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Vacuum Cleaner

Which? surveys show that the most common faults are loss of suction, blocked filters and brushes. Early returns during the warranty period will occur if performance is inadequate.

Most early failures can be avoided by simple design changes and by meeting minimum standards.

In WRAP consumer research, consumers consider reliability, quality and expected life as the top three important product attributes; and 31% of customers surveyed said they bought products because of the brand’s association with reliability.

The cost estimates in this guide assume that production costs to the manufacturer are £12 per vacuum cleaner.

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  • Failure mode Failure mode
  • Durability features Durability features
  • Cost saving Cost saving
  • Low cost Low cost
  • Cost neutral Cost neutral
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Vacuum Cleaner

Critical components

Mains switch & circuitry

  • Failure mode Unsuitable switches of poor quality and poor soldering.
  • Durability features Use of better quality switches and gold plated connectors.
  • Cost  

Plastic mouldings

  • Failure mode Impact damage and pulling of hoses can cause breakage.
  • Durability features Use of impact resistant grades of plastic for example ABS.
  • Cost  

Electric Motor

  • Failure mode Overheating due to blockages and full bags.
  • Durability features Longer brushes and auto-reset thermal switch. Sensors can also be built in.
  • Cost  

Brush Mechanism

  • Failure mode Brushes become clogged with fibres and hair so need to be easily cleaned.
  • Durability features Good tested design and use of clogging sensors to prevent failure.
  • Cost  

Internal Design - performance

  • Failure mode Poor design causes poor performance; bags can fill to quickly and noise levels can be high.
  • Durability features Need to meet minimum performance requirements.
  • Cost  

User Guidance

  • Failure mode Unclear/vague instructions can cause failure e.g. blockages.
  • Durability features Specific instructions on emptying and replacing parts.