TroubleShooting Low or No Suction Issues Q&A
Air Vac Screen
Question:
tonya pembroke pines fl I have an Air Vac red series. How do I get to the screen on the intake?
Answer:
To clear the screen, remove the filter and reach up to the intake.  You can use a small brush to clear any buildup that may be blocking the airflow.  To access from the other side, you will need to remove the motor.

Astro Vac No Power
Question:
I have a astro vac sr-50 and all of the sudden in between changing attachments the suction went out the power for the vac attachment still gets power but no suction
Answer:
You may have a bad switch in the handle or a motor in the main unit. Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down the issue. http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

AV5500 Reset Switch
Question:
can't find reset swich on av5500
Answer:
The minibreaker reset switch will be in the back next to the where the power cord comes out of the motor housing.  Some models have an internal reset switch that can be accessed by opening the motor housing.

Beam 750 No Suction
Question:
I have Beam central vacum system model 750 installed when mu house was built in 2005. It was working well until now when it lost its vacum suddenly. When I checked the outlet at the vacum drum itself it was working fine but all other wall outlet inside the home has no suction power. Thanks, Naveed.
Answer:
That would be a clog in your pipes.  You will need to get a repairman out to house to clear the line.  You can find a local dealer at http://builtinvacuum.com/dealers.html 

Beam Model 100 Low Suction
Question:
I have a BEAM (serial #9510448, Model 100, 11A, 2400sft house) that is about 20 years old. The vacuum sucking power is very weak at every outlet and at the unit in the garage. Two weeks ago I held my hand over the hose end while plugged into the outlet and 100% suction returned after a few seconds. Last week later I did the same thing but now the suction is very weak all the time. What size unit should I buy if I cannot fix it? Do I need to buy a BEAM or will any unit fit the existng hookup in the garage.Thank you Rick
Answer:
At 20 years old, the motor is done.  You can either replace the motor and continue with the older system, or upgrade to a new one with more power.  Any of our product lines will work great with your size home.  You don't need to replace with a Beam, our system will connect right to the existing pipes. Contact your local dealer for replacement options here, http://builtinvacuum.com/dealers.html

Beam Power Rating
Question:
Hi my name is Maria, i have a BEAM Model 284 sn. 40269 i don't know how long old the vacuum cleaner is, when we bought the house 9 yeas ago it was already installed. i would like to know what can i do to have more suction it has low suction and would like to know how many watts it has. appreciate if you can help me. Thank you Maria from Repentigny,Qeubec, canada
Answer:
For performance power ratings, including airwatts, you will need to contact Beam at www.beamvac.com

Broken Pipe or Clog?
Question:
i have a galaxie ga100 and have lost suction somehow. can you help, i believe i may have a cracked pipe, but not really sure how to find it. it has great suction at conister w/ and w/o hose. thnak you
Answer:
If there was a cracked pipe then you would have low suction at the unit because it would be affected by the leak in the crack. The unit is attached to the piping system so it would affect it as it would the inlets in the home. So if the suction is great at the tank with and without the hose then the system is probably just clogged. Take a look at solution three here www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchart.html

Canister Not Secure
Question:
cleaned the Kenmore central vac can not get the canister to seal tight /hangs slightly loose from the main body,any suggestions might be helpful,thanks.
Answer:
Did you put the gasket in place? That is all that is really there to cause this issue.

Clogged Hose Repair
Question:
Glenna Hamiltion Ontario Canada We have a Kenmore Mark 5 Central Vac which has low suction at the end of brush motor runs and has been replaced once I have tried suctioning marbles up they come back when I shake the hose it appears to me something is clogged in the hose unable to unclog this 50- to 100 ft hose would appreciated any suggestions you may have also tried to unclog with a large Shop Vac attached to hose TYVM Glenna
Answer:
Unscrew a broom stick and feed it in through the wall end of the hose. It should stop at the clog and you can hold the stick and break it up.

Clogged Screen, Low Suction
Question:
My family just purchased a house with a very old Vacuflo model 26 installed. The system has low sucking power and after reading here, I've found that the screen in the cone is truly clogged. Is there a way to take the screen out so I can unclog it? I scrapped the debris off the side that faces the bottom of the cone, but how do I clean the other side? Thanks, Leigh Johnson
Answer:
Hello Leigh, remove the motor section and the motor to get to the upper side of the screen.

