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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a Beam central vac and the manual really gets into no detail whatsoever.

Each of my inlets has one white wire. Inside of that white wire, there are 4 others (red, black, yellow, green).

I was under the assumption that all I would have to do is keep the same color pairing at each inlet and at the main power unit in order for it to work but that doesn't seem to be the case.

What I tried was pairing black/yellow and red/green at each inlet. One pairing went to one of the screws on the back of the plate. Then, I kept the same pairing at the power unit and one of each pairing went inside of the connectors there.

Any other ideas as this strategy didn't work. I can't see what the wiring is like inside of the walls so no too sure what to do.
 

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Mad Scientist
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What is the model number of the system? The only manual I could find is indeed very general.

So this is just a stab in the dark: There should be two screw terminals on each inlet. One wire goes to each screw. Let's use red and black, why not. So put the red wire on one screw, the black wire on the other screw. At some point where the cables from various inlets come together, splice each red wire together with a wirenut, and each green wire together with a wire nut. Continue the cable to the central unit.

At the central unit, put the red wire in one side of the low voltage connector, and the gren wire in the other side.
 

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Err, wait. What do you mean you can't see what the wiring is like inside the walls? Did you not install this system? If someone else installed this system for you, why did they not finish the job?
 

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First you will have to check all the wiring with a meter to make sure all the colors match throughout he entire system, then hook it up. If that don't work call the Company and speak with a tech rep.
 

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What type of connections are on your outlets? Do they have more than two terminals? I have seen installations where they used phone wire (which is what it sounds like you have) and one set of the wire is not used.
 

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how many of these white wires do you have at the vacuum?
 

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Here, I made a quick drawing of how the wiring for sockets is supposed to be done. The wiring is parallel. When any of the sockets shorts, the system turns on. There are two types of sockets, ones that short the connection when the socket is opened and ones that allow the hose switch to create the complete the circuit.

I have both in my house. My garage has a non-switched hose so the outlet completes the circuit when I open it. The rest of the house has a switch on the hose, so the socket makes a connection to the hose only.

Here is the drawing of how to wire your sockets. It's pretty crude, but you can see how simple it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Err, wait. What do you mean you can't see what the wiring is like inside the walls? Did you not install this system? If someone else installed this system for you, why did they not finish the job?

It was roughed in by the builder when the house was built. All I have access to is the inlets and the white wire at each of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
how many of these white wires do you have at the vacuum?

The rough in has two pipes in the garage. One pipe comes from upstairs and one from the main floor down to the basement and back up to the garage.

Each pipe has the same white wire with 4 of the colored wires inside of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What type of connections are on your outlets? Do they have more than two terminals? I have seen installations where they used phone wire (which is what it sounds like you have) and one set of the wire is not used.

The back of the plates have two terminals/screws to connect the wires.
 

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Can you post a pic? Also, how many does the central vac unit have?

ETA: There is another type of outlet that you may have. It supports an electric power head and uses 120v AC in the outlet. Here is what the outlet looks like. Notice the top two prongs on the hose. They supply 120v to the powered head for the vac. If you have this type of outlet and also have an electric powered head, then you need to have 120v AC running to the socket.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can you post a pic? Also, how many does the central vac unit have?

ETA: There is another type of outlet that you may have. It supports an electric power head and uses 120v AC in the outlet. Here is what the outlet looks like. Notice the top two prongs on the hose. They supply 120v to the powered head for the vac. If you have this type of outlet and also have an electric powered head, then you need to have 120v AC running to the socket.
Sure, I'll post some pics. However, the outlet you show above is not what I have. My hose has a seperate AC power cable that I plug into the AC socket in addition to plugging the hose into the inlet.
 

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Yea, that's the original type. Installers used to install the central vac outlet near a 120v wall outlet and the hose had a separate cord that would plug into it.

If you take pics, take both front and rear and try to get a close up of the connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yea, that's the original type. Installers used to install the central vac outlet near a 120v wall outlet and the hose had a separate cord that would plug into it.

If you take pics, take both front and rear and try to get a close up of the connectors.
 

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Ok, you only use two of those wires. Pick two. Look at the drawing I made above and use the same two wires throughout. Here is what I would do. I would hook up the black wire to one screw and the red wire to the other screw (it doesn't matter which one you hook to which). Then do the same with the other sockets (use the same color combo) and the same at the garage unit. See if the socket turns on the system.

If it doesn't, then:

I would take a 9V battery (transistor radio battery) and connect it to the Red wire on the positive side and the black wire to the negative side on that outlet. Then go to the central vacuum unit, take a volt meter, put it on 12v DC scale and see if you have 9V across the black and red wires at the unit.

This will tell you if you have continuity of the wiring at that socket to the unit. I would test both sets. Do this for all of your sockets.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, you only use two of those wires. Pick two. Look at the drawing I made above and use the same two wires throughout. Here is what I would do. I would hook up the black wire to one screw and the red wire to the other screw (it doesn't matter which one you hook to which). Then do the same with the other sockets (use the same color combo) and the same at the garage unit. See if the socket turns on the system.

If it doesn't, then:

I would take a 9V battery (transistor radio battery) and connect it to the Red wire on the positive side and the black wire to the negative side on that outlet. Then go to the central vacuum unit, take a volt meter, put it on 12v DC scale and see if you have 9V across the black and red wires at the unit.

This will tell you if you have continuity of the wiring at that socket to the unit. I would test both sets. Do this for all of your sockets.
I should be able to test with just one inlet, correct? Or do I need all outlets wired the same way to complete the circuit?
 

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you can test with just one outlet. I would start with the outlet closest to the unit. The circuit is actually wired in a "series-parallel" configuation. The two wires are in parallel back to the outlet, but each leg is in series. So, start with the first outlet that is closest and work your way to the furthest. If one doesn't work, then you know where to check the wiring (assuming you can get to it.)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
you can test with just one outlet. I would start with the outlet closest to the unit. The circuit is actually wired in a "series-parallel" configuation. The two wires are in parallel back to the outlet, but each leg is in series. So, start with the first outlet that is closest and work your way to the furthest. If one doesn't work, then you know where to check the wiring (assuming you can get to it.)
ok cool I will try that.

I have bigger issues with my downstairs pipe (seems whoever did the rough in forgot to expose the pipe in the basement ceiling) so I'm going to try to at least get the upstairs going.
 

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ok cool I will try that.

I have bigger issues with my downstairs pipe (seems whoever did the rough in forgot to expose the pipe in the basement ceiling) so I'm going to try to at least get the upstairs going.
ok

good and bad news

good: using red and black worked for the first outlet
bad: no combination seems to get the second outlet going

can i wrap green/yellow around the black/red to make pairs in case wire in the wall is broken?
 
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