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Central Vacuum Repair

Repairing a central vacuum is something that a moderately handy person can do if they follow all prior safety precautions beforehand. Most built-in vacuums are relatively simple in terms of their design, functionality, and ease of access to the vital electrical and motor components.  The motor and the electrical components such as the pc board are essentially the only thing that can go wrong on a central vac power unit, so replacing these parts should revive your system if there is something wrong.

 
Warning: Central Vacuum Direct suggests that all central vacuum repair jobs are done by certified technicians, this article should be used for reference only. Dealing with electrical components that have high voltage electricity running to them is dangerous.
 
Power Unit Repair:
When you realize there is something wrong with your central vacuum, the first thing you should do is remove the system from your mounting bracket and bring it to a steady level surface where you are able to access the whole entire canister. You can remove the power unit from the bracket by either lifting it up off the bracket itself, or by removing a bolt which holds your system to the bracket on the wall. Before you actually remove the unit though you will have to unclamp the schedule 40 piping from the intake and/or exhaust, unplug the high voltage from the wall, & remove the low voltage wiring that is leading into the unit. Be careful when removing the central vac, most systems weigh between 20-35 lbs and are relatively heavy. Once you have removed the unit itself place it on the floor where you can get a better look at the system.
Some common problems for most central vacuums can be pinpointed to an exact internal circuit board, or motor assembly.

Here are some of the most common problems for built-in vacuum systems:

1) The canister will not turn on when I use the switch on my central vacuum hose, but will turn on when I manually turn the switch on the machine:
This is most likely a problem with the hose rather than the power unit itself. Your central system is turned on and off by a series of low voltage wiring which runs parallel to all the pipe in your home. This wiring makes a circuit which is integrated with your printed circuit board in the power unit. When you flip the switch on your hose it completes this circuit. If the hose is not turning the power unit on then there is most likely a short either in your switch/switch harness assembly or in the wiring in the hose itself. If the switch assembly is the problem you will have to replace it, but if the short is in the hose itself then you will have to replace the entire hose.

2) The canister will not turn on, even if I use the manual switch on the power unit:
This could be one of two different problems. Either your printed circuit board is board is bad and needs to be replaced, or your central vacuum motor is bad and will not power up. These problems are usually preceded by a burning or burnt smell coming from your vacuum motor & electrical component area. These problems are most common when an electrical surge occurs, causing a short in the system.

3) The canister will continuously run and will not shut off at all:
This is a problem with your pc board and can easily be fixed by replacing it. Sometimes when there is a short or malfunction in the circuit board, it can cause the electronics to go haywire and the system may have a “mind of its own”. If your central vac continuously runs or is intermittent in staying powered up, it could very well be the circuit board that’s the problem.
 
If you do locate the problem it may or may not be hard to find the central vacuum parts you need depending on the brand and current availability. A lot of brands have come and gone throughout the years and they left behind with them the customer service you need to be able to find these parts. CVD has tried its hardest to come out with an updated account of all applicable parts that are still available to consumer for all brands. We have recently updated our section on beam central vacuum repair and the ways you can go about fixing this brand of central vacuum. Working on these units is relatively easy if you are somewhat handy but we always advise that you contact a professional to aid in the repair process.