Central Vacuum Installation Pt. 2: Wiring
A central vacuum is a built-in vacuuming system that can be used in every room without having to carry around a bulky machine. Much like a central heat and air unit, the central vacuum unit sits in the basement and has tubes that run throughout the house. Each room has a wall outlet into which you plug the hose to vacuum the room. A lot of new homes are now being built with these systems as an option. If you have an older home, however, it is possible to install a central vacuum system.
While wiring a central vacuum can be done by a do-it-yourselfer, you may want to have a professional help you with this part of the installation. It is important to organize the wires and know where each one is going. Here are a few steps to follow when wiring your central vacuum unit.
Step 1 - Have a Plan
Before you start running wire all over your house, take the time to write a plan down on paper. It does not have to be a perfect blueprint. However, a diagram of your home with color-coordinated wires going to each room will help. Sit down with a blank piece of paper and draw out your plan for installing the wires.
Step 2 - Run Wires
You will need to locate the outlets on either the walls or floors of the rooms, for both the piping and the wiring. You can only set up controls for a given number of outlets so make sure you plan accordingly. The best place is in the floor, but if you need to use a wall, place the outlet for the vacuum as low as possible.
Set the outlet panel on the floor and mark the dimensions. Carefully cut it out by drilling a hole into the corner of your mark. After you have drilled the hole, use a jigsaw to cut out the rest of the hole.
Do this for each location. After the holes are done you can start running wires down to the basement. For rooms on the bottom floor this is easily done by dropping them into the floor. The upper floors will need to be finished through the walls.
Step 3 - Connect Wires to Unit
Once you have the outlet wires run down to the unit control box you can cut off the insulation on the wires and group all the like wires together. Connect them to the control box. Next take the wires on each outlet box and strip off the insulation about 1 inch from the end. Wrap it around the connections on the outlet box and secure it with a screwdriver.
Step 4 - Place Outlet Box in Wall
Once the wires are connected you can then install the outlet box into the wall. Slide it into the hole and secure it with screws provided.