Central Vac Plumbing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by BrianL, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. BrianL

    BrianL New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Maybe off forum-topics, but it does involve PVC pipe!

    Has anyone plumbed a home/business for a central vacuum system? I found a few web pages with descriptions, but wondered if anyone has done it themselves. Doable? Any tips?

    I am looking at DIY on new construction

    Thanks!
  2. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Idaho
    I thought about doing it but the boss said it costs too much and she likes her old hoover. Now that I have gutted and refinished most of the upper part of the house she wishes I had done it. It looks to be fairly simple. The planning is the hard part.

    IIRC there was a company online that would make plans for you if you bought everyting from them.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have seen what my wife and daughters can do to vacuum cleaners...
    I'll stick with a cheap disposable Hoover thanks!
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    vacuum

    It is not typically a plumber's installation, because we are too expensive, but I have done systems in my own house. You follow the rules of a good drainage system such as long turn elbows and Y-1/8 bend intersections. Two points to consider.
    1. Get a long hose.
    2. Make sure that the hose can reach everywhere from the outlets you install, and if it doesn't, install a new outlet. Once the system is covered up, you do not want to have to get out the Hoover because there is a 5' section you cannot reach.
  5. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Huntington Station, NY

    Hi Brian,
    Yes, I've installed a couple of them.

    Our first home was a summer cottage originally, but for some reason it had a Flo-Lite system at some time, for some reason. It was hysterical to watch the dust cloud billowing from the side of the house!!!!!!!

    I replaced the wall unit with a Filtex, which really sucked, but made way too much noise.

    In our present home I purchased a Beam System from Mid-America Vacuum in Crystal Lake, ILL, and they were great to work with.

    It really just requires some forethought, but otherwise is not hard to do. Here's a web site that goes from soup to nuts:

    https://www.centralvacuumstores.com/cvs/install.php

    We did not do power-heads that require electricity to power a brush. There's plenty of heads that work really well on just suction alone.

    Best of luck!

    Howard
  6. Redwood....I agree with you.....


    my wife can tear up a brand new sweeper every 6 months...., so I fear what they could try to suck up
    into one of the built in systems.....

    I suppose if you install the system in with some clean outs and access ports to dislodje the ocasional "ping pong ball" "rag" "mitten" or whatever else

    it might be ok........
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ping pong ball? Mitten?
    That's nothing!
    I have actually used my drain snake to push clear the packed hose.
    The bag was full...
    Then the hose was full...
    Then the attactment beater bar was full...
    Honey the vacuum isn't working right!:eek:
  8. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    You don't use schedule 40 pvc pipe. It must be a thinner wall.
  9. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    I was asked by a friend (homebuilder) if I'd like to install a vac system for a 3000 sq ft house. He was get quotes for a total price of 1,000 - 1,200 :eek: There simply isn't enough money in it IMO.
  10. BrianL

    BrianL New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Awesome

    Thanks for all the great tips!
  11. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Huntington Station, NY
    As a matter of fact you can use Schedule 40, for a lot of reasons, according to this site that I listed above:

    "Reasons to use our exclusive Patent Pending Adaptor 2x2 Kits which enable you to use Schedule 40 (2 inch) PVC Plumbing Pipe purchased locally.

    Using plumbing pipe will increase your CFM or your airflow by over 25%.
    2in plumbing pipe is available almost anywhere. Vacuum pipe is limited mainly to central vacuum dealers.
    Plumbing pipe is much more substantial (thicker and stronger) than vacuum pipe.
    Plumbing pipe comes in lengths up to 20ft which offers greater system performance requiring less cutting and gluing.
    Plumbing pipe works well under ground.
    Plumbing pipe offers less chance for clogs because of the larger diameter. "

    They even have special adaptors for using it shown further down the page.

    https://www.centralvacuumstores.com/cvs/install.php

    I did not use Sch.40 on mine, but the reasons that they give are pretty compelling.

    HE
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    vacuum

    Air flow is a function of the motor's cfm, and if the pipe is too large the velocity will drop and since velocity is what gets stuff from the vacuum head to the container, the higher the better. Unless you have an attic, cleanouts in the pipe would be useless, and even if you did, an unglued joint wrapped with tape would be a better way to unstop the pipe. However, my wife has not been able to plug our current system in 10 years of use.
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