Central vacuum

JWM804November 13, 2013

Trying to determine if it is worth it to install a central vac as part of our house construction. Anyone have any experience with a central vac system? Any particular systems that you would recommend? Thanks in advance.

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You're asking total strangers to determine what something is worth to you ???

These things are fairly simple technology and there's not much distinction between them in my opinion.

What you want to do is hire a firm or individual that has experience designing and delivering these systems. The piping layout can make or break one of these and could compromise your home's framing if installed by some bozo installer.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 12:53AM
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I think central vacuum is totaly worth it. My parents have it and its great...Specially if your house has more then 2 floors ( you don't want to drag your vacuum 3 floors up, right??)..
My friends just built a house and they installed a central vacuum, and it also has those swipe things in the wall, which is simply genius imho. It should be great in the kitchen...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Yulia - does your mom have three sets of hoses or her central vacuum, or does she carry the 25-40 foot hose up and down the stairs?

Hose sets @ $200 + can start to add up quick.

Those vac-pans are very handy in a kitchen. There is even a model that will fit in a drawer to sweep crumbs into from the countertop. You have to give up a top drawer though.

There are several other places vac pans are handy. This is another reason to find a seasoned pro to guide your install.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:30AM
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My mother in law hates her central vacuum, but loves her vac pan in the kitchen. She has stopped using her central vac and uses a Miele canister instead.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:42AM
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xedos, i am not sure but i think she has 3 sets of hoses...I can't imagine her carrying hoses up and down...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Post on the plumbing forum. We have bad allergies in the family and we installed a central vaccuum in our remodel last year. It is a BD vaccuum with a Hide-a-hose system. So no hoses to carry around and the hoses are just sucked back into the walls. The hoses also do not scuff the walls as they have a covering. We also installed a vacpan in the kitchen (close to the breakfast table that is a crumb zone) as well as both the bathrooms. We really really like this set up. It is super convenient and fast to be able to get the hair and the crumbs sucked up. The overall level of dust is much lower with the central vac. Really like the manta mop that came with the hide-a-hose system. We also have an extra hose to use for cleaning cars and for projects in the garage. The bag in the vaccuum canister is to be replaced every few months and is a non-isse. We did the installation when the framing was done but the drywall was not yet up. Saved some cost.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Hide a hoses are nice too, but cost $600 each + installation, and you cannot just put them anywhere. You'll need at least one per floor too.

Again- you need a good planer, who can show you all the cool stuff AND make sure it works in your home. Nothing better than a $3000 paperweight that you don't want to use because it doesn't suck properly, gets clogged, or is too cumbersome to easily use.

If you live in a cold climate , there are venting issues to deal with unless you don't want to vent outside, which is fine, but that is another set of issues and concerns.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 2:33PM
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I'm a little late in responding to this thread, so hopefully you are still considering your options.

I have a hide a hose system, 3 hoses in my 4000 sq ft home. It is fantastic! Easy to use, right there when you need it, and nothing to lug around.

As for the venting issues, I live in a warm climate and decided not to vent it outside. It all depends on which central vac system you buy to power the system.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I agree about taking time to plan carefully, and you've received some good advice about things to consider already. Some people really don't like dealing with the big hose, but I consider it a small price to pay for the convenience

Having said that, I love, love, love my Vacuflo. Good with my multiple allergies, too. (I've used a few other central vacuums that did NOT impress me, so you do have to be careful to get a good brand. I like that I don't have a separate or built-in power supply that needs to plug into the Vacuflo---the ones I've used that also need a power supply have been less dependable, in my experience.)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:41PM
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I agree. have central vac. at 2 homes. One is a Kenmore the other home is a Vacuflo. We put them in ourselves in already built home and the 2nd in 1990 before we drywalled etc,s. Only part I hate is lugging out the hose of the closet. Have separate hoses for basement and main floor...I hate regular vacuums. Got rid of yukky carpets years ago.....
Got a 3rd unit from a thrift store( a sample new unit) a GE brand. thinking seriously about" hide a hose "but seem so expensive just for the hose and inlet. The GE unit has a outlet on the unit. this 3rd old home needs one too I am tired a using a cheap little shop vac... so gotta make the decision. we are do it yourselfers mpstly
just my opinion

