What Does a Central Vacuum System Do?

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These are usually systems that are semi-permanent fixtures installed in buildings as a type of vacuum cleaner. The power unit is installed in the basement of the building as a permanent fixture. Manufacturers of Central Vacuum systems play an important role in the production cycle of factories.

The Purpose of Central Vacuum Systems In Manufacturing

The use of this system is to remove dirt debris and dust in the air and from the floor in manufacturing situations and factories. The dirt particles are vacuum sucked through tubing installed into the walls of the building to a remote canister (usually in the basement). Inlets are placed in the walls at easily accessible places to attach power hoses and other components. Power switches are located on the handle of these houses for easy control.

Operation of a Central Vacuum System

  • The hose is removed from the storage cabinet and the correct accessory is attached for the required functionality such as a brush. 
  • The hose is now attached to the wall-mounted inlet 
  • Here some vacuum systems will automatically start while others will need to be switched on with the on /off switch located on the handle
  • Opening the bleed port allows for a lighter suction 
  • After completion of a task the hose is detached and placed back into the storage cabinet

Cleaning and Filtering the Air

Large amounts of air can be filtered more effectively and cleared of dust and allergens while particles that are harmful are captured and vented. The method used to separate the dirt from the dust classifies the systems into two categories:

  • Cyclonic cleaners
  • Filtered central cleaners

True cyclonic cleaners

  • Do not use filtration bags but a detachable cylindrical collection canister.  
  • Air and dust are sucked at high speeds creating a vortex
  • No further filtration means the lean air is exhausted directly outside.
  • Airflow restriction will not cause loss of suction power.

Filtered central systems

  • Use a wide variety of filters or bags that needs to be replaced regularly
  • They are the cleanest and most hygienic
  • Dirt is carried directly into a bag

Tools and accessories

Most of the vacuum systems are custom made as their tools and accessories may vary, but there are tools and accessories that are standard such as:

Tools

  • inlets 
  • Power button (on the handle of the wand)
  • Hose (suction immediately starts when connected to the inlet), 30 feet
  • Tubing

Accessories

  • Electrical power brushes or an air-driven power brush
  • Automatic dustpan
  • Vac Seal (Use in preparation of food to evacuate excess air from zipper-lock food storage bags

Advantages 

  • Increased suction power –  Some units even use two motors
  • Can handle difficult debris 
  • Completely removes odors and allergens
  • Low acoustic noise
  • convenient to use
  • No or infrequent emptying
  • consumable costs are low
  • Standard accessories compatible with most hoses
  • Durable equipment
  • no damage to furniture and walls

How to Install a Central Vacuum System

Vacuum tubing may be installed by:

  • electricians
  • plumbers
  • Specialized contractors

Inlets

Most central vacuum systems are custom designed and cater to the client’s needs. Clogging is the main concern when these systems are designed. Here special attention is given to safeguard the vacuum inlets as they are intentionally designed with a curvature that is tighter. This ensures that debris that gets stuck is at the inlet and easier to remove.

Vacuum Tubes

Existing buildings – Tubes that run inside the walls connect the wall inlets to the power unit.  These tubes if permitted by building codes in your area may also run through:

  • vertical pipe chases
  • Closets
  • Basements
  • The attic
  • cold air return ducts

New construction – In new construction projects tubing for the central vacuum system may be installed during:

  • Rough in-phase (when framing for the interior is complete)
  • With other in-wall utilities (Plumbing, electrical, etc.)
  • Just before installing the drywall panels

Routing and Designing Vacuum Tubing

This procedure is similar to the layout of drain-waste-vent (DWV) plumbing. It shares the same concerns  with DWV over:

  • Eternal roughness
  • ridges
  • sharp turns
  • burrs
  • pockets

Tubing Specifications

  • Plastic tubing schedule 20 (gauge 20)
  • Scheduled 40 plumbing pipe

Maintaining a Central Vacuum System

  • The dirt canister needs to be emptied regularly (2-4 times yearly)
  • Filters need to be changed regularly
  • the bearings of the electric motors may require lubrication
  • Carbon brushes need to replaced frequently

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