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Inlets & Installation for Kenmore Central Vacuum

How to Replace an Inlet Valve

Most inlets are universal, meaning they have two screws four inches apart and a 1-1/2 inch diameter hole. Kenmore vacuum inlet ports are usually all universal. Vacuum inlets come in a variety of colors and shapes and are usually interchangeable. This instructional video should give you the confidence to replace your vacuum inlets with ease.

Take a moment to determine if your inlets are Basic or Electric. Both universal inlet types have two metal contacts INSIDE the 1-1/2 inch diameter hole. When these two contacts INSIDE THE HOLE are touched with the back of a spoon and shorted the suction starts. Electric inlets have these contacts as well as two small 110 volt connection holes 3/8 inch apart at the top or bottom of the main hole - DO NOT PUT ANYTHING into these small holes.

Basic Inlets for Kenmore

Basic inlet plate covers are used in many Kenmore installations and replace 98% of all outlets. The opening is just under 1-1/2 inches, mounting screws are 4 inches apart, and the inlet fits into a 1-5/8 inch round hole in the mounting bracket. Each inlet valve can be mounted with the lid opening up or down. Note the FULL FACE inlets are the MOST DURABLE and replace oval and square styles.

All rectangle shaped valves are interchangeable. There are two metal contact points inside the hole of each inlet valve and two screws on the back side for the low voltage wire connection.

Replace 99% of older wall inlets with any of these rectangle valves. Note: these do not replace inlets activated by pressing copper or a button, or that have a 1-1/4 inch hose insertion hole.

EASY Upgrade for Kenmore: Consider a Low Voltage Hose to get the convenience of turning the vacuum on and off at the hose handle instead of running back to pull the hose out from the wall. All Low Voltage Hoses work with all inlets and vacuum systems. If your hose already has a handle switch you are set and it will work with these valves!

Electrified Inlets for Kenmore
Electric Inlet Valve Reference Sheet
Electric Inlet Valve Reference Sheet

It is recommended an electrician works with electric valves.

The following electric inlet plate covers can be used and may have been used in any installation for any brand including Kenmore. The round opening is just under 1-1/2 inch, mounting screws are just under 4 inches apart, and the plate fits into a 1-5/8 inch diameter hole in the mounting bracket in the wall. Any vacuum wall cover plate with two small holes (3/8 inch apart!!) can be replaced with one of the two following electric inlet types. Any of these valves can be used for new installations and retrofits as well.

Electric inlet valve covers have two voltage connections. One for low voltage wires (two screws on the backside) and one for 110 volts (on the front side of the cover). Electric valves can also receive other types of hoses including Stretch, Low Voltage, and Basic.

There are two types of electric inlets and they are not interchangeable.
Super Valve Electric Covers have a permanent 110 volt connection plug with wire leads.
Electra Valve Electric Covers hold a molded plug that is attached to 110 volt romex wire.

Pipe and Installation Parts for Kenmore

We have everything you need to install a central vacuum or retrofit your old one. Two inch outer diameter thin wall PVC vacuum pipe (and fittings) are standard in 99% of installations. If you have smaller pipe, there are pipe adapters below. Use standard PVC glue for pipe and fittings.

Our Installation home page is full of links on everything you need to know about installation.

Make your own Installation Kit by using the Installation Parts Guide to quickly figure out the supplies you will need for your specific installation.

All ASTM Standard F 2158-01 compliant for industry standard central vacuum pipe and fittings.

Complete installation tools can be found here.

*Note: Kenmore Vacuum is a registered trademark of Sears, not M.D. Manufacturing, Inc. Products sold by M.D. Manufacturing, Inc. are not from Kenmore Vacuum but are designed to complement a Kenmore Central Vacuum. Therefore, parts and products carry warranties from MD Manufacturing and not Kenmore Vacuum and thus may alter the warranty provided by Kenmore Vacuum.