Frequently Ask Questions

Answers to Common Hide-a-Hose Questions

The H2000 Retractable Hose System harnesses the suction from the Power Unit (usually installed in the garage) to retract the hose back into the PVC tubing hidden within the walls, attic, and floor joists of your home.

The main benefit of a hose sock is so to prevent furniture and woodwork from getting scratched by the hose. Each H2000 hose comes standard with a hose sock.

With the H2000 System the hose sock actually stays cleaner than a hose sock with a standard central vac system. Hose socks pick up dirt and dust from floors while vacuuming. Every time the power unit is turned on and the hose is in the wall the suction from the power unit is continually cleaning the hose. That doesn't happen when the hose is sitting in a closet.

If the Turbocat Air Driven Power Brush is matched with the right Power Unit, tests show that its performance is comparable to an Electric Power Head. The Turbocat has a higher life expectancy, higher brush speed than many electric power heads, it is lighter, it has an automatic height adjustment feature, and it has the ability to clean closer to edges. In addition the Turbocat has a built in Performance Indicator. If airflow is restricted within the tubing or power unit, the Turbocat will slow down, indicating that the system is not operating at peak performance and should be checked.

The answer is yes, however, most of the plumbing used by your existing system will have to be replaced. The reason is, standard central vacuum systems are plumbed with standard 90's and fittings that prevent the hose from traveling through the tubing. Because the H2000 Retractable Hose System actually stores the hose in the PVC tubing, special sweep 90's and 45's are required which allow the hose to travel through the tubing.

How do I know if I have a clog in my hose? Connect your hose directly to the dirt canister. If the hose has normal suction, you do not have a clog in the hose. Reduced suction when connected to the dirt canister means a clog in the hose. How do I get a clog out of my hose? Starting at one end of the hose and working towards the other end, press the hose to try and feel for the clog, when you find it, press down on the obstruction and gently knead it. This may break the clog up so it can pass through the hose. Remove the hose from the inlet, push a DRY garden hose though through the vacuum hose to push the clog out. How do I get a clog out of my tubing? Check inside each inlet, occasionally, an object gets stuck directly inside the fitting and you can remove it with your fingers. Plug the vacuum hose into each inlet. Put your hand over the end of the hose to create a seal, then pull your hand off the hose. Do this a few times and it may loosen the clog and send the obstruction to your dirt canister. Try running a plumbers snake though the inlet to push the clog out. Can I use my central vacuum as a wet vacuum? The only way you can use it as a wet vac would be if you purchase one of our wet pick up kits. What can I do if my power unit won't come on? Check the breaker in your electrical panel. Also check the reset button on the canister. How do I know my unit model number? This is located on a white or silver label. The model number will generally starts with S, P, or SR. If your unit is in a corner and you cannot view the label try using a small mirror to view the label. What hose and brush are compatible with my vacuum? This is a common misconception. Your hose and brush compatibility depends on the type of inlet and wand(s). Will any of the attachments fit my old hose/wands? Any straight suction attachments (air turbine brushes, dusting brushes, etc.) will fit old hoses and wand. My hose is shorting out. Do I need to buy a new hose/electric brush? Check the connection between the handle and top wand for arching. If that looks fine, check the hose for exposed wires.

