TroubleShooting Odor Issues Q&A
Removing Center Weighted Cloth Filter
Question:
We have a Beam Central Vacuum Model750A. Does the bag come out? Bag smells like a mouse died in it. Cleaned sprayed with Lysol leaving canister off. Think husband may have sweep something up that was wet. We don't use the central vac that much. This vac bag is stationary. not able to take cloth bag out with weight in the bottom out. Thanks Julie
Answer:
You'll have to use a screw driver to pry the stiff outer rim of the cloth bag up and bend it toward the center. Once bent in enough it will fall out. Put a new one in buy bending and letting it snap into place. The replacement center weighted cloth filter will be the same as the diameter of the can.

Super Stinky Inlets Resolved
Question:
BEAM PU3718 bad odor I have a Beam PU3718 (or it could be PU371B), I'm getting a really bad odor coming from the outlets. I've replace the tubes that lead into the canister last year and cleaned the ones in the house with a snake. I empty the bag often. The smell goes away once I run the vacuum but returns right after. It smells like a combination of wet dirty socks and yuck(really bad). I've tried the fabric softener sheets but that was a temporary fix. The smell would go away for days or weeks on its own and return the same way. Is there a filter of a replacement bag I can use? It was installed in 1999. Thanks in advance. Dominic, Mississauga, Canada
Answer:
You've inspired a new idea here with how you've made your "stink'n" point! Usually we ask you to spray Lysol on a paper towel and suck it throught the hose and pipes all the way to the unit, and do it many times. But what if you also, or first, open the valve, start the suction using the on/off switch on the vacuum tank, and simply spray Lysol into the valve? Maybe for an entire minute. You can leave the valve open for 5 minutes with the vacuum on to let it dry out. Do this at all the valves. This would really help your situation.

Smell Coming From Wall Inlet
Question:
We can smell the odor from the downstairs vacuum canister at the outlet upstairs when it's closed. It's not a particularly worrisome smell (it just smells like a vacuum cleaner bag full of dust) but it defeats the purpose of having a central vac and avoiding such odors when the outlet cover doesn't seal tightly enough to block the smell. The outlet & cover is less than a year old and doesn't appear to be damaged; the rubber disc on the inside of the hinged door seems OK, as does the spring tension. Is there a way to make it seal tighter, or an extra gasket that can be added? Thanks, Tom near Bell FL
Answer:
That is an interesting issue and not often heard of. The key is to be sure the door is flush with the wall plate. You may have to loosen the mounting screws to get everything to seat properly. Or you may have to fist-bump it in more. Just make sure the door is flat along with the base when looking from the side. Beyond that we have a new valve or one with a different style that may shut better.

Completely Wash the Hose
Question:
How do you wash the hose. I was told once before but I don't remember what product to use. I don't need to use the system for a couple of weeks so the hose will be able to dry. One of my hoses smells really bad. I have had the system about 4 years.
Answer:
As long as your hose has no switch on the handle or place to plug in a cord then you can soak it in the bathtub using hot water and Mr. Clean. Rinse it well inside and out and let it dry.

Safety Issue with Aging Motor?
Question:
I just purchased a house, 26 years old. Central vac still works! The previous owners said they never used it. I started using it, and like others have said, the garage smells like something is burning. I understand that this means the motor is bad and I can use it until it dies.. but is there any sort of safety/fire hazard I could potentially cause from this?
Answer:
Congratulations on the home and central vac! There is no safety/fire hazard from a motor that is going out. It will eventually just stop working. When it goes out you can replace the motor or buy a new vacuum to use with the system. We recommend our SilentMaster and FloMaster lines which are both compatible with your system.

Vacuum Baking Soda
Question:
Can you vacuum up baking soda with a central vac safely? I saw a recipe for cleaning bed mattresses using baking soda and lavender essential oil, you let it set for one hour then vacuum up...I need to know if it is safe to use my central vac for this.. Thanks, J Feldt Red Bud.
Answer:
Yes, you can vacuum baking soda so long as it is not wet. If your suction seems to go down then clean or change the filter.

