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Post# 366048   2/2/2017 at 22:12 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        

Hey everyone, I didn't know if there were any Central vac fans around here.

I've fixed up my share of vacs over the years... I took a particular shine to Rainbow stuff.

Then... I moved. The house I bought had a 70's Nutone central... which I fixed. Eventually a bearing started to fail, so I upgraded. I can now suck the paint off the walls with 700+ Air Watts.

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Post# 366155 , Reply# 1   2/4/2017 at 21:28 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

Dats alot of succ!

Post# 366191 , Reply# 2   2/5/2017 at 12:35 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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It's made by Vacumaid from Lindsay Manufacturing in case you weren't aware of that, I like that color better than today's maroon color.

Post# 366206 , Reply# 3   2/5/2017 at 18:09 by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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looks like an awesome machine id liek to see the attachments set

Post# 366207 , Reply# 4   2/5/2017 at 18:20 by ocscott3085 (DMV)        

We upgraded our Dirt Devil Pro Series 990 central vacuum system to a MD Flomaster system after our cleaning ladies burned up the motor on the Dirt Devil. It was a filtered cyclonic unit which from what I understand are prone to failure. I have to say I prefer the closed bag system on the Flomaster as it's a lot easier to change a bag then empty the bin and scrape all the dog hair off the dirty filter. Both machines are extremely powerful but the Flomaster is significantly quieter.

Post# 366273 , Reply# 5   2/6/2017 at 17:33 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
Suck the paint off the wall......

It's incredible the power this unit has. My attachments are a hybrid of stuff. Initially I got a Nutone kit, which is a Vacuflo Turbo hose...and some various brushes. I have 2 vacuflo hoses, one says Nutone, the other says nothing. I also have some Kirby attachments I found at a goodwill. The genius who installed this back in the 70's put the inlets nowhere near 120v, so I use an Air driven Turbocat for the carpets. It works extremely well, and it's amazing what you can pick up. Eventually I'd like to get 120v by the inlets and go to an electric brush roll.

I'm well aware that Imperium is a house brand of Central Vacuum Stores, and they are just Vacumaids with a different paint job. The specs are the exact same, but the price is better, so I'll go that route.

The Imperium is super quiet, and the only noise you hear is the massive air rush, and a little bit of hum if you are anywhere near the power unit. It's installed under the steps in a basement closet. The design is pretty smart, and the motors heat is exhausted with the vacuum's exhaust (unlike the old nutone)... meaning that it makes even less sound, and the closet doesn't get all heated up by it.

I've always liked vacuums as a design/engineering thing... but now that I've got a Central, I can't find anything that can top it in overall cleaning power.

The Central vac business is very incestuous, meaning that you'll find the same item with three brands on it and three prices. It makes building a CV rig more like a hot-rod... you can pick the best of breed for all parts.

Best powerheads (electric) are Lindhaus, Wessel-Werk, and Centec, and you can find those with all sorts of names on them. I'll prolly get the Lindhaus with the Imperium name, just for the price. Almost all hoses are Centec or Vacuflo, regardless of whose name is printed on them.

Best air driven carpet heads are the Turbocat family, which sells with a bunch of names on it too.

CV fans can build their system just like a hot rod car. Pick your engine, and all your pieces/parts.

Post# 366303 , Reply# 6   2/7/2017 at 00:59 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Get a Volt Powernozzle to use with your new Imperium CV.You will be glad you did-Will beat ANY other type of powernozzle.

Post# 366323 , Reply# 7   2/7/2017 at 16:05 by ocscott3085 (DMV)        

I did purchase the Volt and it works fine with my Hide a Hose outlet but I still think the Vacuflo Edge (Wessel-Werk EBK 360) electric powerhead works better.

Post# 366341 , Reply# 8   2/7/2017 at 23:23 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
Powerhead shoot out...

I've read through most of the CV powerhead shoot-outs... Lindhaus and Wessel-Werk usually score the top of the chain... as with most CV products, They sell under a few brands. You learn what stuff looks like, and buy whatever brand is the cheapest in the product that you want.

I've not heard of the Volt power head, but I'll give it a look.

