The Central Vac
I installed this Vacu Maid
system in 1996, and it was challenging since this was a
my home. I installed two outlets per floor (3 floors), and was able to
hide the entire installation in closets and existing
in my home. The installation was a good experience since it allowed me
to prepare for the later work where I would be wiring Cat 5 and RG-6U
corner of the house.
Compared to a regular
filter vacuum, this cleans better, quieter, and all dirt is ejected
from the house.
system is lighter and more maneuverable. Since it has no substantial
filter, there is no
obstruction to the unit's power.
I decided to spring for
two sets of electric powered sweepers. I also bought the
powered stair sweeper. It is a hand held turbine brush. Great for cars
as well. The air turbine units are more prone to clogging (all dirt
to pass thru the vanes of the turbine), and reduces power a
Some pointers for installation:
- The only place a tight 90
degree turn should be used is right
vacuum receptacle. In this manner, the tightest turn in the system is
where you can reach the obstruction (after you remove the vacuum hose).
The rest of the system should use sweep 90s and sweep Tees. Thus if you
vacuum up a pencil, it will get stuck right at the receptacle, and you
can remove it by unplugging the hose.
- On horizontal runs, do not
connect to it from below. Dirt
the horizontal run can drop down into the connecting tube. A friend of
mine did not do this, and while vacuuming glass shards, had them drop
the connecting tube, filling a vacuum outlet with glass.
- Design the system such
that you do not have to turn the pipe
upwards (dirt only flows downwards). The
only exception is at the 90 right behind a receptacle. The upward turn
can cause plugs. If you do need to turn upwards, install an access
a sweep 90 and a plug.
1996 - System installed. Cost of the system:
- main motor
- pipes and fittings
- toolkits, two hoses, two
powerheads, one stair head
2004 - replaced drive belt
on Sweep 'n Groom II powerhead (belt is part number 36995, same as 52201C)
site. Other than that, the system has been trouble
- May 2010 - Bought a
used Sweep 'n Groom unit for $40
shipped. I used it for parts to replace the case of my
which has been damaged due to many years of use. New units
available for $130 shipped on Ebay.
- August 2010 - Found an
Ebay (seller id: storefront-22) for a replacement sweeper motor made by
Lamb Ametek. I think the Eureka part number is 118154-54, and
Lamb Ametek number is R5409-33. The price was
Replacement motor. Click for full size.
- December 2012 - Inspection of the small turbine powered
sweeper shows turbine blades show some damage from years of
2013 - Bought another used Sweep n Groom head on Ebay for $25+15, and
this has the clear plastic front for an internal headlight.
to frequent bumps and vibration, the lights I have had blow out
quickly. I added a mod to put 6 bright white LEDs to replace
filament bulb. They are powered by a tiny 12V switching power
supply rated for 300mA. Three lights are in series, and two
strings of these put in parallel. I then use a 10 ohm
series with all this. Total current is 100mA (two parallel
Home Automation Main Page