Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the CentralVac brand power unit in several pieces, instead of one piece like all of your competitors?

By having the motor and dust collector separated, the motor isn’t exposed to the vacuum dust and debris. The motor runs cooler and lasts longer. A lot longer.

Our industrial design makes certain your unit will last a long time. A very long time. We know of units that have been working since the 50’s.

Can I install a CentralVac by myself?

Yes, if you have some remodeling or construction experience. A typical installation takes about one weekend, and you are ready to clean.

Why does the CentralVac have replaceable paper filters?

The replaceable paper filter assures that no dust or debris pass through the system and into the air, assuring a cleaner and healthier environment in your home, and longer life for your vacuum motor.

I am currently an owner of a Broan Central Vac system and I am very unsatisfied with the accessories that came with the system. Is it possible to use your accessories such as the hose and electric power head with my existing wall connections and motor unit?

Not a problem, our accessories fit most existing systems.

Why do I need a cloth and paper filter bag?

The reason for this is to catch any remaining dust coming through the paper bag and also, if the disposable paper filter bag breaks open, the debris will not go into the motor causing it to have issues. The cloth filter bag is placed inside the canister first. The paper filter bag goes inside the cloth bag.

Why would I need a 4th stage filter?

While a 4th stage filter is optional, it can be very beneficial.  This is because no matter how good a filter system is, it’s possible for some particles to get through it.  The best alternative is to vent the unit outside, but if that is not an option then the 4th stage filter is a great solution.  However, this is not necessary if your unit is mounted in the garage or in any area where a little dust discharge would not cause major inconvenience.

How do I get a clog out of my pipe?

Locate the clog by determining which inlet has lost suction. Insert a plumbers snake (purchased at any hardware store) into the pipe through the inlet. This should release the debris that is built up.  If the inlet still has some suction you could try using our pipe cleaners instead of the plumbers snake.  These cleaning cloths not only help keep your system running, they are also great at helping to break up potential clogs.

How do I get a clog out of my hose?

You can use a plumbers snake to go through the hose to break up the debris caught in the hose.  A snake can be purchased at any hardware store.

I have no suction, what do I do?

You may have debris built up and causing a clog in one of your pipes. Check all of your inlets to see if there is suction in any of them, if not, start with the inlet closest to your mounted vacuum system and send a plumbers snake down each one to break up any debris built up, causing a clog.  Another area to check is under the canister.  Sometimes the plumbing can become disconnected causing a loss in suction. Also if you have a 2 motor system make sure each motor is blowing air out of their exhausts.  If you have one motor that is blowing and another sucking in air, then the issue is with a motor rather than as a result of a clog.

Do I have to have a muffler kit?

The muffler kits are optional and in most cases not needed. There are times however, where you need the unit to be as quiet as possible and these kits will get the job done!

I have an old system; do you still have replacement parts?

Yes we do!  Our systems have not changed very much over the years. Why mess with something that works great!  The only time you will run into an issue is if you have the old push button inlets (these require the use of a white button to turn the system on and off) or if you have an older CV-07 or CVS-07 that was manufactured before 1980.  We cannot get replacement brushes for those motors anymore.

How do I find someone to service my system?

You can call our 1-800-666-3133 number to locate a dealer in or near your area.

If there is not a dealer convenient to your location we can walk you through most repairs, or you can send the unit to us  for repairs.

Why is my vacuum turning on and off by itself?

This is a sign that the circuit board in the control box on the motor has a bad connection and needs to be replaced.  Please give us a call at 800-666-3133 and we can help you get it working again!

How do I find a local dealer?

Please call 1-800-666-3133 or email us at to ask about a dealer in your area.

How often should I change my filter bags?

We recommend changing the paper filter bags every 3-4 months and the cloth filter bags every 5-7 years.  Of course this is dependent on the amount of vacuuming you do within that time frame.  The cloth filter cannot be washed and should be replaced.  Washing will break down the fabric and  which can undermine performance.

Can I put a CentralVac system into an existing house that does not currently have one?

Yes, this is definitely possible! Call one of our specialists @ 1-800-666-3133 for help and a quote. Also, check out the DIY page for our installation guide as it has some recommendations on how to do this.

Will I have to demolish my wall in order to install a central vacuum?

Although it is easiest to install a central vacuum while building a new house, it is also fairly straightforward to install in existing homes. In virtually all instances, you will not need to demolish walls to install the tubing and wiring of a central vacuum system. However, you will need to install inlet valves into walls, which requires cutting holes into existing walls. Download our DIY Installation Manual for more detailed instructions.

There are so many CentralVac companies, why is yours the best?

