June 17, 2007 9:53 PM   Subscribe

Vacuumfilter! Has your Dyson ever shocked you? Also, Dyson vs. Miele?

I recently got married and my husband and I received the Dyson "the Ball" Animal as a gift (for which we had registered)... Problem is, I'm finding that it shocks me every time I'm vacuuming and it brushes against me. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Second question related to this--I began searching to see if others had had this shocking problem, and read a lot about Miele vacuums, which I had never heard of before this evening. Can users of both weigh-in here so I can make up my mind about what to do? So far, I've read that the shocking thing can be a problem when you use Dysons on carpet. We have a pretty large house and one cat--most of our house is carpeted (Berber). So far, it's doing a great job of cleaning up the dirt and cat hair, but I don't really like getting a jolt every time I want to clean up. Help!
posted by fabesfaves to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
You might want to check and make sure that your house (and particularly the outlet you were using) is properly grounded. The static that builds up from the vaccuum should be dissipated through the grounding wire, but that won't happen if your house isn't wired right.

Improper grounding doesn't just present a shock hazard, but also a potential fire hazard if something fails just right, and can also cause premature death of all sorts of electronics.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:06 PM on June 17, 2007

Your not the only person suffering from an electric shock issue.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 10:12 PM on June 17, 2007

FWIW, my Dyson Animal (regular upright style, not the ball style) has never shocked me, I've been using it for years. I only use it on carpeting, mine is also berber. The Ball is of a much different design than the other upright Dysons so I'm not sure how useful comparing all Dysons to yours is. In any case, something is wrong and it's definitely something you should follow up on with while the machine is still under warranty.

My Electrolux used to zap me everytime I touched a metal screw head that was located on the handle. That model eventually was recalled for exactly that defect.
posted by jamaro at 10:26 PM on June 17, 2007

I love my blue Miele - it has excellent suctions, is very light, and is amazingly quiet. It has certainly never zapped me!
posted by nicwolff at 11:41 PM on June 17, 2007

I recently bought a new vacuum cleaner. I settled on a Siemens (a German brand) but Miele also consistently has great reviews in European consumer organisation's tests (I checked a few Dutch and German tests). Dyson consistently gets mediocre reviews for vacuums that cost more than Miele's.
Of course, it does depend on what you find important in a vacuum cleaner (noise level, cleaning level, ease of use, etc.). A major drawback of the less expensive Mieles is that the cord (is that what you call it?) is not very long, compared to other vacuum cleaners.
posted by davar at 2:10 AM on June 18, 2007

Are you getting a static electricity shock (scuff your feet on carpet and touch doorknob) or a current shock (stick fork in outlet)?

If you're getting a current shock you need to stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer.

Static electricity shocks are tougher. It probably isn't designed to bleed off any static charge. I assume it isn't grounded (is there a 3-prong plug?). I have a grounded vacuum that takes care of that problem. Grounding the frame (assuming there's some non-plastic place to ground it) would probably fix the problem, but would require an electrician to do it properly.
posted by MtDewd at 5:31 AM on June 18, 2007

...You can create an inexpensive anti-static spray by dumping a capfull of fabric softener into a spray bottle filled with water. Spray this on carpets and other surfaces to prevent static buildup. ...
posted by de void at 6:06 AM on June 18, 2007

My extended family has two Miele vacuums. They are very quiet and do a good job.

For myself, I bought CR's top-rated unit from Sears. It's an extremely good vacuum. It's louder than a Miele, but it cost a quarter as much, and I think it does a much better job.

I know the Dysons are well-regarded for picking up pet hair, but unless you have an unusually bad hair problem, I think you'd be better off with one of the Sears Kenmore vacuums. The model I bought isn't made anymore, but they still have a very similar one on top of the CR tables, the 35922. It's $300, and presumably will be even better than the one I have, which is incredibly good.

If you go to buy one, ask if there's a 'long cord' version. With my model, CR had specified a version with a short cord. The saleslady did me a real favor by steering me to the model with the long cord: same price, three times the reach.
posted by Malor at 7:30 AM on June 18, 2007

Also note: the Kenmore does a much better job with pet hair than the Dyson DC14 "Animal" or DC15. Those vacs get 'bad' and 'very bad' respectively on animal hair; the Kenmore gets the best rating.
posted by Malor at 7:32 AM on June 18, 2007

I have a Miele "medivac" which is just an older mid-sized model that can standard with a HEPA filter. It's a great vacuum, very easy to get around. Not much carpet in our house, so we don't have a power head, but it's fantastic on hardwood. There's a lot of suction. Plus the bags cose to keep the dust from getting out once you remove it from the vacuum.
posted by GuyZero at 7:36 AM on June 18, 2007

Seconding Malor. I replaced my dead Miele (which, to its credit, lasted about seven years) with the new Kenmore from the top of the CR table. It's a fraction louder, but substantially better at actually picking up my terrier's hair and other things, it was half the price of a new Miele and the bags are cheaper and more readily available. I tried a Dyson and I badly wanted to like it (it's so damn COOL!) but it sounded like an aircraft engine and would have driven the dog crazy. Get the Kenmore. You'll feel happy every time you use both it and whatever you buy for the 400 bucks you spend.
posted by The Bellman at 8:23 AM on June 18, 2007

A few years back I was babysitting and used their Miele White Star. I liked it so much I insisted my mom go out and buy one - and she still loves it! Lightweight and powerful, with a HEPA filter.
posted by radioamy at 10:14 AM on June 18, 2007

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