Cloth Filter Not in Right?
Question:
I have a ureka built in vaccum (not sure the model) and my husband accidently took off the cloth filter that hangs down when cleaning the unit but now we don't know how to put it back together and there is no suction (i am assuming because it is not put back together properly) thanks Elya Kelowna, BC
Answer:
Hi, the cloth bag with stiff outer rim needs to sit inside the groove made for it. Flex the rim in and let it pop into the groove. The bag hangs down when not in use. For other possible issues use www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Cycling On and Off
Question:
We have an Air Vac 525 installed in 2000. The unit seems to cycle on and off. I have replaced the hose and filter. The screens become clogged and we clean periodically. The filter bag has debris inside the bag. Could the bag be installed incorrectly? or be the wrong size? it seems to fall into the canister.
Answer:
The cycling on and off can be several issues. You'll have to make sure each part of the system is working properly. For instance, when you turn the machine on with it's on/off switch on the tank does it cycle? If not then the machine is fine but something past the machine is not working correctly. Use this guide to work through it www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Dual Motor, No Suction
Question:
We have a nutone 11years old model cv-450 no suction from main system. checked all wires /all conected. Reset no response. Have dual motore, both working still no suction. Thanks Craig from WI
Answer:
Both motors may appear to work because the air spins the dead motor making it look like it is moving. Note that a motor(s) need to be tested for 20 minutes to prove they are good. Also, try this guide for other issues www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html.

Fasco Dirt Build-up Under Motor
Question:
I have a Fasco 851DM, after each vacuuming I have to remove a round dust patty from the screen closest to the motor or the suction will greatly diminish for the next use. There are no obstructions, filter is clean,so is canister. Unit is 10yrs, always worked fine. Why does this dust patty form on that screen now and never before. David, Prattville, Al
Answer:
Hi, the Fasco should have an inverted cloth filter in it. Did yours? Read the information on the right side of the grid here http://builtinvacuum.com/help/fasco/motor.html to understand. Call us if you have any more questions.

Further Testing for Low Suction
Question:
I have an Electrolux unit, it came installed in house we just purchased (forclosed home). The unit has very little suction at the power unit (I followed your flowchart). I notice the pressure/volume coming out the exhaust is very good, but on the intake side you can barely feel any suction. What would my next step be? Everything seems sealed up good.
Answer:
Remove the filter and try it. Disconnect the intake pipe at the unit that is from the home and test the suction there at the entry of the unit. If you hold your hand over the intake does the motor rev up? If not it is leaking. Can you see the top of the motor for any excessive blue sparking? Means bad motor. Can you feel or hear any leaks around the can? How old is it? Maybe the motor is going bad.

Hayden 200 No Suction
Question:
Model HAY200 - 18 years old. I caught the end of a throw rug in it, got the end of the rug out, but now the suction is not there. This has happened before, but I can't seem to "undo it" this time. Jeanne - Inver Grove Heights MN
Answer:
Suction loss is due to either something blocking the airflow, or a bad motor. Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down and fix the issue http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Hose Switch Not Activating The Vacuum
Question:
i have a silent master central vac - the floor suction port in the kitchen works fine, but when i plug the hose into any outlet and flip the switch on the hose handle it will not turn on and there is no suction Kevin, PA
Answer:
You could have a bad switch in the handle or a short in the low voltage wires in the wall. Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down the problem at http://builtinvacuum.com/education/troubleshoot.html

Initial Suction Okay, then Weak
Question:
I have a centra-clean CP 5000 unit. When we start the unit, the suction initially is strong, but then stops after one minute. Does this sound like a clog or a weak motor? Given the fact that the suction is initially strong, it doesn't seem like it could be a clog in the system. Thanks for your help
Answer:
You may just be releasing the pressure and thinking the suction is not good. The true issue is a clog, a motor out (if there are two motors), a broken pipe, or clogged filter. Please use this to find out www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html and let us know how we can help you.

