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Central Vacuum Installation Questions Q&A

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Missing Low Voltage Wire - Please Help!

I just bought a house that has the piping for the central vac. What's missing is the low volatge wire. I tried fishing the wire for hours but it's nearly impossible. I would have to cut out drywall in 5 different places. Can I run the wire inside the pipe? My only worry is that it will eventually lead to a clogged pipe... I need a solution. Thanks


We do not recommend running the wire inside the pipe due to the potential of clogs. Your best option is to bypass the wiring completely with an electric 30' RF915 Wireless Hose option and RF915 Wireless Receiver. If you do not need an electric hose, you may use the RFX Central Vacuum Wireless Remote Kit.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have related to this system. You can reach me at 1-800-997-2278 x101.

Concrete Slab Installation?

Can central vac be installed in a concrete slab? We r building a complete concrete house.


Yes, run the central vacuum pipe and wire in a 3 irrigation pipe in the concreate slab. Stub up for valve locations.

Mobile Home Installation?

Can these be installed in manufactured/mobile homes?


Yes, a central vacuum can easily be installed into a mobile home. Often a short style tank is used under the home, piped under the home, and the inlet valves are floor mounted.

Gluing Connections Near Unit

mounting unit. if all connectors are glued except the ones on the unit how can you lift the unit up to send it out for repairs without cutting something?


Usually there is enough wiggle room to get the fitting off the unit. If you don't think there will be feel free to keep a couple sections unglued.

SCH40 or SCH11 for Installation?

I have installed 2 inch, schedule 40 PVC in 2/3 of my new construction house, based on one website and a converstation with one of their reps. I discovered last night, on another website, that using PVC was a "no-no". I am unable to find the building code regarding this issue. Is it OK to use schedule 40, 2" PVC or should I rip out with pipe I have placed, and start over?


Schedule 11 pipe and fittings are made for the CVAC industry with strict standards for a smooth interior and overall thickness, meaning there will be very little lips at the joints to prevent clogs. Yes, for convenience and greed some want you to buy all their stuff but use SCH40 to save them and you money but this is something new since the internet was born. In 50 plus years we have never done it. You be the judge based on what the concerns are. There are plenty that have used SCH40 but we know of none. Maybe you can get some concensus by getting some references that have used it and the step down adapters.

How many people can vacuum at the same time?

Can you use more than one hose at a time


All residential central vacuums are intended for a single user. The suction would be useless if two hoses were plugged in at the same time.

Y or T Fitting Best?

hello, is it better to use a T or Y fitting when cutting into line to add an additional outlet??


We would recommed using a Y fitting as it creates better air flow, but the T is fine too.

Adding New Inlets to Existing Pipe Runs

I have an existing Central Vac system and I want to add new outlets. Can I splice into any pipe in the system or do I need to connect the new outlets directly to the trunk line? I don't have access to the trunk line but I can get to the pipe coming from the existing outlets. thanks Mark


New inlets can be connected to individual pipe runs versus the trunk line. That said, if the connection is to the vertical pipe there may be drop out of heavier items into the inlet below the connection. If the lower inlet is used frequently the debris, if any, will not build up so it will not be an issue.

Can I Install A Unit In A Very Cold Attached Garage?

Can I instal the unit in a very cold attached garage


Yes, you can install a Central Vacuum Unit in a cold attached garage.

What Type of PVC?

What is the standard pvc type for central vacuum systems?

Central vacuums use schedule 11. It is thin walled, 1/16" thick pvc, with a very smooth interior. The central vacuum fittings mate to the pipe perfectly so there is no lip at the connection. The outer diameter of the pipe is 2".

Extending Exhaust Pipe Run

Clay Red Deer Alberta Canada. Cv currently exhausts under my deck. It's about a 10 ft run with one 90 elbow from the unit to the current exhaust spot. I'm Enclosing under my deck to make a shed. I don't want to exhaust the cv in the enclosed shed since it kicks out some dust. Can I extend the exhaust across the 10 foot length of the deck to exhaust outside? I am a bit Leery of doing this because that would put the exhaust about 18 inches above the deck staircase.

You can extend the exhaust. What ends up happening is the vacuum will have some more back pressure and may cause the motors to run hotter. Hotter motors can equate to shorter life.

Inlet Valve Placement Using String and a Floor Plan

For new houses, I am using, the rule of thumb, 600 sqft for rough in. Should all of inlet rough ins have to be tied-in? Thanks - Jay, Winnipeg

If you have house plans you don't have to use the rule of thumb "one inlet valve per 600 sqft". Instead, us a string to mimic a 30ft hose and set one end in the back corner of a room, go around pretend beds in bedrooms, and see where the other end of the string falls. An inlet will go somewhere around there and will also be able to get more areas of the home. Where ever it doesn't fully reach is where the next inlet will have to go. Yes, in a central vacuum installation for any home all the inlet pipes are tied together as soon as possible with one pipe terminating where the vacuum tank will be. The same for the low voltage wire, splice it together at every three way connection (tie the wires together then strip and wire nut and strap it to the pipe).

Exhaust Length and Diameter

There's some conflicting answers, one answer says its probably ok to vent the exhaust 30ft, subtracting 5ft for 90s. The others say 15ft. What about a larger pipe, would that take care of any back pressure issues? Or larger pipe with a inline fan ? Thanks Kevin Bernie, Mo

Exhausting a central vacuum unit, when possible, should be done with the motor(s) in mind. If it has two motors then use two central vacuum pipes for the full distance or combine them anytime into a larger pipe (3 to 4 inch dia.). Converging them into a larger pipe is not straight forward. We have see the use of a 4" vent pipe with special foam sprayed to make it air tight. We have not seen any solution that includes an inline fan. Some units have two exhaust ports and only one motor. Please call that manufacturer for advice and be ready to give your model humber and expected exhaust length, it may be possible to use only one of the two ports. When it comes to the overall length of the run, it's always "shorter it better". Some motors produce a lot of heat and pressure. Other motors don't produce as much. Those that do will benefit from a shorter run. Measuring it in feet is only a general guide. Vacuum motors run quite hot so keeping them cool allows them to run cooler, extending the life. So in theory you could have a long run, but it will most likely cut down the longevity of the motor(s).

Flexible Hose

The only way I can install a new valve is with flexible pipe. About 12' to main line. OK?

Flexible hose is not ideal as it has bad air flow, but if you have good access to your short piece, if it clogs, then you are fine.

Is Mold and Issue from Exhaust?

will the warm air from the house cause dampness and mold to form in a cold garage?

That is a good questions but we have never seen this happen. Certainly, we never expect it in a large room where the vacuum is. The air is cooled quite a bit by the time it hits the vacuum tank and when it exhauts.

