How to Unclog a Central Vacuum System

If you have a central vacuum system in your home, you know how easy and amazing it is to use when it’s time to clean. You can clean any corner of any room in your house without ever having to lug around a heavy vacuum tank. All you have to do is pull out or plug in a hose from the nearest vacuum outlet and get to work. You also get the suction and cleaning capacity of the best vacuums on the market—but without all the noise since the power unit is typically located down in the basement or out in the garage.

The only issue with the quiet of a central vacuum is that it can be hard to detect a clog in the system, especially if the drop in suction is relatively small. When you do get a clog in your system, it’s easy to get things running again.

Clog Prevention
Knowing how to unclog a central vacuum system is an important part of using it. The first step, of course, is prevention. Having your system regularly inspected or serviced, either by yourself or by a professional, will help you to avoid clogs. However, if you are reading this, you have probably gotten past the prevention stage and need to know how to unclog a central vacuum system now.

Determine Where the Central Vacuum System is Clogged
The first step in unclogging your system is to determine where the clog is located. This is easier than it sounds. You discovered the clog using you central vac at one outlet. Check the central vacuum hose you are using to see if it is clogged. If it’s not clogged, you’ll need to check the other outlets near the outlet you were using. If those are not clogged, then the obstruction is most likely near the outlet you are using. If they are clogged as well, then the clog could be further down the line or in the central unit itself.

If all the vac lines are not working properly, check the central system to see if the canister needs to be emptied or if a filter needs to be changed. You can do this yourself following the manufacturer’s instructions on the unit.

Unclogging the Central Vacuum Lines
If the clog is in the lines leading to the outlets, the fix is relatively easy. You will need another vacuum. (You may need to borrow one since you got your central vac to replace regular vacuums!) Put the suction hose of the other vacuum up to the central vac outlet nearest the clog. You might need to use your hands or a rag around the edge to create enough of a seal. The vacuum can then suck out the blockage. Typical obstructions include large hairballs, small toys, or pieces of plastic.

Once you have unclogged your central vacuum system, you are ready to use it again. You are also ready to practice the clog prevention you just learned to appreciate. For more tips or assistance, contact us at Central Vac anytime you need help or have questions.