Kitchen Vent Inlet Leaking?
Question:
This concerns a Stealth system. The suction is minimal and I wonder if what appears in the kitchen on the floor (a vent with suction) could actually take away the power of the hose. Liz Bloomfield NY
Answer:
When the vacuum is in use you should not hear leaking at any other inlet or the floor inlet (VacPan) in the kitchen. Maybe you'll hear a small whistle leak but that is okay. If your system has no major leaks but your suction is weak, use this guide for help www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Lost Suction at Hose
Question:
All of a sudden, I do not have suction in the hose from any of the outlets. There is suction at the power unit - just not anywhere else in the house. What could be the problem?
Answer:
Hello, there are precise steps to take to find the issue. Please start with this guide to find them www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html.

Low Air Flow
Question:
We have a Hoover 8100. It has decent suction at the intake on the unit but it appears there is low overall airflow as the exhaust is virtually non-existant (tried it by opening intake and disconnecting the exhaust). Have also run paper towels through the pipes and they came through fine. Any idea what to try next? Really appreciate the information on this site. Thanks. Nav from Calgary, Canada
Answer:
Thank you for the compliment, lets see if we can help you. Remove the debris intake line, turn on the vacuum manually and test the suction at that intake on the tank. If it is good then it should be good in the home regardless of the exhaust. If air is going in good then it has to be exhausting good. Let us know what that test tells you.

Low Suction
Question:
My name is Rachel and we have a new HideAHose CV. From the beginning, I have felt the suction might be low in our main floor. Both the garage and the upstairs hoses clean easily and retract very quickly. On the main floor, I find I can suck up a cheerio, but not a sunflower seed. How much suction should I expect out of a CV? The main floor hose is longer than the other two and retracts slower as well.
Answer:
There may be an obstruction in the hose or pipeline that is reducing airflow, or not enough power at the unit to run the long hose. Contact the installer for an inspection of the system.

Low Suction
Question:
My electrolux with a 1590 motor that was replaced last spring isn't working right-no suction. I know there is no blockage in the pi[pes etc. but you said it may be one of two motors. I don't have 2 motors. What could be some other things I acould check. Thanks, Ginger, Carthage
Answer:
Hi Ginger, you need to systematically check the unit using the flowchart in the troubleshooting page. It starts with the source and works its way back. Follow each step carefully. If indeed the suction is low directly at your one motor unit, remove the filter, check for leaks at the emptying gasket, and try it again. You will be checking the suction directly at the intake after you remove the pipe from it that leads to the home. The suction should not be low at that point because motors do not slow down after time unless they are given less voltage to run on. Let us know what you find.

Low Suction
Question:
Decreased suction at several ports,what can I do to improve this?. I just changed the bag.
Answer:
Spray a full paper towel with some cleaner and suck it down the line starting at a corner. This will help clear any obstruction in the line.

Low Suction After Cleaning Filter
Question:
someone else ws using the vac and said it was making a funny noise so they turned it off and took the filter off and cleaned out the debris and now the vac has barely any sucking power. The motor was replaced last year. It does not smell bad and when I put another vac where the inlet to the motor is and suck through the system that way it appears there is nothing in the pipes. I don't think there is a blockage any where. help
Answer:
Hi, this is usually because the unit was not put back together right and air is leaking; or the filter was not put on right and is blocking air flow, or, on two motored systems, one of the motor is now dead. The motor gonig bad after the unit is jarred is not uncommon. Also, you will see both motors spinning due to the air even though one may be dead.

Low suction at all ports
Question:
I have a Fasco mastervacII (Model#852SVDM) installed in the home I purchased about 1994. I have experienced low suction at all ports and discovered only one motor is working. The motor that does not appear to be working constantly trips its' own minibreaker When turning the unit on and there is little or no air coming through the top screen on that side. Does it likely mean I need to replace both motors? The side that will run continues to operate properly, however the suction at all ports is diminished. Please advise.
Answer:
Hello David,
You are correct, the motors both need replacing. The thermal breaker should be fine. Replace the motors first then see if the breaker pops. When a motor goes bad it heats up or spikes thus tripping the breaker on the unit. 5% of the time the minibreaker is also damaged but you can't tell without a new motor.

