Return to the Building a Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Central Vac Help

Posted by SMF77 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 1, 12 at 0:09

Ok, central Vac--yes or no? We will have mostly hardwood or tile flooring thoughout. What brand do you prefer? And hide-a-hose??


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Central Vac Help

yes.... definitely yes to hide a hose..

brand... I've only had one, so hard to compare... (it's Dust Devil. Good enough.)


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I don't currently have one, but I definitely plan to put in a Hide A Hose in our new build.

The work great on hardwood and tile (my house will be the same) and they great improve air quality.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Yes to CV, Yes, yes, yes to Hide A Hose! We have hardwood and tile with some rugs and it works wonderfully. Ours is an Imperium. 5 years in and there have been absolutely no problems and I still am so thankful we installed the CV with HAH!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Thank you all! A Vacuflo dealer in my area is trying to talk me out of the hide a hose. Says that he has many service calls for it, he thinks it still too new. Anyone ever have any problems?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

We are building and are just now having ours installed. I don't know the brand though.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

We are building and putting in a Beam system. I've always had a central vac previously and wouldn't consider building without one. They're wonderful when sized properly to have enough power for your size home.

I never had a HAH previously (they weren't available) and won't be putting one in this time.

My reasons are that we'll have some carpet and the power head is much better at pet hair on carpet than the turbo brush. I've had a turbo brush and know that much!

Also the basic system is very simple and I don't want to complicate things. I went 23 years with our old central vac and never had a problem though I did have to replace a couple of hoses. I wonder if the HAH would hold up as well?

We'll have a fairly good sized square footage and I just didn't want to spend the money to put HAH whereever I'd need them. I'll put a hose up and one downstairs. I'm not one to just do spot cleaning. It's pretty much just once weekly vacuuming and so I don't mind getting out the hose.

So you've got a decsion for HAH or no.... but don't skimp on getting a central vac. You won't regret it as long as it's powerful enough!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

With a regular CV the hose reel is external which means that it has to be carried to the outlet, attached, and then disconnected, reeled, carried and stored remotely after use. The Hide A Hose uses the in-wall piping to store itself after use. It's that simple, and makes that much sense! The only difference in the power unit is that it has to be powerful enough to retract the hose, but many units are powerful enough anyway, HAH or not.
I have learned from the experience of someone else on this site that HAH may be a disappointment if you need to vacuum a lot of carpet. We have quite a lot of rugs and our HAH works perfectly on them, though I have to point out that we do not have pets.

Before installing Hide A Hose over 5 years ago my questions were about friction between the hose and its pipe 'garage' causing wear or roughness of the piping over time and whether debris could get stuck in the piping. After 5 years there have been no such problems, nor have I heard of any from anyone else. The risk of debris getting stuck is as possible in a conventional system, but it seems to be a non issue. If anything were to lodge it would seem to be most likely in the hose itself rather than in the 'garage' as the hose has a slightly smaller diameter. In that event, the hose can be pulled out to dislodge the debris. Absolute worst case scenario, and highly unlikely, you would have to replace the hose.

It is understandable that those who have never experienced a CV can't imagine how much better life is with a CV. Likewise those CV owners and installers who have not experienced the benefits of HAH may find it difficult to imagine what a difference HAH makes. I would love to know what the issues are that have caused your Vacuflo dealer to claim he has had so many service calls on HAH! Improper installation springs to mind if he really has had service calls but we have heard on this site of many dealers who try to discredit the system due to their own ignorance or because they can supply only CVs that are to weak to power HAH! I remember the CV salesman who told me that the only place for the power unit was in an interior closet and could not be vented to the outside!
Would you consider my over 5 years of almost daily use qualifies HAH as not being "still too new"? In the early days I was vacuuming builder debris and these days I use the CV not only to keep our home clean and dust free but also to vacuum our pool deck clean of tree debris and sand. I also vacuum our garage and vehicles. All with not one problem, ever!

