Thread Number: 43546  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
The horrible truth about central vacuum systems and why every non-Canadian millennial hates them.
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Post# 454710   7/11/2022 at 19:16 by ajr2993 (Bakersfield, CA)        

Central vacuum systems have always gotten a horrible reputation from non-vacuum enthusiasts for being clunky, outdated, and impractical. They've also been hated by professional vacuum test channels like VacLab for losing 95% of their cleaning performance due to their long hose and long piping, So why do people hate them? I give you many reasons why.

1. The hoses are bulky, clunky, and hard to store

Central vacuum hoses have definitely improved since the days of the old-school, bulky, wire-reinforced hoses that were heavy and had terrible suction and airflow. They have since moved to crushproof hosing which is much lighter-weight and aerodynamic. Plus, there's always a retractable hose system like the Hide-A-Hose.

2. They waste so much electricity

Central vacuum systems burn almost 2500 watts of electricity a day. In today's era of energy-saving appliances, central vacuum systems are obsolete.

3. They're prone to clogging

Central vacuum systems have piping throughout the home, meaning if you vacuum fireplace ashes, wet food crumbs, pine needles, bugs, or other sharp or sticky objects, they'll clog, BIG TIME!!

4. They're not aerodynamic AT ALL

Because the suction and airflow has to travel through a massive highway of tubing, it loses cleaning performance drastically, unless you install it correctly or have a powerful unit. Uprights and canisters are much more powerful than central vacuums, as shown from VacLab and braveheart vacs.

Post# 454712 , Reply# 1   7/11/2022 at 20:26 by beagledad (Florida)        

Can an admin please deal with these trolls?

Post# 454715 , Reply# 2   7/11/2022 at 20:48 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Geez, hold up their dude

vaclab's profile picture
And stop putting words in my mouth. Let me state this plainly


Central vacuums have their place but aren't very efficient at what they do. It's by design.

Now let me respond to your claims:

Your Claim: "losing 95% of their cleaning performance due to their long hose and long piping"
My Answer: They do not lose 95% of their cleaning performance and I have no idea where you obtained that number. Example: motor starts out with 150 CFM and ends up with 80 nozzle CFM. Not a 95% loss. Do the Math!

Your Claim: "The hoses are bulky, clunky, and hard to store"
My Answer: Some can be, hide-a-hose models not so much

Your Claim: "Central vacuum systems burn almost 2500 watts of electricity a day"
My Answer: Uh, do you mean 2500 Watts/hr. or something like that? If you run a 1700 Watt machine with a PN for 30 minutes, that would be 850 W/hr. If you run it for 1 hour that would be 1700 W/hr. Not sure where you grabbed 2500 Watts from. You need a time component.

Your Claim: "They're prone to clogging"
My Answer: The typical person barely understands how to use/maintain any vacuum and can clog anything as I've previously stated elsewhere. BUT, if you actually pay attention to what you're sucking up, clogs are rare in any vacuum.

Your Claim: "They're not aerodynamic AT ALL"
My Answer: This is a repeat of the first "95% loss" claim.

While there are some that clearly "kowtow" to central vacuums, all I want to accomplish is show everyone that central vacs are inefficient. Merely having a big motor does not equate to big performance at the nozzle.


Post# 454716 , Reply# 3   7/11/2022 at 20:55 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        
Seriously Andrew?

panasonicvac's profile picture
This is like maybe the third or fourth time now you've created a thread recently about central vacs, I don't get why you keep on making new threads while I've noticed you rarely post back into a thread that you would create. I honestly find it annoying. And I'd get less interested in visiting your new threads.

Post# 454717 , Reply# 4   7/11/2022 at 20:58 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Annual Cost of Running Vacuums

vaclab's profile picture
You have to make some assumptions. Adjust your usage as required.

Say you vacuum 50 hours per year (typical).

A machine that uses 1000 Watts would consume 50 kW/hrs per year. My electric costs 11 cents per kW/hr, so I would pay $5.50 USD per year. A Starbucks fancy coffee costs as much (or more).

If your "suck the paint off the walls" central vacuum uses 2000 Watts (including the PN), you would now pay $11.00 USD per year.



Post# 454721 , Reply# 5   7/12/2022 at 00:28 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

NEVER,NEVER use a central vacuum or others for that matter to pick up fireplace and woodstove ash.Good way to use the vacuum system as a HOUSE IGNITOR!!!!!Use the fireplace shovel and a METAL ashcan which is stored OUTSIDE the home!!!The ash can be dumpted in a garden-away from the house as fertilizer.Trash companies often do not pick up ash because it can cause trash truck fires.A trash truck is an EXPENSIVE item-some can cost over quarter mil for the body and chassis.

