Visitor Review: Rainbow E Series Vacuum

Rainbow E Series Vacuum


That pretty much sums it up. I have been using my Rainbow E Series vacuum cleaner for 7 years or so now.

The E series might be one of the most frustrating vac’s you can buy. The collection tank system works. It works really well; the problem is you have to empty it.

It is very tempting to dump this slurry into the toilet but I fear that after too many “dumps” that I may have long term damage. I have found using a spaghetti strainer to filter the slurry before dumping the was water a pretty good idea.

It still is a nasty job though. One thought is a 5 gallon bucket with holes in the bottom. Just dump the slurry and water into there and let the water seep into the grass. Wife not a big fan of that idea.

In general it is nice to see all the gunk in the collection bin and remember that all was in the air and carpet. The rollers this thing runs on are very nice; the wheels are large enough to get over a threshold without capsizing.

I did flip it once and that was not a pretty site. Black slurry oozing out. The power nozzle does a pretty good job of picking up, but I feel it might be a bit too thick to really get into corners. I find that I often disconnect the hose and just use that to pick up the corners.

I don’t know if anyone else has covered this point before, the handle to pick the whole unit up is padded. Really a nice touch.

This Rainbow E series vac did save my bacon one day when the kids put dish soap into the dishwasher, instead of dishwasher soap. I had bubbles all over the kitchen. I just popped on the non-powered attachments and it cleaned up nice.

Now, some annoyances. We shall start with cleaning the collection bin. I know the manual says you can’t put it in the dishwasher.

Man, it’s tempting. This thing really gets caked on gunk. Heaven forbid you leave it sit for a day or two without cleaning it out. What a mess.

The power nozzle could use a light. I can’t believe they missed this, you already have on-board power for the motor, just throw some LED’s up there.

The hand held power nozzle is a joke. It is shaped funny and you can’t get the corner of stairs well. Eventually my motor burnt out which is odd since I don’t use it that often to start with.

Do not pick up fireplace ash. You would think this would be the perfect vac but instead it is the worst. The ash has a negative charge which causes it to bounce off of the water in the collection bin and go through your motor and anywhere else.

Stay away from cat litter too. Found that one out the hard way. Once that clumps in the bin, nasty.

Some people complain that the Rainbow E series vacuum cleaner is too heavy to go up and down stairs. I have no problem, but some do.

The carpet steamer system is a royal pain. It takes quite a bit of pressure and scrubbing to clean the carpet, and the handle you are pushing on is hollow plastic. It burrows a hole into your hand and puts you in a bad mood. It works great sucking up the fluid though.

Watch out for the disappearing soap dispenser bottle. I spend nearly as long looking for this little bottle. The valves for the clean water tend to leak along the way, and I have never gotten them to seal right.

I eventually stopped using the carpet cleaner, and instead used a Koblenz carpet scrubber, then the Rainbow to suck up the water. This became too much work and now we have hardwood floors in much of the house.

I have had a few problems with this E series vac over the years besides the hand held power nozzle motor going out. The spring that holds the retaining clip for the collection bin popped out and went flying somewhere in my house.

This clip holds much of the vac together. I ended up paying $11 for another spring, I was not too happy. The retaining arms for the power cord storage have snapped off too. I can’t seem to find anyone to sell those.

In summary, I have a love hate relationship with my Rainbow. I would probably buy another one, but not at the same price.


  1. Mark

    Problems I have encountered: The motor smelled hot, I shut it down. It would not start again. I found out how to take the vaccuum apart and found the motor brushes worn out(brushes available). I also found that there is a spacer between the top bearing on the armature and the plastic housing for the brushes. This spacer i s broken. The upper bearing is bad, very rough when turning. The metal fan fails to stay on after removal and reinstalling. These parts arent available, so according to Rainbow I need to spend $500 for a new motor assembly. I was extremely satisfied with the performance of the vaccuum. I am highly dissatisfied with the lack of customer support, lack of parts availability. Not an Amazing Customer Experience. Since I dont have $500 to put out for a motor Rainbow is out of a customer and of course I am not sure I would steer anyone towards Rainbow.