The simple answer is “experience and expertise.” We were the first company to offer the “CentralVac” system in the 1950’s, so we have been providing these services and products for a long time! We know how a vacuum system should work.  We only sell CentralVac systems and this enables us to specialize in every aspect of our product. We pride ourselves in being able to help our customers  get the most out of their system.  Our systems are designed to run longer and provide more power than any others.  Our systems may not look as modern as others but they are far from outdated; when a customer calls for a new set of brushes  for their 30 year old  system, it only validates the reasons why we have left our design the way it is.

 Where is the best place to put my canister/motor?

The most common place to put your canister is in the basement or the garage.  Depending on your climate the unit can also be mounted outside, as long as it is protected from the weather.

Where should I locate my inlets while installing a vacuum?

This is a tricky question.  When you are considering where to install inlets, keep in mind that you will have a 30 or 35’ hose and that you will need to be able to work around furniture as you use it.  The rule of thumb is one inlet for every 500-700sq feet of living area.

Is there anyone I can call to troubleshoot over the phone if I have a problem with my system?

Yes, we do have specialists who can help you.  Just call 1-800-666-3133

How does a Centralvac compare to a portable vacuum?

The short answer is that there is no comparison.  A properly sized and installed CentralVac will easily out perform any upright or portable vacuum.  CentralVac systems use bigger, more powerful motors. If you tried to put one of those in an upright or portable vacuum, you’d never carry it around!

The brush on my electric powered brush does not turn, help!

First, if your model comes with one, try pressing the reset button on the top of the electric brush.  If that doesn’t work, or it doesn’t have a reset button, unplug your brush from any electrical source and turn it over to check for debris caught in the brush.  You can also take the bottom plate off and check the belt, which may need to be replaced.  If it still isn’t working give us a call (1-800-666-3133) and we will be happy to help!

What’s the purpose of a vacusweep?

The vacusweep is very handy when sweeping the floor.  There is no need for a dust pan, which can get very dirty and unsanitary, just tap the lever with your toe, it will open and turn the vacuum on. Then just sweep the debris into the pan and touch the lever with your toe again to close and turn it off.  No need for bending to scoop up dirt!

Where are you located?

We are located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

What size power unit should I install? Do I need one motor or two?

You can go by these stats when deciding on the size of your system:

2,000 or less sq feet CVS-07
2,000-4000 sq feet CVS-11
Up to 5,000 sq feet CVS-16
Up to 6,000 sq feet CVS-07DP
Up to 7,000 sq feet CVS- 11DP
7,000 sq feet and up CVS-16DP

What are the benefits of having a CentralVac system?

*Reduce allergy and asthma symptoms

*added value to home

*more powerful vacuum than portable vacuums

*large dirt collection, long life motors

 What is the warranty on the product?

Depending on the product there are several levels of warranty:

Power units (ex CVS-11) have a 90 day money back guarantee followed by a 7 year limited warranty for any defects.  After that we have a lifetime limited warranty which offers any replacement parts at 50% of retail value.  It is important to note that the units are only eligible for these warranties if the motor assembly has not been opened by the home owner.  In order for the units to be fixed under warranty they must be sent to us for inspection and repair/replacement.  If a unit has been opened or a repair attempted without our consent the warranty will be voided.

What is a hose sock and why do I need one?

A hose sock is optional but is highly recommended, it will save wear and tear on your hose but also on your trim and walls when the hose follows you through the house.

I would like to switch to an electric power head but my inlet valves do not have the wire connection, is there a way I can do this?

You can purchase a pigtail hose which has an electrical cord attached. it plugs into a 120v outlet while also attaching your hose to your vacuum inlet.  That will give you the power needed to run an electrical power brush.

Why won’t my system start?

First check the connection of your hose at the inlet; it may not be fully inserted.  You can also try pushing the reset button on your motor control box. Also make sure that you did not trip a circuit breaker.  If you are still unable to get it running, give us a call!

Why won’t my system shut off?

There are several reasons why this might be happening.  First your hose may have misaligned with the inlet.  If it is not kept in the 12 o’clock or 6 o’clock position it will cause the unit to keep running.  Another possibility is that your circuit board is faulty.  If you have push button inlets this is common with the wear and tear associated with age.  When this happens the control box and inlets need to be replaced.  Give us a call and we can walk you through it.

How does the central vacuum system turn on and off?

Running along the pipe is a low voltage control wire.  When you insert your hose into the inlet, the metal cuff makes a connection with that wire through some small metal beads.  This completes the circuit and starts the unit.  When you pull the hose out or turn the switch off, the circuit is broken and the units stops.  If you have old inlets the process is slightly different.

How much suction does the central vacuum system have?

This depends on the size of the unit you install.  Our units range from 84” of water to 135” of water.  IWL or inches of water lift is the unit of measure for suction.  IWL is not the only metric measurement to go off of when looking at units.  There is also the Air Watts and the CFM. The Air Watts gives you a little better gauge of the amount of power the unit will have at the end of the hose.