A central vacuum system is a built-in system that consists of a central vacuum unit, vacuum tubing system and accessory kit. The vacuum unit is generally installed in a basement, garage or mechanical room. Vacuum inlets are located in positions throughout the house that allow all areas to be reached with a 30’ or 35’ hose. The accessory kit includes the hose, carpet brush, other attachments, wands, hose hanger and other items. What are the benefits of a central vacuum system? A central vacuum system provides many cleaning, personal and financial benefits. • Power - central vacuums are up to 5 times more powerful than portable vacuums, so cleaning is more effective. • Improved Indoor Air Quality - Unlike portable vacuums that exhaust some of the dirt back into the living space, central vacuums convey debris through the tubing system to a vacuum unit that is located in non-living space area and possibly exhausted outside. • Health – Allergens exhausted into the living space by a portable vacuum go instead to a non-living space area and possibly outside with a central vacuum. This feature is particularly beneficial to those that suffer from allergies and asthma. • Light Weight – A central vacuum hose and cleaning attachment are much lighter than a portable upright or canister vacuum • Maintenance - A large dirt canister and simple filter cleaning or bag changes result in less maintenance compared to a portable vacuum. • Quiet - Noise typically associated with a portable vacuum in the living area is moved to the basement or garage. Often, the central vacuum unit cannot be heard in the room being cleaned. • Versatile – Central vacuums work well for cleaning of carpet, rugs, smooth floors, baseboards, table tops, upholstery, vents, ceiling fans, garages, cars and virtually any other area of the home. • Value – Central vacuums can easily last 20 years, so replacement cost is much less than for portable vacuums. Better cleaning of carpet, rugs and upholstery provides longer life for those items. Fewer maintenance items results in further savings. • Home Value – As a built-in appliance, central vacuum systems add value to a home. How can a central vacuum affect symptoms associated with asthma and allergies? Portable vacuums exhaust fine dust back into the living space. These allergens are breathed in, resulting in irritation to the lungs. Those who suffer from asthma and allergies are particularly affected by this. Central vacuums are more powerful than portable vacuums and convey the allergens to the vacuum unit located in a non-living space area and possibly outside. More dirt and allergens are removed from the living space. There is no emission of allergens into the living space. Is a central vacuum good for a home with pets? A central vacuum offers a several benefits for homes with pets. • Superior power means better removal of pet hair and dander. • Odor associated with pet hair and dander is moved to the basement or garage. There is no exhaust air in the living space. An outside exhaust removes the odor from the house • Pet hair greatly increases maintenance and reduces the operating life of a portable vacuum. • Pet hair and dander increase supply costs for portable vacuum bags and filters. Central vacuums minimize or eliminate these costs, particularly when cyclonic and permanent models are used Can central vacuums be used to pick up liquid spills? A standard central vacuum system should not be used to pick up liquids. Damage to the motor, mold and mildew can occur if this is done. For those applications where this is necessary (e.g., restaurant, veterinary clinic, etc.), a separator can be used to remove the liquids before they enter the tubing system. Can central vacuums be installed in existing homes? Central vacuums can be installed in most existing homes. Ideal homes are ranchers with either accessible attics or basement ceilings and 2-story homes with both accessible attics and basement ceilings. Homes with limited access may require the services of a professional installer who is adept at locating routes without damaging walls or drywall. How long does a central vacuum system last? A central vacuum unit can easily last 20 years. The life expectancy of a hose, carpet brush and attachments varies depending upon use. What is the cost of a central vacuum system? The cost of a central vacuum system is dependent on the size of the vacuum unit, the number of inlets, difficulty of installation, and the number and type of accessory kits that are desired. A system installed in a 3,000 sq. ft. house during construction will generally be less than $2,000. Installation in an existing house can add several hundred dollars. Should I purchase a vacuum unit that is bagless or one that uses a disposable bag? The type of collection device is a personal preference more than anything else. Bagless units can generally hold more debris and as a result have to be emptied less than units with bags. Bagless units save on bag costs and provide some favorable environmental impact. Filters on bagless units can be messy and difficult to clean and can reduce suction if not maintained properly. The screens on cyclonic units can also be messy and difficult to clean. These units allow dirt to pass through the motor fans which can reduce their operating life. Disposable bag units are easy to maintain. Removal and replacement of a bag generally takes less than 30 seconds. Because