Space abhors a vacuum, but I still want one that works
December 14, 2013 7:47 PM Subscribe
Please explain to me some things about central vacuum systems and/or steer me towards some good reference materials. I can find tons of websites by googling, but having a really hard time wading through thinly veiled advertising for real unbiased info. Especially concerning replacing the vacuum unit of a pre-installed system.
posted by Tandem Affinity to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Our house includes all the piping and inlets for a central vac system, but the vacuum unit itself is still the original that was installed in 1969. We've never really used it. For one thing, a previous owner has made some notes on it that its wiring is dubious.
So. We're thinking about replacing the unit and getting the system up and running, but everytime I sit down to shop for one, I realize how clueless I am about this whole sort of thing.
First, concerning the pipes and inlets, my relatives have a system that is always on (?) and activates whenever they open an inlet. Would it be impractical for us to make our already installed ports work like this (are the inlets wired or do they work remotely somehow?)
Second, how do we choose a unit? Is there a go-to brand? I searched AskMe for other central vac questions, and Sears came up as a good brand but for older systems. Are they still the leader in this area? It seems from the other questions that it matters where the unit would be -- we have a good sized unfinished basement where the current unit lives now - it looks like the old unit just exhausted into the basement, but it would not be a big deal to have it exhaust from where it is to the outside.
Third, is this something that we can just buy and plug in to an electrical outlet? I am confused as to what the previous owner was doing with the wiring of the current unit, since there is an outlet right near where the unit is. Also, how complicated is it to integrate the unit with the air pipes? We are intermediate DIYers; we change light switches and futz with the plumbing so we're not clueless but we also try to stay away from things that could veer into DANGERLAND.