Planning Your System

Careful consideration is needed when planning your system. The location of the power unit and the inlets need to be decided, together with the route of the ducting pipework. While each of these needs to be considered separately, each has an effect on the others. For example, a small change in the position of the power unit could make the ducting easier to install. Naturally, the planning process is a lot easier in homes that are being built, but it is far from difficult in most existing homes.

If you are unsure of the optimum locations for the power unit or the inlets or the best ducting route, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer a free site survey and consultation service that will help you get the most from your system.

Planning the power unit location

The power unit can be mounted on almost any wall, but the height of the unit (including the dirt receptacle) should be taken into consideration. It should be out of the way, yet accessible so that the dirt receptacle can be emptied. A garage integral to the house makes an ideal location. Over time dust may become noticeable in the discharge from the exhaust of the power unit – for this reason it is preferable to pipe the exhaust to the outside of the building (this ducting must not exceed 12ft/4m).

An electrical socket will be required in close proximity (no more than 4ft/1.2m) to the unit.

Planning the inlet locations

In existing buildings

In an existing building, the best way to determine the positions of the faceplates is to use a tape or length of rope to represent the flexible hose. Having chosen an initial position for a faceplate, make sure that every inch of the floor, walls, cupboards and ceiling can be reached by the hose on that floor or part of the floor if more than one inlet is to be installed at that level (see Figure 1). Don’t forget that the hose may have to reach round large pieces of furniture.

Ideal positions for the faceplates are centrally in hallways or cupboard walls near doorways. Make sure the faceplate is accessible and will not be obstructed by furniture or positioned where a door slides along a wall.

Decide whether you want to mount the faceplate in the wall or floor. When wall mounted, the faceplate should be arranged so that the cover is pulled downwards to insert the flexible hose. Floor mounted faceplates have the disadvantage that the hose must be inserted at floor level rather than at more a convenient height but, if there are wooden floors, it is often easier to mount the faceplate in the floors than the walls.

In new buildings

For a new building when only plans are available, a piece of string of suitable length should be used to represent the flexible hose. Make allowances for furniture or other obstructions – some imagination will be called for! With a new building, wall mounted faceplates will be preferable, probably at the same height as the electrical power sockets. For ease of use however, it may be preferable in some instances, to install the faceplate higher up the wall.

Planning the ducting layout

Plan your ducting system with the least amount of pipework and the minimum number of bends, but do not compromise on inlet locations for the sake of an easier installation. Make sure that you can reach every corner with no more than a 9 metre / 30 feet vacuum hose. (Central Vacuum Solutions Ltd recommends the use of a 7.5 metre / 25 feet hose, although in existing homes this is not always possible.)

The complete pipework route from the power unit to each of the faceplates should be planned before work starts (see Figure 2). It is generally more convenient to run the piping under the ground floor if there is sufficient space. For upper floors the piping may run under the floor or vertically to the attic or loft space and then down to the faceplates. It can be hidden in the underneath the bath, kitchen units, back of built in wardrobes, airing cupboards, under the stairs, beside the soil pipe or within stud partitioning.