Info & Answers
7 Tips for Your Central Vacuum Setup
Here are some basics for adding the convenience of a central vacuum system as part of your home technology.
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Credit: MD Manufacturing
September 30, 2009 by EH Staff

There are myriad reasons to add a central vacuum system to your home. Benefits include cleaning convenience, improved indoor air quality, durability, reliability, not having to lug an upright vacuum up or down the stairs (for more benefits, also check out MD Manufacturing’s 7 Reasons Why).

What you might not know is that many of the same people who work on your home theater projects are just as proficient at installing central vac systems in your home, as many custom electronics pros include the service in their technology offerings.

You may not have thought about it when you inquired about multiroom audio, but once you’ve swept up your kitchen and had everything sucked into the little kickstand below the sink and out to your garage-stored canister, you’d never want to go back to the traditional vac ways. Some systems even send you emails when the canister’s ready to be dumped.

Here are some basic starter tips if you’re considering a central vacuum setup, courtesy of Fred Harding of distributor Capitol Sales:

Always size the motor of your vacuum to include areas of the house that aren’t finished, like the basement.

When determining hose length, take a piece of 30-foot rope, and nail one end at the inlet location. Then walk about to ensure you will have adequate hose coverage. You can always swap in a longer hose, but why bother?

Only use 90-degree angles at the inlet. That keeps things from being sucked into the system that really should not be, like pencils, crayons and cats.

If you are installing a non-electric valve system, make sure the inlets are located near an electrical outlet.

If the vacuum canister is going to be installed in an attached garage, you must meet local and state building code requirements. Be sure to install a fire block between the inside and outside spaces.

Central vacuum motors draw a sizeable amount of current when they first turn on. Have the electrician install a 20-amp breaker dedicated to the vacuum system.

You don’t want to have the breaker pop when the vacuum is being run with another household appliance. It’s always a good idea to put surge suppression on the central canister.

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