Solved: Central Vacuum had low suction and flow

Over a period of a couple of years my central vacuums suction and flow seemed to be decreasing. Early-on we had ensured the hose was clear; inlets were clear; motor fins were clean; and more recently were suspecting the pipes & outlet doors. These were also inspected except where the pipes were hidden. Still the performance was very low. The final check was to remove the input and output pipes from the unit where we discovered that covering the inlet did not greatly decrease the output, ergo the problem had to be a leak within the vacuum pump or the filter canister (two separate units on mine). Only now did it occur to me that the filter can had become increasingly more difficult to latch into place, which was also due to the same cause; a 1/2" high x 2" long pile of crud between the filter's upper container and the lower dust can. We were getting bypass air directly into the dust can preventing full vacuum at the inlets. Much thanks to those of you at this site that provided me with diagnostic direction.
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