With hindsight I would have designed our system just a little more carefully to reduce the outlets to one on each floor for even more convenience (we have a sprawling 4000+ square foot home). A dedicated outlet for the pool deck would be great, and the power unit located in the garage rather than in a laundry room closet, but unfortunately those changes were not possible. Otherwise I have absolutely no regrets and count myself as very fortunate that Hide A Hose became available and was being discussed on this site just as we were rebuilding our home!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

We are newbies with our HAH system in our new house. It is working really well. We too have all hard surfaces with some area rugs. The Turbocat powerhead works great for area rugs, no idea how it would work for wall to wall carpeting.

I love the CV and especially the HAH. We are currently experimenting with different heads to figure out which ones we like. My wife prefers different ones than I do so far.

We have even used the Mop/Vacuum combo head when we want to scrub the floors.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

montel - what is the map/vacuum combo head?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Just curious, what is the estimated cost for a CV system (HAH or not). I've never considered it before and this post is interesting to me. We will have about 2000 sq ft mostly hardwood down and 1200 upstairs mainly carpet.
TIA!!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Laura12 - the Mop/Vacuum combo head has a microfiber cloth that you wet ahead of time (2 come with the unit) and then you can lightly mop/scrub hard floors and still vacuum.

It isn't perfect, but it works for simple cleaning/vacuum in one step. We don't use it every time and I find it works best in places like our kitchen where I need to wet and scrub water marks and stuff...Several people sell these - I bought ours with our Central Vacuum from CV Stores

Here is a link that might be useful: CentraMop


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Thanks! What a great idea!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Mmmm perhaps another toy for my HAH!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Another five year user (this fall) of HAH. No service issues except for the dumb one where I accidentally sucked up a metal plumbing piece and ended up blowing out the turn in the pipe just above the unit in the garage. It was completely accessible and a super easy fix. I was even able to temporarily patch it with some rubberized tape until the CV guy got here. The only reason it made it as far as it did without damaging anything in less accessible spaces was because of the gradual sweeps required for HAH. I would've been in a pickle if I had traditional CV piping.

As far as the cost goes, five years ago it worked out to about $1/sqft. Seemed pricey then and it was a really hard sell to hubby. On numerous occasions since we've lived here, DH has commented that was the best money spent in our custom build. HAH is going to be more expensive than traditional CV (due to the extra piping materials, required planning and labor on the part of the installer, and larger power unit), however, I fully believe it is worth every penny. Also, the fact that I rarely post on here except to sing the praises of HAH should say a lot in proving I'm a happy customer! LOL!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I too am part of the choir that always sings the praises of HAH. I have had mine for almost two years. The best part is that DH now volunteers to vacuum. I showed him this thread and he got on line and ordered the dust mop attachment.

Thanks for the tip Montel.......I can't wait to use it!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Glad to share, hopefully it works for you.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

3 years here - never a problem.

Self install here at about $1200 for 4000 sqft - just one outlet per floor.


 o
hah

Just to clarify - that is for HAH.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

We've had a central vac with HAH for about 2 years and also have mostly bare floors. We have the turbo head for area rugs and it works much better than expected. Our central power unit if by Imperium and very powerful.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Any other tips regarding they vacuum itself? Bag or bagless, vented or not?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Complete waste of money. I don't care if the hose retracts or not, it is still far heavier and a far bigger burden to carry than any standalone vacuum you can buy. It will break things, knock over tables and scratch the legs of your furniture. And frankly it absolutely does not clean as well as a real vacuum. That's why, after paying thousands to install a CV, I'm shopping for a real vac to do the real work. Piece of cr** and the worst investment I've ever made in my house.

Remember that a lot of people get very emotionally invested in the appliance purchases that they've made and defend them irrationally to the death. As you can see, I am not that type of person. I praise what I love but freely admit when i made a big, big mistake.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Thank you all so much for your help! I am sold on HAH!!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I have to say I completely disagree with Marcolo as it relates to HAH (which it sounds like he doesn't have?) I also don't think I am being irrational, as I have admitted other purchase mistakes on other threads. :)

I am not very strong... at least for upper body strength. Lugging a normal vacuum around was always a chore. Picking it up and bringing it room to room, plugging in again, etc.... was obnoxious and it was heavy. (I know my husband would never say the same as he has considerably more strength.)

