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How To Install a DIY Ducted Vacuum System in your home

DIY installation of a Ducted Vacuum System in your home is relatively simple to achieve in a new build, renovation or even an existing home.

 

(you can either read this article or watch it on the video below)

 

Planning the system is the first step to achieving a succesful installation. The diagram below will give you an idea on how the pipework is set out in the home. If you have a set of house plans, planning is made easier as you can play around with different locations on the drawing. A set of plans that are to scale of 1:100 also makes life easier. The standard hose length for ducted vacuum systems is 9m, so you can use a piece of string cut 9cm long or even a business card (already 9cm long) to act as a hose bending around door frames etc. to determine the location of the points. As the hose is long, generally more centralised points are better than points everywhere, so start at the longest point of the end room with your card or string and work back to a hallway or centralised point. Put a mark on your plans here and continue to check where the hose will reach from this point, if its fine for a few rooms then move on to the other end. Continue in this method until you have all the areas covered, and do not forget walk in robes, pantries, laundries etc.

If you do not have plans or for existing home, using the same principle and maybe a garden hose marked at 9m will achieve the same result but you will need to phisically walk around the hose to plan it.


ducted vacuum cleaners
Pipe work and inlets generally should be kept central to the home and branched off to the inlets with sweep t fittings. Gravity drops should be avoided ie. dirt from previous inlets falling down to other inlets in the flow back to the machine and this can be acheived by using branch lines to the inlets away from the main trunk line. Main lines going vertical between floors should also be branched off of for inlets on different levels for the same reason, in fact it is made worse in vertical runs so never install inlets directly above each other just teed off of the main line.

Installations going into newly being built homes either timber or steel frame should have main trunk lines installed before the insulation and gyprock goes in. A good guide is when the plumber or sparky is starting their first fix you should be also. Try to keep good communication with your builder at this point to avoid being forgotton and missing the chance to install it.

Pipe work should be ran so that the pipe has minimal length to maximise the efficiency of your system, all bends should be sweep type and t fittings should also be sweep type where possible. The exeption here is the 90 degree bends required directly behind the inlet mounting plate in the wall frame and also the inlet pipe to the machine which is also in the wall frame. Short 90 degree bends must be used here so they will fit inside the wall frame.

Drilling of timber wall frames top plates and noggins should be done with a hole saw or a speed bit like the milwawkee self feed speed bit and should be as small as possible, we use a wilwawkee 57mm speed bit which allows the pipe and cable in the same hole and also allows for pipe joins to pass through them if needed during assembly. Noggins you should keep away from the stud to avoid the nails that are attaching the noggin to the stud. You will notive then that attaching the back plate (inlets mounting plate) to the stud will now make the pipe not want to run in a straight line as the back plate is mounted on the stud. To overcome this it is recommended to use a short 90 directly on the back plate and a 45 degree short elbow to make the pipe sit straight from the inlet, sometimes a small piece of pipe is also required to make these items meet up.

Run all of the pipe work for the entire system before gluing any thing to avoid mistakes, an exception here is joins in the main trunk line which should be done as you go to avoid being short one end when you do glue everything and the pipe inserts further than you expected. Run the cable to control the system at the same time as gluing to avoid forgetting to install it and make sure you de-burr all of your cuts before gluing. Gluing should be done with a strong pvc cement, I personally recommend plumbers blue pvc cement as it is much stronger than clear pvc glue, but you may want to use clear where the pipe work is seen like near the unit.

IMPORTANT! Apply glue to the pipe only, not the pipe and fitting, push together and twist slightly to improve adhesion, hold for a few seconds to make sure it bonds then release carefully. In some conditions the fitting may want to come apart after wards as weather can affect adhesion time, just hold it longer if this is the case.

The reason not to apply glue to the fitting aswell (i can hear all the plumbers saying what tha!) is that when you insert the pipe excess glue will be squeezed into the joint creating a possible spot for fluff to build up and cause a blockage in your system, gluing the pipe only will cause the excess glue to be pushed out of the joint along the pipe instead avoiding this.

Once all the pipes, fittings etc. are glued and the control cable is ran, you should now firmly fix it all in place with pipe saddles. You do not need to go overboard and saddle every few feet, but wherever pipes change direction and every few metres should be enough to ensure fittings will not pop off later on and that people moving around in your roof space cannot trip or even accidently kick apart fittings due to loosley installed pipe work.

Finally and just as importantly take photographs of your installation, partcularly near vacusweep locations and the inlet near the machine. if possible take photos with a tape measure in place like the pics below to show you how far from walls or from the stud you are mounting the unit onto to the inlet pipe, this way when the walls are on you know where everything is. Vacusweeps are installed into the kick panels of cupboards, so once the cupboards are built there is normally no way of knowing exactly where it is unless you have the cabinet maker cut out the hole for you. So a measurement and a photo at this point will save you time and mistakes later. Normally gyprockers will need to cut out the holes for the inlet back plate to install their sheets, but I have had homes where they have not and photos can save big repair jobs at second fix time.

Below is a photo of a solid vacusweep pipe installation and a photo of the distance from the wall which I used to find the centre of my vacusweep once the kitchen cupboards were installed.

 

 


And finally a good guide to download and print out to help you out is available here Ducted Vacuum Installation Guide

D.I.Y Ducted Vacuum Kits

DIY Ducted Vacuum Installation Tools

 

 

View this page on our YouTube Video How to Install DIY Ducted Vacuum Systems in your home

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