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 5:42PM
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I have a Vac U Maid system. Very happy with it. Hope to never go back to a traditional vacuum if I move again. Hide a hose is a great feature.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Anybody has experience with Galaxie?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 4:09PM
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I do not have experience with Galaxie central vacs but I have posted about my Dirt Devil Pro Series 990 system in other threads. I didn't get to pick my unit as my builder only installs this brand. I have a one year old house built with 8 standard outlets (to use an electric hose and nozzle) and then a few months ago, had a 40ft "Hide a Hose" outlet installed right in the center of the main level of my house. I grew up with central vacs and was used to dealing with the hose but until I had the HAH I found myself mid-week using my old Miele canister or Dyson Upright to zip through the kitchen and family room in lieu of taking out the hose. However, for deep weekly cleanings, the convenience can't be beat! If you find that you use your attachments a lot than you definitely will love central vac!
In terms of the Hide a hose retrofit, we love it! So easy now to pull out the hose to do a mid week spruce up and then it just gets sucked right back in to the wall. I don't think I'd ever build again and NOT have hide a hose outlets installed. Do your research though - my house has a mix of wood floors and wall to wall rugs in the bedrooms and those bedroom carpets definitely need the electric powerhead to get them deeply cleaned. Many installers now will sit with you and help create a "hybrid" system like mine that is mixed with standard wall outlets for areas of carpeting that need the electric hose and HAH outlets for wide open spaces of wood floors and area rugs. I hope that helps!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:04AM
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"Many installers now will sit with you and help create a "hybrid" system "


run as fast as you can from any Cent Vac purveyor that doesn't offer to plan a system with you .

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I have a CanaVac Doc-It system (hose is hidden in a storage system in the drywall). It requires electric to be hooked up to the hose box as that is what power the hose in and out. My house is 3400 ft2. I have two hoses downstairs and one upstairs. It makes vacuuming my stairs a breeze. I love mine and would install another in a heartbeat. Not sure I would be as crazy about it if I had to lug the hoses around though. I have one vac pan and do use it but would still love the system without the vac pan. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:56AM
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I haven't had central vac in 30 years, and I have missed it every day. Every. Day. I've tried twice to get existing house retrofitted, but it cannot be done without a lot of agony, and even then, it would require 2 systems.

Personally, I would never build a house without installing, at a minimum, the lines. I never minded moving hoses, but in a 2-story home, yes, I'd get 2 hoses. And the vac pans? I'd put one in the laundry for dryer dust, and anywhere I had a kitty box, and in the master bath, because I shed worse than the cats . . . And now that I've learned about Hide-A-Hose, my heart is breaking all over again.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I hated my central vac system! Hated the long thick hoses / tubes that you had to maneuver around to walk and vacuum. Previously with a regular upright vacuum, I hated the cording that I used to have to flip around to get to that area to vacuum. And I thought that with a central vac, no more cord! Well, no cord yes, but instead of that annoying 1/2" thick cord that got in the way, I had a massive 2-3" hose that was 10x more annoying than the cord! The head never had enough suction for carpet and it did not seem to get as clean as a regular upright. Plus storage of those 30 foot long hoses PLUS the vacuum heads was a huge storage problem for me!

Now with all of these new improvements of the hide-a-hose and the opening you can just sweep into with your broom, I might have taken a second look. But if it were me, looking now, I'd try out the actual systems if you can in someone's home and see how they like their system. The custom and hybrid sounds the ONLY way to go. But I would still hate that huge hose - that part would be a deal breaker for me personally.

The only other note of caution I can add with the older systems is that when I worked in the new homes industry with a couple of builders several years ago, they frequently had problems with the systems clogging up with things getting stuck in the walls. It was determined later (after expensive and destructive opening walls for the hose repair IN the walls), that the blockage was due to a combination of new carpet fibers and small toys or objects that children likely stuffed into the vacuum wall openings. When that happened, the entire system wouldn't work. A central vac was a liability and no longer an asset so they stopped putting them in. Maybe in an individual's home that wouldn't happen but with so many different cleaning crews and visitors, it was common then.

I have not heard of that being mentioned lately so maybe with all of the hard floors instead of carpet, that this is not a problem these days. Just wanted to add that as something to watch for and to teach children not to play with.

I came across another GW thread on this topic with some great details and specifics especially on the hide-a-hose system and them trying out several and their comments. Very timely. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Central Vac testing GW link

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 6:13PM
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