I just moved into a new house with a central vac system. I haven't had
any experience with them. there are no attachements, ie. hose. I need
advice on choosing parts. The house is @3500 sq ft, 3 level with at
least 2 hose outlets on each level. Thanksin advance .Frank
Not sure I know all the ins and outs of central vacs.
One thing we did before ordering is measure from where the
outlets were to the farthest point we needed to vacuum.
I believe the hoses commonly come in either 35ft or 40ft
You will want to find out what length hose you need.
Use a rope or something to figure that out.
I have used a central vac for 32 years
in this house. I think the most important
thing is having an electrical beater
brush for carpeting. That means you have
to get AC power to the end of the hose.
There are hoses with power going
through the hose. I have AC outlets
next to each central vac inlet. Also, check
hose lengths to make sure you can reach
all areas where you want to use the
I put one in my last home and when I had my current home built I made
sure one was put in from the start.
First take a look and see what brand you have and what model the power
unit is. Then go to a dealer that handles that brand. They can help guild
you to what may work best for you.
Your needs may be quite different than mine. For example I have almost
100% carpet. I live in the midwest. If you live in the northeast you likely
have mostly hardwood. The different power heads with more or less power may
work better with some tools than others.
Judging by my own experience, you will soon get tired of lugging a 30 or 40
foot coiled hose around the house. Infinitely harder than pulling an
We abandoned our built-in and reverted to a powerful upright (with a
rotating brush) for carpets and a canister style for all hard floors. Maybe,
that's what the previous owners of your house did.
We invested in a pair of Oreck light-weight vacuums. One for upstairs,
the other for down. Also a small canister vacuum for odd jobs. Can't
beat them. We live at the DE Atlantic shore, and have a dog that tracks
in sand a lot. Got to get him to wipe his paws better....
I would suspect the hoses got 'lost' or discarded.
Both our daughters have built in vacs in their homes built during the
last 10 to 20 years.
It was the in-thing some years back. But neither seem to use them at
The problem seems to be the excessive size weight and length of the
They also have one or two outlets per level; but the length of hose
needed to reach the far end of a room on any level is excessive and
bulky. Stowing the hose is more difficult than putting away a stand up
model. Even if an outlet is in passageway right outside it requires at
lest a 20 foot hose to adequately get to the other side of a bedroom,
around the bed and into, say, a closet.
Another problem is that the main canisters of their built in systems
are located downstairs and changing the vacuum bag is a dusty business!
With a portable it's quite easy to step outside, summer or winter onto
deck or front step and change the bag out there.
It's wonder they don't build so that the canister could be accessed
from the yard/garage or attached storage, a couple of times year so as
to remove the dirt and change out the bag outside the shell of the
house. If we ever installed one, think we'd look at that idea.
You may be able to buy, cheaper than brand specific hoses and brush
attachments etc., a new or used an upright etc. depending on the type
of flooring and upholstered furniture you need to clean. IMO an upright
needs less bending down than a canister and may be easier to stow away
in a closet etc.
We are using a 40+ year old Eureka, quite worn. The only problem is to
still find the bags for it! Got another old Eureka hung up somewhere in
case it ever blows its motor or requires a replacement part.
BTW would a built in vac. canister be powerful enough to act as a
sawdust collector for a home workshop? I've occasionally seen them for
I actually got rid of my shop vac 20
some years ago and use the central
vac for all thing including my "shop".
I don't have a big wood shop, but
I do have a table saw and other power
hand tools. I did buy a little 1 gallon
wet/dry vac for ultra portable use. I
do have a modified carpet cleaner
that connect to the central vac (for
suction) and use it to wet clean the
carpets. It has much more suction than
the original motor/fan unit, which
now resided on a shelf .... next step,
If they left you the tank, hope it has a bag. The bagless are hard to empty
without making a mess.
You need a powerhead for carpets. Our first one was made by Eureaka. It
was noisy. Then we bought a very expensive Stealth made in Europe. Very
quiet but bristles were not long enuf for short nap carpet to do a good job.
Sold that on ebay and bought a Hoover head which is the same head they use
on top of the line vacuum clearners. It is called their windtunnel model.
Looks cheaply made but has held up fine for 4 years. Just change belt and
roller of bristles every year. I would highly recommend the hose set and
windtunnel head from Hoover. You can buy it on line for about $350 if I
remember correctly. Make sure you get the right hose type.
sq ft, 3 level with at
I have had two. One without a replaceable filter and it was very easy
and clean to clean. It was a Sears unit that was no longer available when I
had my new home built. ( I never did find out who made it ) and the one I
have now has a filter, but also no bag. It is not as good, but not bad. I
only need to bother with it about three times a year so I don't worry much
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