Low Voltage Connection to Tank

Low voltage connection into the canister do the wires go in without some type of connector? And which wire goes where, I have a red and a white but no instructions as to where these wires go and if they go into the canister bare or with some type of malefemale connector. So far the rest of the install has gone fairly well with the exception of this detail. Taylor - Salmon Arm

Congratulations on the install. The low voltage connection to the tank is different no different brands. It doesn't matter what wire goes to what connection and if the connection is a slat then you'll need to connect 1/4" slat terminals to the bare wire. If the wire on the tank is bare then simply wire-nut one wire to either wire and repeat.

Cold Air Return - Running Pipe - Penetrating

You mention to not run the tubing through the cold air return. In my case my options in one particular spot in the home is limited. What I want to do is put the outlet into the cavity with the cold air return and run it straight down (about 20 inches) thus limiting the intrusion? Posible or no? What are the issues? Thank you! Brent Monticello

Running pipe in the cold air return is not a huge issue. What we are concerned about is penetrating any ductwork. It has to be very well sealed.

Love The Website!!

DANIEL, DALLAS, TX This website is awesome and so is the product!!!

Thank you, Daniel! We have worked hard to find the best products and provide the most information on Internet!

Hoover Central Vacuum Low Voltage Wiring

We just purchased a Hoover Windtunnel. The wiring and tubing is roughed in at our house, but no central vacuum has ever been installed. We have three outlets -- one in the basement, one on the main floor and one on the second floor. At the unit there are two wires, each with four coloured wires. It seems that one wire runs to two of the outlets and the other to one outlet. The main floor has a continuous loop that goes to one of the other inlets. The unit has an on off switch on the vacuum handle. Can I cut the loop and at each inlet attach the same two coloured wires to the two inlet screws and then the same matches to the unit? Will I have a power issues given that the vacuum wand has an on off switch? Thanks! Chris in Toronto

As long as each inlet has two wires connected to the unit, you will be fine. Every central vacuum operates on the same principal, when the low voltage wires are connected the vacuum turns on.

Cutting Off a Branch of the Central Vacuum Piping

I want to eliminate one of the branches of our housekeeper system. Is it possible to cut the pipe and cap the line without hurting the system? thanks joe

Simply hacksaw the pipe that leads to the branch of the system you want no suction to and put a pipe cap on it. You need to consider cutting the low voltage wire too because the suction will still start from that branch if a hose is inserted into one of the vacuum inlets in that area. To cut the low voltage just snip it and pull the ends away from each other and tape or strap the wires to the pipe so they are not lost. Or if there is a low voltage wire junction near the cut, typically at a three way pipe joint, then undo it and take out the wires leading to the branch you are taking out of commission. Regarding the pipe cap, you need one that is 2-inch inner diameter we have them here or through our dealers.

Gluing Pipe from Above into the Tight-90 on Backing Plate

I see in the instructions how to glue the short 90 to the back of the mounting plate (for wall inlet in existing home with vac pipe coming down from attic thru a wall). How do you glue the vac pipe (already behind the wall) to the top of the short 90? Requires 2 people?

Ideally you want to put glue on the pipe before it is fed down into the wall. If not, put glue on the end of the tight-90 through the back plate inlet opening (it doesn't take much), insert the pipe from above and then reach into the tight-90 and clean off extra glue.

Low Voltage Wire Matching

The low voltage wire I received with my system (2 wire) has the same color insulation/jacket for both wires. Do the splices at fitting joints need to be matched up by wire color/function?

The color of the plastic jacket and the color of the wire makes no difference at any junction throughout the installation. The only thing that matters is that the two wires from one strand are not put together. Keep them separate and connected to any of the other separated pairs and all will be well.

Changing To Electric

Richie Norton/Ma. Can you change a non-electric central vac to to an electrical one.Any helpful tips will be greatly appreciated

To change to electric, you only need the Electric Hose with the cord. To use Direct Connect, you will need to change all the inlet to full electric inlets. Replacing just the hose and brush can save you a lot of money. Take a look at your kit options here,

Inlets Not Turning On Vacuum

My unit will not turn on when I lift recepticals only when I turn the system on at the unit. What does this mean?

If your vacuum activates only when the lid is opened, then there may be a break in the wires leading from the inlets to the vacuum. Follow our troubleshooting guide to narrow down the issue at

Vacuum Muffler

Should I install an exhaust muffler outside or does it go inside on the pipe going outside. VacuFlo unit.

Normally you install the muffler at the exhaust of the unit to keep the noise down. If noise is a problem outside, it can be installed there as well.

Vacuum Exhausting

I have a westrock pl 125 central vacuum and just redid my basement. It used to exhaust into an open space which I no longer have. Can it be exhausted to the small boiler room I have? Also what about a muffler? It's very noisy. right now I attached a fabric bag to the exhaust. thanks for your information.

As long as the room is not sealed off, then yes. The volume of air coming out of the vacuum unit will need to go somewhere easily regardless of the exit point of the pipe. If the room where the air is exhausted doesn't allow for proper diffusion of the air, then it will get backed up and lower your suction and the life of your motors due to the increased stress. Just be sure that the air has somewhere to go, i.e. space under the door, vents out of the room, etc.. You can add a muffler to the unit, then replace the cloth filter bag on the end. The part can be found here,

Inlet Wiring

I have high voltage wires and low at each outlet. Back at the unit, how do I connect the high v and low v?

The low voltage wires will run all the way back to unit along the pipe and connect to two metal posts on the outside of the unit. The high voltage wires will connect from the inlet to a local power source, such as a nearby plug outlet or wall switch. There is no need to run the high voltage all the way to the unit since there are no power supply connections on the unit.

Vacuum Tubing Flexibility

Can the vacuum tubing have side pressure on it such as making a bend instead of using elbows?

While the pipe is somewhat flexible, it can only make very slight bends. If any turns are being made, you will need to use a fitting to make the bend. Any strain on the pipe can cause it to fold.

Connecting Low Voltage Wire

I'm trying to install my CV, by I'm unsure on how to connect my wires. I have 6 outlets, should I bring all 6 wires to the CV or do I connect them together and then bring on wire to the CV. If you could show my something with a Diagram. thank you, Mario

Actually their a couple of ways of doing it and no one way has a better connection then another. Most installers run a wire from each inlet to the connecting tee or wye joint and then connect a wire from joint to joint. The last joint runs back to the power unit. At each joint you'll have three wires. One from the inlet, one going to the the past joint and one going to the next joint. Use wire nuts to connect them and tape or wire tie the connection to the pie. Some installers take the three wires and tie them in a knot, before splicing them, so they can never be pulled apart. Understand that is it fine to have two wires at some joints, like the furthest one out, and it is okay to have four wires if you have some joints close to each other. It is easier to tie in four close ones then doing three twice. Do you need to worry about keeping one side of the wire always on that side? No, you don't, just be sure the two wires from each wire are not connected together in any one place. It's the same at the actual inlet, it doesn't matter which wire goes on what contact, just be sure the wires don't touch each other. Take a look at a diagram here

