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Ducted Vacuum Systems Frequently Asked Questions

Browse through these Ducted Vacuum System faq's, we update them regularly and your question may be answered here. If you can not find your answer please contact us.                 

Can I install a ducted vacuum system in my existing home?
Arent Ducted vacuums expensive?
Is this a good choice for someone with Asthma or Allergies?
How do i compare ducted vacuum systems?
How long do the bags last before requiring replacement?
Does the system require any service?
How to unblock a ducted vacuum system
Common causes for suction loss on a ducted vacuum system

Can I install a ducted vacuum system in my existing home?

Yes, virtually any style of home can have a ducted vacuum cleaning system installed. Even homes with solid walls can be installed with a ducted vacuum system regardless of the homes age.

Sometimes we use cupboards and wardrobes etc. as a last resort for an inlet location, but the beauty of a ducted system is you only need a few points to cover your home effectively with a 9m hose. We also sell longer hoses and hose kits to cater for the trickier installs. Brick veneer homes (or any home with timber frame with gyprock walls)can have pipes installed in these walls quite easily with the inlets still mounted at the same height as the power points so that it looks like it has always been there. Pipework is simply ran in the roof space as a trunk and branch to these inlets. Installation takes between 2 to 8 hours on average, depending on complexity of the building.

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Aren't Ducted vacuums expensive?

Not at all, generally the vacuum cleaner systems unit are not much more than a good portable or upright, in some cases they even are cheaper, they last 4 times longer and still can be installed from around $1000.00

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Is this a good choice for someone with Asthma or Allergies?

Yes, Valet Ducted Vacuum Systems have proven to reduce the triggers of asthma and allergies sufferers in many studies. This is partly because the air is not recycled around the home that a portable needs to do to suck and also due to the filter bag used in the system trapping all these nasties for easy dust free disposal later. These are the main reasons that have been accepted by the National Asthma Council Australia and Asthma and Respitory Foundation NZ. as a product to assist people suffering from asthma and allergies. More information on Living with asthma and allergies can be obtained from www.sensitivechoice.com.au

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How do i compare ducted vacuum systems?

Ducted Vacuum Systems can be a tricky product to compare to the un-educated person. Many people will compare by the horsepower rating and this is so wrong. The things to consider are airwatts, sealed vacuum lift and noise level. Then consider the history of the unit you are researching, how long does it actually last, some units are cheap to buy, but cost far more per year to run and have. A cheap bagless for example, yes they are cheap, but will only last 10 years max, averaging a life of probably about 6 or 7 and in same cases worse. A valet bagged unit however will last average 15 to 20 years and we have proof of longer on our testimonials page. The bagless systems use expensive filters and a dust collection bin, the filters cost alone is more than bag purchases over the life of the systems. With that in mind, why would you cover yourself in the dust you just vacuumed from your house to empty a system that costs more over time than the cleaner and more reliable system like the Valet bagged system. Then look at warranties and Dealer support. Valet has an industry leading warranty, this in itself says something about a product and the Companies support for that product.

You would be hard pressed to beat a Valet on overall features, simplicity and the fact they are virtually maintenance free, just $10 a year for a bag and it will return you many years of loyal, trouble free service

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How long do the bags last before requiring replacement?

Generally the average home vacuuming twice a week will get around 12 months before requiring the bag being replaced. This figure is reduced somewhat for brand new homes as the carpet generally will lose pill for a while until it settles in and all the loose fibres are gone. But as a rule, about a year. Buying the bags in packs of 3 is the best way to ensure good value.

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Does the system require any service?

The Valet bagged systems require very little maintenance, we suggest checking the screen under the plate beneath the bag when changing the bag to ensure it is clear. Sometimes fluff will build up here if you have had a bag leak and block up this screen which results in loss of suction. Using GENUINE Valet bags will reduce this. We recommend a system service every 3 years to ensure the longest life from your system. Motor brushes and bearings are the most likely parts to fail, these are checked at the 3 year service and generally will not require replacement for atleast 6 to 7 years depending on usage.

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How to un-block a ducted vacuum system?

