I have recently re-entered the analog world, and have been using the VPI HW-17, together with a Discwasher brush and fluid, to clean my albums. This does a good job, but obviously I am not using the maching to its full potential. I am hesitant to fill the reservoir, because somehow I feel the fluid will become moldy and foul, especially in the waste reservoir. Am I being paranoid? Any recommendations on how to keep things clean?

Leaving cleaning fluid in the primary tank for several weeks
at a time has never been a problem for me. The waste tank
is a different matter. It will be good to drain the waste
tank frequently.

For best cleaning with a VPI HW-17, I would recommend a
switch in your cleaning fluids of choice to either the target=_blank
alker Audio Prelude Quartet
(my favorite) or AIVS
cleaning fluid, and use manual application/scrubbing brushes
rather than relying on the HW-17's built in applicator

After using my HW-17 for 20 years, I now use the built in
applicator brush only for dispensing distilled water as a
first "dust removal" step with dusty used records. For true
cleaning, I rely on Walker Audio hand held brushes and
cleaning fluids. These give me the best results I've ever
been able to get.

Good luck to you,
I won't discuss the choice of fluids in this thread, only to say that any RCM is only as good as the Cleaning Fluids, and Rinses you use.

And lastly, chuck the Discwasher Brush, or give it away.
The MFSL brush is awesome and I highly recommend using one for new albums and the other for older used albums.


When I had the HW17, the fluid would evaporate if not used for a long time. I use the 16.5 now and empty the tank after I see the clear tube backing up.
An additional investment of $25 is required, that is to purchase a steamer at Walmart. You will be surprised at what it can do. Enjoy the music.
If you tilt machine up from the front i put hose into a jar exess fluid then runs into the jar from hose!!I keep jar on the floor below machine hope this helps.
Thanks, everybdy! I have tossed the Discwasher and just ordered the MSFL brushes. Will get back to you!
I've owned the HW-17 for about seven years now and have cleaned thousands of discs with it. Yesterday I noticed a wet spot on the underside of the particle board enclosure and opened it up to see the leak. To my dismay much of the interior is covered in black mold. The leak's been occurring at the connection between the main waste reservoir and plastic tube drain. If you look closely you can see the plastic tube is slightly elevated above the connection meaning gravity will always pool waste fluid there first, basically begging for a leak. With only a small ring clamp that would never be air or water tight, practically every HW-17 in the world will have the same problem. Did the design engineer lack common sense? I emailed VPI yesterday with photos but no response yet.

The exhaust fan operates while in use billowing out mold into the room air, so I've moved it into the garage. But this is a temporary solution, with the heat and cold swings in the garage the black mold is only going to grow exponentially now. The vacuum motor has rusted from the leak but all the electronic parts work fine still. Any recommendations on what I can do? I'd hate to throw the whole machine out because the particle board chassis is now contaminated. Here's a picture I just took. The camera flash hides the severity of the mold, but as you can see the mold is very evident and AWFUL.

Hi, If you put household bleach in a spray bottle and mist the mold it will dye, You will need a warm room with air flow. After this process starts you can wear plastic gloves and scrub the wood. If you wish the wood can then be painted. I never had this problem with mold because I chucked the vpi suction moter befor I ever used it. I added a plactic vacuum cleaner hose with a plastic hose end fitting where the other moter used to connect to the unit. I used 25 feet of this hose drilled a 11/2" hole to my basement and hooked this up to a used rainbow vacuum cleaner power unit. This machine is designed to clean with water as a filter, you would fill a water basin with 2 quarts of water befor you clean then dump water and dirt in toilet. The machine water basin is plastic, cant rust. The only things I did was insurt a plastic nipple in the hose line and drill different sizes or hold to relive the massive air flow ( suction ) to relive the pressure on the VPI suction tube , and I wired a heavy duty extension cord to the orgional connectios of the VPI motor. I have been using this for at least 20 years with out a problem and have cleand as many as 25 LP and never need to empty the water pan. I know this works. I was in the vacuum cleaner business for 50 years. Good luck with whatever you do , David.

Chance you'd wanna take a job of converting mine for me as well? Course I'd cover parts, shipping, and whatever you want for labor. All in one unit versus linked hose to basement though.

With all the HW-17 VPI's in the world, surprised there isn't already a niche market for fixing this poor design. Also makes me wonder about the quality of VPI turntables, not that I'd ever want to downgrade from my idler wheel transcription tts to find out.

I notice the new VPI typhoon has a stainless steel chassis, perhaps a way of circumventing the mold problem without addressing the engineering flaws causing it in the first place? Who'd want to spend $2K on a leaky machine though?

