My wife is saying that the central vac isn't getting as much suction as
it used to. Seems ok to me but I don't know for sure. I've emptied
the can and shaken out the filter, nothing obviously seems wrong. So,
I'm curious. I think I could just suck a ping pong ball thru the pipe
and if it ends up in the can, all is well. But if there is something
in the pipe that will just make it worse.
So, anybody have any experience with clearing blockages in the whole
house vacuum pipe?
Anybody do that with a ball on a string and run into problems?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Get a new filter and see. They can clog so that shaking or even using
compressed air to blow them clean, does not restore the power. Some are
I keep two filters so I can switch them out. I usually use compressed
air to clean them, but mine are washable and they get washed occasionally.
Do you have an outlet on the tank? Mine does so you can connect the
hose directly to it. See if that is much better. Properly installed clogs
Mine has a place to plug in the hose on the side of the canister, if yours
does then plug the hose in there and compare the air flow and/or noise to
when it's running with the hose in the other house outlets. I am not sure
if I had a partial blockage how I would deal with it, probably try a snake.
It's important to have proper air flow as the air cools the motor.
If you suspect a clog....
If you have a shop vac, open up the central vac cannister so air can
flow through the house piping easily and use the shop vac to suck on the
outlets throughout the house.
A properly installed vac system has a very tight 90 degree elbow just inside
of the outlet plate to transition up or down the wall. It is there for two
reasons, first there is little room in a 2x4 wall for larger fittings,
second it should be the tightest curved elbow in the whole system. This
means this elbow should catch items that are two long to go around the bend
and if it can get around the bend it will go around all the other gentle
sweep elbows in the system. Check inside the outlet and look for anything
that has been caught. Most troubles are caused by Q-tips and Christmas tree
needles and any thing else that has a similar shape.
Finally, vac troubles can be caused by careless installation where the
installer does not clean the ends of the cut pipes. Just a small burr on the
pipe can cause lint to gather where the pipe end is glued inside a fitting.
It may take a plumbers snake to clear this out but first try to clean in
reverse with a shop vac sucking on an outlet while the central vacuum's dust
bin is off the motor unit. This should remove lint that gathers on burrs.
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