Post# 366346 , Reply# 9   2/8/2017 at 04:17 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

When I use my Volt with my MD Silentmaster-the Volt beats all of the nozzles I have-Lindhaus,and Sebo.My unit is freestanding-use it with a 35 ft hose in the utility inlet.

Post# 367549 , Reply# 10   2/26/2017 at 09:12 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
volt power nozzle and central vacuum tools

I'm also a fan of central vacuums, I have several power units around my apartment, and a home made central vacuum hose, 40 feet of 1.5 diameter commercial hose with a cuff on one end that connects to a utility valve attached to each unit, the other end has a handle attached that takes the standard 1.25 attachments. I do have several power nozzles and use them to clean my area rug outside my apartment door, I have an electric central vacuum hose for that, made by plastiflex, but other than that, I have all hard wood floors. I would think that the volt power nozzle would work the best since it also has a fan in edition to the brush roll. When using a central vacuum directly, without the piping, the cleaning power is amazing.
The great thing about central vacuums is that almost everythingis standardized, there are a few companies that insist on being nonstandard such as electrolux and I think vacuflo uses nonstandard inlets, at least they used to, but other than that, you can interchange components from different manufacturers and in most cases it works fine. It's interesting that you have such good results with the turbo cat, an electric nozzle will always clean better than a turbine nozzle. Definitely check out the volt nozzle, it's also sold as the hide a hose cx 1000
I much prefer bagged vacuums over bagless, emptying out the bin on a bagless central vacuum is actually pretty nasty. My beam central vacuum unit originally came as a bagless unit, fortunately I was able to convert it to a bagged unit. It was one of the first units I got and was still learning about central vacuums. If I could not have converted it I probably would have sold it, emptying a bucket full of dust is awful.

Post# 367579 , Reply# 11   2/27/2017 at 03:22 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

After being here on Vacuumland for awhile-I also started collecting central machines-Again,I prefer the bagged models.Have a Beam unit that came from thevac shops trade in pile-its like new-and bagless.Use it on rare occasion.I have another MD newcomer to my collection-An MD type 80-650 unit mounted on a janitor cart-the vac shops innovation-A "Port-A-Vac" he makes these up and sells them mainly to churches-the machines are good for cleaning around pews.Have two of them at work-great for cleaning the transmitters-leave the cart-vacuum unit outside and bring hose and tool inside the transmitter.Works veryt nice-no tripping over a canister or shop vac unit.Now I have one of these at home-serves as my kitchen area vacuum and car vacuum.also have a "HEPA" Port-A-Vac" only one the fellow made up,made it up for a prospect and the customer didn't want it-so I bought it.Use this one as well.It has a ProTeam FS 6 backpack unit mounted on the cart.Like having these in my collection-they are custom-"monster" machines.By the way use my Volt with them.Love my Volt-makes ANY vacuum a tandem air machine-monster vac.Even use it with my Kirby Avalir set up as a "canister"!My MD Silentmster has the giant open top bag-like a giant Compact-TriStar bag.Love seeing how much I pick up with it when used with the Volt nozzle.My central machines aren't plumbed in-used freestanding with the 35Ft hoses.Use these in turn with my new Lux Platinum and new TriStar.Use the Volt nozzle on those,too.Love the results!

Post# 367605 , Reply# 12   2/27/2017 at 15:35 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
portable central units and more on combining parts frm other