Low Suction, Hot Exhaust
Question:
AV3500 Three years old. I have ordered a replacement for the cloth filer. The suction is very low and the top of the canister and the exhaust tubes are very hot. Ron - Orange, CA
Answer:
Hi Ron, sounds like it can be your motor, remove the filter you have now and test the suction directly at the tank again. Also, look up above the the filter for a small foam filter. If you have one remove it and do not replace it.

Multiple Motor Unit, Low Suction
Question:
I have a SilentMaster S3 that suddenly (last week)has low suction. I have emptied the bag and checked all the ports inside the house to make sure they are all closed. I tried the vacum again today (5 Days later) thinking maybe something is clogging up the pipes and now I am hearing a loud noise from the unit in the garage. The suction is still low. What could be the problem? Patti, Edmond
Answer:
It sounds like one or more of the motors are bad. We suggest replacing all motors for full, new, suction.

New Inlets, Lost Suction
Question:
I recently replaced 3 of 6 inlet valves on my Sears system, model 40534 with what appears to be the exact same type (your part #651HW) and am now experiencing low suction. Is it the valves, the way I put them in or a coincidence? Natalie, Brookeville
Answer:
If it was the new inlets then you should be hearing air leaks in the wall. If you don't then it is something else such as a clog. Go through these steps www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html for help.

No Suction on Second Floor
Question:
My Pullman central vac works fine on the first floor.Nothing works on the second floor. Help Thanks, Titus
Answer:
Hi, either you use a different hose upstairs and it is clogged or the same hose and the pipes are clogged. Take a look at solution #3 here www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html.

No Suction When Hose is Attached
Question:
Hi, I have a broan v20c central vacuum system. It works when hose is attached to the unit in basement but does not work at the 2 outlets that I have, no suction whatsoever. I read that the problem could be with the tubing, what does this mean, I do not know what the tubing is? If you can advise me what the tubing is and what I should do I would be very grateful. thanks anne
Answer:
Hello Anne, please first go through this guided chart to find the issue. www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html.

No Suction With Tubes Removed
Question:
Duovac Air 10 No suction at unit with the pipes all disconnected, the motor runs fine the dust bag is clean, the catch bag is removed, how do I remove the cover(s)at the base of the motor to check the vacuum rotors to see if they are plugged?
Answer:
Is the bottom of the unit on the unit? Dumb question but had to ask it, there will be no suction without the lid or bucket on it. Is there no exhaust as well? You can look up into the motor intake. If it's clogged you'd see it and that is really rare. What it most likey may be is the filter getting too close to the motor suction hole. You'll need our Mesh #740 to solve the issue. Cut it to shape and push it up so it stays in place.

No Suction, No Filter?
Question:
Hi! Just happened upon your website. Thanks fpr your time! Just purchased a house with an Electrolux Central vac in situ. Motor sounds OK, but...no suction at all at the hose 'business end', yet I know for a fact the hose is not blocked (and the motor is not labouring). There is no filter material at all..pleated paper or foam. Will this unit not run without filter material in place? Don't have the model # at hand...it's at the 'new' house. Appreciate any help you may offer. Thks! Valerie
Answer:
Valerie, go through this guide to help find the issue www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. You should have suction without a filter. The bottom is on the unit, right? It needs to be air tight. Let us know what you find.

No Suction, Reset No Working
Question:
I have an electrolux, approx. 15 years old. When I plug in the hose connection to the wall, the units brusshes run, but I am not receiving any suction. Also, when I press the reset button on the unit there is no click noise. What should I do. My name is Troy, from Minnesota
Answer:
Hello Troy, sounds like the reset on the circuit board but to be sure, follow the directions again at www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. If it is the board then use #235S sold here.

