Installation of a central vacuum isn’t very complicated for those that are well versed in plumbing installation, but can be a chore for many if they aren’t handy and don’t have the proper tools. Using the correct installation methods and fittings insures that when you finally do have the system complete it will work properly and efficiently.
Central vacuum fittings are unique when compared to plumbing fittings. They have a thinner wall than plumbing pipe and will not connect to plumbing pipe without the proper adapter, you can find all the proper pipe and fittings here. Things you should always be concerned about when plumbing your system is the airflow through the pipe as it leads to the machine. Using the wrong ones will impede this airflow and lead to possible clogging points throughout the home.
For example, when your are plumbing your central vacuum system the airflow should never be restricted by having to choose one of two paths. The direction of the suction should always leading from two pipes then going down to one. In the 45 degree t-fitting above, the suction should be moving to the left. It is also important when using pieces like these to either come in from the side or the top of the trunk line. This will elimate any instances of having a “drop point” in which suctioned material flows over a void below it in the piping. If the suction isn’t strong enough in your home, this drop point will cause some particles to build up and may lead to a clog. (thanks www.centralvacuumdirect.com for this tip)
Other important things you should consider when using central vacuum fittings include the overall quality of the pipe, the type of glue you are using, and that you should properly makes sure the edges on your cut pipe are free of plastic shavings. When you purchase your central vac pipe make sure it is from a company that has dealt with central vacuum systems before. Nothing is worse than purchasing all the pipe and fittings and realizing that it wasn’t the correct type of piping you needed in the first place. If you are putting your system in when it’s cold out, or if it’s in the middle of winter, you should always use a special cold weather PVC glue rather than the normal. The cold weather glue is more resistant to the abnormal temperatures and will resist cracking more than others. This will make sure the vacuum fittings are completely sealed. The last major concern you should have is to make sure the edges are free of any pipe shavings after cutting them. These shavings, when mixed with PVC glue can make a great place for dirt and dust to build up once the system is up and running.
Overall, using these fittings is not too tough if you have decent knowledge on how to properly plumb a system. Make sure you follow the guidelines above though and you should have a problem free central vac for years.
Thanks for reading and happy cleaning!
The Central Vacuum Direct Support Team
My house has been outfitted with central vac. There is a sticker on the outlet that says “I am a vacuflo.” But, is it possible to use a Hoover (or another type of central vac system) in the basement instead of a VacuFlo one?