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Anyone Doing the Roomba?

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:40 pm    Post subject: Anyone Doing the Roomba? Reply with quote

I have 1 lab, 3 cats and chronic asthma. My husband has developed chronic congestion. So I got a Roomba three days ago to see if cutting down on the dust/pet hair around here without making a permanent commitment to spending the rest of my life vacuuming would make a difference.

It hasn't been long enough to see if the Roomba has potential to solve that problem but I'm a bit ambivalent about it. It's got about equal amounts of plusses and minuses. I'd love to hear from someone who's been using it longer to tip the balance.

Meanwhile, these are my plusses and minuses:

Plusses:
• insanely cute little songs that say "OK, boss, I'm on the job", "help me, boss — I'm stuck", and "did you see how hard I worked, boss?".
• hysterical to watch it in action. Visualize a frisbee programmed by Pacman on crack
• as long as I keep recharging it and emptying the dust bin, it will work all day long without even a hint of whining
• does wood, tile and carpet without changing attachments
• watching it "bounce" its way out of tight spaces — I think if this were still the 60s I'd spend a good amount of my time putting a buzz on and putting Roomba under dining room tables surrounded by chairs
• watching it wiggle into its recharging station
• even after I've vacuumed with the real vacuum, Roomba picks up an astounding amount of stuff.

Minuses:
• the noise — not so bad on carpet but annoying on hardwood and tile
• just an adjunct to real vacuuming
• the tiny dust cup that has to be emptied about every 15 minutes (at least with 1 lab and 3 cats)
• it won't fit under the toe kick on my cabinets and a good number of upholstered chairs/sofas
• sometimes it sheds its dust bin like a lizard shedding its tail and goes right on "vacuuming" the detritus back onto the floor. When this happens you'd better hope you're around to reinstall it because, apart from the hopelessness of the whole affair, you want to know where the dust bin is. It's a whole lot harder to find when you come home to find Roomba tail-less in one room and have to do an all points search for it's other half in every other room in your house! ...and chances are it's in an obscure corner under something tight.
• far too often deposits a clump of dust bunny on the margins of carpets or the grout seams on tile floors
• gets hung up on the fringe of carpets and I'm afraid it will, eventually, chew up the fringe on good carpets (it will on the crappy ones too but they've already semi-survived life with three kids, soda spills, drums/band practice, furballs etc. so who cares?)

Love to hear your opinions and experiences. I'm weighing whether or not to take this one back and wait for another generation. Meanwhile, the same company now has something called Scooba that washes hardwood and tile floors. How about that! Too bad about those low toe kicks... Shocked
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,

Here is an article that I used when I bought my vacuum:
http://www.slate.com/id/2086689/

After reading it, I ran right out and bought the Dyson Animal. I have 13 shedding machines at my house and the Dyson sucked up the cat hair like there was no tomorrow. Since then several of my friends purchased them
and are true believers now.

The real test was that a month after I bought the Dyson, a friend was coming to stay the weekend who is horribly allergic to cats. A combination of using the Dyson on every surface in the house and pumping my IQ air cleaner up to high, and she didn't even have the slightest reaction for the entire stay. This is a woman who had to go to the emergency room when she stayed at another person's house with only one cat.

If you do look into it, make sure to get the purple version or "Animal" with a special attachment for pet hair.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We tried the Roomba, but it totally freaked out our dogs - a Border Terrier and an Lhasa. I guess it was so close to their size that it felt theatening! Laughing I was never bothered by the noise, because all I could hear was my dogs going NUTS over it!

Victoria, I am intrigued by your reports on the Dyson. I am glad to hear a first hand acccount. I hate to buy anything based purely on advertising - so even though I am thoroughly impressed by the Dyson TV ads, I haven't run out to get one yet! Wink
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna, my husband does most of the vaccuuming and he was totally opposed to the Dyson, he loved his old Kirby. I hated the Kirby, it was heavy and the dust it kicked up made me sneeze constantly. I made him "Just try" the Dyson and he was soon singing its praises to the sky. It picks up so much animal hair and you can see it thru the clear canister. And even I can use it because the HEPA filtercontains the dust and is sneezeless!

The only complaints I have are:

The Animal attachment that powers out the pet hair seems to fall off alot in use and you really have to jam it on.
The lifetime filter clogs more often as the vaccuum gets older and it has to be washed and air dried for 24 hours. Inconvenient if it gets clogged in the middle of cleaning. We just bought a second filter for about $18.00. Problem solved.
The hose tends to break at the base, we have had to have ours repaired a few times. It could be because Tom pulls it around by the hose alot.