It's actually possible to make any central vacuum in to a portable unit, or use it as a very powerful canister vacuum, but some are easier than others. If there is a utility valve built in and a separate switch, those are the easiest. If a utility valve is not on the unit, you can attach one directly to the intake, or if that doesn't fit, use a short piece of central vacuum pipe. There are a few units that are actually designed to work with central vacuum hoses and tools without pipes, I'll list them and post the links. The most powerful of these is the vacumaid garage vac pro, I have this one sitting in my second bedroom, it uses an Ametek 5.7 motor and has 740 air watts. The hose inlet is right on the unit, just connect the hose and flip the switch. This motor is also used in other central vacuum units as well.
Then there is the intervac h120. Again, it has a hose inlet right on the unit, not as powerful though, only 400 air watts, but it should still work for most applications, I have this sitting in a corner of my living room.
And then there is the drainvac atomic, I don't have this one, but have thought about getting it, it sounds like a nice unit, apparently this one is portable, but can also be hooked up with pipes as well.
Now for more on using other brands of components with each other. It's very common to use attachments from other brands, assuming they fit the hose end, as has been stated, many times the attachments are the same, they are just rebranded by another company. When you get in to hoses, it gets a bit more complex. For most canister and uprights, you can only use the hose designed for that model or series, there is really no standardization for that. However, there are some standards in a few segments of the vacuum market, central vacuums are one of those. Any central vacuum hose should fit a majority of inlets, I think the only ones that are different are those from vacuflo, and when Kenmore made Central vacuums, their inlets were a bit smaller.
Another segment of the market where there is some standardization is the backpack vacuum. These usually take a 1.5 diameter hose cuff, and getting hoses for these is fairly simple. You can use a 1.5 inch tool kit, or use a 1.25 hose end and then it will work with many common attachments.
The last part of the market that is somewhat standard is wet dry vacs. Almost all of these have a hose inlet that is 2-1/4 inches, and there are a few different sizes of hoses for these, but the hose end is the same, you can swap hoses quite easily.
Let me end this post with a link to another central vacuum unit I'm thinking about getting, this would be my first two motor unit, it sounds like a real beast!

Post# 367615 , Reply# 13   2/27/2017 at 16:50 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

My grandparents have an Electrolux SuperLux. It has the SideKick II and most of the attachments, but has clogged numerous times due to them using PVC pipe. I've heard that you're supposed to use special tubing.

P.S. If anyone wants to clean the tubes, there's this thing called Tornado Wipes. You suck one up and it cleans the pipes.

Post# 367619 , Reply# 14   2/27/2017 at 18:02 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
As far as clogs go....

I generally don't have clogs in mine. I have sucked up some big stuff, and it made it all the way to the canister. The piping and plumbing does have lots to do with whether or not you get them.

#1. CV pipe is PVC, but it's a 2"OD, with a smooth inside. Plumbing pipe isn't smooth inside.

#2 The inlets should have a SHARP 90degree at the inlet, so if you suck up a stick, it gets caught there, and you can just pick it out.

#3 Don't suck up wet stuff.

#4 Good hoses are designed to NOT clog... the end of the hose is 1.25", and the rest of the hose/tubing is 2"... so if it makes it in one end of the hose, it usually can make it through OK.

#5 The pipes when assembled have to be de-burred. It's important to keep a super smooth path all though the piping.

Post# 367641 , Reply# 15   2/27/2017 at 22:36 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
hose size

I think most central vacuum hoses now are 1-3/8 diameter, although there are still hoses that are 1.25 which probably restricts the airflow. I have a central vacuum electric hose, and a nonelectric hose that is actually 1.5 inch diameter, it has incredible airflow, the one down side to this hose is that it's heavy and not very flexible, so putting it away is like trying to get a beast back in to a cage, but it's crush proof to the extreme.

Post# 367651 , Reply# 16   2/28/2017 at 09:16 by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I almost

mark40511's profile picture
had a CV installed when my house was built in 2004. May I ask ?'s for those who own them.

The container that catches the dirt - it's typically located in the garage I assume? Do they leak dust at all into your garage area? Do they use bags or is the container just empty catching the dust, then you have to empty the mess out?

I can see how these would be superior in that everything gets sucked out of your environment. I think I would LOVE to have one, unfortunately, my house is already built but if I ever have another house built (which I doubt), this would be definitely something I will do next time.