Noise, Smell, Loss Of Suction
Question:
I have a Hoover central vac windtunnel for five years. It ran perfectly. Recently when it starts there is a strange loud noice, smell as if it is burning something and it reduces the suction. My understanding is that something wrong could be with the motor.Would you please tell me if it is so or something else. If it is the motor then how much does it cost?
Answer:
That is typically a motor going bad. With your vacuum tank hanging in the garage or basement you will be able to change the motor and the cost is related to your model number. Please use this page to cross reference the motor and cost to the model number http://builtinvacuum.com/help/hoover/motor.html

Nutone VX475C No Suction
Question:
Model # Vx475C We are not getting any suction on the main unit or inside. We have pushed reset and bag is clean, The unit is less than 2yrs old. HELP please! We live in Benton Kentucky on the lake and can not find a nearby dealer Thanks Charles
Answer:
Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down the issue. http://builtinvacuum.com/education/troubleshoot.html If that doesn't help, call us to speak to a technician.

One Valve Low Suction
Question:
I was deciding if I should upgrade or otherwise replace my current central vacuum unit. How much difference should I have in cfm at the different outlets. It seems like one of the outlets has a significant drop in flow when compared to the others. Thanks, John
Answer:
It seems like you have two issues here. The first is one valve has low suction. That is probably a clog. The solutions here under #3 should help with that www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. The other issue is wanting more power. A new 650 airwatt vacuum such as the FloMaster M85 is most likely 50% more powerful than your current system. Please contact us regarding the replacement.

Osclillating Central Vacuum Power
Question:
I have an electrolux central vacuum that is about 5 year old. Occassionally the motor won't remain steadily on. Instead it oscillates on and off every second or two and continues to osclillate: On-off-on-off ... The problem occurs intermittently and does not happen on all outlets, but when it happens, I have not found a way to solve it. I could not figure out how this fit into the your guide. Any thoughts on the cause and how to resolve it? Thanks! Rusty, Norwalk
Answer:
That is usually a circuit board issue. Does it do it when turned on at the actual vacuum tank (with a valve open for air)? Then it is the circuit board which can be replaced. Try our #235S Circuit Board for the same functionality and more durability at a lower cost.

Overheating Due to Age or Air Restriction
Question:
Tom in Boston i have a 220v 2 motor nutone 850 the suction is good but the exhaust is so hot that it warped the piping , it has dual exhaust and mufflers. the exhaust system is approx 15' it comes out and turns 90 degrees to the ceiling approx 3' turns 90 degrees rins across the ceiling 8' ,turns 90 degrees and stubs outside and turns down 45 degrees. the unit is mounted in an open basement , the top of the unit is 4-6" from the ceiling and gets hot enough to melt the pipe.... why?
Answer:
Most likely the overheating is something new? The motors are getting older and running hotter most likely. If the hot exhaust has always been an issue then something else is going on such as there is not enough air getting into the system. Is there a smaller tool that gets used often that restricts the air?

Possible Solutions For Low Or No Suction?
Question:
I have a Silent Master central vacuum that is a 2004 model. When I take the bag and filter out of the unit there are 2 circles in the bottom that look identical. One is working properly (you can feel proper air flow) and the other isn't (no airflow), resulting in low suction. Is that two motors and one isn't working? Right before this happened I noticed a burning smell. I was vacuuming up lots of baking soda at the time. Do I need to replace one of the motors? I did the troubleshooting chart and ended up at #8. Thanks, Deb Dallas,TX
Answer:
Based on the information provided, it sounds like you will need to replace your motor. Depending on the model of Silent Master you have, you can find the correct replacement motor by clicking the following link: Silent Master Motor Options

Some Inlets Have Low Suction
Question:
One outlet has good suction, the other three have poor suction. The one with the good suction appears to be the one closest to the unit in the garage. I've checked the pipes in the crawlspace with the unit on and can hear no leaks. The unit is a M&S Systems Model A425 and is likely as old as the house which is 20 years. It is an electric model with a three position switch on the hose handle.
Answer:
If it were an air leak in the piping system then all inlets would have the same weak suction. One or more inlets have good suction and others don't. That means there is a clog inside the pipe. You'll have to use the suggestions under solution number three on this page to get the clog out. http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Some Inlets Work, Others Don't
Question:
Our Kenmore Central Vacuum System works fine when connected at all outlets/receptacles upstairs, but will not run (at all) when connected at any of the receptacles/inlets downstairs ..? Please advise ..; Connie, Lafayette, LA
Answer:
This is most likely a disconnected wire that links all the downstairs inlets to the vacuum unit.  This can be very difficult to locate in a multi-level home. You will need to locate where the low voltage wires that connect all the down stairs inlet to the unit connect to the main wire leading to the vacuum and find the break in the line.