Does the central vacuum system need to be vented?

Not at all.  This is a personal choice. While our filters are very good there is still the possibility that some very small dust particles might get through.   If this is a concern for you then venting the unit outside is a great option.  Just keep in mind that the longer you run the vent pipe, the more power to you away from the system.  Try to keep it to 20” at a maximum.

What is the drawback to a one-step connection?

There really isn’t a drawback except for the slightly higher install cost.  The inlets cost a little more and you must run power to the inlets for the power head.  Other than that they work exactly the same.

What is the advantage to the one-step connector?

The biggest advantage is having one connection for everything.  If you don’t use the one-step connector or dual voltage inlets you will have a 2nd cord to pug in in order to get power to the power head.

At what stage of construction do I install the central vacuum system pipe?

You’ll want to do this just before the drywall or wall coverings go up.  Normally it is best to wait until the HVAC and electrical work is finished before you run the pipe. It is much easier for you to work around them than having them work around you.

If I need to replace my central vacuum do I have to use the same brand?  Are central vacuums universal at all?

Yes and no.  For the most part all central vacuum systems are plumbed the same. There are a few systems that require different sized piping.  For example Dirt Devil and Sears use a smaller pipe.  If you run into this issue we have adapters to make the new power unit compatible with pipe.

What are your shipping polices?

Orders from $0 – $99 ship for $7.99

Order from $100- $199 ship for $10.99

Orders over $200 ship free

This applies to the lower 48 states.  Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and out of the country carry a full freight cost, minus the amounts above. The 8’ bundles of pipe are always shipped full freight no matter where they are sent.  All of our orders are sent via FedEx.  If it is a smaller item like a belt, it may ship via USPS.

If there are no dealers is in my area, can I buy directly from you?

Yes!  Call, 1-800-666-3133 and someone can take your order over the phone or you can go to our web site and order from there,

Is it okay to enter my credit card information on your website?  Is it secure?

Yes, absolutely!!  Our entire site employs SSL encryption which you can verify by noting the green color in the address bar in your browser.  We also run regular checks of our site and Credit Card processing system to make sure they are as secure as they can be.

I have an odor in my central vacuum unit, how do I get rid of it?

We have a product called TORNADO CLOTHS that you can put through each inlet in your house to clean out the piping.  They have a fresh clean smell and will help remove that odor. They are also excellent at helping to remove clogs in the system.  After you suck one through each inlet just leave them in the canister and everything will stay smelling great for a while!

What is the difference between VacuSweep and Vac Pan?

There are 2 main differences.  The VacuSweep is designed to be installed under a cupboard only, while the Vac Pan can be installed both under a cupboard and  in a wall. Also the VacuSweep is operated by lifting the lever up where starting the Vac Pan requires moving the lever to the side.

What does pigtail and direct connect mean regarding hoses?

These terms are how we define the different hoses.  A direct connection hose has all the connections in one unit.  The pigtail hose has a 6’ extension cord that must be plugged in for the power head to work correctly.

Do I have to pay sales tax?

You will only pay sales tax if you live in MI, the products are shipped to an MI address, or if you’re billing address is in MI.

I need a copy of my receipt/invoice?  How do I get that?

Please email us at or call us at 1-800-666-3133

How do I use a coupon code on site?

If you have a coupon code you will need to enter it via our shopping cart page before you checkout.  Once you have all of your products in the cart, click on Shopping Cart on the right side of the website and you will see the option to add a coupon code.

What is your return policy?

CentralVac products carry a 5-day refund policy from the date your products are received unless otherwise stated.

All returns must be returned in a sellable condition in order to receive a refund.

Opened consumable products or damaged products cannot be refunded.

A CentralVac issued Return Merchant Authorization (RMA) number must be written on the outside of the return box. If there is no RMA on the box the return will not be accepted and no refund will be issued.

CentralVac is not responsible for refunding the shipping costs to either originally send or to return products. The customer is responsible for all shipping costs.

•All products returned for credit must be in the same condition as when they left our warehouse.

When will my order typically ship?

Typically orders placed by 1pm ship the same day but no later than the next business day.  If you visit the shipping page on our website you can calculate the time in transit.

Do you make an outlet for a retrofit installation into a Sheetrock wall?

You would need to purchase part # CVIH-07-1-PP10, Low Voltage Mounting Bracket, and cut the mounting bracket off the side of it.  By doing this you will be able to get the bracket into the wall using the standard sized hole.  Then once the cover is screwed on it will sandwich the drywall between the cover and the bracket which will hold it in place.  Please note, this is only of the low voltage inlets.

What are my payment options?

We except Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.

Where do I find user manuals?