New Home, Piped, Not Finished

I bought a 13 yr old house with roughed in central vac but I can only find the two outlets on the first floor. The basement and the garage have been drywalled and there is not central outlet anywhere I can find. How do I find out where the two first floor outlets connect or even if they do? I have tried plumbers and the can't use their fiber optical cameras as they can't bend the cable around right anlges? Stumped in Ontario

Typically a new home piped for central vac only needs the wall plates installed and the main unit hung and connected. At times the drywall contractor will mud over a central vacuum port. To find out if all your ports have been located you can run this simple test. Connect the main unit to the vacuum pipe and install all the inlets you can find. Now manually turn on the main vacuum unit. If the system is completely sealed, meaning there are no air leaks, you should hear the vacuum motors working extra hard. Hopefully there is a connection directly on the vac. Open it. Put your hand over the suction. If the motors do not kick into higher RPM then there is a leak, maybe a missed inlet. When the house is quiet go around and listen for the air hissing around where you'd expect another inlet to be.

Hang from Truss?

Tyson, Moscow, ID. How do you suggest hanging the PVC along the run in the attic or crawl space? Directly to the truss or joist or let it hang with wire hangers? Thanks, Tyson

Your goal is to keep the pipe out of the way so it is not hurt by any others in that area in the future. We think hanging it just below the truss is the best way to go. You can use pipe hanging tape or other hangers. Hang it every five feet and at all joints and elbows.

Low Voltage Differences After Installation

have galaxile 100 unit. all of a sudden one outlet will not turn on. when i ck. voltage at the two nubs inside outlet ( low voltage) i get about 20-25 volts yet when i check other units in house (all others work fine) i get a steady 30 volts. i get same thing when i pull outlet away from wall and ck. incoming low volt wires (2). any ideas thanks for any advice leonard elden , newport, nc

The difference may or may not cause this issue. The additional low voltage wire inside the hose adds resistance that may make the signal too weak at the hose handle switch. If by shorting the two nubs in the inlet hole with tin foil starts the vacuum then you know the voltage is fine there but not strong enough to carry through to the switch on the hose handle. How can this happen? Having more voltage on other inlets but not that one? Usually it is a junction somewhere that has been compromised. That is hard to find so for now hopefully you can insert the hose so that the nubs sit on the same metal plate thus instantly starting the vacuum.

Adding an Inlet Port

I have a astro vac unit sr-33. adding inlet in basement. unit is on a 20 amp seperate circuit w/ 14-2 wiring. can i come from any outlet or do i come from unit supplied outlet?

You can TEE into the existing vacuum PVC line at any point you want. The low voltage wire can also be tied in anywhere.

Wiring Electric Inlets

I am installing a central vac with the "Super Valves", but was wondering about running the electrical wire. I am running 12/2 wire and wanted to daisy chain the vac inlets like I would a regular electrical outlet. Will this work? Set a feed to one and jump from one to another along with my low voltage (run separately). Are there wiring diagrams? Thanks Ashley

The low voltage can be ran that way but it is a waste, in our opinion, to run the electric wire that way. We suggest running each valve's electric connection from the valve to the closest existing juction in the same bay or a couple over. The electricity is not ran back to the vacuum main unit. There is no need for it. The electric supply for the inlet valve is to simply supply power for the power brush.

Install Tubing in Vents?

Hi, should I to install tubing inside my cold air return?

Central vacuum tubing should be ran outside of any other service at all times.

Pipe Length Affect on Suction

I have just put on an addition on my house. I have an existing electrolux system. It has two inlets. One in the original part of the house and one in the basement. In order for me to add an inlet from the addition I would have to go from the inlet directly up to the attic and then down into the basement. Is this possible or would I lose suction power. Mike in Somerset,MA.

Thank you for the question, Mike. Adding pipe up to the attic and then back down to the basement will not cause any noticeable loss of suction. Use sweep 90s, not tight 90s (except at the inlet), and use 45 turns where you can replace 90 turns. This will keep the suction as pure as possible. When it comes to feeling a loss of suction, that will also be affected by the total length of the pipe run from the main unit to the farthest inlet. For your unit you'd want to keep that run below 125 feet. Each 90 turn adds 5ft of "pipe" or friction loss, so take that into account when adding it up. But it sounds like you will be perfectly fine. Plus, the motor, filter, number of elbows, and diameter of hose all play apart in this so it's a bit of an art.

Double Wye or Sweep Tee?

Tom Alameda Ca. which is better to branch in 2 perpendicular directions? use a double wye with 2 45 degree spigots or a sweep tee with a sweep 90.

It is always better to use a sweep tee at this point because the wye will allow heavier traveling debris to miss the turn and pile up on the the other leg. This can lead to a clog.

Suction Low

Jill from Powelll OH: I am having difficulty with the suction action of my unit all of a sudden. All holes are covered and I don't know what else to check.

Please start with this guide

Basement or Garage?

Hi, I am interested to know the best location of installing central vacuum system. The choices are basement or garage. I want to know advantages and disadvantages of both for making right decision.

Good question. The garage is more popular because most vacuums have a utility valve on them to use in the garage. If the basement is at all lived in or used it is cleaner to have the unit in the garage. It is usually also easier to vent the exhaust out the garage then the basement (when venting is required or desired). The basement installation is most beneficial when not used to live in because the unit can be place in a central area limiting the length of the pipe runs which can be quite a distance depending on the garage location. Nevertheless, though, with today's high airwatt units power is rarely an issue.

Low Voltage Wiring - Looping - Mixing Types

The builder of my house roughed in the piping and wiring for central vac. he has ran 1 wire (low voltage) from the 2nd floor inlet, looped it into the 1st floor inlet, and then it terminates into the basement for connection. does every inlet require its own wiring? if so, i will have to run more wire OR should i cut the loop at the 1st floor inlet and connect both ends through the screws on the inlet? will this work? also, the builder has used the 4 colour telephone wire and my system came with the brown - 2 wire. Can I splice the 2 different kinds of wiring? thanks, Neil - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Good questions Neil. The looping is perfectly fine. You can tie the lines together any way you want and have only one wire go back to the unit. The builder should have used larger gauge wire, at least 20. To overcome possible issues also put two of the four wires together to make them 2 and 2, as it they where only a two wire system and put one two pair to one low volt wire side and the other two pair to the other low volt wire side.

Exhaust Length

I want to relocate the exhaust, which currently exits on to our patio. I'd like to have it exit to an another location, about 20 feet away. Is this ok? Is there a maximum distance/length that an exhaust tube should be? Thanks! Eric (Wayne, PA)

The recommended length is 15ft, but 20 is doable if it has very few turns. If there are two exhaust ports put a separate line on each.

