Central Vacuum has weak sucking flow?

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Old 04-20-08, 08:19 AM
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Central Vacuum has weak sucking flow?

Have Filtex central vacuum with two ports. It has lost about 85% of its capability. I have cleaned out the hose and the two ports along with the piping into the unit in the basement (using a foam ball) and lots of lint and animal hair was retrieved, and installed a fresh/new throw-away bag. I replaced the permanent filter bag and the last filter just above the inlet to motor on the base of the unit.
After cleaning it, the gain was about 10%, it still doesn't suck nearly enough to make any of the floor attachments work. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 04-20-08, 08:39 AM
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I have no experience with central vacs but have always been able to fix anything I touch, based on so many other diagnostics/ repairs in my life.

I HAVE had vacuums apart and worked on them.

I would split your diagnostics into 2 seperate things: 1. Is the piping clear? 2. Does the vacuum motor itself work?

If #2., could be bad motor armature, poor brushes, or missing pieces from the suction fan vanes if it has that, as a few possibilities. Could perhaps do an amp test and compare to company spec.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for getting back!
The dual motors both work fine. I haven't been as far as the impeller section yet. Everything is free and clear to the unit case.
I will take the next layer of metal/plastic off to see if I can get to the impeller section. It looks sealed.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 08:47 AM
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I have had to replace impellers on my old Electrolux. They are real thin and flimsy. Keep us updated.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 10:40 AM
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And is there a secondary filter that you never knew about?
 
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Old 04-20-08, 12:06 PM
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I've removed all of the bags, and am down near the motors. Not too sure just how the next section comes out. I removed several long screws, the center filter and nothing moves.
Would you know if there is any exploded views available? I'd like to see what might be holding the next piece in place.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 07:04 PM
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These usually have an inlet on the master unit. Did you have good suction there? If so, is has to be piping. Is the removable canister seating properly? If not, you won't get good suction. Is the exhaust blocked? If it can't pump the air out, it won't be able to suck it in.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 08:23 PM
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I wasn't able to remove the layer of metal/plastic at the base of the bag area. The inlet doesn't appear to have much suction, so it's possible that the exhaust is blocked somewhat. I cannot find the exhaust port, if there is one.
this unit has two motors with small fans attached at the bottoms of the motors. They protude into the suction housing, but I am unable to see any exhaust port.
 
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Old 04-20-08, 08:54 PM
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Usually a central vac canister has two 2 inch pipe fittings on the side. One is suction inlet to piping, the other is exhaust. This my just exhaust into the garage, or a pipe may run into the attic and exhaust there or to the outside.

The removable canistor is just the part you take off to change the bag. If it doesn't seal tight, you won't get suction.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 03:26 AM
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FYI: My unit is manufactured by M&S Systems. It is a Filtex model 700 series. Also, when I previously spoke of two ports, I meant that the house has two vacuum ports, not that the vacuum unit has two ports. It may, but I can only see the vacuum inlet port at the top of the bag area.
My unit is completely void of external exhaust piping. There is an inlet pipe at the top of the unit (bag top) and under the bag is the suction port. At the bottom of the unit, there are slots along the lower 7-inches around the can. Attached to the very bottom is a slotted cover, which internally fits over two motors and the various switches, fuses, and wiring. Each motor has a fan attached. When the unit is on, I can feel airflow bleeding out the bottom of the vacuum, although it doesn't appear to be blasting out, simply blowing.
Like I said in an earlier response, I tried unsuccessfully to remove the surround ring from the inlet port at the base of the bag area.
I would like to see a breakdown of how this unit is assembled so that I might have a clue as to where the impeller is located and how I can get access to it.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 08:09 AM
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Here is a neat flow chart I ran across. See if it helps troubleshoot your problem.

http://builtinvacuum.com/flowchrt.html
 
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Old 04-27-08, 02:09 PM
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I would like to know what the problem was.

To fellow posters. If you have a problem and several people are trying to help by suggesting different things, it be nice of you to post back to let us know what it was, as this may help others.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 03:38 AM
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I still have the problem of no suction power. The motor unit still works, I've cleaned the entire length of the piping throughout the house, cleaned the cloth bag, installed a new disposable paper filter bag, blew out the canister unit as best as possible, removed the lower portion to expose the two motor units, and yet, somewhere along the line, the suction has dropped considerably.
If anyone knows of where I might find an exploded view, maybe then I can see where the problem may lie. This has been confusing.
FYI: Unlike newer central vac units, this one does not have an external exhaust port; unless it is located internally and simply vents out of the housing. Our unit has an inlet under the top, and below the bag area on the outside of the cylinder there are slots all around the unit to the bottom. There is a portion that I have been unable to remove, below the bag area.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 06:37 AM
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Make certain you do not have a secondary filter, because if you do, that right there could cause your problem.

Regarding your suction lines: Could you test them out by using say a shop vac held up to a line and see how the suction is at the other end?

Did you thoroughly read that troubleshooting guide submitted by a fellow poster, below?
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:28 PM
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There is a secondary filter, located below the permanent bag. I removed it and turned the unit on to see if it would have been the culprit, but I came away with the same result: lots of noise but very little suction. The unit has been noisy from the get-go since it was new.
Early on, I used my shop vac and back-sucked the pipes for blockage, but found nothing. Then I used the shop vac in place of the central unit and the pipes were fine with good suction.
The flowchart has me headed towards the central vac unit itself. My next step will be to remove the unit and see what I can find with the two motor assemblies.
 
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Old 04-29-08, 06:35 AM
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Then it sounds like you have verified it being the vac itself, by the shopvac test. You maybe think the central vac sucks pretty good, but may have forgotten how well it can pull if all is well about it. Bad brushes (could be likely culprit), bad armature, bad/worn or clogged impeller, or bad passageway in the vac somewhere between suction port and where the junk is deposited.
 
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