its got a motor at 1800 watts, but actually only uses 1200 watts. Air watts were 320, and before I settled on this one 3 years ago, I ordered two previous cylinders, different makes, to see if they actually got hair off carpet, because I couldn't get an air watt reading for either of them. Neither picked up hair, despite one being advertised as 'very good at pet hair' and both had short electric flexes, one so short I had to plug in the vacuum (an actual Hoover) in every room, even though I live in a one bed flat, and the hose and tubes were short, so you'd have to be a dwarf to use either without getting severe backache.

Strange thing is, I'd had an Electrolux cylinder previously for 10 years before I needed a new one - that one had the air watts printed on the machine, on the top, and it was 360, with an adjustment wheel - came with a health warning about not using it on the body or any body part to avoid serious risk of injury, and to reduce the power before vacuuming curtains and the like. Make of that what you will, made me roar with laughter... but Electrolux no longer make anything with such a high air watt, nothing above 200, despite more powerful motors.

In the end, I ordered the Bosch, despite its being more pricey, being supplied without a dusting brush, and having to wait 3 weeks for new supplies. Plugs in in the hall, reaches everywhere, tubes and hose a good length, dial on the top to reduce or increase suction, gets hair off the carpet no trouble at all. Worth the wait and worth every penny of the extra £30 or so. But I think the worst thing when I needed a new vacuum was the amount of research on the internet and on the phone, often fruitless, trying to find out what the air watts of each model were. You'd think they'd all signed the Official Secrets Act...

2 Sep, 2014


great blog Bamboo

Two words... 'Power Head' eh eh,
well I remember when I was working in a shop years ago and our trusty powerful hoover packed up. We wanted a heavy duty job with a power head to cope, could we find one? we tested loads n they were all crap n not up to the job and so a waste of time. we used to push a crappier version around forever burning untold amount of leccy

I agree it sounds like common sense to get more suck for yer buck. I have an upright 1800 cyclonic (Russell Hobbs) and the reason i bought it it was discounted from £100 to £50, kept it in the box until my last one packed up. it seems to work

Ok Loosestrife
Love the equation but may I just throw in a couple of curved variables for you, how about a powerhead option , more power to get the dust up so you can suction it in less time. Surely the equation should include the speed it takes to suck up a certain amount of dust for a given area. Surely on a basic level its dust amount to container per minute.

AND they are coming for your hairdriers n kettles as well. I have solved the hairdryer one (by not having one n using a revolutionary bit of technology called a 'towel'). This then is dried using another bit of revolutionary technology 'sun/wind'.
Also I got a kettle for xmas, still in a box for when the current one breaks down.

Howevere Bamboo I would say this is just the very tip of the tip of the iceberg for the wonderful communitarian nazi/marxist Euro totalitarian enslavement project ; )

as it happens I was just listening one of my fave fun radio shows (Doomwatch lol ; ) as a friend of mine was on it, they were chatting about this very thing, the show video stream comes on a loop on the UK Column vid stream
their site is here

if you scroll down the last show (show 28) can be seen here

TWO other things I would mention

1- Fracking (the alleged need make massive profits for the over hyped need for energy while wrecking the environment and water supply with carcinogenic chemicals).
I would recommend an excellent documentary

The Truth Behind the Dash For Gas. By Marco Jackson
you can find the website here, (film coming back on soon)

On youtube at the moment here

Just a small nice bit of conspiracy for you, the somerset levels were deliberately left to flood so they could get the farmers off, buy it up for pennys in the pounds then frack it!! The last labour government stated they would not do any dredging as they wanted more wetlands for birds, then this lot are full stream ahead for fracking.
dont believe me? research it for yourself. (not to mention of course the propaganda being pumped out by the mainstream media)

also google some vids of Ian R Crane he does a show called 'fracking nightmare'

2- Smart-meters (your very own cancer giving device in your own home)
Do NOT allow this evil into your home (you do NOT have to). and remember apart from damaging your immune system on a daily basis the data issues are a NIGHTMARE, it records and transmits EVERYTHING you do, imagine a world where a company has a database knowing everytime time you had a cup of tea, how long you watch tele for etc etc, everyting about you, then of course selling your information to god knows who to target you.

Also if you love Europe then I would recommend catching the 1pm broadcast (on most days) of the UK Column
if you miss it they will usually load the show onto the main vid on the main page after a couple of hours.
They have done alot on the 'Common Purpose' (marxist) infiltration of our government departments.

last time I was in Tesco I notice they had a rack of 2100w hoovers lol
If they are still there n haven't been panicked bought I will see if they have AirWatts info on them

2 Sep, 2014


oops soz, I was having a tea break n didnt realise how much I'd typed

2 Sep, 2014


Yea, looks like you've not had anyone to talk to all day... !

2 Sep, 2014


We have a Beam built in vacuum system that collects all the grot in a big cylinder in the garage. It is quiet and convenient but doesn't get up cat hair. There was nothing wrong with the old "beats as it sweeps as it cleans" hoover but as this system was in the house we use it. Anyway I can't find bags to fit the ancient cleaner now living in the garage, and there was nothing wrong with it.

On the same tack, why do makers of floor mops keep changing the design so you can't get refills any more and have to buy a new one - oops, just answered my own question...

2 Sep, 2014


Maybe that the real question, why do these things all have built in obsolescence. Theres no reason why we shouldn't be able to buy a hoover for life with a few simple replaceable parts.

2 Sep, 2014

Add a comment

Recent posts by bamboo

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Jan, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Jul, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Jun, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Jul, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Mar, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Apr, 2016