the bag traps virtually all of the dirt, the filters in these units require very little if any maintenance. There is some additional cost and environmental impact associated with this system. What is a cyclonic vacuum unit? A cyclonic vacuum unit does not have a filter or disposable bag that air passes through. These units have 1 or 2 cones that create a "cyclone" inside the unit. Heavier debris is forced to the outside of the can and drops into the dirt can. Lighter debris and air stay towards the center, pass through the motor fans and are exhausted. Cyclonic units must always be exhausted to the outside because some light dust is exhausted. A screen protects the motor fans from any large piece of debris that could damage the motor. This screen needs to be cleaned periodically Should the vacuum unit be installed in the basement or garage? The location of the vacuum unit is largely determined by personal preference. The location has little or no effect on the functionality of the system. There is generally more space for the vacuum unit in a basement and less effects of moisture and temperature. Emptying the canister in a garage can be more convenient. Does a central vacuum system have to be vented to the outside? Only cyclonic vacuum units must be exhausted to the outside. Units with filters and/or bags trap virtually all of the debris in the container. Outside exhaust can be installed on any other unit as long as there is an exhaust tube. If the unit has two motors, then two separate exhaust lines must be run. Exhaust lines should be no longer than 20 ft. Exhausting to the outside reduces noise inside the home and insures that 100% of the allergens vacuumed are contained in the vacuum unit or exhausted outside. Where does the dirt go? Dirt picked up by the cleaning attachment passes through the hose, into the inlet, through the tubing system and down to the dirt canister of the vacuum unit. Should a muffler be installed on a central vacuum system? Installation of a muffler will reduce the noise from the exhaust. This is a personal preference issue. The benefit varies depending on the location of the vacuum unit relative to the living area and location of the outside exhaust. A muffler has no operational impact. Can I use plumbing pipe to install the central vacuum system? Vacuum pipe has a slick inside surface that facilitates conveyance of the dirt to the vacuum unit. This is not the case for plumbing pipe. Diameters of the two types are different. Vacuum pipe will fit into the inlet and vacuum unit connections whereas plumbing pipe will not. The radius's on vacuum elbows are better suited for a vacuum system. If use of vacuum pipe is not practical, adapters that convert from plumbing pipe to vacuum pipe are available. You can find pipe in our store, contact us 425-487-3730 What is the difference between low voltage and electric vacuum inlets? Electric vacuum inlets have connections for both low voltage and high voltage wire. The low voltage wire is run from the inlet back to the vacuum unit. This control wire enables the vacuum unit to be turned on when the hose is inserted into the inlet or the switch on the hose is turned on. The high voltage wire is typically run from the inlet to the nearest electric outlet. The high voltage plug on the vacuum inlet provides power for an electric carpet brush. Low voltage inlets have connections for low voltage wire only. These are used when an electric carpet brush will not be used or a pigtail hose will be used with an electric carpet brush. Does a central vacuum inlet need to be installed in every room? Generally, a central vacuum inlet can be used to clean multiple rooms. It is best to locate them in hallways, next to doors and other positions where the most area can be cleaned from a given inlet and furniture does not block access to the inlet. Which is better – an electric carpet brush or air-driven one? An electric carpet brush has a built-in motor that turns the roller brush. An air-driven carpet brush has an impeller that is spun by the vacuum air and thereby turns the roller brush. Bristles on electric carpet brushes are generally stiffer than those on air-driven heads. Because of the stiffer bristles and more consistent brush rotation, electric carpet brushes generally clean better than air-driven ones. This is particularly true for pet hair and plush carpet. Air-driven carpet brushes are ideal for homes with no pets, pets that don’t shed and minimal carpet and rugs. What do I need in the way of electrical wiring and outlets? An electric outlet is required for the vacuum unit. A dedicated outlet is recommended. Consult the owner’s manual for details. Electric vacuum inlets require a high voltage wire, generally 12/2 or 14/2, to be run to the nearest electric outlet. All vacuum inlets require low voltage wire, generally 18/2 to 22/2, to be run from the inlets to the vacuum unit. If an electric hose with pigtail cord will be used, the low voltage vacuum inlet needs to be within 7 ft. of an electric outlet. Can I install the central vacuum system myself? Generally, anyone that is reasonably handy can install a central vacuum system. Skills and tools are needed to drill 2 ½" holes; lay out a system that achieves proper air flow and minimizes pipe run and elbows; cut, run and glue pipe; install and connect wire to inlets; mount the vacuum unit; and drill and run an exhaust if applicable.