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Central Vacuum Installation - Best Practices

The most common practices when installing a central vacuum system are essential pieces of information to know prior to getting your system up and running!

The Three Essentials of Installation
  1. Carefully lay out the straightest, most direct route for the tubing, ensuring the most efficient built-in central vacuum possible.
  2. Place the inlet valves in the most convenient, efficient, inconspicuous and easy-to-use locations available.
  3. These steps must not compromise the integrity of the structure or be confining to the occupant's lifestyle needs.


  • Only use the highest quality virgin PVC tubing made. No "regrinds", which cause rough interior finishes.
  • All cuts are to be made with a thin-wall tubing cutter for straight, clean cuts, leaving no gaps between pipe and fitting seat.
  • All pipes are to be deburred, assuring proper gluing and seating of pipe.
  • Never use a hacksaw (unless there is no other option)!


  • Only use top quality fittings, which are produced in polished stainless steel molds (25% heavier than inferior fittings).
  • All fittings to have 3/4" cuff, not 1/2".
  • Only install tight 90-degree elbows at the inlet valve connection and will make offset jogs with two 45-degree ells (not two 90 degree ells).
  • Never install drop out tees (where the sweep part of a tee goes directly on top of another inlet valve run) because debris can fall down to the inlet.
  • Never install a double WYE fitting because when installed vertically debris drops down, missing the turn and when installed horizontally debris misses the turn and piles up in the opposite run. Click here for photographs of double "WYE" alternatives.


  • Only install CL 2 Fire-Rated 20-gauge wire (or stronger) for our low voltage wiring.
  • Secure wire to the pipe at 5' intervals and at most elbows with plastic wire tie wraps or tape to ensure a neat and safe installation.
  • Install nail-on safety plates to prevent drywall nails from accidentally protruding into the tubing.

Inlet Valves

  • All inlets must be installed at exact height equal to electrical outlet code, unless otherwise specified.
  • Never install fewer outlets than required to adequately reach all areas with a 35' hose, but preferably 30'.
  • Accurately color-match all inlet valves in the installation, unless otherwise required.

Power Unit

  • Never install a power unit not adequately designed to service the living space it is installed in.
  • Always double check each finished installation to ensure proper suction and airflow.
  • Never install a power unit which will emit dust or debris from the exhaust into the room that it is installed in.
  • Never knowingly sell any consumer anything they do not need!

These exact standards required by MD Manufacturing are a joint effort - between the manufacturer and contractor. As an end user, demand that these standards be met by your installer. This ensures the highest level of function, convenience, and satisfaction from your central vacuum system!

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