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Open the door on the inlet port and look inside. You should see 2 small pins. These pins are spring loaded to make contact with the metal end of your hose when you plug it in. Two low voltage wires are screwed to the underside of these pins. The low voltage wires go all the way back to the low voltage switch/relay on your central vac power unit.
Sometimes one or both of these pins will just break so that they don't make contact with the end of your hose. If you see no pins or just one then you will have to replace the inlet cover.
If both pins are present; push down on them with your finger. If you feel resistance then your inlet is probably OK. CAUTION: IF YOUR CENTRAL VAC INLETS HAVE A 110 VOLT CONNECTION, REMOVAL/REPLACEMENT OF YOUR INLET SHOULD ONLY BE DONE BY A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN.
Remove the two screws in the faceplate. Carefully slide the inlet cover out. Check the two screw on wiring connections. Make sure both wires are securely attached and that there are no breaks.
If neither of the above fixed your problem, you may have a broken or disconnected wire somewhere between this inlet and the low voltage witch at your power unit.
Remove the face plate from the wall and test the low voltage wiring behind. Before undoing the screws where the wiring connects, reach inside the inlet and feel the two brass pin connections. There should be spring tension behind each. Underneath the screws where the wires connect there is a spring which pushes on the brass terminal in the inlet so do not remove the screws fully. The wiring is low voltage so you can short across the terminals with and insulated set of pliers.If you do this and the vac does not start you need to check where the inlet wiring connects into the main wiring circuit. It should run along the pipe. There should be continuity from each wire back to the vac itself. Post back to advise how you make out.
You have not posted a brand, however central vacs with an internal hanging `self cleaning ` filter seldom contain another filter with the exception of Eureka or Kenmore which may have a secondary optional paper filter installed. Check the bucket and the gasket first. Eureka and Kenmore made by Eureka are prone to a defective gasket which disintegrates with wear. The bucket should sit snug on any unit with no play. To test for proper suction check at the vac intake itself. If the suction is strong here and weak elsewhere your problem will be either a clogged vac line, a leak in a pipe or an inlet door sagging open, last of all a clogged or partly clogged hose. Check your hose by dropping a coin through the handle and shaking it down to the other end. If a coin makes it through your hose is clear. You can test each inlet with a numbered tissue and your hose. Mark one for each inlet and check the tank to see what made it through. If any fail to make it through, go to that inlet with another vac and draw the blockage backwards out the inlet. Then retest Also listen for a hiss at each inlet with the hose plugged in elsewhere. The hiss indicates a leak behind the inlet in the wall. Check for worn seals or misaligned o rings in the backing plate where the inlet connects. Last of all inspect the pie for possible cracks from impact . If you listen closely you will hear an audible echo along the pipe path (even within the wall) if a connection has separated or a pipe is damaged. Please post back with what you find or if you need more help.
Disconnect the thin low voltage wiring between the vac and the rest of the house. If the vac continues to run you have a defective relay in the vac motor housing. If the vac stops you have a short in the wiring in the house, likely behind an inlet in the wall. If any inlets have been disturbed for painting or renos lately that would be the first spot to look in the house for a problem. Look for wires behind the inlet valve which are touching against each other or a mounting screw or against a metal mounting plate behind the inlet. Start at the last inlet used. Be careful not to loose the spring under the screws where the wiring attaches to the inlets
You have either left the manual switch at the vac in the on position, or you have a low voltage short at one of your inlets in the house, or at the vac itself or where a pair of wires are connected together at a pipe junction. Carefully go back inlet to inlet, remove the plates and be sure your mounting screw is not shorting two wires together. Trim any excess bare wire away and look for nicks in the insulation as well unless you see an obvious short. If you are using telephone type multi colored wire it is easy to bare an inside piece of wire while stripping the outer insulation. Also be sure sure wires are paired the same color pattern at each inlet. It is common to see a stripped wire touching another inside the wall or if you have metal backing plates in the wall a wire may be touching the plate and triggering the vac to turn on. Post back to advise, the other possibility is you have a nail or screw in a wall piercing the wire but this is seldom ... take your time,its an easy fix but it might be hard to spot
The hose connects to a set of low voltage contacts inside the top of each inlet. The vac wiring is connected by a low voltage circuit to each inlet as well. your hose when plugged in completes the circuit when you turn the hose switch on. For simplicity ,I also use a coin to connect the terminals mentioned below instead of dragging the hose with you. Reinsert the hose with the tongue or cord at 12 o clock or 6 o'clock position. If the vac does not start, rotate the hose cuff to 3 oclock.This over rides the hose handle switch to test the vac circuit. if the vac still does not start you have a loss of LV signal in your wiring. You will need to back track to make sure you have continuity from the vac to each inlet. if you have colored alarm or telephone type wire, it is very easy to break a wire strand while fastening so go back one connection at a time and inspect. If you have no power to any inlets,your problem will be in the main run of wire from the vac, likely to the first connection. If you have power at only some inlets, your issue will be at one of your wire junctions, either at a pipe intersection or where two wires meet at an inlet, depending on how the system was wired. Post back to say how you are making out
Start with this. Unplug the vac to shut off, then disconnect the low voltage wiring at the vac.Plug the vac back in. If the vac still runs you have an internal short on the relay or wiring inside the vac. If the vac stops then the vac and final wiring is OK and the problem is in the wiring in the house. Have you removed any inlets for painting or had any renos done or pictures hung. If so undo what you did last. If inlets were disturbed remove them and look for low voltage vac wires touching metal backing plates in the wall or touching the inlet mounting screws. If you have done a reno or hung pictures you may have pierece the wire for the vac creating a low voltage short which will keep the vac running until removed. I have seen this happen with freshly installed 1/4 round molding along a baseboard
http://www.geeksquad.fixya.com/ThreadView.aspx?prdid=0&thid=579196 Generic problem for all Vacuums Wiring up central vac too Posted by brneault on May 08, 2008 Wiring up central vac too breaker box. Hello, I would advise you to ALWAYS to FIRST UNPLUG YOUR VACUUM before beginning any service procedure. A central vac not knowing the brand name or model # uses regular household current and plugs into a regular household inlet and I have never heard of wiring the central vac to the breaker box. The central vac is usually out in the garage or down the basement and will be in the regular household current. You may want to ask the manufacturer or the vac dealer you purchased the central vac from and they might have more information for your and if your central vac needs to be wired to the breaker box they will give you instructions, but I don’t believe that you need to do so. So if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact your local vacuum cleaner dealer in your area or in the yellow pages, or contact the factory phone number or website to further assist you with your questions. Don – The Vac Man Go Ahead.Use Us.