I have an older model of the DC07, so these problems may have been addressed by now. My best friend just bought a reconditioned one and is excited to try it out. She is really picky so I am curious to see her opinions.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to hear about the Dyson. We have a central vacuum system so I think I'll be sticking with that once a week.

About the Dyson, tho, I've heard that it has the highest customer satisfaction and repurchase rates despite the fact that it also has the highest rate of breakdowns. It must do an awesome job betwixt repairs! Wink
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna wrote:
We tried the Roomba, but it totally freaked out our dogs - a Border Terrier and an Lhasa.


My dog just looks at it as if he wonders if perhaps it might one moment decide to play catch with him. Of course he's a lab and has 50+ pounds on it and that must be a comfort for him. Wink
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on my Roomb — in case anyone is considering one — it's been on the job for about 2 weeks now and I have developed absolute affection for it. Yes, affection!

All the same negatives apply, tho now that I've been running it 2-3x a day the dust cup is perfectly adequate. But what are negatives when an appliance has a personality? That's a major entry in the positives column. So is the fact that my house is no longer covered in pet hair! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

So entranced was I that the other day I even bought it's little pal Scooba to follow it around and wash the floors. Scooba didn't work out. It went back to the store because it got "stuck" on the large Mexican tiles that weren't perfectly flat and it couldn't detect the difference between the wood floors and the carpeted ones that butted up to them. It not only soaked the carpet but it ground in filthy water. Shocked

I'm hoping in a couple generations it will be more helpful. But in the meanwhile, let's hear it for washing machines and dishwashers and cute little frisbees that scoot along vacuuming my floors, making me smile and lightening my load!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the women in my family have dysons - and we love them!!!!!

I have the upright one that gets the pet hair. Absolutely fabulous. Cannot praise it enough.

Have never had a problem or breakdown with it, and it has not exactly had an easy life with us. I do know that pulling on the hose will cause problems, but as I only ever used the hose to do the stairs it was not a problem for me. One attachment was not in the box when I bought it, and I rang dyson and they couriered it out to me within 24 hours.

Agree that the filter does take time to dry when you wash it, but it shouldn't be clogging when you use it. Maybe it is time to invoke your lifetime warranty and get it checked out?

The little "frisbees" sound like a great idea. I like the idea of the vacumn one just going about its business during the day. We have major dust bunnies here that seem to breed like - well like rabbits... Laughing It would be great to just keep the tiles dust and hair free from me and the neighbours cats (I have very very long hair, and the neighbours cats prefer our house to their own...... Rolling Eyes ). The washing one sounds good in principle, but if it is not telling the difference between carpet and tiles it is a bit of a worry... Maybe they will work the bugs out soon with that one?
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,
I also have the Dyson Animal and although not as amusing as the Roomba, we love it. Barney has the fine, long hair that leaves his body at an astonishing rate. In the last year and a half we have had three different vacuums, and the Dyson is the only one that has been up to the challenge.
I would like to hear more about the Scooba if you get one. I HATE mopping, that is the one thing Phil and I try to palm off on one another.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Dyson option is right for us. It's very expensive and we already have a central vacuuming system so I can't justify that expense. But it's amazing what a good job of keeping things in a manageable order the Roomba is doing now that I've incorporated 2-3 play periods a day into my day. I haven't pulled out the big vac in 2 weeks now!

I got Scooba and took it right back. Mabbee it would be right for you. It is really only equipped to do flat floors. We have broad Mexican tiles and it would beep that it was "stuck" just because the tiles mound up to the broad surface and camber down to the grout seams. How tiresome to rescue it from every single tile!

We also have extensive wood floors with carpets. I wouldn't trust Scooba with the carpets. It avoids them OK if they sit above the floor but it would make an awful mess of the fringes if you weren't staying on top of it and making sure it stays clear of them. As for the wood floors, ours are hand distressed. Nice finish but it means uneven again and any low point is going to have dirty water squeegied into it.

Finally, it's quite heavy when it's tanks are full. You can fill it by increments on the floor but you're gonna hafta heft it to empty it. And the parts that need to be opened/cleaned were very fussy.

I look forward to when they're a couple generations down the road. But if you've got suitable flat floors and you're ready to give it a whirl, they have a 30 day satisfaction policy on the website. For my part, I had no difficulty taking it back in its used condition to Linens 'N' Things after a week. It's at both Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens 'N' Things and they both run 20% off coupons every other week — that's an $80 discount on a $400 piece of equipment.

Great to have you back! I avoid the travel topics because we can't and it breaks my heart. But I hope you had a fabulous time!
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