Thread Number: 43483  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Do central vacuums work well if properly installed?
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Post# 454151   6/27/2022 at 17:11 (523 days old) by ajr2993 (Bakersfield, CA)        

Central vacuum systems have a horrible reputation for being a clog nightmare, so if I install the correct piping and fitings, do they still clog?

Post# 454152 , Reply# 1   6/27/2022 at 17:46 (523 days old) by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

I grew up using a central vac system and have one in my current home. I've never experienced a clog in about 35 years of experience with them. I do think machines are sometimes underpowered for the home size when the builder just throws in whatever cheap unit they can find. In that case, I could see how a clog might occur. However, given that the hoses and handles are narrower than the internal piping system, most items are caught before entering the wall.

In terms of popularity, I don't think central vacs are as popular as they were because a lot of people don't like dealing with the hose and cordless stick vacs have become slightly more powerful and hold a longer charge. I have a retractable hose on my system and like it much more than the standard wall inlets but if I'm in a rush, I'm grabbing my cordless Dyson. Yes, I know it won't deep clean as well as the central vac but I don't have the time to vacuum for fun most days. I know my parents haven't used their system in years since I gave them a Riccar Supralite.

Post# 454153 , Reply# 2   6/27/2022 at 18:12 (523 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
central vacuums and clogs

Normally central vacuums should not clog, if it does, either the piping was not installed properly or something is being vacuumed up and shouldn't be.

Post# 454203 , Reply# 3   6/29/2022 at 01:01 (522 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
You can't beat a Central Vac!

durango159's profile picture
When installed properly, and I'll emphasize that properly is the key, they are the best.

Central vacs take all the dust in your home and suck it to a central location then emitting HEPA filtered air away from your primary living environment or vented outside.

The hoses are a smaller diameter from the wall piping. It is important to note that there is designated PVC for central vacs and not household plumbing PVC.

A good install technician is one that owns a vac shop and has been trained properly. General contractors who build homes generally aren't properly skilled at plumbing in a central vac. Piping needs to be done efficiently to minimize twists and turns that restrict airflow.

A good installer puts the sharpest 90 degree elbow turn right at the inlet. By doing so any object that can't make that turn will be stopped there and the whole rest of the way is smooth sailing.

Problems occur when installs are done improperly and consumers suck up bad things: Drywall screws, Bobby Pins, large open paper clips and yes even I've heard stories from technicians.

The best units are MD, otherwise known as Modern Day. Bagged units that are very powerful and a proper dealer can help pick the right one based on your home size. VacUFlo is also a great one.

Some of the worst in the industry are Beam, present model Nutone and even Electrolux. Electrolux over the years has always had great canister and upright machines. However, their central vac with awkward filter design just doesn't have the power that MD and other manufacturers produce.

Post# 454205 , Reply# 4   6/29/2022 at 06:41 (522 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

And to make things worse the Aerus unit is bagless-who wants to dump and bin containg 8 gallons of dusty dirt and clean that ineffective foam filter.The MD dealer here has replaced several Aerus units-each with a blown motor from lack of cleaning the filter by its user or the general inefectiveness of the foam filter.In general AVOID bagless central units!Bagged is best.So much less messy,too!!

Post# 454213 , Reply# 5   6/29/2022 at 09:38 (522 days old) by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

I agree with the recommendation for MD. My parents replaced their original Nutone 80's unit with a MD Silentmaster in the early 2000's. It still works great. When our Vacuflo unit died after two or three years we replaced it with a bagged MD unit too and it has worked flawlessly for years. I'll never own a different brand than MD.

Post# 454222 , Reply# 6   6/29/2022 at 18:30 (521 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
While we're on the topic of central vacs

blackheart's profile picture
Mike, I had sent you an email asking about your 120v-240v upstepper I have my eye on a 240v dual motor unit.

Back to the topic at hand. I've recently measured a Canavac XLS with a dual stage 8.4" motor 122175 was it's model. With a 30" 1 3/8 hose attached to it with very very little pipework I was getting about 111 CFM which is powerful but can also be outdone by some canisters like the Patriot P3, Kenmore elite, and the Perfect C101 for example.
I think it takes a truly powerful central vacuum unit to compete or surpass a high performance canister I think a lot of entry line or Middle line units just won't have the power to compare. It'll be interesting to see how the performance is effected when I can give this unit a proper install.

Post# 454231 , Reply# 7   6/30/2022 at 07:25 (521 days old) by cbimmer (USA)        

I'm not sure what you're talkin about. Every house I've lived in has had a central vacuum. We never had any issues with clogs. If the inlet is installed correctly then any large object or debris shouldn't get past the connecting elbow.

Post# 454259 , Reply# 8   6/30/2022 at 19:15 (520 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

panasonicvac's profile picture
Where did you find that claim that they known for clogging? I find it absolutely ridiculous. The pipes on the wall are much larger than the diameter of the hose so you shouldn't ever have to worry about a clog unless if either you'd do a bad piping job and/or you'd suck something up that you shouldn't.

Post# 454346 , Reply# 9   7/2/2022 at 15:55 (519 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
another great brand and 240 volt converter

Another great central vacuum brand is Drainvac, I have several of their units and they are very quiet and powerful.
Blackheart, sorry, I never got your email, I do actually have a 240 volt outlet now as well but I also have this converter and it will allow you to run a 240 volt central vacuum unit, it's not a transformer, I think it combines the two phases of the split phase system to get 240 volts.


Post# 454354 , Reply# 10   7/3/2022 at 00:35 (518 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
No worries!

blackheart's profile picture
No problem Mike I kind of figured it probably went to the junk mail folder and you never saw it. Turns out I don't (currently) need it as the weird looking outlet under my air conditioner is a 220. I'll save that link though as I may end up moving soon and may find myself needing it. Thanks!

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