Spitting Dirt
Question:
Myrna Karp/Florence, OR The main carpet attachment is spitting the dirt out rather than sucking it in. However, when I place a floor attachment on the unit, it doesn't even turn on. No sound at all.
Answer:
Myrna, your suction has stopped working. The sound you hear is only the spinning of the powered brush, not any air flow. Please dive into this guide to find the problem www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. It is easy to do and you can ask us for help at any time.

Stealth Hose II Position No Suction
Question:
I have an MD Vacuum with bag. I have a Stealth unit for vacuuming floors. My switch works on my hose if I flip to the left...good suction. If I flip to the right, which is what I do when I'm using the Stealth unit, I get no suction. Thought I had a bad connection, then realized the hose wasn't working. What should I do? Donna from Butler, MO
Answer:
Hi Donna, sounds like you need a new switch assembly for your hose. For the Stealth Hose use this one here. It is quite easy to install. http://builtinvacuum.com/retail/shopretail.php?part_no=352GS.

Stealth Turns Off While In Use
Question:
I have an old Filtex model. When I use the stealth brush attachment the beater bar turns off when on a low pile carpet. I have turned the dial all the way up, but still shuts off. What is causing this?
Answer:
There could be debris built up around the axle that is creating too much resistance and tripping the safety on the brush. Follow our instruction video to check the brush axle at http://builtinvacuum.com/stealth-kit/tech.html

Stops, Starts, Stops, Starts
Question:
Renee, Berea I just purchased a 9 year old home with a Hayden SuperVac 6000. When I attach the hose to any outlet in the home it will begin to suction then stop begin and stop. I have cleaned filter, unplugged the unit & emptied the canister. What can I do?
Answer:
This is the pattern of a bad motor. They don't lose suction, they turn off and many times back on. Nine years is about the right time for this motor to go bad (about 900 hours of use). You can purchase the new motor and install it using the instructions here under the Model 6000 http://builtinvacuum.com/help/hayden/motor.html

Strong Motor, Weak Hose Suction
Question:
Hi I have a fasco 851. I recently had the brushes checked and a new relay installed. The unit was given to me and I have not installed any pipes in my house yet. I have it mounted in my basement to use down there. When I turn it on I have very low suction. You can place your hand in front of the hose and it will not suck to it. I have cleaned the filter and even turned it on without the filter in but still the same result. If you take the motor off of the top of the unit and hold your hand over the small hole it seems to have plenty of suction there. I have checked around all the gaskets and can not feel any air leaks? What else can I check? Confused Aaron
Answer:
Hi Aaron, it sounds like the hose is clogged. If you have good suction where you plug the hose into then you really have a clogged hose. Reverse the hose and see if you can suction it out the other way. Put your hand over the end and let pressure build and then release while shaking the hose. Do it over again and again.

Suction is Weak
Question:
I have a beam system that is 15yrs old it has been working fine up until 6mo ago. It has poor suction at the hose,I have checked the hose for a blockage,I have none, when I turn the unit on manually I have poor suction a each inlet, I have sent a tissue through the piping to check if I have a blockage each tissue has made it to the unit. When I take the unit off the wall and check the unit for suction it seem to be good. I have a lot off dust coming for the exhaust could this be a clogged filter? It has a self cleaning filter. Thanks Mike Woodbury, MN
Answer:
Hi Mike, disconnect the pipe that connects to the house and brings in the debris. See if the suction is good there. Remove the filter (grab it at the top side and pull directly inward). Try the suction at the unit again. If you have a two motor system remember that one motor may to out. The center-weighted cloth bag, when removed and the suction tested, will let you know if it is the problem. Let us know what you find and also use this guide www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. 