With HAH, my only chore is pulling the hose out of the wall one time. I never have to think about it again...... I can then just pull the incredibly lightweight hose/attachment around my entire house. So, I have no idea what he is talking about. The hose retracts itself with very little energy on my part to accomplish that. There is no way that is more of a burden. My proof of that is my grandma volunteered/asked to vacuum with my HAH because she COULD. She is unable to use a normal vacuum because of the weight and moving it around.

RE: scratching legs.... I don't understand that either. There is a sock cover on my HAH so it hasn't scratched anything. On the other hand, my normal vacuums use to scratch my baseboards as I tried to move the unit from room to room.

RE: knocking things over, I guess I don't have anything waiting to fall over in my home... nothing is lightweight enough to be moved by a hose here.

RE: suction ..... It has the best suction of any vacuum I have had. This will depend on how strong your actual vacuum motor is. Most of my house is hard surface flooring, though. It might not work as well on carpet...... I never had a vacuum previously that could clean hard surfaces well.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

No HAH here, but I also respectfully differ with Marcolo.

Its imperative that your motor be properly sized (or oversized) for the job. Check the lift etc of the various brands you're looking at .... do your research.

We installed one in our house 25 years ago so I'm long past the point of being "emotionally invested" in our CV although I do agree with Marcolo that such a thing oftens happens!

We sold the house and are building again, and I'd forgo lots of things, but not the CV. Never scratched a piece of furniture, never knocked anything over, love that it doesn't smell when running and that I don't have to stop and unplug all the time. The power was always phenomal and I used to say that I could suck up small pets and children so needed to be careful! I credit the CV and the powerhead with the fact that my carpet still looked wonderful after many years, pets and kids.

I'm using a regular upright vac in our rental and it is driving me crazy. The smell is awful (we have pets), I just get going and it's time to unplug and move around somewhere else, its heavy and bulky, doesn't get under the furniture easily, I keep running out of the darn bags, attachments are a pain in the... and .... have I mentioned that I miss my CV? :)

My first central vac was a Fasco which is no longer made.... it lasted 23 years before the motor fizzled out and we easily replaced it ourselves with a Beam. It cleaned a 4K square foot house with 4 kids and big dogs with never a problem or part needed etc in all that time so it was a good investment. I'll be getting a Beam in the new build too even though now Beam is only sold through dealers so we're not able to do it ourselves.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Marcolo I think your post may have been of some use here if you had disclosed the details of your choice of equipment. What brand did you buy? Evidently from your comments you did not invest in Hide A Hose. To help fellow members avoid the same expensive mistakes you made please give us some details.

Perhaps your bitter disappointment in your own choices led to your rather insulting dismissal of the other posters here, whose experiences are the opposite of yours, as "irrational". No-one is in a position to judge the objectivity of people they have never even met, or the merits or otherwise of equipment they have never used.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I think Marcolo might be new to GardenWeb and not familiar with the spirit of helping your "neighbours" that is supported here, so it may not be worthwhile to get too worked up over a single posters comments.

To all of you who love your HAH, you have me sold (well, that and all the other amazing reviews I have read on it)! Though, I'm still not sure what type of vacuum to get, bag or bagless, vented or not? Anyone have any opinions or advice on that front?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I have mine in the garage, not vented. I can't compare to vented...... However, I can say it takes a LONG time to fill up the container. (I imagine it would take me a couple years if I didn't empty it in between.... but my dogs don't shed. :))


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Marcolo is not new to GardenWeb, he just normally hangs out in the kitchen forum.

For those of you that have the unit in the garage, do you have a tight house? If so, did you need to think about make-up air when you installed the unit?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I have my 3 year old boy use the HAH with the standard handle and various dustmop attachments - he isn't quite as good at vacuuming as the adults yet, with time he will be. He can easily drag it around with a 40ft hose pulled out. The standard handle is height adjustable and I just click it down to his height and he works away. He might get caught on furniture or something here and there that he can't figure out how to get the hose around it...