Post# 454724 , Reply# 6   7/12/2022 at 02:32 by Adam-aussie-vac ( Canberra, Australia )        
Reply 5

adam-aussie-vac's profile picture
What about Ash separators?

Post# 454727 , Reply# 7   7/12/2022 at 06:14 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Not famaliar with ash seperators-you can get ash vacuums-these use all metal bodies and fireproof hoses and filters.You do have to empty them after each use.Since ash is a good thermal insulator live coals can remain hot for days!Best to play it safe.My Dad always cleaned his woodstove and fireplace with the steel shovel and ashcan.He didn't use a vacuum.The safest way.He dumpted the ashcan in his garden a distance from the house.

Post# 454728 , Reply# 8   7/12/2022 at 07:27 by wstonehockertv (North Carolina)        

I understand this is all your opinion, but I feel you are doing this to attract attention. If I have an opinion on something, I try to not show my bias towards it. Remember, central vacs are not for everyone.

Post# 454736 , Reply# 9   7/12/2022 at 09:49 by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
It all depends upon how the unit is installed. My installer is my friend who not only is a fellow vacuum collector, he also installs and services central vacuums for a living.

I have three electavalves installed in my home, and a 30 foot "Lux" style electric hose with the 'super J' type grip.

I have a Cameleon retractable hose for the bedrooms, located in the main hall.

I have a Wally Flex in the laundry room as well as over my work bench in the garage.

I have a Vroom under the kitchen sink. I have a vacpan along the baseboard in the kitchen.

I have a garage inlet near the garage door for cleaning cars in the driveway. And of course, Modern Day central vacs have a utility valve I use when vacuuming the garage floor.

At vacuum convention time, my friends try different power units on my 'pipes', with different results. They run every power nozzle I have at home at the end of the different hoses. We had Central Vacuums as a theme a few years ago.

The central vac is like a very, very quiet canister vacuum with a long hose. As the late Stan Kann used to say, "it only needs enough suction to get the schmutz into the end of the hose".

Post# 454737 , Reply# 10   7/12/2022 at 10:10 by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

Tom, just curious, is your electric hose wire-reinfoced like the older style hoses or the newer, crush-proof design?

Post# 454739 , Reply# 11   7/12/2022 at 10:38 by maytag142c (Ö.)        

I have an MD M-715H with a crushproof hose. The unit has 4 inlets on it plus the utility inlet for the basement and itís vented outside. Apparently this unit is one of the more powerful units that you can run on 120v before stepping up to a 240v model. Not once have I ever had a clog, have I ever had suction loss, nor have I ever had an issue with the unit and I suck up all sorts of stuff, some stuff shouldnít even be sucked up but if it can fit it goes. The same friend Tom got his unit from, I got mine from and I couldnít be happier. Itís the vacuum I use the most.

Post# 454740 , Reply# 12   7/12/2022 at 11:03 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I thought about it in my old place.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture

I found a HOOVER unit on ebay...but couldn't get it here.  It's the only one I'd get.  I really don't need one.  But, Owen Perkins was very kind to me about it.  A few yrs back,  someone else tried to sell me one...didn't work out.


 I'm told it wouldn't be THAT hard to retrofit this 12 room place. But.....................

 There is a Hoover Central vac in the basement.  Good enough.

Post# 454751 , Reply# 13   7/12/2022 at 16:54 by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
I got a number of different electric hoses from my buddy who installed the machine. One is crush proof and two are wire bound. The smooth bore crush proof hose does allow for much more airflow.

Post# 454752 , Reply# 14   7/12/2022 at 17:27 by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

Yes I have only had crush-proof in this house but my parents' system had the old wire-reinforced hoses in the 80's/90's. I liked the look and feel of those better than the crush-proof. The Plastiflex crush-proof electric hose that came with my system split in half after only 8 years of use and I haven't replaced it yet. I ended up getting the battery version of my Wessel Werk EBK360 powerhead so I don't need electric.

Post# 454791 , Reply# 15   7/13/2022 at 15:54 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I think people vastly underestimate and do not think about what goes into installing a central vacuum. This is not something you just buy and use. You have to spend weeks renovating your home to fit one in which is why they are only found in new constructions. There is a lot of damages done to walls, floors, ceilings , et cetera to install central vacuum tubing. it's at least $1,000+ in labor to install.

the people that actually use central vacuums are maybe less than 1% of America. in canada most new home construction requires central vacuum systems - why i don't know. canada is very strange.

I would highly advise you to stop watching clickbait youtube channels which will cut out these paranoid rants. central vacuums have existed for over 100 years and they are still a very little used and little bought cleaning system and the top vacuums are still hoover and shark and dyson. there is absolutely nobody rushing out in the middle of the night to buy a central vacuum system.

