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Central Vacuum Clogs
Anyone building, or having a home built; should consider installing a central vacuum before there is sheetrock installed. Central vacuum systems usually have their motor and filter bag in the garage or outside, and only the hose and rug powerhead unit inside the residence. The filter bags in central vacuums are usually much larger than regular home vacuums, and changing them usually does not expose you to the dirt. Another benefit is that central vacuuming is quieter, because the motor is located far away.
Central vacuums are available for almost any structure. Tiny homes, mobile homes, and trailers, can use the cheap and powerful Eureka Yellow Jacket vacuum as their central vacuum system's main unit. This model of vacuum is very powerful for its size, and for that reason it is often called a service vacuum. This vacuum is not designed to be a portable home vacuum, however its power means it can usually unclog central vacuum tubes, and might come in handy for certain cleanup jobs.
A problem with central vacuum systems are their long plastic tubing installed over, under, or inside the walls of the house. The tubing can get clogged over the years. Obviously, if you vacuum golf balls and dirt, it might clog instantly. When one of my central vacuum tubes clogged, I Googled and found a blog from the folks at www.mountainCentralVac.com. For about $150 or so, they had a central vacuum de-clog kit. I figured it would cost nearly that much to hire someone to remove the clog in my central vacuum tubing. Their kit includes the Eureka Yellow Jacket vacuum unit itself, and hoses and adapters to fit central vacuum systems. So many products are not standard-sized, luckily central vacuuming hoses and fittings are.
The Yellow Jacket seems stronger than most vacuums, and it is strong enough to remove most clogs. While one might be able to find the Eureka Yellow Jacket vacuum cheaper somewhere else, it is silly not to buy it from www.mountainCentralVac.com; because in one kit you are saved from ordering other parts, or driving all over town to make everything fit together. On their site, it is not so easy to find it, it is under Products/New Products for Central Vacuums/New Products/Central Vacuum Clog Removal Kit.
Their kit works well, but it is not perfect. I had some difficulty figuring out how to attach the hose to their fittings. The hose seems too big for their plastic nozzles. They have good support, and they quickly emailed me, "You screw them on counter-clockwise, opposite of how you would screw a light bulb in". I found that did not work for me, and that duct tape worked great to attach things, and a few wraps of the duct tape made it strong. It turns out my clog was not one big thing; it was a combination of a thumb tack, small pieces of paper, a paper clip, and a whole bunch of dense grey fuzz. Some things I learned when I removed my clog include:
1) The way unclogging central vacuum tubes works, is by removing air from the clogged tube, with the air going the opposite direction; to make the clog come back to you. Of course, if you have vacuumed glue or cement, you will never be able to unclog it.
2) There is no on-and-off switch on the Yellow Jacket vacuum, it has two wires with spade lugs on the ends. It is very-low voltage, so you just keep them touched together, to keep the unit running.
3) On a hunch, I opened up the other non-clogged central vacuuming ports in my house, and undid the vacuum filter bag assembly; because I thought that would help the air flow. I hooked the Yellow Jacket up, and let it run for a few minutes. I noticed it was getting hot, and the outward tube air flow was restricted, so I turned it off; and saw in my wall plate the edge of a gray-colored fur-ball. I simply tugged at the end of the fur-ball, to pull it forward, and got about half of it out. Then, I reconnected the Yellow Jacket, and this time it quickly sucked the rest of the clog, and the exhaust airflow quickly resumed. That was it, the clog was gone. Now my Yellow Jacket sits in my garage, ready for the next clog.
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