Dark Brown Liquid
Question:
came home and system was running w/o any hoses attached, unplugged unit and noticed a dark brown liquid coming out of one of the vacuum outlets??? any help? thanks patrick, tulsa ok
Answer:
The liquid could be condensation build up that mixed with the dirt in the pipe. It could also be that someone didn't tell on themselves for vacuuming liquid (wouldn't be the first time we've seen that). Sometimes vacuumed liquids make it all the way back to the main tank so take a look at the filter and change it if is wet or damp.

How to Suction Lots of Water with a Central Vacuum, How to Clean It Up if You Don't Correctly
Question:
Last week we vacuumed water that was on an area rug. Water started running out of one of the inlets. A week later we tried using the vacuum again and it works, however water ran out of the inlet again and I noticed a very musty smell coming from the inlet. Should we call for service, or is there a simple fix that we can do? Thank you. Melanie Bradenton, FL
Answer:
Suction up whole paper towels until they come out dry then spray Lysol on some and suction them. You can suction water with your central vacuum ONLY with a Preinlet Separator

How to Extract Water from Pipes
Question:
Cleaning lady spilled water on stair rug - then in nervous state tried to vacuum it up. Water is now in one line will a shop vac work at sucking it out? Should I call for service? Thanks Patricia
Answer:
Did the water make it all the way to the motor inside the vacuum tank? If so then call for service. If not then you can suction up whole paper towels, as many as needed, to soak up the water. Leave the hose and vacuum on for a couple of hours to let it dry out.

Hose in Closet Stinks
Question:
We store our hose/attachments etc. in the front hall closet. The closet smells dusty all the time and think the vacuum attachments must the culprit. I have several air fresheners in the closet which don't seem to be doing the trick. The closet doors are airtight...i.e.have no louvres. Any suggestions? Chris
Answer:
We suggest spraying a couple paper towels with Lysol and sucking them through the hose and pipes and into your vacuum. Don't soak the towels so that they stick but feel free to suck as many towels as you need to thoroughly coat the hose interior. You can also put them through the wands when they are attached to the hose.

Pipe Line Cleaning
Question:
I have a central vacuum and the nozzle where you plug it into either the carpet or kitchen attachment smells like something died. I smelled all the outlets in the house, emptied the canister, and there are no smells coming from those places. Is it safe to run water through the hose and try to clean it out? Riverton, Utah
Answer:
Do Not Run Water In Your Central Vacuum Lines!  Your pipe line, the hose, and the unit are not waterproof and will be permanently damaged by water. You can try running Tornado Power wipes down the hose, found here http://builtinvacuum.com/tornado-power/index.html  If that does not remove the foul odor, then you may need to replace the hose.

Motor Smells After Vacuuming Hair Pins
Question:
We have a Filtex central vacuum which is 23 years old. Today I accidently sucked up 2 hair pins and shortly after the unit in the garage began to smell like something is burning. This has never happened before. Do you think it could be the hair pins or the motor going bad? Thanks.
Answer:
The motor on your unit is going bad because of the electrical smell. It has nothing to do with what you have vacuumed up. It is safe to use the vacuum. Eventually the motor will just stop. Replace the motor at that time or replace the entire unit.

Pet Smell In Older Central Vacuum System
Question:
We bought a home that has central vac. They had dogs and the home smells. After replacing the bad carpets the central vac still smells. I opened the can under the vac and inside is all kinds of hair and it smells. When I turn it on it really smells and sounds horrible. Dust/dog dust flies around when I turn it on. The smell must go. Replace the vac or remove the whole thing? there also seems to be gravel in the bag and in some of the vac holes throughout the house.
Answer:
It sounds like the system needs a complete cleaning.  A major concern would be the gravel at the inlets. This could indicate an issue with the vacuum unit not running with enough power to clear the pipeline.  First check the filters on the unit and make sure they are all clear. Most units have at least two filters, the main and a secondary screen just before the motor to protect the fan blades. The lines can be cleaned out with our Tornado Power cloths at http://builtinvacuum.com/tornado-power/index.html  These are designed to be sucked down the pipeline at each inlet and pull all the build-up and debris out. They also are treated with a fragrance to reduce the smell.  Replacing the power unit is an option to solve the dust problem, contact your local dealer to talk about some options at http://builtinvacuum.com/dealers.html  A dealer can also inspect the entire system for any issues that may be present.

