My Central Vacuum System No Longer Has Suction

We’re a full service retailer here at Central Vacuum Stores so our associates do much more than just sell vacuum components. We also spend a lot of our day answering your calls and troubleshooting your issues. One of the most frequent concerns we hear is in regards to a central vacuum unit no longer working or no longer providing suction. 

Loss of suction on a central vacuum can be caused by a number of issues.
To narrow it down, we can guide you through several "checkpoints" to find
the cause.

Simple Checkpoints:

These issues would cause a limited or reduced suction power. Perhaps you’ve noticed your vacuum no longer picks up dirt like it used to. Start with these exams first…

 Canister or filter bag might be full. 
Empty canister or replace filter bag.

 Filter bag might be damaged (torn, hole etc). 
Replace or repair filter bag.

To view replacement bags click here

 Secondary filter might be dirty.
Clean or replace secondary filter.

To view replacement filters click here

 Exhaust vent system might be blocked or clogged.
Clear blockage.

 Dirt canister might not be installed properly
Fasten or repair latches to dirt canister

Secondary Checkpoints:

These issues would cause a serious decrease or complete loss of suction in your central vacuum system. Follow these exams to locate the issue…

 Clog In Hose:

How to determine a clog in your hose

Take your central vacuum hose and connect it directly to the dirt canister/power unit. After turning on the vacuum if the hose has normal suction here then the clog exists in your tubing, not in your hose (see below for help clearing tubing clogs.)

But, if you experience reduced suction at the canister then your hose is clogged. Here are some solutions:

  • Plug hose in reverse into the inlet located on your unit and turn on the system. This should aspirate the clog out.
  • Or, remove the hose from the inlet and push a garden hose through hose to push out the clog. Most importantly, the garden hose must be turned off and there should be absolutely no water entering your vacuum hose.
  • Or, remove the hose from inlet and drop in a heavy object such as a screwdriver to push out clog.

If you are still unsuccessful in clearing out the hose clog, please call us at 1-800-221-8227.

 Partial Clog In Tubing:

 How to determine a partial clog in tubing

  • Turn on unit at the canister and insert a TornadoPower® Cloth through each inlet. If the cloth gets to the canister in one piece you do not have a blockage in that inlet, move on to the next inlet and test again. If the cloth gets to the canister but is torn or ripped you probably have a partial clog or blockage. Even if you find a clog in one of the inlets, test all the inlets one at a time to make sure you don’t have more than one clog. Click here to view the TornadoPower® Cloth Video
  • Plug hose into each inlet and place hand over hose end in order to build up air pressure and then release. Try this a couple of times in each inlet.

If you are still unsuccessful in clearing out the partial tubing clog, please call us at 800-221-8227.

 Full Clog In Tubing:

 How to determine a full clog in tubing

  • Turn on unit at the canister and insert a TornadoPower® Cloth through each inlet. If the cloth gets to the canister in one piece you do not have a blockage in that inlet, move on to the next inlet and test again. If the cloth does not make it back to the canister then you have a clog/obstruction in your tubing. Click here to view the TornadoPower® Cloth Video
  •  After you find which inlet run is affected, turn off your central vacuum system and then remove the canister from the system. Then by using a separate vacuum (such as portable wet/dry canister or shop-vac) plug in the hose into the inlet and try to aspirate the clog out. This method works most of the time.
  • If the above did not work, you can try using a plumber’s snake through the inlet to push the clog out.

If you are still unsuccessful in clearing out the tubing clog, please call us at 800-221-8227.

 Leak In The System:

 Things To Look For

If you are still unsuccessful in determining where the leak is occurring in your system, please call us at 1-800-221-8227.

If you continue to have issues, there may be another underlying cause that requires more serious examination. We’re happy to assist you in determining whether your power unit or hose system needs repair. Call one of our installation experts at 1-800-221-8227 to get even more help.

For a visual troubleshooting guide, SEE HERE!

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