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Old 02-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #1
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Central Vac Wiring


Can I use 22/2 wire for the low voltage wiring for a central vac system? I have free access to enough of it for the job, and it would save me having to buy any lower guage wire, but I'm worried that it might be to thin for the application.

Any help is appreciated.

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Darryn

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Old 02-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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The last one I installed spec'd 18-2....what do your installation instructions call for?

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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Darryn,

It will work, but depending on location you may have a code requirement or not. I prefer 18/2 becaiuse it's more durable. If you use the 22 be careful and gentle stripping it.

Where I live in Canada there is no code, but I insist on CSA /UL approved wire and never use clear insulated. I have been doing vac installs and service calls for 20 plus years and had 3 service calls where mice chewed the wire...but it only happened on clear speaker wire
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies- I'm roughing the vac system piping/wiring in while I have the walls open (for a different project) so I have no installation instructions, its all me! I wont be installing the actual vac unit for a little while, and it will be long after the drywall is repaired.

Chemist- I'm in Toronto, so no code as well, but you have me thinking...although I don't have any mice in the house now (that I know of!) I am in an older part of the city, and I guess it's a real possibility that someday I could, so maybe it's best not to cheap out on something that could end up costing me down the road...

Thanks again.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
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Hey Darryn,
Let me know if you decide to go with a vac. I can offer some suggestions. I'm in Waterloo.
When you do your rough in's remember to use the short 90 elbows only at the inlet. They are designed to work as a trap, so at the inlet is correct but no where else down line.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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Hey Darryn,

A couple of things for you to consider...with the correct PVC fitting you can adapt from the thin walled vac tube to standard schedule 40. If you're not planning on using it right now...you should consider installing the outlets with AC power for power driven attachments like carpet sweepers. As for the low voltage wiring...I know you have a free stash....but if you're going to the effort why skimp on a grand total of $20 for your project? Do it right...do it once.

A couple of resources for you: An installation manual from Nutone; it talks about wiring and piping etc...I'd bet it's generic enough to apply to many MFG's. I used it for my personal install and got along great. The second is an online guide... Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:27 PM   #7
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Thanks again guys,

Chemist-I was forced to use a short 90 at one other location, simply due to space restrictions (I could have avoided using it by choosing a different route for the tubing, but it would have made everything past that point alot more difficult), hopefully it doesnt cause any problems, all of the other bends were made with longer 90s. Not sure when I will install the vac, probably later in the year- any you would suggest avoiding alltogether?

Rippy-Thanks for the advice. I ended up springing for the 18/2, like you said, might as well do it right. I ended up using the standard thin walled vac tubing, it was six bucks and change for 10 foot lengths at Home Depot, and I only used 4 (fairly small semi-detached house). I have located the inlets within a couple of feet from the closest electrical receptacles, so I think I'm good to go if I decide to go for a power head for the vac. Actually, the reason I had the walls open was a complete house rewire to rid myself of the dreaded K&T, so I had a little freedom as to locations. Thanks for the links, especially the nutone one, very helpful!

Thanks again for all the great info guys!
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
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Dar, If you want and of course if your wall is till open post a photo of that extra short 90. I might be able to give you another option . Two short 90s in a run is not a good idea, but it is a common error for sure
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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At work we install central vac. We use 18-2 and sometimes 18-4. to be honest i like 18-4 because we ran into a problem when someone put a screw or staple through the wire so all we did was use the other pair.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevyman30571 View Post
At work we install central vac. We use 18-2 and sometimes 18-4. to be honest i like 18-4 because we ran into a problem when someone put a screw or staple through the wire so all we did was use the other pair.
That's a great idea!
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:22 PM   #11
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18/4 can get pierced as easily as 18/2 but yes your odds of recovering with 18/4 are better. In new construction I always use protection plates at the floor and ceiling and I generally offset my pipe 1/2" from studs to avoid drywall screws. I also rotate my wire and clip it to the side of the pipe. If the drywaller doesn't hit the pipe or wire the baseboard insatller has good odds.

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