Smelly Inlets
Question:
I have a central vacuum system, and (don't ask why) my brother somehow vacuumed up a hot ember from our fireplace. This started burning the system out in the garage and is now leaving a disgusting horrid smell throughout my house. What can I do to get rid of the smell? All of the inlets have a rancid smell coming from them and seem to be releasing air along with the smell. Any answers? Let me know, Jessica
Answer:
The first thing you need to do it replace the filtration system in the vacuum. Next, spray Lysol on a paper towel and suck it up with your hose from a corner of the towel. Repeat a couple times at each inlet and leave the towels in the vacuum. This should take care of it.

Dusty Garage
Question:
I have to leave my garage door open when using the system to clear out the dust. I cleaned the unit and replaced the bag, My original md vac was vented outside. Iwas told that this unit did not need to be vented. Model #178229 There is a open pipe in the wall that leads to the outside. The pipe comes out of the wall and into the unit, my old unit had a Tee which vented to the unit and also to the outside.
Answer:
This should be easy to resolve. First, the MD unit should have a supporting cloth AND a paper filter. If no paper filter is in place then the exhaust will be dusty. See www.builtinvacuum.com/manual.html for more information on filtration. The next solution is to check to be sure the piping is connected properly. There should be intake pipe from the home only connected to the top of the unit. The bottom connection(s) should go directly outdoors. Please check these things and let us know what you find.

Dog Smell
Question:
We moved into a home with a Husky model G3211, and it reaks of dog smell. We'd like to replace the filter and get any suggestions you have to get the smell out of the vacume cleaner. I am soaking the collection cannester hoping to get the smell out, and want to know if there is anything I can do to clean the hose and replace the filter. Thank you. Lisa
Answer:
Cleaning as many surfaces as possible and changing the filter is a great start. In addition, take paper towels sprayed lightly with Lysol and suction them at each wall port through the hose. Leave them in the main tank as the system is relieved of the odors.

Vac Unit Stinks!
Question:
We have a horrible smell coming from our central vac. It started once the temperature warmed up. How can we get rid of it? Cheryl-Minneapolis
Answer:
Hi, first empty your vacuum and clean it out. Remove the filter and set it in the sun. Spray Lysol on them and let it all dry and put them together. The spray some on a paper towel and suction it through your hose and into the tank. Leave it there. Do it from each inlet.

Odor from Exhaust
Question:
We moved into a home with a Silent Master unit and had no idea about the filter system. The system is located in a third garage, which we converted into an office. When the vacuum is on, the office smells foul, like dirty feet :( We have emptied the bag and are ordering replacements today. Is there a deodorizing product we can put in the filter or is there some other fix to prevent that awful smell? Thanks. -D.Mejia
Answer:
Hi, thankfully central vacuum's exhaust outside the living area but in your case you need some help. First use paper towels lightly sprayed with Lysol to suction down the hose into every port. The suction some of these to odorize the exhaust http://builtinvacuum.com/tornado-power/.

Stinky Vac Lines
Question:
My vac lines are starting to stink. The smell musty and rotten....Other then the tornados, which I'm going to order is there anything else I can do...Rice, lysol, baking soda???
Answer:
Hello, there are somethings you can do. Many times restaurantes suction 5lbs of hard white rice into the pipes to help clean the arteries. Have a clean bag and you can do that with the same rice many times. For the smell, to kill the bacteria, lightly spray a paper towel with Lysol and suction it corner first into the hose. Do that a couple times at each inlet.

Burnt Smelling Motor
Question:
Just bought a house in Mcdonough Georgia 30252. The vacuum is located in the garage and is very loud when turned on and smells like something is burning. The house was built 9 years ago. The vacuum still works great. What is the problem? Thanks
Answer:
Usually a burning smell means the vacuum motor is going bad. Use it until it is finally completely dead and then replace it.

Burn Smell at Unit
Question:
I have a Beam model 190 that will start both at the hose or the base unit and will shut off 5 seconds later with a burn smell in the air. The reset button can be used to get the vacuum to work again but after 5 seconds it shuts off again. Any answers? Thank you, Chris Gunn
Answer:
That is the smell of a bad motor. As it heats up it may also pop your minibreaker. Replacing the motor is not difficult to do. Here are the parts and instructions.

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