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Sanitaire SC 886 A Workhorse!

Pros exceptional pickup, durable
Cons heavy for some users
Recommended it? Yes
The Bottom Line:  I heartily endorse the Sanitaire SC 886 for the right user. It will perform for a lifetime!
This upright, bagged vacuum from Sanitaire (a division of Eureka) is a 7.0 amp high efficiency commercial grade vacuum cleaner that has both the power and durability to endure even the most demanding, if not abusive treatment. The SC 886, long a staple in Eureka's commercial division, is an exceptional performer and because its construction is modular, parts can be exchanged easily, and reasonably priced in the commercial setting. Prices for the SC 886 range from a low of $180.00 to $225.00, depending on the outlet.

The 886 is a belt (rubber) driven, vertically opposed spindled unit that beats and disturbs the carpet surface with its patented 12" "Vibra Groomer disturbulator rotating brush. The 886 is height adjustable via a rotating height dial on the units' chrome hood, to 6 positions. Changing height requires the operator actually engage the control by hand. The 50' power cord is a great time saver as well as a real convenience not requiring you stop and reconnect at a closer outlet frequently. This is a feature more consumer vacuums could benefit from. At just under 18 lbs. the SC 886 is no lightweight and may not be suitable for all users. It does not have capability to attach hoses, upholstery or dust brushes. This is simply a dedicated carpet warrior that does one thing extremely well; keep your carpets clean.

The technology behind the SC 886 is superb. Although extremely durable, it will inevitably require service down the road. More than likely, your first service will likely be replacement of the actual brushes in the Disturbulator (rotating brush). This requires that you remove the belt, and ends of the Disturbulator via two hex nuts and remove the end caps. The brushes slide out. This process is a $1.75 proposition. Many users swap out the disturbulator, which can run just under $20.00.

The next likely service will be swapping out the cord, as it is easy to run over and the powerful 7.0 amp motors will chew the skin off the heavy duty 3 wire grounded cord easily. Here again, if you do the work yourself, you may end up paying $5.75 - $7.00 for a replacement cord. Having it sent out will cost upwards of $30.00.

Other maladies that will beset the Sanitaire will be a broken plastic fan (.75 – $17.00 wholesale/retail) or eventually a dead motor ($37.50- $68.00 wholesale/retail). You don't work on vacuums? Surprisingly, with the help of the detailed manual and parts list, you can identify what part is broken if you have a beginners working knowledge of electrical circuits. If it doesn't start, it can only be the cord, switch or motor. If you're real astute electrically, you can purchase motor parts and actually rebuild it. If it's noisy, it more than likely is the fan. Simple diagnosis skills can go a long way in saving you a lot of shop time and money if you have a resourceful and inexpensive parts resource.

The question of parts is valid, since as a professional, it is much more cost effective than buying or repairing retail. Either way, you win in the long run, because you have a vacuum cleaner that will outperform any other in its class. Yes, it is heavy, but that weight is necessary to stabilize the torque of that powerful little motor. The disturbulator actually lifts your carpet from the pad and can suck in dirt that has fallen behind the actual carpet. This is worth mentioning since it is this dirt that breaks down and prematurely wears your carpet down. If used on a newly laid carpet the result will be long life and an immaculate floor covering. The SC 886 can breath new life into old carpets as well. Cleaning out the cloth bag is instrumental in the life of this machine. Although it is high capacity, it is not advised you actually fill it, as efficiency will be compromised in the process. These bags can be replaced for $5.00 - $15.00 (wholesale/retail) and simply slide onto a retaining clip.

Is the Sanitaire SC 886 for you? I guess that depends on whether or not you can do without attachments for high and low dusting and upholstery. If you have a valuable carpet or just a lot of carpet to care for, the Sanitaire will not let you down. If you are handy with electronics, you may want to buy one in need of repair. Refurbishing this machine will pay off in spades what little money you put into parts. Here again, reasonably priced parts are key.

For further information you can go to the Eureka website, and follow the links to it's commercial division. The site is not all that user friendly although it has all the components you would expect of a manufacturers site. Eureka warrants the Sanitaire SC 886 for a period of 1 year, regardless of consumer or commercial use. After all it is a commercial unit.

The Sanitaire Sc 886 is an exceptional value given the life you will add to your carpets. Besides giving you a mild workout, you will notice the nap on your carpets rise to the occasion when you use the Sanitaire SC 886 on them.

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