Thread Number: 43280  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Do central vacuums loose suction and airflow through the piping?
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Post# 452278   5/4/2022 at 00:07 (272 days old) by ajr2993 (Bakersfield, CA)        

I know central vacuums are powerful, but do they lose cleaning performance through the piping?

Post# 452281 , Reply# 1   5/4/2022 at 01:44 (272 days old) by cbimmer (USA)        

Not if the piping is installed properly. As for the hose, it depends on the type (wire-reinforced or crush-proof) and diameter. A larger diameter crush-proof hose is vastly superior to a wire-reinforced hose.

Post# 452302 , Reply# 2   5/4/2022 at 16:11 (271 days old) by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

Yes, they do. The length the path, the number of turns, the diameter of piping and hoses and any leakage all matter. Central vacuums must be much more powerful than portable units to overcome these challenges. Skill is needed to design and properly install a central vacuum.

Post# 452359 , Reply# 3   5/6/2022 at 03:36 (269 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Of course, the longer the pipe, the more work that has to be done to move air through it. And a given motor/fan can only do X amount of work.

Post# 452918 , Reply# 4   5/23/2022 at 12:36 (252 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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This video right here proves why.

Post# 452928 , Reply# 5   5/23/2022 at 19:34 (252 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

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Wyaple, a.k.a Vaclab on YouTube, demonstrated this years ago on his channel. In my opinion, a high end canister vacuum cleans and filters just as well as a central vac. The only reasons to get central vac is better quality or if you wanted better filtration without needing a HEPA filter on a vacuum's exhaust. However, you have the disadvantage of needing a long, bulky electric hose or using a battery powerhead to clean carpets properly.


Post# 452932 , Reply# 6   5/23/2022 at 21:09 (252 days old) by beagledad (Florida)        

I watched the video and I never heard him mention anything about the piping losing suction like the OP asked. The video explained why you need a bigger motor to move larger volumes of air. Which is understandable. There's no suction being lost. Just not enough suction for longer runs. As for Kirby users...I believe they should think twice before calling another vacuum bulky or cumbersome. 💡

Post# 452939 , Reply# 7   5/24/2022 at 00:47 (252 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Rob, that is true of which any TOL canister can perform just as well as an average central vacuum. And I also agree that I too can care less about the battery powernozzles except for either the Volt or the CX1000. I don't however agree with the hose part. Having used both a canister and a central vac, I find a canister unit more difficult to pull around and/or maneuver than any hose itself on a central. Especially the wire reinforce hoses. In fact when we had our kitchen redone, I used one of the contractor's wet/dry vacs before to clean up and I ended up chipping some paint off of a corner on our drywall. It still bears the scar on our wall to this day. Now to be fair, the wet/dry vac didn't had a bumper on and they're typically not designed to primarily be used for indoors. But the point though being is with any canister unit regardless if it has a bumper on or not, it would have a greater chance of tearing off something of not just drywall but also crown moldings, furniture, etc. With a central vac hose especially with a sock cover hose on, you'd have a FAR less chance of tearing something off. Not to mention that it wouldn't even get paint marks on the sock cover versus a canister which would likely have paint on the cord especially when it gets hot.

Beagledad, I should clarify that in the video it's not just suction alone but any kind of power through the piping. It's not like it completely lost it's power but it definitely decreases as there are more piping throughout a house. It totally made sense to me when I first watched it and that's the first thing it came to my mind when I saw this thread.

Post# 453435 , Reply# 8   6/6/2022 at 19:41 (238 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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Generally a central vacuum is installed for the size house that's in.
The bigger the house the larger the volume of pipe the more powerful the unit.
Especially when compared to a portable vacuum even a central vacuum in a very large house has significantly more power.

Here's an example from the canister to the farthest away from the canister in a 5000 ft house.

Central Vacuums are amazing every collector should have one.

Post# 453558 , Reply# 9   6/8/2022 at 18:36 (236 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I've seen some older central units that use basically a FilterQueen or Tri-Star type motor. I was expecting the power to be worse than the portable machines they shared the motor with, but even when installed in a system, at the end of a long hose and pipe system, it had better power than the portable.

Basically, while being much longer, the air passages are wider than an upright or canister, and the filter/bag setups are usually made with more surface area.

The installation itself does definitely matter here too, you could, for example, install a system with all short 90s (these are ONLY supposed to go immediately behind the inlet int the wall) for elbows... This would result in massive airflow loss and very poor performance. Use sweep 90s or two 45s and it works much better, also using a Y fitting rather than a sweep T helps.

Hoses can be the worst restriction though. I have hoses that make my massively powerful central system feel like a mediocre canister, think Electrolux Central hose here... But really, central vacs have always performed as well, or better than contemporary canisters (And I believe both canisters and centrals out perform uprights) as they have always, for the good units, had so much power that, even after the small losses that do occur, they are still more powerful than a canister. And the most important thing, the only way to be sure you really have removed the dust is not to have a HEPA filter, but ti vent the machine's exhaust out of the living area.

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