Hi, I'm about to build a house and I'm thinking of installing a central
I've seen that http://www.hideahose.biz/faq.html has a neat idea for
hose storage, but I can't find any info about on the net. I was
wondering if anyone has used this system?
Does anyone have any recommendations on central vac systems? I'm
thinking of going bagless and exhaust to the outside of the house.
Any help is appreciated.
I had one on my last home. It was a Sears unit, no longer made that did
not have a "filter" only a cyclone type separator and exhausted outside.
When I moved about 15 years ago, I had my new home prepped for one (pipes
and wires). I guess that tells you I liked the first one.
My second is a Hoover with a filter. I have been very happy with both.
If I were shopping again I would look for one without a filter. Both of
my prior units were middle upper level units and I would stick with that
part of the lineup.
I have had powered carpet tools but I would consider one that used the
vacuum to self power.
Our house came with a house vac. We liked the fact that it is quieter than
conventional vacuums. After a few months we returned to our corded upright
and canister. It is a great deal easier to drag an electric cord behind you
than a (30 foot) thick and heavy hose. Storing this unwieldy thing in a
closet is a nuisance.
Looking at the hideaway system, I see one big problem. The hose does
not support an electric cable in the hose. Which means you either have
to use their air driven unit or use a electric one with a seperate cord
that is not integrated into the hose. IMO, having a cord around that
is seperate from the hose is going to be a big pain. I used to have
the old style hose that had the AC power cable clipped on the outside
and even that was a PITA. The new ones have them hidden in the hose.
And I doubt the air driven units are anywhere near as effective as a
true AC powered one.
I would also think installing this system is likely more work, as it
seems you have to be more concerned with how many turns, where they
are, limiting the radius, etc.
For sure before I went this route, I'd talk to some folks that actually
But, as central vacs in general, I think they are the way to go. One
nice benefit is the air and any odors/untrapped particles go outside,
while with a conventional vac, they stay inside. Which is more
important if you have animals, are allergic, etc. When I bought my
house, the central AC was vented into the basement. After vacuuming
the house, if you went downstairs you could instantly smell the odor
from the carpet. Now I have it routed outside, but without a central,
you can't do that.
I've had a central system for 32 years
and when we move, maybe next year, we
WILL have a central system in our new
house .... wherever that will be. The
hoses today are much lighter than the
earlier ones. Hoses will last about 10
- 15 years, so they are not forever.
The system I have is an old Sears unit.
I have actually replaced the fan/motor
once when the bearings went bad. The
hose I am now using is a Broan with
internal power. We have several
rug-beater-brush power units. It's
funny, some work good on some carpets,
some are better on others. I suppose
that's the same with stand-alone
cleaners. When I did the install, I put
an AC outlet next to each vacuum inlet
to make it convenient to plug in the
hose, with the exception of the ones
where there is no carpeting (garage,
basement, kitchen). I would be very
nice to have an "always connected" hose
in the kitchen for quick pickups,
however, I guess that's what the
dust-buster is for. I did not use the
Sears inlets and piping as they were
smaller diameter than the Neutone/Broan
stuff, so I used Neutone. Anyway, I
hope my babblings help.
They give you a hanger bracket for it, so it can be hung inside a
closet on the wall. It doesn't take up much room. I have a fairly
large house with a lot of open space. If you have a smaller house and
a lot of stuff, then having room for the hose to move freely when used
could be an issue.
Since your doing a new system, one other neat thing they have now is an
central vac intake for floor areas like the kitchen. or entry doors,
etc. It goes under a cabint, where a section of baseboard is cut
out. You can press it with your toe, which opens it and activates the
vacuum. Then you can use a broom to sweep stuff to it.
You may want to consider piping the system with sweeps rather than
elbows. A sweep is a bend with a much larger radius and smoother inner
surfaces than an elbow. They are much less likely to clog and will
reduce the air flow far less than plumbing elbows. You will need to use
adapters to change from the light drain piping usually used to the
schedule forty piping in which the sweeps are available.
Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
No adapters are required. The real BI vac piping is thinwall ~2" PVC and
there are 3 or 4 sizes of 90 o corners from 6" sweeps to tight 90's. All
the fitttings are standard BI couplings but it isn't compatible with any
other pipe size, PVC or ABS.
One strange thing I found: Kenmore/Sears makes (or has made & branded
Kenmore) BI vac systems but you can't buy one at Sears in the USA.
You CAN buy them in Canada..at least 5 different models/capacities and
they're hundreds cheaper than the other "name brands" sold in the US. A
friend from WA state went to Canada and got an upper end Kenmore model (
adjustable height (4) power head, bigger motor (3 stageIIRC) and it came
with an extra hose and spare set of tools just for the garage) for $ 300
less than a lower grade brand name in WA.
My wife is on her third one now and wouldn't be without one. I've installed
I retro-installed an Electrolux central vac into a 3 story house. 2 living
floors + half-finished basement with utility room, furnace room, small
workshop in one half and big family room (15x35) in the other half.
The unit has since been connected to a sawdust collection bag and additional
filters between the sawdust bag and the vacuum unit.
Although this is not officially recomended by Electrolux, the aded filter
trap all the very fine sawdust without causing too much strain on the motor.
I grew up with Electrolux vacums, and they have all lasted a long time.
And whenever service was needed, it was always avalable and not very
(A solid American Company, that has a good product and good culture among
When I bought the central vac, it had an old-style paper filter that you
could rinse in water to remove the trapped dust.
Since then, they have upgraded and retro-fitted to a foam filter that you
can clean in the washing-machine with regular detergent, or just rinse with
plain water. (A much better solution)
One hose 30' can cover all the rooms. And the access points are in the
middles of each floor, with a vertical pipe connecting all of them to the
vacuum unit in the furnace room.
Make sure that you install extra pipe as a trap at the bottom of the
vertical pipe to capture any larger pieces, such as coins and small toys
that can be sucked up by the vacuum..
With a screwed-on cap at the base, you can open and empty it as needed.
It also allows you to fish out any crud that may block the pipe if something
With hindsight, I should have also had the vertical extended to the attic,
to make it a true stand-pipe. And the cost of doing that would be an extra
hour or so of work and 8" of PVC.
The motor on a central vac is noisy. So don't put it next in an area or
next to a wall that is used for other purposes.
My basement is semi-finished, so it's not too pleasant a place to be when
the vacuum is running
My vacuum unit will be moved out to the garage when the garage gets built
it will mean adding about 20' of pipe, through the basement. BUt it should
not notably reduce suction.
All in all money well spent
A central unit gives you a lot more suction and cleaning than any floor
model vacuum, simply because you can mount a really strong motor on a
permanent fixed position.
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