5 Tricks For Reducing The Repair Calls Needed For Your Ducted Vacuum System
Ducted vacuum systems free you from the hassle of pushing around a heavy freestanding vacuum cleaner and are easier to add to an existing home than you think. However, they may require you to adjust your cleaning habits slightly or learn new skills to prevent clogs from interrupting your enjoyment of the equipment. These five daily tricks will all cut down on routine maintenance and expensive repairs to keep your ducted vacuum running smoothly.
A lack of suction is the main reason for repair calls for ducted vacuum systems, since they're reliable enough to experience few other problems. If you can pinpoint where the clog is located, you can try to remove the clog yourself without any chance of damaging your equipment. It's easier than you think. A clog located near the beginning of the system, such as the first outlet farthest away from the canister, will lower the suction of all outlets between it and the dirt canister. If only the few outlets closest to the canister are low on suction, obviously the clog is located at or before the first outlet experiencing a problem. You can even use foam balls marked with numbers to track which outlets are open and which are clogged because the balls from the clogged outlets won't reach the canister.
Remove Clogs Yourself
Once you figure out where a clog is located, you can use a simple method to try and remove the clog without having to pay for a maintenance visit. The first method requires you to own a utility or shop vacuum with a nozzle that fits into the outlets. If the nozzle is slightly smaller than the outlet, use a kitchen towel to wrap around the nozzle and increase suction. Set the second vacuum to suck at each outlet that has lost suction and give the unit a minute or two to pull loose any nearby clogs. A plumber's snake tool can also remove clogs without damaging the vacuum pipes, but they're harder to use than the second vacuum method.
Install Sharp Turns
While you generally want as many long runs of uninterrupted pipes as possible to get dirt and hair to the canister without problems, there is one place you want to install a sharp 90 degree turn. An elbow placed behind every wall outlet creates a handy catch point for large objects, like pens and twigs, that will definitely cause clogs elsewhere in the system. Since these items will be caught right behind the outlet rather than in a T-connection or elbow further down the line, they're easy to remove as needed simply by reaching in and pulling them out.
Avoid Forbidden Materials
Watching what you're vacuuming up also makes a big difference in the number of clogs and other problems you experience with a ducted system. Piles of dust created by woodworking or a fireplace are better swept up than vacuumed because a sudden load of fine dust clogs filters and can cake up in corners. Any long objects, from toothpicks to chopsticks, can also catch up in the pipes and trap fluffy materials like hair.
Clean the Interiors
Finally, you don't necessarily need to call a technician just to clean the inside of your hoses, pipes, and canisters. Removing residue leads to a better-smelling system and therefore house, and it's as simple as using pre-moistened cleaning cloths designed for this purpose. The textured cloths whip around as they travel down the pipes to wipe the walls down from the inside with no extra work on your part. Using these cloths regularly at every outlet will also remove dust and hair that is catching in the system before a clog has a chance to form.