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Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 11, 2019 06:01PM
Our new house has a central vacuum system but it needs some maintenance. Does anyone here have experiences with a central vac system?

I've read a bit online about them and it sounds like it just comes down to personal taste.

Thoughts?



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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 11, 2019 06:31PM
No experience, just seen them. Seem like multiple points of failure and maintenance. Other than that, personal taste.
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: April 11, 2019 06:32PM
My folks had one in their house, installed in '77 and it worked until, I dunno, the late 80's. IIRC it more or less worked, but hauling all the hose around was almost a bigger pain than just using a regular vacuum.

But that was (obviously) a long time ago. I assume they've gotten better since then.
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: April 11, 2019 06:58PM
Depends on it's age & how it was maintained.
Like buying a 40 year old house with a fresh water well.

Start your research @ Hayden Vacs website.
Supposed to be one of the best brands around.



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...word salad is not a disorder, it is a symptom...

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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 11, 2019 07:21PM
....who can hate a good sucking'.....



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: April 11, 2019 07:42PM
We pretty much always had one in the house where I grew up in the 70s and 80s (and my dad may have had it in the house till they sold it a couple years ago).

To my knowledge, it never had any problems. There was a long hose that we'd move to the place where we wanted to vacuum, and then insert it into the "outlet," and away you go.

The only downside I can think of (though I don't recall having this issue ourselves) is that if some object gets stuck in the tubing that is in the walls, it'd be very difficult to clear the blockage/jam.

An advantage was that the actual vacuum unit (the thing that provides the suction) was in our garage, and had a very large (about as bit as a 5 gallon paint bucket) container that captured the stuff that had been vacuumed up, so it made for very easy emptying, and one didn't have to empty it that frequently, because it was so large.



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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: April 11, 2019 08:01PM
We had one in our last two houses. They worked well, but as Will states above, dragging around the big, long hose (insert joke by NewtonMP2100 here) was sometimes a pain. Our current house did not come with one, and I'm just as happy with our older Dirt Devil and newer Dyson lightweight stick-vac.
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: Michael
Date: April 11, 2019 08:16PM
I grew up with one and I installed one in our decidedly middle class house 38 years ago. When we built our current house 29 years ago I brought it with us. It works great. We have 3 levels, including the basement, and I've bought hoses for each level. About twice a year I empty out the bin. I'd bet it's 7 gallons or so and it's typically 3/4 full when I empty it. I really like not having the vacuum exhaust into the house.

We also bought a Dyson V8 cordless vacuum last year because of the hose issue that several folks have mentioned. This seems to be the sweet spot for us. The Dyson comes out for very quick touch-ups and the hoses come out when we're serious about the whole thing.
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: 3d
Date: April 12, 2019 09:02AM
How's the suction on those things? Similar to vacuuming house with a shop vac outside and a 20ft hose?
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 12, 2019 09:11AM
.....that's what she said (asked).....!!!!



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 12, 2019 09:26AM
Empty twice a year with a 7 gallon reservoir? Must not have a cat.
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: samintx
Date: April 12, 2019 09:32AM
I have never used mine. Didn’t know whatt it was for years. Been in my house for 30+ yearsRollingEyesSmiley5
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: April 12, 2019 04:57PM
Loved mine - after about 18 years it gave up the ghost and the company that installed it is out of business - on my "to do" list to get someone out from afar to replace it.

GREAT suction and the long hose isn't as heavy as a traditional vacuum
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Re: Central vacuums - yay or nay?
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 16, 2019 11:39PM
Quote
The UnDoug
The only downside I can think of (though I don't recall having this issue ourselves) is that if some object gets stuck in the tubing that is in the walls, it'd be very difficult to clear the blockage/jam.

The entry and exit from the hose are significantly smaller than the pipes in the wall, to make a clog in the walls unlikely.


We got one when we renovated 30+ years ago because:
Pros:
1. It's very quiet in use, except the electric beater bar for carpets. But even with the beater bar it's much quieter than other vacuums. (Ours uses an electric beater bar. Some use vacuum power to turn a beater bar.)

2. No exhaust into the house. So any allergens picked up are truly gone.

3. As The UnDoug said, Infrequent need to empty the central vac bin.

Cons:
1. The long hose isn't that heavy to me, but it's awkward to move from room to room. Some people might find it heavy, especially compared to some of the ultralight vacuums available now. Note that we have a 110v current-carrying hose, which I'm sure is heavier than those that don't have this.

There are a lot of regular vacuums that are a lot heavier, including the Shark upright I got last year on sale at Costco that can be split into two parts.

2. It's difficult not to drag the hose around corners, which eventually tears the corners up. This is the main reason it doesn't get as much use as it might.

3. Emptying the bin can be messy, but not much more so than the regular bagless vacuums.


The one we got uses a separate electric cord from the inlet side of the hose to an electric outlet to run the electric beater bar, with the power carried through the hose - similar to the hose many canister vacs use. A switch on the handle turns on or off both the central vac and the beater bar. I like this much better than those which turn on by plugging the hose into the inlet. Note that this is a function of the hose you use, not the inlet or the central vac. There are two pins at the rim of an inlet. Shorting these turns on the central vac. Hoses without a switch have a metal ring which shorts the pins when the hose is inserted.


So, I'd say get one if having a quieter vacuum and getting house dust, pollen, etc. out without any chance of recirculation matters to you, and you are willing to make sure that those who use it are careful where they drag the hose.


Good luck.

- Winston



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