How to Install a Vacuum System

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Level
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Electric drill
  • Drywall saw
Materials Required
  • Central vacuum system
  • Pipe cement

Before You Begin

Planning is necessary before you begin to install any central vac system. There are several popular systems on the market and they all are installed in the same way; the major difference is the installation of the wall inlets.

The power unit should not be located in the attic or next to the furnace or other source of heat. The basement or garage is a good location. Whatever the location, the power unit needs a 120-volt AC power source and access to the attic and other area of your house so that you can install the 2 1/2-in. plastic pipe.

Install a vac system

Before any installation can begin you must make a plan where the piping will be installed. Place the inlets in centrally located area that can serve several rooms. The inlets also must be close to electrical outlets that can be used to power accessories.

The pipe can be concealed in the existing walls. A good plan for a two-story house is to run a main branch pipe to the attic and then branch out from that main pipe to the inlets.

Don't want to get involved doing this job yourself? Click Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local contractors, and type "vacuum system" in their Find Pro search box.

  • Step 1 : Make a layout plan

    Hide the branch pipe in an existing closet or other unused space. The pipe can be run through existing heating ducts or cold air returns.

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