Post# 367658 , Reply# 17   2/28/2017 at 10:55 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
collection methods for central vacuums

Basically, there are four methods that are typically used for collecting what is vacuumed up, the first way is by using a bag, and this is what I suggest. Trust me, dumping out a bucket full of dust is disgusting to say the least. With a bagged unit, you just change the bag and you're done, no dirt exposure.
The other three methods are bagless and involve having to dump the canister. The first method uses a weighted filter in the container, when the vacuum is turned on, the filter is sucked to the top and protects the motor, when the vacuum is switched off, the filter falls back to the bottom and is supposed to shake the dirt off and in to the bucket. In many cases, dirt sticks to the filter and requires you to clean it.
The other two methods use cyclonic action to remove the dirt, there is filtered cyclonic and nonfiltered. The filtered cyclonic units have a filter to catch the fine dust, the nonfiltered units use cyclonic action to remove large particles, and the fine dust goes through the motor and is then vented outside. Again, I suggest going with a bagged unit. Here is an article which provides more information about the various methods of filtration.

Post# 367678 , Reply# 18   2/28/2017 at 19:19 by OCScott3085 (DMV)        

If you build again, definitely consider a central vacuum. It is possible to add one to your house after the fact but I know it's more expensive and the outlet placement can get a little wonky. My parents actually had a MD Silentmaster retrofitted in their home. I'm actually amazed it was possible because all three levels of their home are finished. The two guys who did the installation were still able to put in 9 outlets by getting creative with their runs of piping. The MD Silentmaster has been a very reliable unit. I think they've had it almost 17 years and it's never been serviced. Emptying the unit isn't too terrible but because it's an open bag there always seems to be some dust that falls on the ground and in the unit when pulling it out.
When I built my home 4 years ago the builder put in a filtered cyclonic unit by Dirt Devil which is mounted in the garage. I must say, it was the nastiest thing to empty. Dumping the bin wasn't bad but a lot of my dog's hair and dust tended to accumulate around the filter. I'd have to vacuum it off if I wanted to get a full year out of it. When the motor burned out it was replaced with a MD Flo-Master with a closed bag. I insisted on a closed bag because I was done dealing with messy bins.
To answer your question about dust, I haven't noticed a build up in my parents' garage or my own. Hope that helps!

Post# 367683 , Reply# 19   2/28/2017 at 21:18 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
CV locations and venting.

There's two places that people generally install their CV motors.

#1 Basements
#2 Garage

Basement/closet installs are usually vented outside
Garage units are usually not vented outside, but may be.

The Imperium is so quiet, I could put it anywhere.... the Nutone it replaced was best off in the basement or garage where it could make the noise it wanted to.

The 4 types mentioned..


Filtered (inverted "self cleaning bag")


Water Flushed (Self Cleaning)

Most people will be happiest with the bagged... the dirt is crushed down in the bag, it holds lots, and is easily replaced. The secondary filter is foam or screen, and gets washed on occasion, but 99% of the filtering is done by the bag.
a 6gal bag lasts MONTHS.

Filtered has this weighted inverting filter that is supposed to dump the dirt in the bucket when you shut it off. You'll be cleaning this whenever the suck factor drops.

NO THANKS... I'll stick to bagged.

Cyclonic is what it sounds like, but since it fluffs the dirt, you'll be dumping the bucket more often.

The Water/Self cleaning is sort of rainbow style... it uses water to wash dirt down the drain... there's a net to catch big pieces that would clog the drain. Aquavac and Drainvac are the two I know of in this style. You can shampoo carpets with this type CV.

Mine is installed in the basement, and vents outside.

When my house was built in the 70's, it had a Nutone system installed. I replaced the Nutone motor with the pictured Imperium above. The "Suck Factor" is off the charts. The Vacuflo type "Crush Proof" hose can withstand all the sucking, but just barely. If it's not straight, it will tighten its loops with the vacuum pressure, and you can just tell that there's enough power there that the hose is feeling the stress. When vacuuming a hard floor, the hose will lurch strongly if the airflow is restricted suddenly by a rug. Still it holds up ok. Before I upgraded to the Imperium, the Nutone didn't stress the hoses too much.

My three FAVORITE things about having a CV

1. Tremendous suck power
2. No Smells (since it vents outside)
3. Less Noise...
Plus, it's not heavy, and the long hoses make it easy to get into all the areas.

