This is my first posting. So please don't flame if i'm not doing this
I have a problem with my home's central vacuum.
It's an old home (about 20 years), the vacuum pipes run through all 3
floors of the house (basement,main and 2nd).
For some reason, the vacuum suddenly went to a very low suction rate,
about 5% of what it used to be. I checked the hose and it's fine. I
even used a plumbing snake but could only go so far into the lines and
I haven't picked up anything in the lines that would account for the
decrease in suction.
I'm not sure about the layout of the lines and that may be a big factor
in finding/fixing this clogged system.
I can also go into the garage and post the model/make of the vacuum.
Anyone have any solutions they've tried or any suggestions as to what
my next steps should be concerning the problem would be very helpfull
Thanks and sorry if this isn't the right newsgroup for the question.
Odds are you picked up something that partly clogged the pipe(s). Kids'
toys are usual suspects. They get stuck in a bend but the toy itself
doesn't cause much of a problem and you don't notice anything wrong. But
then other "stuff" gets hung up on the toy.
Anyway, one thing that often works is getting a shop vac and apply suction
to the pipes where the "taps" are. You might even apply some pressure at
the bottom while applying suction at the top.
Our previous place had a central vac and I had the devil of a time when it
became clogged. I think the last thing that "worked" by blowing the
obstruction out with a reversed shop vac.
To me, the main advantage of the central vac is that the motor noise is
"someplace else." Accessories can be quite expensive (often more
expensive than a "regular" vac.)
Is it the bagless kind with a removable dust bin on the bottom of the
motor unit and a vent to outside?
If so, unplug it, remove the dust bin, and reach way up inside. You
will find a metal screen. Chances are you will find it plugged with
hair and dust. Scrape as much off as you can, and then get a brush
and brush the rest off. (This is a dirty job, be prepared with a can
underneath to catch all the stuff.
If that isn't the problem, you probably have a clog. If it affects
all the vacuum inlets, then the first place to look is where the inlet
and outlet lines attach to the motor unit. There are usually flexible
couplings held on with clamps. Loosen the clamps, pull the line out,
and make sure there is no clog there. You can run your snake as far
up the line in from that point too.
Most central units have a connector available right on the unit and a power
on switch. Check suction at the unit. If none there then the clog or fan
problem is right at the unit. Some Nutone units have lifetime motor
warranty for original owner so if you have a Nutone with a motor problem, be
sure to call someone who services Nutone units. I think the warranty
includes labor. Newer Nutone have shorter warranties.
Disconnect the vacuum from the suction pipe and run it. If the
suction at the vacuum head is normal then there is a restriction in
the pipe system. I had to cut open my fixed pipes next to the 90
degree elbow joints to get at the obstruction. There was a whole mesh
of fern leaf spines I had sucked up that were stuck in the elbows.
The mesh would have allowed some air to pass through and yet not offer
any surface resistance to a snake to detect. If at all possible
replace the elbows with transparent ones.
Those are some great suggestions.
I have the bagless kind and I have tried cleaning it all out to no
I'm going to try the suction right at the unit then I'm gonna try the
reverse suction method John mentioned.
If that doesn't do it, i'll have to look into getting somebody in to
try their magic.
One thing though: sometimes when I plug the hose into the "tap", it
takes a while for the vacuum to come on, I usually have to wriggle the
hose around so that the metal band latches properly to the "trap". Do
you think this might be part of the problem? maybe not enough of a
I'll let you guys know how it goes and thanks again.
I just had a similar problem with an
older (30 years) Sears central unit.
The suction was very poor. It turned
out to be a plastic, top hat-looking
unit in the dirt separator.
Unfortunately, the piece of plastic now
costs $70. I only paid about a hundred
dollars or so for the unit when it was
new. But, a new one fixed it right up.
But, do check suction right on the
unit. If the suction there is ng, then
you must look into the unit, as I did.
Many central vacs have an inlet by the vac, have you checked this?
Is the discharge blocked?
Is the filter clogged?
Have you found inlets that worked better than others?
Have you tried snaking backwards from the vac to the inlets?
Just some questions to add to the many you might receive. ;)
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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