Cabinet Installation

my unit is mounted in a cabnet in my laundry room and it is 4 in. from the top and about 6 from the bottom. should i vent the hot air out into the room to keep the motor from overheating? also, the pipes dont match up, and by that i mean the intake is lower than the pipe to the fittings. thx....Evan.....kingman, AZ

Hi Evan, you have to vent the cabinet. Vent the exhaust out using tubing and put vents in the door to allow cool air in. You can open the door while using to provide the most air. The tubing and the fittings you need to make the connection are found here. Use two 45-degree turns, get one spigot too, to make the tight connection.

Lath and Plaster, Two Story

I purchased a home built in 1920's. Walls are plaster. I was wondering if I wanted a central vacuum in the basement, could I run the vacuum pipe outside the house to the attic than down into the second floor? I understand that condensation will be an issue. If the vacuum pipe is run inside a larger pipe with an insulated layer, would that installation be free of condensation problems? Any other ideas?

Hi. The plaster walls need to be carefully chiseled out around the cut line for the backing plate, cut the wire, and sawzaw the lath boards. You may need inlet valve extenders and longer bolts to connect the faceplate to the backing plate. The first floor will have the pipe come into the wall from the basement (OR you can floor mount metal basic valves on the first floor). The second floor will have the pipe come in from the attic. To get the pipe to the attic try to find any spaces that lead from the basement all the way up to the attic. If you cannot, then you can run the pipe outside and put premade foam from the hardware store around it. If you want to put it in a 3" irrigation pipe and use other insulation that works fine too, including in the elbow turns.

Measuring for Inlet Locations & Hose Length

When measuring for outlets, I allowed for a 30 foot hose. Is this the true length of the hose or is it a nominal measurement that will reach 30 feet only if stretched out? Will the wand and head give me another 5 feet or so? Thank you, Don...Escondido, CA


Measuring for a 30ft hose by going around beds, tables and sofas is the best way to be sure you have all the corners of your home covered. Yes, the hose has wands that add about 4 more feet, and yes, there are 35ft hoses available too (try to avoid going over 35ft for a hose, they get too long.) Only the Stretch Hose (good for quick clean ups only) truly stretches. The normal hose will stretch a little but not much at all. Hope that helps, let us know if you have more questions.

Gluing Pipe 10 Feet Down

My name is Bob, from Corpus Christi, TX I am installing a CV in an existing 1-story house with 10' ceilings on a concrete slab. Do you have any tips on how I can put glue on the end of 10' of pipe and feed it down the stud cavity into the ell on the back of the inlet? By the way - great web site!!

Hi Bob, great question. The answer is pretty simple, put glue on the male end and get it down into the wall and into the ell as quick as possible. The key is to also twist down firmly to seat the pipe all the way into the elbow. Note that you have gravity working for you so this is less crucial then a pipe going up from the basement into an ell. There are some times we have to glue many small sections together to make up 8 or 10 feet so the initial glue is drying really fast then.

Only Need Vacuum Tank

I recently bought a house from the bank that was advertised as including central vac. Of course, when I get the house, that is only the half truth. It appears the main unit in the garage is gone, but the house does have all the inlets and stuff. So... what do I need to make it work? I think I know where it's supposed to go--there's a piece of PVC pipe capped off toward the ground, and an outlet to plug in about 7 feet off the ground. Can you tell me what I need and if it will be hard to install? Thanks Nathan

Hi Nathan. All you need is a central vacuum unit and installation kit and you are set. We recommend the SilentMaster S44 or FloMaster M85. Please contact a dealer in your area here

Add Vacuum Port Inline in Basement or Garage

hi - i have an existing system in my home. i want to add a port in the garage. can i just put a tee fiting inline. how would i then activate the system. i\'d rather not use the standard outlet and wire with special hose.... thanks.... bob

Hi Bob, where you have central vacuum pipe (two inch outer diameter PVC pipe) you can simply cut a section out and put in a tee fitting, a slip-in valve, and spice in a wire. It real easy and worth it. Here are the parts you need,613A,540S,512. The first part is the tee, the next is the valve that slips into the tee (use PVC glue), next is wire that you slice into the existing wire or run right to the low voltage connections at the vacuum unit, lastly are some pipe straps you may want to use to support the pipe and it's new valve if the pipe is flush with the wall. The hose that works in the new valve is any central vacuum hose except for the few that have the two metal prongs on the wall end for electricity. If you have more questions please let us know.

Furthest Distance to Inlet from Unit

We are renovating a 4-story + cellar 19th-century rowhouse. While the walls are open I\'d like to install a central vac. Can the unit be located on the top floor of the house in a hall closet or laundry room? How far from the unit can the furthest inlet be located? If we had to run from the cellar, it would be along way to the top floor. Only need for the top three floors. Each floor is 25' by 39'. Thanks.

Hi, this sounds like a great project. Excellent thinking to pipe for a central vac now. A lot of people can learn from this. It is a couple hundred dollars to plumb and run low voltage wire and you forever have the option of finishing it with a unit and hose/tool kit. The power of central vacuum allows the suction unit to be quite a distance from the furthest outlet. The actual distance should be based on a unit you are thinking of buying. It sounds like the best unit for your home would be one with a single motor and has about 650 AirWatts. They are newer, cost effective, powerful units. The SilentMaster S44 and FloMaster M85 are such units. These units work fine in any story home while ran from below, middle, or above. They perform with no noticeable loss at 125 feet (remember to calculate each 90-degree turn as 5 additional feet.) On further runs the loss is minimal and vacuum is still stronger then the best upright vacuums. We hope this helps. Let us know how we can help in the future. If you are ready to buy the supplies now please use our build your own installation kit here

Detached Garage

I have a couple questions. Can you install a central vacuum system in a detatched garage while running the piping underground into the basement of the house? I have a Centralux in my house and want something quiet and powerful at the same time plus something that is easier to empty. My next question is when will you be coming out with an electric handheld powerhead? I prefer electric over air driven accessories because I feel they clean better. I am impressed with your knowlege of vacuums and that is why I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.

Hi, thanks for the great questions. Yes, we suggest a SilentMaster S5 or S44 in the detached garage, running the pipe/elbows/low voltage wire underground inside of 3 inch irrigation pipes and elbows, and into your basement. The electric mini power head will be coming out before September 2009 and it is AWESOME. Let us know if you have any other questions.

How Many Valves Per Branch?

Chris, West Deptford, NJ. Is it OK to have two valves on a branch? It would be more practical and direct for my 2 inlets from my second floor to join my trunk line from the first floor at the power unit. Thanks for your info.

Hi, you can have as many valves per branch and branchlet as you want. The system is sealed so it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the one valve that is open when the vacuum is being used. And the only thing that matters there is that the air flow is smooth all the way to the unit. That means putting in the three way connections correctly!

Log Home Vacuum Installation

we are building a log home, is a central vac system a possibility?

