Vital Health Vacuums provides the knowledge the Do-It-Yourself consumer needs to install one of our central vacuum systems in an existing home. We understand that installing a central vacuum system can be intimidating, but we are here to offer extensive help and support. With proper planning and the right tools, installing a central vacuum system is easy and convenient, offering multiple benefits.

Vital Health Vacuums is unique in that we offer 24/7 support, and not just with our online installation videos (which are always available) but with real live technicians. Our normal live tech support is every day, 9am-9pm EST, but we will make a representative available to you if our hours don't fit your schedule. Simply call in and make an appointment and we will adjust our hours for you. How many other companies will do that?!

The following steps will walk you through the easiest way to install a central vacuum system, post construction. It is important to note that our system can just as easily be installed during construction, but we have noticed a considerable lack in the area of post-construction systems; we wanted to provide a solution to that problem, without neglecting what was already offered. To supplement the written instructions, we have video aides for your convenience. Simply follow the directions for installation during or post construction.

Step 1: Getting Started


Planning Video Photo

Section 1.1: Determining the number of Inlets

One of the most commonly asked questions for installing a central vacuum system concerns the number of inlets needed. To solve this problem, we offer a simple way to determine exactly how many inlets you will need.

Measure the extension cord and mark off a 30' section, then tape the broom to that point on the extension cord. This creates a simulated vacuum hose, for determining where to put each inlet.

Section 1.2 Determining the right amount of Vacuum PVC Pipe and Fittings.

Now that the number of inlets is determined, it is possible to figure out how much pipe will be needed for installation. Measure the distance from each inlet toward the location if the vacuum head, combining pipes when able. 45 degree turns can minimize the amount of piping needed for the project. Depending on where the pipe will be installed, it may be necessary add the distance to each inlet from the attic or the basement. Vital Health Vacuums offers piping in 32 foot bundles and 8 foot sections which allows customized ordering for exactly the right amount of materials. Additionally, we offer a buy-back guarantee: simply return any leftover, unused piping or fittings, and we will refund your purchase price with no restock fees; we will even pay the shipping costs back to us for all fittings not used.

Now it is time to plan the number of PVC fittings needed. Here at Vital Health Vacuums we understand that it may be difficult to pre-plan how many turns the piping will take, so we created a one of a kind ordering process that allows you to order more than enough fittings for the project. We accomplish this our buy-back guarantee for individual fittings from our Main Line Fitting Kit. This allows you to order enough fittings for the job without worrying about buying too many. At Vital Health Vacuums we have also created an ordering process with 6 easy to follow steps, as well as charts to use as a guide on how to choose the right amount of fittings and piping for the project.

Step 2: Installing the Power Unit


Section 2.1: Installing the Bracket and Power Unit on the wall

Pick out a location for the Central Vacuum System Power Unit, keeping in mind that it has to be within 5 feet of a dedicated circuit breaker power outlet. It also needs to be within 25' of where the unit will be exhausted because exhaust piping needs to be less than 30'. If it is necessary to make turns in the exhaust piping, there has to be a minimum 18" of straight piping before the pipe can turn.

Find a stud using a stud finder and mark the location, and double check to make sure the power cord will still reach the outlet. Using the screws provided, mount the bracket 40" from the ground. Mount the body of the vacuum on the bracket. Before mounting the power head, secure the exhaust elbow to the unit with the provided screws. Secure the debris bucket using the two latches on the side.

Section 2.2: Installing the Exhaust and Primary Piping

We recommend that exhaust for the central vacuum filters to the outside of the home, and some manufacturers require this kind of installation. Please check the owner's manual of your specific power unit for manufacturer requirements on this subject.

Attach the exhaust muffler to the exhaust elbow, secured to the unit in step 2.1. Run the piping to the outside of the home, ensuring there are no bends in the tubing within 18" of the muffler. Only 30' of exhaust tubing is allowed. Drill a 2-1/4" hole in the wall, being careful to look for possible obstructions. It is recommended that a VM136 vent cap be used to finish the exhaust piping on the outside of the home.

For the intake piping on the unit, cut a 4" piece of pipe and slide the piece on either the right or left intake port. DO NOT CEMENT THIS PIECE because it may need to be removed in the future. The unused intake port must be sealed using the inlet plug provided. Connect the flexible hose provided to another piece of piping using the hose clamps provided. Run the pipe into the attic/basement creating the main trunk line for the piping system.

Step 3: Installing the Inlets


Metal coat hanger

Section 3.1: Drilling and Cutting the Holes

Before running the rest of the PVC Piping, it is important to install each vacuum inlet. If the exact location of each inlet had not yet been chosen, now is the time to do so. If you are planning to use the electric driven power head for the vacuum, then each inlet must be within 6' of an electrical outlet. Each inlet should be adjacent to a closet where vacuum piping will be located. Make sure there is a clear path to the ceiling or the floor for the piping inside the closet. Check for obstructions in the wall by drilling a small hole in the wall inside the closet directly behind the inlet location chosen. Drilling inside the closet to check for obstructions means the hole is in the closet and not in a more conspicuous area if the hole needs to be patched because there is an obstruction. Use an insulated screwdriver to check for any power wires or other possible obstructions. Using the 2-1/4" hole saw, drill through the closet wall and then through the outside wall where the inlet will be mounted. The two holes should line up to make it easier to run the piping. At the inlet location on the outside wall, cut a 2-1/2" wide by 4-1/2" tall rectangle using a drywall saw or utility knife. When measuring to cut the rectangle for the inlet, make sure to use the center of the current hole as a guide. This will ensure that the inlet and the piping will line up exactly.

