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Does nobody modify vacuum cleaners? Answered

Lately I've been looking for vacuum cleaner mods. I've done several Google searches and Instructables searches, and found only this one bag-to-bagless conversion. I expected there to be at least a handful of pages on vacuum cleaner modification on the Web. Does anybody have any suggestions on where to look?

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bwelliott (author)2018-03-24

Vacuum cleaners are a HUGE industry, not just for homeowners but for commercial and industrial applications as well. The manufacturers invest millions in R&D and engineering to develop and optimize performance - efficiency, suction, air flow, noise levels, energy use, etc. Alter one variable, you inevitably impact another. You are not going to do something crafty in your workshop that the engineers didn't think of. Your best bet is to do your research and buy the vacuum with the features that are most important to you. That said, if your highest priority is noise reduction, put your vacuum in a sound box, as others have suggested. Or drape the machine with a moving blanket (leaving the exhaust unobstructed). Or use the central vacuum concept, and put a powerful but noisy machine in another room, with a long hose.

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mpilchfamily (author)2014-02-11

I have a vacuum that has a built in switch to turn the brush on and off. But then it also uses a separate motor for the brush. You can put insulation around the motor but most of the noise comes from the movement of air. While PC fans can have better fan blade design to reduce noise that approach doesn't do so well for vacuums. I think the best way to reduce noise is to create a muffler for it. Mufflers work using a couple of resonance chambers. Where the noise bonces around in the chamber in such a way that it inverts the sound canceling some of it out. This will reduce the sound better than any insulation over the exhaust of the vacuum. Or just simply use foam board for the chambers so it can absorb much of the sound as it bounces through the chambers.

But most people overlook the sound so they still have strong suction and a good means of removing any dust from the exhaust. On the plus side for the baffles/muffler idea it will help to reduce the amount of dirt coming from the exhaust. As the air is forced to go around the sharp corners in the muffler the dirt in the air will slam against the walls and stick there. Additional foam/filter like material on the walls will help capture this dirt.

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caitlinsdad (author)2014-02-10

Ummm, all the mods suck?

Not that much can be done with a stock vacuum in trying to increase it efficiency. You spend more in making the mod or beefing up the motor than just getting a better vacuum cleaner. There are all the variations of making a better nozzle intake design and varying the filter materials but I think most just gut the motor out to reuse in something entirely different. There are lots of add on cyclonic dust separator chamber designs that were done. I guess you should see what Dyson is up to. If you actually do use a vacuum, you then know the head pickup rotating brushes that get clogged with hair is the biggest problem to solve or improve upon.

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user

>You spend more in making the mod or beefing up the motor than just getting a better vacuum cleaner.

That's a good point. I didn't think of economic viability for most people to mod vacuum cleaners.

My main interest is reducing noise, so stopping the brush when it's not in use will be one of the things I try. That should also help with the brush getting clogged. I also want to try adding a speed control and improving the internal aerodynamics if I can.

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user

You should look at what stealth planes do to silence the jet turbine noise. The brush or the belt/transmission does not really make that much noise. It is the volume of air being forced through. If you are experimenting, try to noiseproof a shop-vac. The noise reducer I have for mine, really just a foam pop filter on the exhaust, doesn't really help at all, $10 waste of money.

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My main inspiration for noise reduction so far has been Noctua computer fans. Thanks for suggesting airplanes; I'll look into that.

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