Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Central Vacuum PVC vs Regular PVC

Some of the concerns we've heard from people in the industry. The most common question asked regarding piping has been, "Can't I use PVC that I can get an Home Depot or something?". The answer is NO you can't.

Here's why:
Plumbing pipe does not meet the ASTM F2158-01 standard that was specifically written for pipe and fittings to be used in central vacuum systems. this standard, while not in force all over, is now being checked by inspectors in more and more areas. Since plumbing pipe does not meet this standard on several points, technically, a building inspector can reject an installation and order the pipe removed.

In a completed house, if they find a piece of pipe in a wall, they won't be able to tell if it is central vacuum tubing or plumbing pipe if everything has been done in the plumbing pipe.
Does the slower speed of air and dirt flowing through the plumbing pipe affect the performance of the central vacuum units? I don't have the answer but the 2" plumbing pipe is about 10% larger ID than vacuum pipe which translates to a 21% larger cross sectional area. This theoretically slows the speed through the pipe by 21%. Dirt moving at a slower speed may drop out and collect somewhere and plug up the piping system.

Is the smoothness (or lack of smoothness) of the plumbing pipe an issue? Are the inside joint areas between the plumbing pipe and the corresponding fitting smooth enough for dirt flow?
How are the transitions handled between the plumbing pipes to the outlets, canisters, etc.

It's important to use the right pipe and not skimp on a few bucks here and there. Do the right thing the first time around.

For purchasing central vacuum pipe you can either give us a call at 1-800-322-2965 or visit the installation materials page for everything you need to properly install your central vacuum.