  2. Anonymous

    Just broke mine today, damn thing tripped over the power cord and tipped on it’s side. I quickly stood it back up (maybe it was on it’s side for a second), vaccumed the rest of that room and shut it off. Cleaned the basin and put new water in it. Turned it on and it was sluggish, sounded like it wouldn’t quite spin up to full power. I turned it off and back on it and failed to spin the motor. Looks like the motor for the e-series is about $254. I’m going to take it apart but i’d like detailed instructions so i don’t break anything. I have my a+/msc and a bachelors degree so I doubt taking apart the vaccum would be a challenging but i’d like some detailed instructions if anyone can provide some.

    • Kevin

      I’m a service tech for rainbow. Unless you have a bachelors degree in repairing rainbows I suggest you take it to someone who knows what their doing.

  3. Mar

    I have always had Great Danes who shed like crazy. I used to go through a vacuum every year. They would clog, burn out, etc.

    I heard of the Rainbow, had a salesperson demonstrated it and WOW! I bought it. Now this was 15 years ago. I no longer have Danes (went to Snoodles) 4 years ago.

    I have NEVER had to have any repairs done. I changed the Hepa filter, washed the inside of the hoses, which you can do. I did this after 14 years of use.

    I love the scents you can put it.

    I paid over $1,500, 15 years ago! It was the best vacuum investment I ever made!

  4. Maria

    I have had my Rainbow for about 8 years.

    When I really want to do a good job at cleaning my house, I use my Rainbow. I have gotten a little lazy at times because it does require some effort filling the bowl and putting together the machine so when I just want to make the house look okay, then I use an old upright Electrolux. Even though this last one is easy to use, it cannot be compared with the Rainbow as far as cleaning goes.

    I do think that the Rainbow is overpriced and that if it would sell for a lower price, many people who won’t get it now, would want to have it.

    “Dust cannot fly”, like Rainbow claims, is a very convincing phrase and it convinced me in investing that amount of money in the first place.

  5. Lulu

    I just bought an E-series vacuum, and I was told that anyone who bought one is still under warranty because the warranty is 8 years and the first ones were built in 2004. If yours is an E-series, you shouldn’t have to pay anything to get it fixed … yet. I guess I am hoping that is true, because I definitely don’t want to get stuck with expensive repairs, too.

    My mom has had one for 15 years, and she is just now getting the seal replaced. My grandma has used a Rainbow my whole life. I am still having a heart attack at what I am paying for it, but so far it is an amazing vacuum. I wish there were a handle on the part that you dump out because I’ve gotten some pretty nasty stuff on my hands (stuff I’m sure my old vacuum wouldn’t have got up), but other than that, so far so good.

  6. Anonymous

    My series e is from 1999–so 2004 wasn’t the earliest. My problem is I have two of them and the power cords have lost contact. Vacuum won’t run.

  7. Celia Allen

    My Mother bought the E-Series at least 15 years ago. It worked amazingly well. Cleaned the carpets and floors beautifully. Yes, the water bowl, if you will, does look and get funky when you are done vacuuming, but, it makes me happy to drain the water with a sifter (used only for this purpose!) and throw away all the bad stuff I just cleaned up. So, in life you do have to make compromises. Mom never minded the end clean-up. My Beautiful Mother passed away three years ago. I just dug out her vacuum, put everything together and ‘tried’ it out! It works like a dream. So, for the little inconvenience of the clean-out, it is certainly an ‘investment’ for your home.

  8. Gail Waters

    I bought a Rainbow several years ago but cannot remember the year I bought it.
    I have the serial number which is 20394325.
    Can you let me know the Series and year.

  9. Ema

    Which Aquamates can be used with Rainbow E series E?


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