Post# 454794 , Reply# 16   7/13/2022 at 17:27 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Canadian Central Vac Requirement?

vaclab's profile picture
I only did a quick Google search to verify a new home builds central vac requirement. I came up with bupkis.

Huskyvacs, please provide a link that shows central vacs are mandated in new Canadian home builds.


Post# 454799 , Reply# 17   7/13/2022 at 19:15 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
I have never heard of the requirement that new home construction requires central vac installation....and I live in Ontario, Canada. I checked the building code online and did not find anything. Where are you getting this information? Can you provide a link?



Post# 454801 , Reply# 18   7/13/2022 at 22:22 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I think what I must have read must have been a builder's requirement for certain estate homes as their furnishings and not the national code.

I just figured it was a requirement because so many homes had them from new. But Canada does have requirements in the building code on how the piping can be run and protected from fire.

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Post# 454802 , Reply# 19   7/13/2022 at 22:27 by beagledad (Florida)        

I don't know about any legal requirement but I do know a good deal of Canadian homes are at least pre-plumbed for central vacuums. On one of the retailer sites they claimed to have done thousands. I imagine it's an easier sell for the power unit and accessory kit if the plumbing is already in.

I still find it hilarious of the handful of people on this site leading the crusade against central vacuums. I just changed out the bag in mine back in May. It was packed well over 75% full and no loss of performance. That's a hell of a lot of dirt for these people claiming they don't clean well. They are more full of crap than that vacuum bag was.

Post# 454853 , Reply# 20   7/14/2022 at 14:47 by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

Yes, I put off changing the bag in my MD central vac unit by about two months. It was JAM packed with dirt, dust and enough dog hair to make another beagle. As Beagledad mentioned, there had been no noticeable loss in performance. Love my MD central vac.

Post# 454864 , Reply# 21   7/14/2022 at 20:26 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
Many new homebuilders do the rough in for central vac as it is so much easier but I would guess that most builders do not provide the power unit/accessories nor do the home buyers have the install finished. I see ads all the time on Facebook, etc. for central vac units & accessories with the sellers saying they don't use the vacuum, don't like it and instead are using their stick vacuum.


Post# 454865 , Reply# 22   7/14/2022 at 20:46 by beagledad (Florida)        

Are people that hard up for cash? My house came with a fancy jet tub that I've never used but I've never thought of ripping it out and trying to sell it on Facebook. It's part of the home and if I sell the house then someone else may very well want that feature. The power unit hanging on the wall and an accessory kit stored in a closet isn't in anyone's way. Just keep it for the next owner. But I guess I can't expect rational thought from people who think a stick vacuum is appropriate as a primary vacuum.

Post# 454872 , Reply# 23   7/14/2022 at 23:11 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
"Are people that hard up for cash? "

Yes. Any way you can get the money coming in is worth doing. If I have some central vacuum in my house that I will never even turn on that I can get $900 for or however much they cost, that thing is coming out faster than you can blink.

Post# 454874 , Reply# 24   7/15/2022 at 00:45 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Overly full MD central unit bags-the MD dealer here-Greenville Sew&Vac-went out on a service call-"Vacuum not picking up" Problem was the disposable bag had 65POUNDS of dirt in it.The dispsable bag weighted the cloth outer bag so much it was touching the motor air intake-blocking it.Lucky these vacuums have full bypass motors!Replaced the disposable bag and vacuumed the outer bag-unit worked fine.
For new installations in existing homes the dealer has a contractor do the job -he specializes in central vacuum installations in homes under construction or existing ones.Not a really big deal in existing homes.The main trunkline run thru an attic or crawlspace.Then the inlets are run up from the tr4unkline to where the customer wants them.No more disturbance to the wall than adding another electric outlet.The installation can be done in less than a day in most cases.

Post# 455004 , Reply# 25   7/19/2022 at 16:44 by BrianNC (North Carolina)        

briannc's profile picture
I love my central vacuum, everyone is entitled to their opinions and preferences for vacuums.

I don't see where my central vacuum is inferior, it's very convenient for me and my home.

I'm a canister vacuum guy, I dislike upright vacuums but wouldn't sway anyone from buying/using them.

Happy vacuuming. :)

Post# 455035 , Reply# 26   7/20/2022 at 12:59 by Vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
I am not a fan of central vacuums but I see the value in them for some folks.

I personally think the hose being so long is cumbersome at best to use. Air flow is fantastic. I don't like them when used with a turbo units as the powerhead. An electric powerhead cleans much better in my opinion.

All of the units I have used are the bag-less type and cleaning those filters and tank is just plain disgusting. I would opt for a bagged unit over the bag-less any day.

Although not for me, I think they are an awesome convenience for those who like them.