Although it is rare for a ducted vacuum system to get blocked in the pipework it sometimes can occur and usually are quite simple to fix. The first thing you must eliminate is that the hose and fittings are clear. This is best done visually where possible, but if the hose is long then it may not be possible to see all the way down it. If you do have a blockage, unless it is close to the unit some of the other inlets will work fine you can check the hose on these other points to be sure. If they all seem blocked or low on suction, either there is a blockage closer to the unit or infact a pipe may be off and you are losing all the suction here.

Let's deal with a blocked inlet first.

Other inlets work fine, its just this one that has no suction, then yep its probably blocked. Many times when we un block these inlets we find things like sticks, hair clips, large paper clips etc. that may have got jammed on a fitting and gradually a build up of fluff and junk will block the pipe. This is easily fixed by using a portable vacuum cleaner to suck from the inlet backwards.

Here's a neat trick..... Unscrew the cuff off the end of your ducted vacuum hose (do not attempt this if you have a hose with on off switch on the handle, just standard hoses) and insert just the cuff into the hole. You will notice the ducted system will start now, at the same time insert your portable vacuum into the cuff (which will now seal well) and you are now pulling apart the blockage by two ways. As the blockage is usually close to the inlet (first fitting as a rule) the portable vacuum should eventually win and remove the rubbish blocking the pipe. Help this along by sometimes removing the cuff enough for the ducted vacuum to stop but in enough for the portable one to seal. You should hear a thud as it is moved and sucked into your vacuum.

Once you are happy it seems clear, I like to suck a piece of paper towel or a wet one through the system, this makes sure that the object that got stuck in the first place has also moved and you wont need to do this again in a few weeks! Check the bag or canister for the towel to ensure it is all good.

Now let's look at there is no suction anywhere.

Valet have a unique final filter which is located beneath a baffle plate under the bag. This sometimes can get blocked with fluff if a bag busts, overflows or if you empty a very full bag and some leaks out. It is easy to remove this baffle and check the screen, if there is rubbish there it is simply removed by hand. Refit the plate, refit the bag and lid and try now!

Another common no suction cause for Valet systems is the plug opposite where the bag attaches (where the bag would attach if the pipe work entered the system from the other side) is missing. This plug needs to be inserted to block the hole and can get knocked out when changing a bag. Check around the floor, it is probably still there, refit it into the canister and check now.

If still no suction, more often than not this is a pipe fitting that has come adrift, usually because it was installed with strain on it and the glue eventually popped. The quickest way to find it is to start the system by inserting the hose, stick your head up the manhole and listen. Follow the pipework around and keep listening, you will soon be guided straight to the culprit. If needed to be modified so there is no strain on it, do it then glue everything all together with blue plumbers glue, much stronger than the clear stuff. Make sure to secure the pipes in place especially near fittings with pipe saddles.

The other cause of no suction may still be a blockage near the system, prove this by removing the pipe that goes directly into the system. Check the suction from the machine itself. If machine is sucking fine then it could be in one of the fittings quite close to the machine or the short one just inside the wall. If possible remove these pipes and check here.

9 out of 10 blockages can be fixed using these methods, if you are the other one, you will need to call for service. Call 08 8261 8223 for Adelaide or South Australia. Call 1800 050 333 for service by your local Valet dealer if outside of S.A.

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Common causes for suction loss in a ducted vacuum system

The most common service calls are loss of suction that we have for ducted vacuum systems. Many times it is simple things that you can check yourself that can avoid service calls. Valet vacuum systems usually have a bag installed, apart from the obvious that the bag is full, about the only other problem is usually fluff build up on the screen to the pump. To get to this on Valet units, simply remove the bag, remove steel tray (just lifts out) from bottom and you will see the screen. Wipe and vacuum out any rubbish and you are as good as new!

If you still have reduced suction or there was no rubbish on the screen, then you will need to call for service either by email or 08 8261 8223.

Other systems like Das Vac, Electron etc. where the motor is at the top and bagless usually require a technician to dismantle the unit to access these final screens. We can service any brand system and keep a large range of spare parts to keep your systems going. All Valet service parts are stocked if you need spare parts for Valet, you are at the right place.


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