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Home: How to Articles from Remodeling to General Fix It's: How to Install a Central Vacuum Cleaner

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How to Install a Central Vacuum Cleaner

Written by; Wayne Green / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Sat Oct 10 2009


Many pollutants are found in the air. This can cause irritation and discomfort for some and more serious issues those with allergies and asthma. The solution is to install a central vacuum cleaner.

The first step is to choose the location of the vacuum, the pipes and the inlets. It is important to pick a location that has good ventilation, a moderate temperature and easily accessed for maintenance. The ideal location is in a room that is hardly ever used such as the garage or the basement.

If the cleaner is placed outside, it should properly ventilate so it exhausts away from windows, patios and sidewalks. As far as the location of the pipes, make the pipes as straight as possible, avoid right angles and design for as few branch lines as possible. A good pipe design will have a positive influence on the circulation of the air in the pipes.

The final decision in the preliminary stage is to determine the number of inlets. Consideration must be given to the size of the house, the number of rooms and the strength of the vacuum cleaner. Examples of the flow of a ranch, a 2 story and and 3 story house is shown.

The installation of a central vacuum cleaner continues with the installation of inlets which can be done in the floor or on the walls. Typically, they are placed 18 inches from the floor. There are two classifications of wall inlets: internal bracket inlets which are attached to partition wall studs or inlets attached to the finished wall surface. To attach inlets to a finished surface wall, arrange the two pieces of the inlet on each side of the wall. Drill holes in order to create an opening with dimensions of 2 1/2" x 4 3/8". To bring together the inlet, attach the electric wires to the end of a pipe. Place the conduit from the floor into the opening. Carefully pull the wires from the opening. Then the electrical wires are connected to the wall plate's terminals; the wall plate is then fastened to the inlet.

Now the piping can be installed and the vacuum can be attached to the wall. Per the plan design, assemble the piping beginning with the inlet that is the farthest from the vacuum. Continue assembling without using glue. Figure out how much piping is needed for overlapping the fitting and the pipe. Pipes are cut at a right angle using a miter box and burrs are trimmed with sandpaper or a knife. When a section of piping is completed, disassemble and glue it before going to the next branch line. Glue should cover the surface of the pipe that is in contact with the fitting, making sure to wipe off any excess. The vacuum is attached to the wall, leaving a distance of at least 18' from the floor, 12" from the ceiling and a range of 3' to 6' from a grounded electrical outlet. Drill pilot holes and screw the bracket to the wall. Connect the inlet tube to the central vacuum using couplings. The wires can then be connected.

The final steps are to install the exhaust, plug in the vacuum and test the system. The exhaust for a central vacuum system can be inside or outside. Connect the exhaust tube to the central vacuum. Install a trap. Use butyl caulking around the exhaust to eliminate air leaks. Put fiberglass insulation against the header joist and around the tub. Plug in the vacuum and test for air leaks.


Copyright: 2009

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