Thread Number: 40976  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Central vac inlet??
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Post# 435102   11/16/2020 at 10:52 by Rosie (Illinois )        

Can anyone confirm if this is a central vac inlet? In a 1924 house in Muskegon, MI
not my house. I only have these 2 photos.
Trying to settle a dispute on another forum. :-)

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size

Post# 435107 , Reply# 1   11/16/2020 at 11:35 by Electroluxxxx (Somewhere out there)        

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I actually believe that might be a vent for heating. Back in those times a lot of homes used gravity furnaces also known as the octopus. There were numerous vents throughout the house with a large vent located in a central location. As the heat rose, the cold air fell and it would be a continuous cycle. Some of the octopus furnaces were fitted with small blowers to help the process.

Post# 435109 , Reply# 2   11/16/2020 at 12:43 by detroitdirtbag (Bottom of the Bag)        

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I have a tub strainer that looks just like that. Only has 2 screws though. People do stupid stuff. Who knows.

Post# 435110 , Reply# 3   11/16/2020 at 12:44 by detroitdirtbag (Bottom of the Bag)        

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Maybe it was for looking up dresses.

Post# 435111 , Reply# 4   11/16/2020 at 12:59 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst )        

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Maybe a vent or some type of heathing and air movement or vac who knows..

Post# 435130 , Reply# 5   11/16/2020 at 19:44 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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either an air vent probably has utility room beneath it. It could also be a drain or strainer.
It could be a heater vent but those are typically by windows or doors.

Post# 435138 , Reply# 6   11/17/2020 at 01:50 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I was at first tempted to say it's a heating vent... but then I saw the second picture with the tube pulled out. It really looks like galvanized plumbing pipe. Though now that I think about it, the house is too old to be having galvanized pipe. If it's galvanized duct pipe or stove pipe, however, that would cement the idea that it's a heater vent. Very unusual to have a tiny vent. That's a very modern concept (interestingly used for retrofitting old houses).

But NOW I look closer at the first picture, I see a radiator valve right next to the stairs. So that kind of precludes that the house has radiant heat, not air. BUT. I don't see a radiator! Is there a tiny radiator under the stairs? And that's a tiny heating vent to let the heat up from the radiator? Ah ha, I'd bet that's what it is.

To answer your question simply, no it really does not look like a central vac inlet. It's a vent grille of some kind, there's no way to attach or insert a vacuum hose.

Some old houses that were built with no expense spared, have all sorts of neat oddball features, some we would never think of today. My previous house had a radiator in the linen closet to keep your towels warm, and in the detached garage to keep your cars warm (those were defunct, sadly).

Post# 435147 , Reply# 7   11/17/2020 at 09:04 by Rosie (Illinois )        

Thanks for all the replies. Some really good theories, too!!

Post# 435150 , Reply# 8   11/17/2020 at 09:48 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I like MM's....

theory and I now do see the radiator valve....good eyes!

If there ever was a radiator under the stairs, that is a logical place to put a vent; to let that warm air escape above the stairs and off to the side like that because most people had rug 'runner's' as pictured.


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