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Home Economics

Vacuum Cleaner Add-ons

Who would think buying vacuum cleaner add-ons should be a futile error-prone undertaking? The vacuum cleaner industry. Each manufacture has proprietary tool sockets.

I’m looking for an upholstery brush for Moaning Myrtle, our FesTool CT-15 home vacuum cleaner. The wand size is almost 36 mm. What could be hard?

I even know who makes the cleaning tool sets for FesTool. A German company named Wessel Werk near the old home place in western North Carolina.

Read on if you dare.

References

  1. https://www.festoolusa.com/products/dust-extraction/mobile-dust-extractors/574831—ct-15-hepa-usa
  2. https://www.festoolusa.com/power-tools/dust-extractors/accessories#CleaningElements I bought the Workshop Set
  3. http://wessel-werkusa.com/wwusa/pt-160/

What I Have

Moaning Myrtle is a FesTool CT-15 Extractor designed for wood shop cleanup and light woodworking dust collection. She came with a 32 mm hose, a crevice tool, and an upholstry nozzel of the ordinary kind.

I also have a workshop cleanup kit with a 36 mm hose, stainless steel wands, the chunky metal floor nozzel, and some other odds and ends. I added a carpet Turbo Nozzel to that, FesTools Turbo II made by Wessel Werk. I stumbled across that fact by searching to see who made hose and tool kits for central vacuums. It turns out that most resell Wessel Werk tools.

What I Want

The Dyson Animal v6 Stick came with a powered upholstery tool that magically cleans up pet hair off speaker grill cloths. Can I connect Moaning Myrtle’s hose (either one of them) to the Dyson powered brush? No! It turns out that each time Dyson brings out a new series, Dyson changes the hose and wand to obsolete the prior tools. So old nozzles don’t connect to new Dysons let alone to anything else out there.

Introducing Wessel Werk

So can I buy something similar to the Dyson upholstery brush that is less fussy about the company it keeps? Maybe. So I went Duck-Duck hunting for central vacuum tool sets and discovered Wessel Werk. This company specializes in things to connect to vacuum cleaning machines. They make tool kits for all of the leading central vacuum companies and specialist tools for the likes of Miele.

The Catch

Although Wessel Werk makes a large variety of tools, they make many of them with multiple connection sizes. Fortunately, all connections are for tapered tubing but to match one up, you need to know the wand’s outside diameter and the tool’s inside diameter. And both should have the same taper. FesTool does disclose hose sizes but not taper, for its wands. The wands work with both the 32 mm and 36 mm hoses as both hoses have a common plug. All of the FesTool accessories share a common socket. An all FesTool kit is in like 007. Quick and easy.

Buying aftermarket tools is a bit tricky as Wessel Werk offers multiple socket sizes on its tools and multiple tapers. So you need to know which to buy. What could be so hard about disclosing these two simple facts.

What Manufacturers Should Do

Manufacturers can make post-sales life easier for all by doing the following for passive and vacuum powered tools.

  1. Use cylindrical wands and tool sockets for vacuum driven tools and passive tools
  2. Use standard wand diameter and taper
  3. Disclose wand diameter and taper
  4. Use a standard tool socket diameter and taper
  5. Disclose each tools available socket diameter and taper combinations

Things are a bit more complicated for electrically powered tools as power is 12o V or 240 V single phase 50 or 60 hz and different codes have different grounding and shock prevention requirements. At this point, most makers of powered vacuum tools have this figured out. It is largely a matter of standardizing the fittings across brands and electrical codes.