Just my two cents

Post# 455037 , Reply# 27   7/20/2022 at 13:26 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I agree

gottahaveahoove's profile picture

or should I say, "concur"?

Post# 455039 , Reply# 28   7/20/2022 at 14:41 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
For many people with severe allergies, a central vacuum cleaner is a must because the dirty air is filtered far away from the user and the filtered air can be exhausted to the outside.

Post# 455044 , Reply# 29   7/20/2022 at 15:28 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
What happens when you have to empty it and clean out months old stagnant dust and dirt?

Post# 455046 , Reply# 30   7/20/2022 at 16:02 by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
My Modern Day SilentMaster has sealed HEPA bags that allow you to remove the dirt without touching it, seeing it, or breathing it. Tru-Seal Hepa bags are what they are called.

Post# 455051 , Reply# 31   7/20/2022 at 18:56 by Ocscott3085 (DMV)        

I agree with Tom - the sealed bags in the MD units are such a great addition. My parents Silentmaster has the open bag style that can be quite dirty to change. I like that I can just pop my bag on and off the collar. Bag changes are super quick, clean, and easy.

Post# 455410 , Reply# 32   8/2/2022 at 13:06 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

vacuumdevil's profile picture
Either this is a troll or somebody incredibly ignorant.

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Post# 455416 , Reply# 33   8/2/2022 at 15:31 by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
And references the "Canadians" but leaves out those of us who Love our sanitary Central Vacuums in the Heartland of America.

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Post# 455422 , Reply# 34   8/2/2022 at 16:44 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

vacuumdevil's profile picture
@dysonman1 TOM that guy's just an unfunny troll.

@beagledad is right we need to have the admin come in here. But it's vacuum Land there is no admin on any sort of regular basis. This is one of the reasons the user base is in the low double digits right now.

Post# 455525 , Reply# 35   8/6/2022 at 17:32 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
I love central vacuums

I have central vacuum units all around my apartment, I use them all without pipes, I connect the hose directly to them, I have two crush proof hoses, a 35 foot and a 50 foot, I store them behind my couch and my love seat. I would never use any unit bagless, emptying those is just nasty, some of my units are hybrid units but I always use a bag in those. If a central vacuum is installed right it should not clog unless the person using it vacuums up something that it wasn't designed to handle and that could probably damage a portable vacuum as well. I brought a bunch of my central vacuum units to the convention last year and hooking them up to Tom's piping was a blast, of course, there was one unit that really stole the show though, the Drainvac Twin Turbo, I couldn't see this since I have a visual impairment but vacuuming Tom's chair with it actually changed the color and it made the carpet actually stand up, and it caused the lights to dim all throughout the house. That unit is a beast! Again, if the piping is installed properly it should be quite powerful at the hose end. As far as the power unit goes, it's always best to get the most powerful unit you can afford, one rule of thumb is to get a power unit that is rated to handle a house twice the size of the house you actually have. For those who don't like central vacuums, you certainly don't have to use them but many collectors, in cluding myself really like them. A lot of central vacuum brands are Canadian, Drainvac, Duovac, Allegro, Canavac and Cyclovac are the ones that come to mind.

Post# 455540 , Reply# 36   8/7/2022 at 05:53 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
The userbase on the site is fine, there is new members all the time and plenty of active posters. Not sure where you are pulling your statistics from.

It's better to have quality users than more users. This ain't reddit bruh. It's a laid-back forum, not a chanboard. People don't come here for the "high user count" nor does it matter. If you don't like the topic, hide it. That is why that button is there. As the old Geico commercials went - "it's so easy a caveman could do it."

Post# 455725 , Reply# 37   8/11/2022 at 10:34 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I have friends who have them and love them

gottahaveahoove's profile picture

Others have them, but rarely use them.

  If I were building a home..sure.

  I would love to had had a Hoover, naturally.  I saw 2 on ebay. was unable to procure one. Hoover, of course, no longer features them.  a shame, but.................

Post# 455732 , Reply# 38   8/11/2022 at 12:03 by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
Your Drain Vac was awesome. 240 volts of pure power.

As you are aware, this year's Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Convention's theme is Power Nozzle Canisters. I guess a central vac hooked up to an electric hose at the utility valve with a power nozzle would count for the Cleaning Contest. Remember last year there was a $50 prize to the winner.

There are plans to film the cleaning contest for YouTube (along with some colorful commentary). Charlie Watrous is going to host the contest, like last year. Always a riot.

Post# 455807 , Reply# 39   8/13/2022 at 13:51 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
using the Drainvac for the contest

Well, if a central vacuum is legal for the contest than I just might bring that Drainvac again. The question is, which power nozzle to use? I'm thinking either the Sebo ET2 or the Wessel-Werk EBK360, the suction on that Drainvac will beat any portable canister.

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