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Author Topic: Home Made Central Vac  (Read 3309 times)
captain ron
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« on: December 11, 2007, 07:17:47 AM »

My next "just for the fun of it and something cool" project is a central vac made from a shop vac I just bought from Lowes for $39.00. It's a nice vac for the money, 11 gallon wet/dry and a detachable leaf blower with 250 mph wind force. I plan to run pvc from a mounting point in one of my bays and T off for 2 spots in the bus to connect hose to. I'll run it out of the toe kick of my kitchen/bath cabinets. Then wire 2 switches like you would for a light that can be turned on from 2 different locations. I'll get or make little flappers to seal off the one not in use or both when unit is not being used. Any input for doing a better job will be appreciated.
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Stan
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 07:28:54 AM »

That is about as cheap as you can do it. I would suggest that you wire the duplex in the bay as a split so that one half is switched by your Vacuum switches and the other half will be a convenience outlet in the bay for outside use.
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captain ron
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 08:08:58 AM »

Thanks Stan, I was going to do that as I have one now in my bay that runs my circulating pump for my Pro Heat and I need to split it and put in a switch. I'm also going to fabricate dust pans into the vac outlets to be able to sweep floors right into them.
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 08:31:53 AM »

Something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370004597460 will work for you.  Most have contacts that will switch on the vacuum when plugged in.  You can also wire it so that the vacuum can't be turned on from a wall switch unless a hose is plugged in.  Here are the built-in dustpans http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150192615876.  I'm planning on doing something similar on my bus.  I'll hopefully have a shorter hose and an outlet / valve up front so I can keep the stair area clean.  I just hope I remember to run the PVC pipe when I re-floor the front!

David
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 08:44:36 AM »

I have a small canister Hoover that has a long hose and works great for now Jerry
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 08:50:44 AM »

Ron, be sure you use the pvc made for the central vac it will save you a lot of trouble later
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 08:53:18 AM »

Has anyone had any luck matching up a shop vac's fittings to the readily available pvc pipes? If so what brand/model? I have been thinking about this for quite a while too, but have not found just the right vac yet. The piping made for the home central vacs is just different enough so you can't easily use the cheaper pvc pipes. I just figured i would have to cobble up some way to attach the hose and tank to the pvc.
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 09:40:30 AM »

I have a central vac in my house and put the same thing in my bus years ago. I used a shop vac and regular pvc . I only have one outlet centered in the bus w/25 ft hose w/a beater bar.  The thing will almost pull the carpet off the floor.In the bay, I clamped the shop vac hose to the pvc and ran the other hose exhausting through the floor of the bay.  Just use lots of glue at the vac outlet and pvc. Works great for the wife since she requested it be installed. I myself don't know how to use it.

Richard
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 09:48:07 AM »

Hi Capt. Ron,

You can use the hose kit from the dometic unit. It stretches from 8' to 30' and is very durable.

I know because I have one installed in the bus. The hose is the greatest thing!

http://www.dometicusa.com/microwaves.php?product=82

Nick-
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 10:05:19 AM »

Hi Charley, You are on to a great convenience for your bus. You are going to love it and the lack of Vac noise in the bus itself. I did what you are doing and this is what I did;
I used the big shop vac from Lowes and ran the PVC but to attach the vac to the PVC I used a small section of the big flexible vac hose and clamped it onto the PVC with a worm drive clamp. That avoids any vibration that may come loose going down the road. I then installed a regular wall plug from a house central vac system beneath a cabinet. (I centered the inlet in the middle of the bus ) I attached that to the PVC the same way with a small flexible piece of hose with a clamp on it. I put a switch under the inlet that operates one side of a duplex outlet down in the bay. I went to a local vac store that repairs vacs and they made me a central vac hose that goes to the front or back. The hose plugs in just like a central vac and the other end uses all of the attachments just like a real one. I then created a special drawer that holds all of the hose and equipment and it it all well out of the way and neat and clean.

Here's a picture of the wall inlet set-up.
Good luck,
Dave Siegel
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 10:44:20 AM »

I have a RV central vac thats built in my coach that my wife has decided that she would rather use the space for another use. I can't advertise it here, but email me if youre interested, its less $$ than one can be made up for 14bama@bellsouth.net
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2007, 11:32:51 AM »

I have had a central vac in a house before and I can see the space benefit in a bus, but I have never found straight suction to be as good as a unit with a beater.  Do you find these to be good enough?
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 12:03:07 PM »

Hi Lin,

In all honesty, about once a month my wife brings the Dyson from the house into the bus to give the carpets a

deep cleaning. The Donetic unit we have is very powerful but like you said. Nothing beats a beater...

Nick-
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 12:13:24 PM »

Ron,

I got a job installing central vacuums right out of high school. I think you're on the right track, but for maximum effiency make sure that any plumbing T fittings you use are of the sweep type, more like sanitary fittings, not pressure type. Also make sure they are facing the correct direction, always pointing towards the dump pan.

The VacuFlo brand I used to install have two contacts inside the hose door. When you plug the hose into the outlet, the metal on the hose end closes the circuit, and starts the suction motor.

Hope that helps.

Jay
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2007, 12:36:45 PM »

Has anyone had any luck matching up a shop vac's fittings to the readily available pvc pipes? If so what brand/model? I have been thinking about this for quite a while too, but have not found just the right vac yet. The piping made for the home central vacs is just different enough so you can't easily use the cheaper pvc pipes. I just figured i would have to cobble up some way to attach the hose and tank to the pvc.
>
Ron,
I like the way this word =" COBBLED " keeps following you around,maybe another name change is in order. rotflmao Grin
>
John,
 You have to use Hose barbs not pipe fittings, the barbs will mate to the pipe fittings. Wink
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