Section 3.2: Installing the Valve Bracket

Now take an inlet bracket (VM241) and cut the new construction tab off (optional). Now take a straight coupling (VM102) and glue that to the inlet bracket. *Always put the glue on the male piece. In this case, the male piece would be the inlet bracket. Putting the glue on the inside of the coupling would push glue into the middle of the pipe, which could cause an obstruction to build up. Slide the connected VM241 and VM102 into the rectangular hole. It should be necessary to angle it into the hole and not be able to pull the bracket straight out of the hole because the bracket should be slightly taller and wider than the hole.

Snake a piece of voltage wire through the "wire trap" hole in the valve bracket and into the closet. Let a couple of inches of wire hang out the front of the bracket so it can be attached to the inlet valve later. Make sure to use enough wire to reach the attic or the basement in order to minimize the amount of splicing necessary. For instance, if the home has 10’ ceilings and the wiring is running to the basement or attic, it would be necessary to use at least a 10’ piece of low voltage wire, depending on how far from the ground the inlet is installed.

Section 3.3: Installing the Inlet Valve

Take the inlet valve (VM195) and attach the low voltage wires to the screws on the valve itself. It does not matter which wire goes where because the wire is just to complete a low voltage circuit to signal the power unit to turn on. Feed the metal coat hanger through the bracket and inlet valve to hold the bracket in place while screwing the VM195 to the VM241 to sandwich the wall between the two pieces.

Section 3.4.a: Running the Pipe to the Attic/Basement through a Closet Post Construction

Once each inlet is in place, it is time to start to run the PVC piping that will make up the rest of the central vacuum system. From inside the closet, it should be possible to locate the straight coupling attached to the back of the inlet bracket. Measure the distance from the back of the coupling to the outside of the hole. **Now add ¾” or 1-½” ** to that measurement to account for the coupling lip. Each PVC fitting has a 3/4" lip for the piping to go into, so it is essential to consider this measurement in the total calculations. For instance, if the back of the coupling to the outside of the wall is 5", then cut a piece of PVC piping that is 5 ¾” or 6 ½” long.

**Depending on whether it is necessary to jetty the pipe out to avoid cutting into ceiling or floor joists or not will determine whether the piping should be flush against the wall or ¾” away.

Before gluing anything together, check to make sure that the piece of pipe is the right size. Glue the piece of piping to a (VM104) 90-degree short elbow. Take the pipe and short elbow fitting and glue them to the straight coupling in the wall. Cut a 2-1/4" hole in the ceiling/floor and use a (VM138) pipe collar to finish the hole. Measure the distance from the top of the VM104 to the ceiling/floor; then add up to 1 foot to account for ceiling or floor beams. Cut a piece of PVC piping that length and run the pipe through the hole into the attic/basement.

Section 3.4.b: Running the Pipe to the Attic/Basement though the Wall Post Construction

Locate an empty space between ceiling or floor joist, mark the intended spot and drill a hole in the floor in the center of that spot with a long 1/4" bit. Leave the bit in place to mark the spot, and visually check the location in the attic or basement making sure there will be clearance when you drill the 2 ¼” hole. Now drill the hole with a 2 ¼” hole saw. Cut the proper length of piping to feed into the attic or basement. Install the remaining inlets that will con, don’t forget to run the control wire also. Seal all holes with caulk and flanges when necessary.

If installing into an un-insulated, area inject expanding foam around the pipe where it passes through the floor plate to prevent drafts. Hint: Running the Pipe to the Attic/Basement During Construction

The pipework will be run through natural voids in the building's construction, such as through stud walls, roof space, service ducts, etc. If the building has solid walls, then a space will need to be made for the piping. Piping to upper floors can be obtained by running it horizontally through floor voids.

Repeat steps 3.1 thru 3.4 for each inlet valve location.

Step 4: Installing the Pipe


PVC glue

Rag/paper towel

Section 4.1: Running the Pipe to the Power Unit

Now that all of the piping is sticking up into the attic/basement, it is possible to plan the exact route the pipe will take. Depending on the setup of the house, there are a few different ways this could be accomplished. The easiest way would be to run a main "trunk" line toward each inlet, laying out turns and “t”s at eithr 45 or 90 degrees. If the inlets are not accessible by one main trunk line, branch out as necessary. For simplicity of these instructions, we assume that each inlet can be accessed from one main line. If it is necessary to make many turns, it is suggested that extra fittings are purchased. Keep in mind that any extra fittings from the Main Line kits can be returned for a full refund.

Begin at the inlets and work towards the power head combining inlets whenever possible when installing the main trunk of piping attaching the piping to the rafters whenever possible. Once every 5 to 10ft is recommended. Fit all the pieces together without glue first, to ensure that everything fits properly. When gluing glue the pipe only to avoid glue deposits on the inside of the pipe. Wipe off excess glue to keep from softening and deforming the pipe. When connecting horizontal piping to vertical piping, use a swept fitting to eliminate sharp turns, this can lead to blockages. Connect all of the low voltage lines and zip tying the lines to the pipe. Once the complete piping system is installed, wait about an hour and check the system for leaks. This can be done either with a simple auditory check of the piping while the power unit is on to make sure there are no leaks.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-932-4749, 7 day/week.