We put our Imperium unit in our laundry room. Originally I wanted to put it in our detached garage, but getting the pipes all the way there was too much hassle. We do have our unit vented outside and since the motor unit sits next to an exterior wall it was easy to vent.

We don't have make-up-air for the vacuum, but our system of make-up-air for all of our other fans in the home provide us with plenty of fresh air. I could hook up a relay to the vacuum to open our MUA inlet, but don't feel we need it. We don't have any other combustion appliances in the home beyond our gas dryer.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Our previous home didn't have a place for the CV where it could be vented to outside so we had a unit that didn't require it. The unit was in a walk in storage/space attic on the second floor.
New home currently being built will have a vented unit down in the mechanical room with the vent going out the walkout basement side.
I'm ashamed to say that I never gave MUA a second thought although we've been reading up on our MUA system that we're designing for the hood. Now I'm wondering if we should tie them together.
From when I was researching, I seem to remember that the recommendation was to go with the bagless units and stay away from the cyclonic.
I stayed away from the HAH because having the powerhead for carpet is important to me. If I didn't have carpet and heavy rugs, I might have sprung for it.
With the money I'll save not getting the HAH, I'll buy another hose to keep in a closet downstairs. Since I have to go to the closet to get the attachments anyway, it isn't that big of a deal to me to also scoop the hose off of the hook.

Anyway, HAH or no HAH I think that cental vacs are wonderful!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

What is make-up-air for a central vac?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I should probably start a new thread, but it seems like this fits here...

Can you have HAH on the first floor and a non-HAH outlet upstairs?
I love the idea of HAH and our first floor will be all hard surface, but our upstairs will have mostly carpet. What do you all suggest?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Kfhl....Yes you can. We are going to do HAH on our main floor but and traditional CV in the basement for the finished areas.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Good to know SMF77 - thanks!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I'm sorry, but I have to LOL at marcolo. Wow at...umm....his enthusiasm! Yep, I'm defending HAH to the death because I don't want to be alone in my misery. Hahaha!!! Where's that ROFL smiley?! Thanks for the giggle! :)

Don't think one needs to worry about makeup air with the exterior vented unit. Unless, I guess the unit is running hours at a time each day, but I suspect it would suck less air than the vent over the cooktop just based on the smaller diameter of the tubing.

I have a bagged, exterior vented unit, although the bag appears to be optional. I only have to empty it 1-2 times per year, but I have to pull the dog hair off the top screen every couple of weeks. We have a LOT of dog hair, but you wouldn't know it because of my CV. ;) Really glad we chose to vent to the exterior. I don't have to change my air filters as often and when I do, they are hardly dirty. I probably should just leave them, but I feel like I'm supposed to change them at regular intervals despite them really not needing it.

Well, I'm off to go stalk more unsuspecting potential HAH customers and try to suck more people into my misery. Hahaha! (see, I can even incorporate bad puns!) lol!!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Central vacuums are interesting. It seems like they're much more popular in the North than in the South. In fact, I have never actually seen one here in the South. It almost seems like the large house you have, the less economical the system would be. If we're looking at $1/sq ft, we're looking at a pretty expensive vacuum in a 4,000 sq ft house. Furthermore, if that's the starting price, maybe we should estimate $1.50/sq ft for extra conveniences such as HAH (without which it almost kind of defeats one of the major advantages of a central vac system). So what kind of a vacuum could I get for $6,000? Probably a Dyson for every single room in addition to a few spares. Lets not forget that any problems you have with your central vac system could be within a wall...talk about high maintenance costs (a service fee, ripping out walls, redoing drywall, painting, etc)! Lets also not forget what happens if you vacuum up something that you didn't mean to/ didn't want to such as Mr. Lego man and his family!