Go under the DIY tab and you will find information regarding manuals and other Do It Yourself user guides.

How do I sign up for email promotions?

You can place an order or send us an email at requesting to be placed on the mailing list.  We DO NOT sell our customer list and we will not send you a bunch of emails.  We are on mailing lists too so we get it!

What is the difference between CV-07 and CVS-07?  (ex: CV-11 vs  CVS-11) and (CV-16 vs CVS-16)?

The only difference is the age of the unit.  Older units used the CV-xx part numbers and now we use CVS-xx.  A CVS-07 is the same as a CV-07.

I have a model number of CV-150-L10.  Why is this model number different than your typical series model number for your vacuums?

That’s a great question! That part number is the same as a CVS-11.

How do I determine what type of inlets I have?

A) Direct Connect

Direct Connect

B) Low Voltage


C) Push Button

Push button

D) Vaculet


E) Cherry Switch

cherry switch

I have push button inlets, and my vacuum won’t turn on, what do I do?

Give us a call.  There are some parts that need to be swapped out.  It is a pretty simple process most of the time but we can walk you through it.

What style hose handle do I have?

A) Style A

style a

B) Style B

style b

C) Style C

style c

Why would my canister lid collapse?

This typically happens when the unit was run with all the inlets closed.  On most of the units there is a manual on/off switch. If this is turned on the unit will run without an open inlet and this can collapse the lid.

My system has a 3rd stage metal foam filter?  Do I need this?

No.  In fact we no longer sell these.  If you have one please remove it.  It has been found that this filter is decreasing performance in the units.

Why would the bottom of my canister crack?

This can happen if the motor is not lined up correctly with the unit. Or something has hit the piping. While it is rare, a clog in the system can also cause this to happen.

What is the difference between air powered brush vs electric brush?

The main difference is the amount of power they have for the agitator.  The air power brush runs off the air flow through the pipe.  The electric brush runs off 110V electricity.  The air powered brush is good for area rugs or very tight carpet. For anything else the electric brush is best.

3 Different Logos:

Over the years, our company has had three different logos.  Depending on the age of your system you will have one of the logos pictured below.

A) Man saluting you


B) Has a global with CentralVac International


C) (Newest one) vacuum cleaner


What colors have your vacuum units been in past?

3 different colors:



Light Tan


Pewter  current color


How is our system different than others?

The biggest difference between our systems and others is that our motors are not housed in the same unit as the dust collection.  By separating them, our motors run cooler and cleaner, which provides you with a longer lasting system.

What size are your PVC pipes?

CentralVac systems normally use a thin wall 2” OD PVC pipe.  This is not a pipe that can be purchased at home depot or other stores.

I have a black sooty PVC pipe by my canister. Why is that?

This normally indicates that your brushes in the motor(s) are running out.  As they wear they will give off a carbon dust which will stick to the unit and the piping.

Why would my motor all of a sudden stop working?

The number one reason is that the brushes have worn out. The other possibility is that something has happened to the circuit board or low voltage system.  Give us a call 1-800-666-3133 and we can trouble shoot it with you.

Filters fit in following units for 1st stage paper filer bags & 2nd stage cloth filter bags

Filters fit the following units:














I need filter paper bags CV-624 or CV612?  What is your current part number?

RVB-01-6000, paper filter bags come in a 6 package.  These filters are normally for RV systems.

I need paper filter bags CV-722A.  What is the current part number?

CVB-01-6000, paper filters bags come in a 6 package.

I need cloth filter bag, part number CV-720?  What is current part number?

CVB-02-1000 (2nd stage cloth filter bag)

Should I do a self-install or a professional installation? 

If you have some experience with construction or remodeling, then you may be able to install a central vacuum unit yourself. It usually takes several days or a weekend to install. However, if you’re not 100% confident in your abilities to perform the installation yourself, a professional installation is probably the best solution. Additionally, a professional installation by someone with experience installing central vacuum systems is the best way to ensure optimal efficiency and airflow, as well as fewer repairs and maintenance of your CentralVac system in the future.

How much electricity does a central Vacuum use? 

The amount of power a central vacuum uses depends on the size and model of the power unit. The recommended power unit depends on how large of an area is to be cleaned by your central vacuum. For example, the single-motor CVS-07 CentralVac power unit uses 8 amps (recommended for medium-sized installs), while the double-motor CVS-07DP (recommended for large areas of up to 6000 square feet) uses 16 amps.

Can I use a Central Vacuum to clean vinyl, tile or hardwood floors?

Yes. In fact, CentralVac sells quite a few attachments to aid you in cleaning multiple surfaces, including furniture, bookshelves, hardwood floors, tile, vinyl, heaters, air conditioners—even laptops and DVDs with our Micro Tools kit.