Central Vacuums

By Dominic Vautier

One day this summer I was busy vacuuming the upstairs and a thought suddenly occurred to me.  Lets see.  I will probably live another 20 or 30 years on this fair green earth of ours, and since I have to vacuum 2 times a week (more or less--more less than more), that's maybe 100 times a year, which means I will be lugging and dragging a big ugly vacuum canister around the house for another 2000 to 3000 times.  Hmmm.  Got to be a better way to do this thing.  So I decided to look into installing a central system.  In that way let the mountains [of dust] come to Mohammed.  Besides it looked like fun.

I began, as usual googling things out.  And then I went to the old reliable ebay.  Canada, for example is big on these central systems.  Don't know why.  Maybe the Canucks are smarter than we are about keeping their houses clean, or they just like the idea of central systems, or they have smaller houses, or it's too cold outside to do anything else except play hockey.

So I picked up a fine Beam system for a couple a hundred bucks and began collecting all the pipes and fittings that you need to make it work.  the nice thing about centrals is that all the exhaust gets vented outside so you don't have to worry about bag blowouts (which has happened to me a few times).  And there is the convenience of not having to drag around that big canister.  But the best thing about it is that installation would be easy since we removed all the overhead sheetrock from our lower level because it only tended to collect tons of dust and was ugly to begin with.   I mounted the unit near the furnace where it took up no room at all. 

 

 

Piping has to be carefully planned so you don't get any dead spots (places where stuff can collect).  there is also the low voltage wire that turns on the vacuum when a hose is inserted into one of the outlets.

 

 

 

I got two hoses, one for downstairs and one for upstairs.  the upstairs one has a power brush for carpets.

The easiest way to install the outlets is to remove a large piece of sheetrock, large enough to get your 2" drill in there.  it's an easy job to put it back and plaster.

I Here's another outlet in Cyn's office.
I got kind of lazy in the downstairs bathroom when I put the outlet behind the door.  I had to do it at an angle anyway so the door could be opened.
 

Here is the carport outlet, mainly used for car cleaning.  Notice the vent pipe.