Post# 367693 , Reply# 20   3/1/2017 at 09:43 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
open and closed bags

The open bags are a bit messier to empty, but they do provide better airflow. The MD units can be converted to use closed bags though. I have a flo master m85, nice unit, well made, I just stuck with the open bag to get the best performance, but it's personal preference. I think the dirt devil central vacuums are made by HP products which is the same company that makes the vacuflo brand. When it comes to vacuflo, I find their prices very expensive for what you get, you can get better performing power units at a lower price. Yes, the claim that those filters clean themselves is a joke. I had mentioned that I had a beam unit in a previous post, before I converted it to use bags, dust would always stick to that filter which will decrease performance. When I installed the bag adapter, I removed that filter completely, the bag provides all filtration now.

Post# 367714 , Reply# 21   3/1/2017 at 21:01 by Marks_here (Crossville TN & Altoona PA WOO HOO )        
I have 2 central units now

marks_here's profile picture
My original Vacuflo 466Q is true cyclonic when I dump it in the woods there is NO dust cloud as people keep saying, no dust anywhere in the garage, on my cars, on the unit or piping even on the vent outside it is clean. It is quiet hence the Q but I did have a muffler on it because my neighbors complained it was too loud when I'd use it at night but I said screw it & took it off let em suffer!!

The Beam Serenety 2725 has a bag filter that is not bad, machine, garage, piping all clean too and this one is very quiet when it's running w/no muffler on it, but there is a dust cloud when I dumped it but the bag does not look like the one in the video, that one should have been replaced years ago. You can tell it was not taken care of & proper maintenance was not performed as mentioned in the handbook.

Even though they say no venting is required on some of them I would still do it to make sure the area stays clean & everything goes outside. I have tried to purposely clog mine but the suction us too strong along with the correct piping that was installed in the home long after it was built. I also have a canister separator that attaches to a different hose that you can pick up 4 gallons of water in plus the auction is incredible on it. It is restaurant grade not the smaller plastic ones they have now so if I ever have to pick up water I don't have to hunt for a wet vac.

This post was last edited 03/01/2017 at 21:16
Post# 367730 , Reply# 22   3/2/2017 at 14:30 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
interceptors and venting outside

I actually tried an interceptor, did not have much luck with it. Lost a lot of the suction because the hoses would not connect properly, the interceptor was designed for central vacuums and I was using a central vacuum hose. The one I had was the metal one, attached to a small cart. Interesting that the beam unit you have is very quiet, mine, which is a beam classic model 275 is very loud, even with a muffler. Without a muffler, you wouldn't want to be in the same room with it, it's unbarable.
Regarding venting outside, here's another article from the same web site, they seem to not really be in favor of it, although I think the article is a bit paranoid, but take a look and see what you think.

Post# 367800 , Reply# 23   3/3/2017 at 20:01 by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
Central Vac and noise...

Seriously, try one of the Imperiums... QUIET!... Plus major suckage.

Post# 367805 , Reply# 24   3/3/2017 at 20:52 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

Want to see something, Mike Hays has 2- 2 motor Beam units in his basement hooked up in tandem to a Sppencer outlet and a full set of Spencer tools...UNBELIEVABLE!!

Post# 367816 , Reply# 25   3/4/2017 at 03:54 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

My MD Silentmaster has the open top "Hyperflow" bag-the best way to handle these is like a Compact/TriStar bag-replace the bag when its a little over half full.that way you can close the neck of the bag over the dust as you pull the bag from the tank.The vac shop once had a service call on an MD central unit that used this bag."No suction" was the complaint from the owner.What had happened was the bag was so full the cloth bag was pressing down on the foam after filter so hard that the motor intake was blocked.the bag had over 60 pounds of dirt in it.For me these bags last about 6 months -then I replace them.I have another MD central unit that has the closed top bag-smaller at 5 gal capacity.Its equivelant to an MD 650.In the VDTA new I read about in a vac shop trade book-they are going to offer a closed Filtrete bag that can be used with 8Gal or 12Gal MD units.This could be an answer.The new bag can also be used with the main inlets or utility inlet.The present closed bag only allows you to use the main inlets.I asked the MD dealer near me to order some of these when they become available.Would love to try them.also would like to see if they will fit my 650 unit mounted on the janitor cart.This newcomer has become another favorite!So Kirby and NSS have some company!

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