Hello, the interior walls is where the pipe is ran and the valves attached. Those walls are drywall usually. If not, you can run pipe from under the home and put in metal inlets directly into the floor. We have not seen a log home that couldn't have a very well installed central vacuum. Thanks for asking.

Motor Need Oiling?

I currently own a Silent Master from 1991. I have cleaned the vacuum on a regular basis. Does the motor itself need and oiling or maintenance? It has been 18 years since installation. Thank you for your response. Annette

Hi, there is no maintenance to a central vacuum other then emptying it and changing the filter/bag. There is no oil for the motor, the bearings are sealed. You can have the motor brushes checked every three years in case one is going down too quick.

Mount in Attic?

I live in Chico, CA and have a detached garage. Can I mount the power unit vacuum in the attic? Or will the unit get too hot? Chad

Hi Chad, that is a viable option. Just be sure the area is ventilated (to the outdoors usually) and that no insulation is near any vents near the bottom.

Installing into Older Hose

I live in an older house (1950) and would like to check into installing a central vac system. Can this be done in an older home? Thanks - Cindy Bristol, TN

Hi, you can install into any home, even walls with lath and plaster. We do it all the time! What is your specific concern when it comes to installing the built-in vacuum?

Existing Install - Concrete Slab

Our home is built on a concrete slab. Can central vacumn be installed? Would it mess up the walls to install?

Hi, yes, this installation is done every day on the West Coast. No walls need to be opened. The backing plate is put into the wall with a tight 90 elbow already glued on and looking straight up into wall. The top header is drilled with 2-1/2 or larger drill prior, and is directly above the backing plate and elbow. All the pipes and low voltage wire are tied into a trunck line in the attic. The trunk line is ran to the garage where the unit is usually hung. Slam dunk installation! No mess. No repairs.

Warm Air into Cold Vacuum

To keep noise and odor problems down, I want to install the unit in an unheated garage. Will warm, moist air from the house going into a cold vacuum unit cause problems with the filter bags or motor, or in the piping? Carol Rising Sun MD

Great question Carol. Rarely are there issues with what you describe. And if there is there is no negative affect on the filter or vacuum because never have we seen enough moisture actually reach the vacuum. We suggest insulation around the pipes where they are exposed to cold air. There is not need to insulate the vacuum unit.

Central Vacuum Intake Mufflers?

My two-motor central vacuum unit came with two intake mufflers. I'm currently using an exhaust muffler, but I haven't installed either of the intake mufflers because some people (not in the vacuum business) thought that the intake mufflers might reduce airflow and shorten the lives of the motors. What's your opinion on the pros & cons of intake mufflers? (The unit isn't unbearably loud as is, but if it could be even quieter without putting undue strain on the motors...why not?) Bevin, Hendersonville TN

Hi, we do not recommend intake mufflers. They do cut a bit of the noise down on loud units but they also slow the suction. If you want a quieter unit consider buying a quieter one next time, or when your motors go bad.

Finishing the Installation in the Basement or Garage

Hi, I have 5 year old house that has the vac system lines roughed in and there are 5 intakes thoughout the house which come out into the basement in three different areas (2 story house). The pipes come out and stop they are not joined and I would like to try to do this on my own but have some questions about which degrees elbows to use and at which output. At all the outputs of the pipes in the basement there are two small black and white wires. I am wondering if I will need wire to run the length of the house, (in the basement) along with the pipe needed to join and connect to the vacuum. Thank You, Allan

Hi, you can do this. Hang your vacuum unit and then bring all the pipes together using three way connectors so that one pipe connects to the vacuum unit. Use the pipe and elbows here (not Schedule 40, read header on elbows webpage) The wire can splice in at the three way connectors so you have one wire going to the unit. Use wall straps to make the installation clean (in elbows page). Use regular PVC glue and put it on the male end only, no primer needed. If you need any help let us know.

Wiring Makes Unit Turn On

We have a Beam CVS power unit. Our house was plumbed with 3 inlet valves with the connecting low volt wire. We connected all the PVC pipe to the power unit. We spliced the low volt wire into the existing wire and connected it all to the power unit. The problem comes when we connect the wire into the unit- the unit automatically turns on and stays on even if the hose is not connected into the outlet upstairs. Please help with suggestions- Also, wondering how important it is to have the wire taped to the cvs pipe. Thank you very much- Robert- Lachine,MI

Hi Robert, it is not too important to tape the secure the wire to the pipe. We recommend it simply to make it easy to find if need be. It sounds like one of the wires at one of the junctions/splices is crossed. You'll have to find it or move to a remote control device.

Adding Pipe to Smaller Diameter Pipe

My exisitng system is 1 3/4" OD, I want to add 2 Outlets in basement. I see all new fittings are 2" . Will this be a problem when the new lines exhaust into the old 1 3/4 lines ? Buck In Ohio

Hi, this is no trouble at all. We have an adaptor that fits the old pipe and mates it to the new here On the website it is in the list of all the pipe and fittings, near the bottom. Use #517 backing plates and any Basic Inlet to complete the job. Run low voltage wire and tie it into the existing wire or run it all the way back to the unit. Or you can daisy chain it running it to an older inlet.

Where do I Start?

Jennifer in St. George, UT. I want to buy a CV, but no idea where to start. Mostly wood/tile floors, 1100 SF home, LOTS of pet hair. What can you suggest? Electric vs low voltage? Which wand? Much thanks! By the way, your website is fabulous. I really appreciate it!

Hi Jennifer, thank you for the compliments, we work hard to give customers exactly what they need. From your request it sounds like you need a complete installation of the system, right? You can use our dealer finder for someone to install in your area or sell you the goods to do so yourself. Your home may only need one inlet, or two if you use a more convenient, shorter hose. You will really benefit from an electric powered hose and nozzle (buy a complete kit, it comes with the wands and a brush for the hard floor). We suggest the EdgeLift or BlackHawk (but buy 2 extra #406P wands for it) electric kits. The Stealth is too much for your home. Please let us know if we are on the right track helping you.

Outside Inlet Valve

Hi, 1) I would like to extend my existing central vac system to the outside wall of my house (vinyl siding) for use in my driveway to clean my cars. What can I use/do to weatherproof the electric inlet plate, or is there a special one I can purchase? 2) Is there such a thing as a hand-held beater attachment for use in cars? Thanks. Rich Rauth Riverton, NJ

Hi Rich, you want to use a metal basic inlet valves found here along with the backing plate #517 there too. You may have to buy longer screws and inlet valve extenders #614 because outer walls are thicker. Remember that central vacuum pipe and elbows are not available at the hardware store, they are not a schedule such as SCH40. For the fabric groomer for cars there is the RugRat available here It works great and doesn't need electricity, only the vacuum air which spins its turbine.

