How to Install a Central Vacuum System

A central vacuum.
  • 4-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200
What You'll Need
Vacuum system
Heavy rope
What You'll Need
Vacuum system
Heavy rope

A central vacuum system makes cleaning your home easier and more efficient, and installation is fairly simple if you have the right tools and supplies. Note that it would be wise to turn off your electricity before doing any wiring.

Step 1 - Create a Layout

Walk around your home and determine areas you would like to have a vacuum outlet, and mark them with a pencil. Do your best to choose walls that do not have piping or a lot of cross-wiring, as those things could get in your way. This will help you ensure that you have the right amount of outlets that you need. Make sure that you will be able to reach the floorboards underneath each outlet, either from your basement or from under your home.

Step 2 - Drill a Lead Hole

Using a small bit, drill a hole into the floor underneath where you wish to put your outlet. Take a thin wire and stick it through the hole 4 to 5 inches so that it is visible from your basement.

Step 3 - Cut Holes for Outlets

Double checking that the path between the outlet and the floor space is clear, trace around the outlet valve onto your wall and cut into the wall carefully either with a hacksaw or a larger drill bit.

Then, from the basement cut a 2½ inch hole directly beneath the space between the walls. The best way to measure this is by using the wire you previously pushed through the small hole for placement purposes. You should see your outlet hole directly above you about 2 feet off the ground.

Do this with every desired outlet.

Step 4 - Wire Each Outlet to the Main Unit

When you purchased your vacuum unit, there should have been low-voltage wire included. For each unit, cut the right length in the wire that would reach from the outlet, through the basement hole, and to the main vacuum unit.

Then install the wire by attaching it to a heavier rope and dropping it through the outlet hole and basement hole. Be very gentle with the wire, and make sure to leave 20 to 24 inches of wire outside of the outlet to work with later.

Step 5 - Glue the Elbows and Attach the Wires

Find the elbows provided in your vacuum kit and glue them to the back of each mounting bracket, lining them up so that the opening points down to the hole in your basement. Measure the length of the tip of the elbow to the hole in the basement and cut your PVC pipe accordingly, remembering to add 2 inches so that it will clear the hole and fit into the elbow.

Then, attach wires to the back of the outlet plate with the nuts included with the kit. Do not cut the excess of the wires, rather let them fall into the basement.

Step 6 - Thread the PVC through the Hole and Install the Outlets

While a friend holds each outlet in place for you, spread the glue around the outside top of each PVC pipe and carefully thread it through the hole and into the elbow one at a time, making sure that they stick firmly.

After you have connected the PVC pipe, have your friend install the outlet with screws.

Step 7 - Align the Trunk Pieces

Use the fewest amount of trunk pieces possible as you create a pipeline from each PVC pipe to the main unit. You can use the trunk hangers to keep them close to the ceiling so that they will be out of the way. Though the trunks may be slightly flexible, keep them straight as much as possible as it will be less likely for them to clog up in the future.

Glue each PVC pipe to the trunk mount openings and attach the trunks to the main unit. Do not glue the trunk to the main unit.

Step 8 - Attach the Wires

Attach the wires to the unit after splicing them.

After the last step is completed, you should be able to plug in the unit and use your attachments from any of the above outlets with no problems, making it easier to keep your home clean.