GC I am actually using a Rainbow vacuum it needs to be used as a self contained unit, wouldn't fit in the VPI box.Someone would have to find a good running Rainbow at a reasonable price , I got mine at a garage sale, a new rainbow motor only cost about $ 300.00 . I paid around $ 100.00 many years ago. This fix isnt cheap but it solved the empting of the water , otherwise I am happy with my VPI. If you lived near I would gladly help you with your VPI for free. David.

If you are still looking at these posts I want to add something to Rushton's post. Using the Walker or AIVS to best advantage requires two cleaning wands on your VPI. The reason for this is that these are multi stage cleaning procedures where the first two stages are cleaning agents, the last stages are rinsing. You don't want to use the same VPI Wand for both so you will need one dedicated for each. I suggest you buy a tower and wand for your VPI so swapping them in and out is a quick and easy procedure.

Thanks for offer, but Elinor's post has got me thinking I need to fix two problems now. I've become sick and tired of switching wands between wash and rinse cycle for every disc, not to mention all the wand water splashing around on top trying not to cross contaminate. The VPI machine simply needs to be redesigned almost completely, after all these years you'd think VPI would address these problems. They've ignored my email as expected. I guess if you're not buying a $12K tt from them then they don't care.

Does anyone here actually use the super stiff bristle brush/liquid applicator on the VPI? That pump jets out liquid like spilling a cup of coffee on the table, what audiophile actually uses that? They need to get rid of it and replace with a second vacuum wand. Perhaps I can get my engineer to customize this for me.

The only reason 'upgrading' to Loricraft/Monk/Odyssey is a non-starter is the cleaning time for a disc, basically waiting for them to 'play' every disc twice, you gotta be kidding? As a pure 78 collector I have a hunch shellac wouldn't like staying wet during the play/clean time either, so the quick vacuum clean's my preferred method.

I've come to realize in audio, if you want the real thing and are deep in historical music, you have to have it customized, and spend years waiting for design and production. A test of patience, blogging about it on forums is probably therapeutic LOL.
My garage is on a steep incline, so I'm going to lug my VPI into my tiny backyard in the cold to clean discs today. Hope the neighbors don't get pissed off at the noise.
Hi. you could put your VPI on a high spot ie: kitchen counter, get a plastic connector and add a longer piece of drain hose and let it drip into a 5 gallon pail. I could find these at the local hardware in my town . Ugly but warm solution. But we do it all for the music ! David
I don't know if it's just leaking at the exit hole of the waste reservoir, where they designed the plastic tube to go on a slight incline before the decline. This really is so far removed from common sense it's ironically apropos for absurdity of much 'audiophile' companies. Or I don't know if it's also leaking at the vacuum motor. I'd assume the motor would've given out already if that too were leaking? Basically I have to keep the bottom enclosure off and jerry rig some way where I can see the leak(s) during use, then go from there. I can easily fix the plastic drain pipe leak by making another hole in the bottom where it never inclines from the reservoir. This is of course if the bleach spray doesn't ruin the electronics first.

I've been contemplating getting the Typhoon now and having the brush/liquid applicator replaced with another vacuum wand. I don't know if there's enough room in the chassis for another motor and waste reservoir?

Hopefully someone will respond to the other thread and post an internal picture for me.
VPI emailed me back this Tuesday, they said they'll replace the chassis for me with their new aluminum one for a small fee if I send the machine back to them.

I shouldn't have jumped the gun in blasting them here although a good number of years ago I had a similar experience. I needed replacement vacuum wands before they were available on eBay or anywhere else I could find, and it took VPI over a week to reply back to me via email on a clarification of the price list as there two different parts to the wand. This was after the initial inquiry with near equal reply time. I did call them twice as well and my voicemail was never returned with a phone call. It's such a small piece of plastic but it is essential to the function of their RCM's.

Of course it's a small company, but with such a large clientele base relatively, I think it would be a good idea for them to have a secretary responsible for making sure phone calls and emails get returned within 24 hours. All the secretary would have to do is reply back saying their engineers are very busy and will reply back with requested details and information in so in so days. Or better yet, state on their "contact us" page of their website, that they have a high volume of inquiries, assuring their customers and potential customers, that they will be responded to within five to seven days, or whatever they feel is their max average response time is during a given period. This one little additional blurb could probably abate much of the negative publicity I've read in other forums about them. You can't fault most people for expecting a response within a business day or two at most if nothing alerts them otherwise.

I purchased my VPI new in February 2006 but found out it was actually manufactured before 2003. I'm very happy and relieved they're fixing my machine for me. I still think the HW-17, and now the Typhoon, are the best RCM's available.