Grey Wire, 4 Leads

i have roughin central vacuum i\'m doing my basement and i want to hook up my vacuum but i\'m not sure about the grey wire it has 4diferent wires what are they for. hawk

Hi, they used phone wire for the low voltage runs to each inlet. They already choose the pattern and used it at each inlet. Take an inlet off the wall and see which wires where used. Use those same wires for the connection to the vacuum unit's low voltage connection. Note that the wire is a bit thin and can be an issue for hoses with an on/off switch. We suggest putting two wires together so all the wires are used. Match the same two wires and make them connect to the wall inlets and unit. So at the unit you'll have two wires connected and another two wires connected and the same at each inlet. Keep the same pattern such as black/green, yellow/red - or something like that.

Remodeling, Moving Vacuum Inlet Ports

I have 3 outlets in my home. They central vac system is Hayden. We have remodeled and are changing out the outlets/switches from ivory to white. Are your outlets easy to replace? Or, do I need an electrician?

Hi, you have standard inlets but are they also connected to 110 volts? Then those are our SuperValves (Electric Valves). You can hook these up if you turn off the electricity going to them. That is your call, be safe.

Use Both Ports on Canister?

Can I use both inlet ports on my canister,or will it reduce suction? Rick in Prince George.

Hi, central vacuums are made for one user. Therefore only one port can be open at a time or only one on the unit. But if you want to use both ports on the unit to plumb your home that is fine, as long as only one user is using the system at a time.

Power Unit in Middle or at End?

Should the power unit be installed at one end of the run or can it be in the middle of the home with branches going in two directions?

The optimum efficiency is for the motor unit to be toward the center of the home. But if the motor is at one end you have a long run to the other end of the home (it doesn't matter how many runs you have, just the distance of the furthest inlet) you will be fine if you choose the right vacuum motor. Central vacuums are very strong and come in a variety of performance stats.

Wall Sockets Spring Loaded to Close

I am not that familiar with your central vacuum's. Concerning the wall inlet where you attach the hose, does the flap or door have a spring mechanism to automatically close when the hose is removed? Respectfully, Bill

Yes, the inlets on the wall have a door that is spring loaded and shuts tightly.

Ceiling Connection?

Shelley, Walnut Creek, CA. I was wondering if it is possible to install a unit in the attic and have a hose connector unit in the ceiling below the vacuum unit to avoid running lines through walls? We ahve 1350 SQ foot house, and would likely only need one central hookup. And our ceilings are only 7 foot so we can reach the ceiling hookup. Thanks shelley

Hi Shelley, great idea but the hose would fall out. There is nothing locking the hose into the vacuum valve.

CMU Wall Installation?

Is it possible for the piping to run in a CMU wall? How would the type of installation typically work when there will be a new construction dealing with concrete floors and CMU walls?

To the best of our ability....central vacuum pipes will not fit in between these walls because they are too small for fittings. The main issue is the elbow behind the fitting at the inlet valve. Recommendation is to put the inlets in the floor. Some applications have attached a 2' piece of flex tube on the back of the mounting plate on the floor so that you can lift the floor panels up for future access. Also make sure that PVC pipe will be acceptable on this job as often the inspector requires steel pipe.

Install? How Much?

do you install and how much

Hi, as the manufacturer we don't do the installations, though in our former lives we have done 1,000s and 1,000s of them. We direct you to our dealer locator where you can find someone in your area to do the central vacuum installation or sell you the goods to do it yourself. The cost depends on what you buy and that can be in the hundreds to over $2000.

Corded Hose - How Does Suction Start?

I'm Richard Northrop, from Loon Lake New York... Question: Someone told me that if I install the inlets of a central vacuum next to an electric outlet, that I could by a hose that plugs into the outlet, and I wouldn't need to run wires along the pipes. But if that's true, what would signal the vaccuum motor to turn on? Thanks

Hi Richard, the corded hose will provide electricity to the power nozzle. All inlets have low voltage wire ran to them and back to the suction unit in the garage or basement. This wire triggers the suction on and off. So the hose has four wires, two 110 volt and two low voltage. One pair for electricity to the nozzle and one pair to trigger the suction. The hose handle switch activates both.

Glue Metal Pipe to Plastic

Most connections between PVC pipe and PVC fittings are glued together with PVC cement. In this case I have a metal fitting that I want to connect to a PVC pipe. What product can I use to hold the two pieces together once I insert the PVC pipe into the metal utility valve?

Hi, use contact cement (the goopy glue in a dark bottle that has a brush on the lid) for these connections.

Planning an Install, Ranch Home, Basement

I have a ranch style home. It is 52 feet long and 30 feet wide. We have a full basement so installation should be no problem. I am in the middle of remodeling also I am thinking about two wall inlets at the end of the hall and the small wall between the kitchen and dining room, maybe with a sweeping vent in the kitchen. We have hardwood floors throughout and two longhaired dogs who go in and out at will. This is a lot of dust, dirt and hair. What is my best option for the basic in line house. The unit would be mounted on the basement wall at the end of the house under the bedrooms. Thanks for any advise, Ron

Hi Ron, the best application is to plan for a 20ft hose for maximum power and convenience. Maybe put one inlet in the center and then one on each side of the home and the unit anywhere in the basement. Put as many toe-kick VacPans in as you'd like. The installation will be a breeze, except the VacPans are going to be harder than the rest of it. We recommend a disposable filter unit and a quiet one. Our SilentMaster line would be perfect for this, especially the Model S44. Look up our dealer locator for someone close by to buy it all through and if there is no one then give us a call for professional guidance and sales. Here is a link to start getting together what you need

Pipe Against Metal Studs

I am looking to install a vacumn system in a concrete structure that will be using metal studs for the framing.There is no attic or basement space but there will be furdown throughout most of the house.I am concerned about strapping the pipe and possibly some type of material to cushion the pipe on the metal studs to eliminate any noise or vibration.Any idaes?Thanks,David

Hi David, you have a lot of options to keep the pipe insulated from the metal and you can probably come up with better ideas yourself. We have seen black foam put in sections along a pipe run and thought that was a fantastic idea. Also, remember that in a stud bay the pipe is usually running closer toward the center since the backing plate 90 turn is easily put at a 45 angle with a short pipe going to a 45 turn looking straight up the middle of the stud.

Filter Bag with Dirt Stuck?

Bob from Oshawa, Ontario Canada. When you take off the cannister to empty the dirt, there is also a bag or something in the top half of the unit. This feels like it is also full of dirt? How do you go about emptying the top bag. This is an older unit and I have no manual? Any suggestions. Thanks

Hello Bob, you have a bottom emptying unit with a permanent filter with a center weight in it. To clean it put a trash bag over the lower half of the unit, grab the bag, and shake it. To remove it grab the upper edge and pull hard toward the middle. The stiff outer rim flexes and the filter falls out. Put the bottom back on and try your suction. If it is remarkably better then replace the filter. We have two sizes,710AV. That is all the maintenance you need. For the hose and tools, many different ones can fit your standard wall ports. You can replace the hose and tools at any time with any of our air-driven or electric powered kits

Length of Pipe Run

What is the farthest distance you can run a pipe from the central vac 30', 50', 100'. I am wondering the practicality of using them in an institutional setting. I am thinking the initial cost may be more than regular vaccuums but I may save on injury claims. Steve from Delta

Hello Steve, that is a loaded question. It depends on the unit's suction power first and foremost. The hose creates the largest lost of power compared to the piping (but is still more powerful than portable vacuums, thankfully). Our largest units are fine at 120 feet of friction loss plus a hose - only a few percent loss. That mean you can have 1000 feet of pipe. The only issue is the furthest run.