Suction Issues
Question:
My vaccuum works fine when the carpet piece is attached but when I take that piece off it shuts off. Also, the low suction setting isn't working either. Otherwise, the carpet when the carpet piece is connected it works fine.
Answer:
If your carpet brush is electric the suction problem may still be there, you just can't hear it over the brush. Dual motor systems can have one motor go out and will have about 50% suction loss. If the motor(s) are still good and the suction is strong right at the unit then there may be a clog in the pipeline that is reducing air flow. Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down the issue at http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Switch Only Activates Suction To One Side
Question:
HI. My Stealth central vacuum hose switch starts suction when switched to the left and starts the brush unit but not the suction when switched to the right. Is the switch broken, or is there another issue? Mark, Surfside Beach
Answer:
This is a problem with the switch, it needs to be replaced. You can find the replacement switch here, http://builtinvacuum.com/retail/shopretail.php?part_no=352GS,352s

Tested, Still Weak Suction
Question:
hi, we have model p-125 installed in 1988. very pleased w/unit up until 6 months ago when we started having suction problems. have run balls through hoses and they make way to main canister. debris in canister is all twisted (like dna) and still has poor suction. any ideas? i've read about a filter, could that be clogged from motor side? we've reached up and raked stuff off of it. help! we have come to love the ease of just plugging a hose in and the cannister portable model just doesn't measure up. thanks. beth franklin, va
Answer:
Hi Beth, is the suction weak without the hose at the debris entry point at the unit? If so, it sounds like you cleaned off the screen close the the motor and we are assuming there is no suction leaks around the gasket. Maybe you need a new motor? Motors don't usually slow down except for giving them less electricity to run on. If the suction is strong there and at the end of your hose from there (test separately) then you may have a break, an air leak, in the home. Also, older hoses may look fine but have lots of little leaks.

Under Powered Unit?
Question:
I have a 3 storie home, about 6,000 sq. ft. In 2000 when the home was built we installed a Airvac AV3500. I was never impressed with the suction. I was use to a Kirby. Soon after moving in the suction got worse and we just did nothing about it. Now I would like to. Does it sound like these is a problem or could our problem be the system is too small for the house? Cathy Raymond
Answer:
Hello Cathy, it is a bit weak but should not be a show stopper, really. Maybe there is something else going on like a clog, seeing the suction got worse. Super low suction really only happens from a clog, hole, or bad filtration. It may be best for you to get help on this from a good dealer, or you can start troubleshooting by using this guide www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html. There are units that have 50% more power for about $500. You can ask about the FloMaster M85 or the more expensive and larger SilentMaster S44.

Unit Has Good Suction, Little Suction at Wall Plates
Question:
I have a 19 year old Beam central vac unit with motor 189D. The unit has excellent suction but no outlet has any suction. Plug hose into outlet, vac unit starts but virtually no suction at any of the 5 outlets. Unit seems fine with lots of suction. The self cleaning filter and canister are clean. Is it a clogged line?
Answer:
It's a possibility that you may have a clog somewhere in the line. To flush out a possible clog, please complete the following procedure. Plug in your hose to the inlet nearest your central vacuum cannister. Place your hand over the end of the hose for a few moments to build up pressure behind your hand, and then release your hand. Repeat this process for roughly 10 minutes. Once this is completed, repeat the process at the next inlet in your home. Continue this process until all the inlets have been completed. This should help remove any clogs that might be in your system. You can find more help on solution #3 on this page www.builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

Unit Smells and Grinds
Question:
Jamie, Alliance, Ohio. I have a vacuflo model 26. Was using when it kicked out and smelled like something was burning. If I turn on it sounds like something is grinding and low suction. This is without the hose and the screen is clean.
Answer:
Hi Jamie, this is the sign of the motor being dead. If overheated as the bearings crashed out. We suggest replacing the motor yourself. It is not difficult. Use your original gasket and you can find the motor and instructions here http://builtinvacuum.com/help/vacuflo-dirt-devil/motor.html

