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Old 02-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Central Vac Wiring


I just moved in a house and it has central vac. It was just put in by the previous home owners and the downstairs plug in has 2 white wires coming out and out of those two wires, there are 4 smaller ones coming out. A red, black, green and yellow. Downstairs it has a black and green together and on the other connection, it has a red and yellow together.

Out of the one white, the red and black are twisted off and on the other white wire, the yellow and green are twisted off. The vac works fine down stairs.

Up stairs, there is one white wire with red, black, yellow and green coming out and only the red and black are connected and the green and yellow are twisted off. Needless to say, the upstairs vac does not work. Any idea's on why and if the wiring is set up right for the up stairs.

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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Central Vac Wiring


When installing these, anyone can use any color wires they want.

So you would need a wiring diagram of the central vac system which would be in the instructions or installation manual. Then see which wires they connected to what at the central vac. Then also along the way at junction boxes.

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Central Vac Wiring


There was no manual when we moved in. To the unit in the garage, there is only the red and black wire hooked up. The green and yellow have not even been stripped. The downstairs has black and green together and red with yellow.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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Central Vac Wiring


It sounds like the installed the control wiring using the old 4-conductor phone wires. I suppose that since phone wiring is now using CAT-3 and CAT-5, anyone who had the old straight 4-conductor (22 or 24 gauge) wire lying around their shop was looking for a place to use it up.

Some might consider that vacuum system control wiring could be one place to use up such wire.

Try connecting those spare wires together so all the connections have black/green together on one terminal, and red/yellow together on the other. It could be possible that one of those tiny conductors has broken somewhere along the line.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
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Central Vac Wiring


If there is just one wire at the central vac, then try to follow that wire from vac location to vac location. They may have switched wire colors along the way.

Or if you have an attic and can see the wires, look for junction boxes.

Or junction boxes in a basement or crawl space.

They may have run the wires from central vac, to 1st connection, to next connection, etc. Or used junction boxes. Or anything you can imagine!

Many times you can get installation instructions from the manufacturer's web site.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
If there is just one wire at the central vac, then try to follow that wire from vac location to vac location. They may have switched wire colors along the way.

Or if you have an attic and can see the wires, look for junction boxes.

Or junction boxes in a basement or crawl space.

They may have run the wires from central vac, to 1st connection, to next connection, etc. Or used junction boxes. Or anything you can imagine!

Many times you can get installation instructions from the manufacturer's web site.



The central vac unit is in the garage and plugs into an outlet. There is one white wire that comes from the wall, follows the pipe and to the unit. Out of that one white wire, there is 4 colors coming out. Red, black, green and yellow. The red and black are connected to the unit, the green and yellow are not.

The vac outlet in the wall, in the basement has 2 white wires connected to it. A red black together and a green and yellow together. The vac works great in the basement.

The upstairs vac outlets (2) of them do not work. They just have a red and black connected to them. I have tried connected the red with the yellow, the black with the green, the red with the green, the black with the yellow, the red with the black and the green with the yellow and in ALL cases, when I plugged the vac back in, it automatically came on. With out, the vac head plugged into the outlet.

The only way the vac has not come on, is with just the red and black connected but there vac would NOT turn on when I plugged the head into the outlet.

Any suggestions with out having to rip dry wall off?
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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Central Vac Wiring


Well I don't have a wiring diagram for the central vac to work with, so I will guess...

You say red and black are connected at the central vac.

Usually the way these work is that you would short those two wires together and this would turn on the vacuum.

And there would be a switch in a vacuum outlet which when wired to this wiring, would short the two wires when you opened the door or inserted a vacuum hose.

With that said, it sounds like the wiring goes from vacuum outlet to vacuum outlet.

Before doing anything, make note of how everything is wired now.

Next that white 4 conductor wire should go to one vacuum outlet...

Disconnect the wires at all vacuum outlets so no wires are touching any other wires.

Then at each wire, try shorting red and black.

One white wire, when red and black are shorted, should cause the vacuum to turn on. This would be the wire going to the central vacuum in the garage!

Next connect that red and black wire to the other white wire's red and black. Red to red - black to black. Go to another vacuum outlet and see if shorting red and black on one of the wires now gets the vacuum to turn on?

If yes, then again connect red to red, black to black. And the last vacuum outlet should now work when red and black are shorted.

Last would be to connect the red and black wires to the switches in each vacuum outlet.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
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Central Vac Wiring


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Well I don't have a wiring diagram for the central vac to work with, so I will guess...

You say red and black are connected at the central vac.

Usually the way these work is that you would short those two wires together and this would turn on the vacuum.

And there would be a switch in a vacuum outlet which when wired to this wiring, would short the two wires when you opened the door or inserted a vacuum hose.

With that said, it sounds like the wiring goes from vacuum outlet to vacuum outlet.

Before doing anything, make note of how everything is wired now.

Next that white 4 conductor wire should go to one vacuum outlet...

Disconnect the wires at all vacuum outlets so no wires are touching any other wires.

Then at each wire, try shorting red and black.

One white wire, when red and black are shorted, should cause the vacuum to turn on. This would be the wire going to the central vacuum in the garage!

Next connect that red and black wire to the other white wire's red and black. Red to red - black to black. Go to another vacuum outlet and see if shorting red and black on one of the wires now gets the vacuum to turn on?

If yes, then again connect red to red, black to black. And the last vacuum outlet should now work when red and black are shorted.

Last would be to connect the red and black wires to the switches in each vacuum outlet.


So, are you saying that the green and yellows should not be attached at all because the one outlet in the basement with the 2 white wires coming out, is the only spot where the yellows and greens are being used....everywhere else is just red and black.

The outlet in the basement, the black is on one connector and the red is on the other. Black is with the green and red is with the yellow but that is the only place that the green and yellow are being used.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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Central Vac Wiring


P.S. when you say "shorting" do you mean wiring them together?
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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Central Vac Wiring


Short means the two wires are connected. Touched together.

For right now, we are just trying to keep it simple. Only using two wires.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:00 PM   #11
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Central Vac Wiring


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Short means the two wires are connected. Touched together.

For right now, we are just trying to keep it simple. Only using two wires.

Got it! Thanks. I had to connect the 2 yellows and two greens, the 2 reds and the two blacks together.

The greens went to the blacks, the reds to the yellows and all plug ins work
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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Central Vac Wiring


Good job!

That was the next step which you figured out on your own.

Sometimes wires which are run may get damaged, so you need to use another color/spare wire. Whatever works!
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:31 PM   #13
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Central Vac Wiring


i need a wiring diagram for my Filtex NTSP700. Where on busboard to connect main power wires?

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