central vacuum hook up : need help

911247666March 29, 2009

My house is roughed in for a central vac. the only thing not done is hooking it up to the garage. In the basement, i have 2 pipes hanging down each with a wire attached to it. How do I hook up the pipe and wire and bring it out to the garage. I also want to put in an inlet valve in the basement. Any help is appreciatee

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I sometimes work for a guy who does vac rough-ins, so I know a little. It's unusual to have two pipes like that, if they have wires they both go to valves elsewhere in the house. The easy way to verify it is to have somebody speak into each valve so you can work out which pipe is which.

Assuming those two pipes are in a place you'd want the central vac to be, you could join the two together, and run from a tee to the vac. If you buy a Hoover from Costco, they come with pipe and glue and accessories you'd need to hook it up, and good instructions.

Some vacs have inlet valves on them, if that would suffice to be the basement valve, otherwise you have to find a spot in the basement where the hose will reach, and you have access to put in a valve - is your basement finished? If not, that should be easy, and again, if you get a hoover you'll have pipes and elbows etc to work with.

Avoid the tight turn elbows, the gentle sweeping ones are best. All sweeps should turn towards where the vac will be, so the air flows smoothly.

Do you want the machine in the garage? In my opinion, that's the best place for it, and I'd also recommend venting it outside - you will have less dust and noise to contend with.

If you want to have a valve in the garage, the machine MUST be in there, because if it was in the basement, you run the risk of sucking exhaust fumes into the basement. If it was vented outside, it would be somewhat safer but probably still illegal.

It is probably illegal where you are, to have the vac adjacent to a furnace, unwise anyway, because of the risk of explosion of any dust floating around.

Getting the pipe out to the garage really depends on your layout, I'd just be guessing. If the basement's unfinished, it'll be easy, if it isn't, it may be hard. If you have a central furnace room you may have access to the ceiling joist space which may allow you to run the pipe that way. Avoid drilling/cutting holes in the joists as that would affect their integrity, talk to a builder or architect or engineer before doing so.

Sometimes you can run vac pipe through a cold air return if that works. There is flexible pipe you can buy which is useful in a retrofit, I had a basic setup in my house, moved the vac from furnace room to garage by running through a 'chase' (the box they build around ducts) which worked out very well. I plan to add more valves, and, you may want to consider this yourself if you can get the pipe there, I am going to put a vac pan in the kitchen which is basically a valve at floor level, if you are sweeping you open it with your foot, it turns vac on, sucks up the sweepings.

As for the wires, if they are connected at the inlets correctly, just join white to white, black to black, and one wire runs to the vacuum and that is what turns it on when the hose is inserted. The connection works in parallel if you know your electricity.

Whereever there is a valve, or where the vac terminates, you need this wire. Again the hoover kit supplies some, otherwise it's called "LVT" and is the same as the wire for hooking up a doorbell.

The vac itself will probably require its own breaker so some electrical work will be needed most likely - it may draw almost 15 amps by itself.

I am sure there will be resources on the web that outline how a vac is hooked up.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:00AM
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I have been told that if I put my Central Vac a cold garage this can burn out the motor and/or the electrical on the vacuum. Also I was told if this has happened the warranty is void. Is this true? Does anyone work for a vacuum company that can verify this.

Thank you

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:02PM
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