Remodeling - Broken Pipe

We are remodeling our house which has a central vacuum system installed. However, in tearing out the walls, we found that the pipe leading outside has come apart. The pipe outdoors has been taped up. What do we need to do to properly fix this? What parts do we need? How does this affect the system?

Hello, the system requires PVC glue at all joints, no leaks, and proper repairs. Use the materials here to patch in new sections of pipe as needed.

Existing 5000 s.f. Installation

Exactly how easy is this installation? I can change the oil on my car, build a fence, put on my own window film, etc. It seems to be confusing, I have 5000 sq ft, 4000 sq ft hardwood, 1000 carpet (in basement only) and want to install a unit myself before I go crazy hauling my vacuum all over the house, we have a 3 car garage so there should be plenty of space to place the unit. I cant figure out how you get the trunk line to the second story without ripping open a wall. Thanks!

Hi, the key to the second floor is find one access point to the attic. From there you will go down in several spots to get the second floor. The first floor you get from the basement. You only need to run pipe and a low voltage wire. This is a job a guy like you can do in two days. Call us for any more details.

Do-it-Yourself Supplies?


Hello, no matter the central vacuum you bought, you can use our industry standard sized pipe and fittings and supplies. Ours are made in Canada and out of the highest quality PVC. For all these supplies visit our installation web page If you have not decided on the wall receptacle type you would like, get an overview here And for the accessory kit, this page will help you decide what is best for your home (they all work with all new installations)

Adding Inlets Changes Vacuum Power?

If i am adding two new outlets, will this change the power of my vacum? Because one of these outlets will be about 60ft from the unit.

Hi, your sytem will be as strong regardless of the number of outlets you have because it is a sealed system. The loss (minimal as it is) comes when you actually use the inlet farthest from the vacuum tank. This is due to friction loss.

Glue? Primer?

Will regular PVC cemment work to glue these fittings? Do I need to use a primer first? Thanks, David Powell, OH

Hi David, yes regular PVC glue to the male end only, no primer.

Brick Walls

i am about to install system into existing house that has 100mm brick walls what backing plate do i use or how do i adapt backing plates to suit . i have looked at instruction manuals but they do not show brick walls i am in western australia thanks brian

Hello, for block walls a channel is cut in the block wall. For solid brick walls only 100mm you can't do that. The system will have to float out from the wall using normal backing plates.

Multiple Low Voltage Wires.

We recently purchased an MD central vac system for our pre-plumbed house. When my husband attempted to wire the inlets he found 2 inlets with 2 wires (with 4 smaller wires inside) but our other two inlets have only one wire with 4 small wires inside. In the garage where the unit is housed we have 2 wires with 4 small wires in each. He has connected the same color combinations throughout the inlets and to the power unit. We still have no suction when plugging in our hose. Do we have to do something different when we have a different number of wires (i.e 2 vs 1) coming to the inlets? Aimee Maple Valley

Hi Aimee, we can help you out here. Just a side note for future readers, please don't use phone wire for a central vacuum. It is not strong enough to carry the current through a hose that has an on/off switch. Use 20 gauge stranded pair wire. Okay, your husband was correct in keeping the colors together regardless of how many there were. And good news is that when the unit is plugged into 110 volts, or 240 volts depending on the unit, it didnt start. There was not a short or wrong wire connections. The next step is to use something metal to short the two small contacts inside an inlet hole. The suction should start. If it does then insert your hose so the metal plate crosses both contacts. What this means is the thinner wire cannot support an on/off hose. There are low voltage boosters available to mount next to the unit if you want to resolve this. If what was just described is not making sense please follow this chart.

Vent Outside?

I installed my vac in the garage venting inside. Do I need to connect the vac's exhaust to a pipe (if so, how long) or leave it alone? Our power head is 10 years old. We got new carpet, but same type as the old one. The power head is not picking up dirt, e.g. loose thread from clothes. Power head brush still turns rapidly. Suckion is OK. Any idea? Thanks, Sydney, Calgary, AB, Canada

Hello, it is best to exhaust outside so you don't smell the vacuum. Keep the run to 30ft and account for every 90-degree turn as 5ft. We have exhaust vent doors if you need one. For the carpet brush, if your hose is that old too then true suction is not great. Replace the hose and the brush and run paper towels through each inlet to check them and clean the pipes.

90 to Sweep Tee

Branch connection: I have connected a branch line in the basement using a long 90 on the vertical run and immediately into a sweep T on the side of the horizontal main trunk. Any potential problems with this? The inlet is about 13 ft from the power unit. Brad, Regina, Canada

Hello Brad, you are fine with this connection.

Mounting in 4 x 6 Room

I am planning on mounting my power unit in a 6 ft by 4 ft "cold" storage room in the basement and venting outside. Will there be any problems with dust or heat in that space? We will be storing canned goods, vegetables, flour, and wine in the room.

Hello, having incoming ventilation is important. Slates at the bottom and top of the door would be wise. If you where not venting we'd ask that you keep the door open when in use.

Two 45s vs a 90

To connect runs at 90 degrees, are there any efficiencies saved using two 45's with a length of about 12 inches in between as opposed to a long 90 degree elbow?

That is a good question and one that is debated. But we do know that when you shorten the overall feet of pipe used you will have less friction loss. Even though friction loss is small even in huge homes. Central vacuum hoses are the worst offender for loss.

Run PVC Into Slab?

We are building a new home with slab. Should we put pvc into the slab when we pour and run the vac through there? Julie in Texas

Hello Julie, there is no advantage to doing this when you run the risk of clogs you may never reach. It is recommended not to do this. If you must though, run the central vacuum 2 OD pipe in 3 irrigation pipe for strength and condensation barrier.

Must Vent Outside?

Do you need to vent outside, or can you just vent inside. I have a setup where the vacuum will be in the garage, and just wondering if I NEED to cut a hole in the wall. Thanks

Hello, with a filtered cyclonic or bag type you don't have to filter outside. You will not have dust but a smell in that area.

SIP Enercept Walls

we're building a house this spring utilizing SIP construction (Enercept panels). Can a central vacuum system be installed with this type of construction? Thanks, Sandy Des Moines, Ia

Hello Sandy, coordinating the central vacuum backing plate and pipe into the walls with the vendor can be done and is worth the effort and cost. It just takes good communication and planning.