With that said, the major advantages to me seem to be what I assume are much greater suction and separating yourself from the trash and dust. Anyways, if I ever got a system, my favorite feature would probably be the option of automatic dustpans. I would sweep EVERY DAY if I didn't have to worry about manually filling a dustpan and then the inevitable line of dust that you can never fully capture. I dream about how awesomeness an automatic dustpan would be for people who shed a lot of hair when they comb it. With that said, maybe incorporating some of these (http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Vac-EVPRO-Professional-Touchless-Stationary/dp/B0011G20QY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1) in my $6,000 vacuum budget would be worth it .


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

My salon uses one of those. You can also get a stand alone toe kick vac http://sweepawaycabinetvac.com/?gclid=CJ36ypXM-a8CFbMEQAodhWMzEA. I am planning on a couple.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet vac


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Andry, that's pretty cool, but seriously overpriced. When looking at number that high, I'd move to a central vac system instead. Ideally, you would have one of these everywhere you had hard floors, and $300 per would quickly add up.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

I agree they are pricy, but i only intend them in the kitchen, where i have the most sweeping, and possibly the mudroom. My husband doesnt want a central vac, and The convenience factor of this for me in the kitchen make it worth it to me.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

We built a central vac in our home in Louisiana, approx 26 years ago, so they are defiintiely in the south. I believe that system cost us around 1K at the time and lasted all that while with no problems and brought us much satisfaction over the years.
In our new build which had some very difficult runs and I joists that required much drilling etc, our top of the line Beam came in at around 3K installed. The house is 4500 square feet. A good standard vac is pretty darn expensive these days.
As for sucking up Mr. Lego, well you'd find him happily laying in the container when you went to empty it a month or so later. If you think that there will be problems in the walls that will require ripping them out etc, then I'm not sure you really understand how a central vac works. That's like saying that your air conditioner ducts might break so why have them. If your joints and angles are built right, things don't get stuck and there isn't anything mechanical or electrical within walls that can break. It's just sweeps of PVC that suck air via a very accessible motor.
No vac bags, no smell, great power, no heavy machine, no unplugging in every room.... for some of us it's worth every penny!


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Andry, did you check out the Amazon link I posted a few posts up? The unit probably wouldn't look as slick in terms of being built-in, but at 1/3 the cost, I would find it tempting...

Gbsim, I guess I just have never been to the right houses then! My fear for Mr. Lego and his family would be forgetting about them, not necessarily retrieving them. With a bagless canister, you can actually see if you accidentally sucked him up while with the central vac, you would have to be willing to sift through your collections to make sure you didn't suck up anything "important" (Mr. Lego isn't important enough to me to go through 3 months worth of dirt!).

I concede to your point about probably never needing to rip out walls, etc. The difference with an air duct, though, is that the only thing flowing through there is air...nothing to possibly occlude the ducts. With that said, my fear would be sucking up something that is just big enough to occlude the pipe...a bolus of paper for instance. Of course, it makes sense not to try to suck up large trash, but it's tempting! With that said, I guess if something does actually get stuck, you can always clean it out the same way air ducts are cleaned out (without ripping up walls, etc.). Are the pipes larger as they approach the motor unit and smaller as they approach the wall points or are they uniform throughout? Also, what happens if you try to use two sockets at the same time?


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Yes, thank you for the link! I think I will order one for my current house and try it out (we have not yet broken ground) and see if it will work for our needs. I think certainly in the laundry/mud, but i still think the toe kick one is what i will use in the kitchen, for aestetics. $200 extra when installing a new pretty kitchen is not a huge investment, imho.


 o
RE: Central Vac Help

Many people have a fear of 'things' bing sucked up by a CV and 'things' getting stuck inside the walls and walls having to be ripped out. In my experience these fears are totally unfounded.

The pipes are a uniform size right from the outlet to the motor.

If you leave a second outlet open the suction will be significantly reduced. I have never done this by the way. With Hide A Hose you can't actually "use" two outlets at the same time unless you have two of the power handles. I only have one as I can't be in two places at the same time so would have no need for two.

I also live in the south.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Building a Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here