Unit Will Not Turn On
Question:
Hi, I have absolutely no suction at all when i plug the hose into the wall outlets. Also i have no suction from the point installed underneath my kitchen cabinet. The unit is installed in my garage, i seperated the compartment that holds the bag and found that the bag was actually almost full. My wife noticed a slight smell when she entered the garage yesterday. When i unplug the unit from mains power socket and re-connect it i hear a click.The circuit breaker next to the power inlet (outside of the casing has not popped)There are two thin electrical wires that are also connected through the top casing a green light is iluminated when i plug in the unit at the wall socket. Due to the fact that power is getting to the motor and i hear a click when i disconnect it, can i assume
Answer:
If the unit will not turn on, most likely the motors are burnt out.  With the unit running on a full bag, the motors burn out with the extra heat. Replacing your motors should fix the issue.  You can find your motor listed by brand here, http://builtinvacuum.com/help/index.html

VacPan Toe Kick Vacuum Leaking Air
Question:
I have a 2 year old MD SilentMaster. When vacuum is on at any outlet, there is a very loud air noise at the pantry vac pan. The outlet close to the vac pan has little suction whereas the suction is fine everywhere else in the house. the pantry vac pan and adjacent outlet are the farthest away from the the unit. Cracked pipe?
Answer:
The Vacpan may need a repair kit. The air is leaking from the front of the Vacpan, no?  It means the arm is broken. The repair kits are here: http://builtinvacuum.com/inlets/vacpan.html

Vacuflo Low Suction
Question:
Daughter has vacuflo model 107 came with the house. Had this trouble before, no suction. cleaned out cleaning people filled up. checked circut breaker reset button does not go in it just wiggles. What can I do next. Janet Boca raton Fl
Answer:
The most common issue with Vacuflo is the screen just under the motor. It is the only "filter" on a true cyclonic Vacuflo vacuum and must be cleaned off often. Reach up into the unit after removing the bottom bucket to scrape it off.

VacuMaid with Low Suction
Question:
I have a Vacumaid P125 central system.The system has extremely low suction on the vacuum hose. The hose has no blockages. The motor is running hot. It is about 20 years old. What other information do you need to diagnose the problem?
Answer:
How is the suction where the plastic pipe from the home connects to the Vacumaid? If low, have you cleaned the screen below the motor, up in the cavity of the machine? It gets clogged with hair and carpet fibers, restricting airflow.

Water-Lift Discrepancy
Question:
Why do I get a lower waterlift reading on the unit by itself, not connected to anything, then the water lift number of the specs for the unit?
Answer:
Correctly you disconnected all pipes and tested the unit by itself.  There are three factors that could provide a lower waterlift: 
  1. Lower electricity rating.  Motors are 120 volt (or 240) and may be receiving lower voltage in this location. This represents a motor performance drop depending on the actual voltage.  Also, a remote location far from a transformer will have different electrical voltage than one right next to a transformer.
  2. Elevation.  If the installation is at a 2500’ then you would have thinner air and a calculation loss of 10% in waterlift compared to the standard rating taken at sea level.  An elevation of 4,000 ft would produce a 16% drop in waterlift.
  3. Ametek states their motors have a ±10% variance in performance.  You may be experiencing one particular portion of this curve.

Weak Suction
Question:
We have a Fasco central vac system that at times seems to be working ok, but at other times the suction is very low. We've made sure the hoses are all clear, the filter is clean, both motors seem to be running normally. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do? Could it be time to replace the motors even though it seems like they are running ok? We believe the unit was placed in the house in 1988 and it is model #852SVDM. Thank you--Larry and Angela Watts
Answer:
Some Fasco's had one small motor such as the 851DM, A853 and A853449. If you have a model with two minibreakers (two motors) then one motor can be out. If you have a powerful single motor unit then you have some sort of clog or air leak.

Will Not Turn On. Clean Bag, No Clogs
Question:
I have a BEAM central vacuum LR53516 Model 371, Class 2 circuit 24 V Max. 12.7 Amp. 120 Volt with 4 built-in wall outlets. It was installed 19 years ago. Recently it did not start up even after I used a shop vacuum to clean the filter bag and tom remove any clogs that might occur in the pipes leading to the dust bin. What can I do now? Please advise. Thank you. My name is Felix living in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Answer:
If the motor is not coming on at all that is one issue and if it does but there is no suction, that is another. Take a moment to go through this trouble shooting chart for help and solutions http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html

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