Model S2 Exhaust Lines

on my silentmaster S2. Do I need to run two separate exhaust lines,or can I connect the two after I come out of the vacuum unit,therefore only needing to cut one hole to the outside? Mike,Groton N.Y.

Hello Mike, it is best to have two lines or join them into a 4 or dryer vent line. That will keep from any back pressure. Also, please keep your run to around 15ft for the same reason. For dryer vent connection we have seen the use of spray foam to create a seal. Enjoy!

Install in Floor?

nutone vac system installed 15 years ago works great. Q. is there a floor inlet. remodeling one room.

Hello you can use any of the metal inlets here along with the backing plate #517. Floor mounts are not uncommon and work out really well. Here is a diagram

VacPan Wiring

I have an existing Beam Central Vac. I am installing a VacPan in my kitchen. I've had no problem with installing the PVC, but am with the low voltage wire. The existing wire is (I think) 20/4 . How do I connect into that? I've tried connecting red to red and white to white and keeping the green and blue wires as they are. Nothing happens when I try the toe kick switch. When I wired the VacPan itself, the instructions are too vague, so I attached the red wire to one screw (the one that the switch touches to activate the unit) and the white to the other screw. Is this correct? Please help. My husband didn't think I could do this, but I want to prove him wrong! Thanks, Sherry - Kansas City

Hello Sherry, good job! You need to look at a faceplate wiring by removing it from the wall. Follow the same pattern with the VacPan connection. If you are using different wiring then the original installation that is fine, just splice into it and keep the same pattern as in the faceplate as you connect the new wiring to the old. The new wiring can be a pair not a foursome. Hope that helps.

Low Voltage with 4 Wires

Well we bought central vac and wanted to attach it to already existing rough in. We have a problem with low voltage wiring. From the garage we have white wire with 4 small wires. In each of two outlets we have the same. We randomly picked black and grey, opposed to red and yellow and attached it to the main unit. The same combination we used in each hose outlet. This is our scenario. When we plug the hose in the first outlet we do not have any suction and the main unit do not start at all. When we plug in the 2nd outlet, the main unit start for two second and then stop. So it looked like we have short circuit somewhere. Is it possible that two main wires go to 1st outlet and two others to second?Or we picked the wrong combination of wires. Thanks, Sandra from Kitchener

Hello Sandra, you have four wires so for sufficient electric flow you need to use two wires together for each connection and use the same pair matched up at the unit and the inlets. So use the red and yellow together and then the black and grey. These wires will touch each other at every connection.

Cabin, No Attached Garage

Building a cabin that does not have an attached garage. Where can the vacuum go? Can it hang outdoors?

Hello, we suggest putting it in a utility room with the water heater. It can go outside the home but a structure needs to be built around it to protect it from the elements. Be sure to allow plenty of venting and buy an all steel powder-coated unit such as the SilentMaster or MD.

Testing Low Voltage Installation Issues

Beam Cent Vac system with Low Volt prob.(?); handle on/off only turns on (3 pos sw). Test consists of: Short LV leads in wall outlet; vac on and off as expected. Disassembled hose handle to expose 4 brass rings; white, black and 2 yellow. Test switch with ohm meter; LV on and off, HV on off with LV all work as expected. Continuity between all wires from top of handle to beginning of hose checked out. No short circuits between any wires found. Plug hose into outlet and system stays off as expected, then short across 2 yellow to close circuit, vacuum comes on, open short vacuum remains on. The only way to shut system off is to remove hose from wall outlet. Doesn?t appear to be switch, motor or relays and the hose internal wires all check out with no shorts. Ideas? Thanks

Try testing the low voltage contacts directly where the wires attach to the unit. Close the circuit then open it. If it stays on then you need a new relay/circuit board.

Making a Cloggless System

How do you remove vacumed debris or other obstructions that are stuck inside a central vac pipe somewhere in the walls?

Hello, debris should not clog up a system when installed correctly. Using a tight 90 turn behind the vacuum port (sweep 90 turns everywhere else) and using a pipe cutter for straight cuts, is the best way to a cloggless system. If you already have a clog you can put a vacuum to the vacuum port and suck it out the way it went in (be sure to disconnect the pipe going to the unit or open another port first so you can let air into the system). Many times the clog is in the hose. There are other ways to get it out - please see them hear

Back to Back Inlets

Is there an application for back to back outlets on one run of pipe, or should there be a section of pipe to separate the two outlets? Rick-Lake Havasu City AZ

Hello Rich, great question. There should be offsets with inlets in the same stud bay. Back to back is not good because it leaves debris in the outlet not being use and the straight T connector commonly used has terrible air and debris flow characteristics. Instead, put one valve on each side of the stud bay, angle the tight 90s at 45-degrees and into a Y and a spigot 45 connection.


exhaust vent . Can I connect the exhaust vent out the exisisting vent pipe for the hot water heater? Bryan ,Toronto, canada

Hello Bryan, yes you can but it should have a flapping door to keep animals out. Exhaust runs should be about 15ft or you may begin to get back pressure on the motor.

Damp Locations

Are any vacs approved for installation in damp locations (protected exterior)? Bob Pittsburgh, PA

Hello Bob, damp basements are okay and boat applications. We do sell quite a few into high humidity countries such as Malaysia and Uruguay. Our units are powder coated for rust protection but are not completely impervious to it. The C300 is mainly plastic and would work well.

Suction - Turns and Distance

Given the options below does it affect the sucking power at all (assuming all corners are 90-degree elbows): 1) Installing a single opening connector directly off the canister then branching off within a foot Or 2) Using a T-type connector right at the canister?

Remember that you are starting with a stronger system than a portable vacuum so the friction loss from bends and distance is only relative to central vacuums. First, you can have three way connectors as close to the unit as you wish. In fact, you can have dozens of three way connectors and inlets. The science to keep in mind is this is a closed system. Only one valve is opened at a time and only that valve and the air passage back to the unit is all that matters in that point of time. Now, some manufacturers state the smallest of central vacuum motors are good for a huge amount of area. That may or may not be turn, it depends on where the unit sits in relation to the furthest inlet from it. That is the longest run in the entire home. If that run is powerful then all runs will be powerful no matter how many you have.

Inner Wall Space Size

For new construction, do the walls need to be thinker to accomodate the piping for this system? If so, what is typical clearance needed within wall and typical finished wall width?

The backing plate is nailed to a stud, the stud is strong and so the wall is okay (even in an existing installation regular drywall is strong enough to mount the vacuum inlet since a stud is not used). The width of a stud is 3.5 inches which is plenty of room for the backing plate and tight 90-degree elbow connector that fits the backing plate and vacuum pipe together. After drywall and painting, the faceplate mounts to the wall as it about 3 x5 tall.