How to install a BEAM Central Vacuum System - Seven Step Installation
Choosing your system
Select the BEAM Central Vacuum System, cleaning package, and accessories that best suit your home and cleaning needs. For the ultimate in ease, add a VacPan automatic dustpan in kitchen, mudroom or bath.
Calculate the number of inlets you'll need
Where to place the inlets.
One inlet can serve an area of about 65-75 square meters. For more power, the fewer the inlets used the better. And be sure the hose will reach from the inlet valve to all corners (and around furniture) in the rooms you want to vacuum. Do not install inlet valves in a wall where there is a pocket door or behind a door. If you prefer, inlets can be installed in the floor.
Planning the piping installation.
Plan the piping installation from the BEAM power unit to the inlet valves. It's best to run the piping under the floor if possible. In structures without basements, the piping may be run through the attic or crawlspaces. In an existing two- or three-story home, vacuum piping may be run to upper levels through cold air ducts, through the back of closets or under stairways, or beside a soil pipe. In new structures, pipe can be run through wall studs before drywall is applied. Be sure to plan where to locate the BEAM power unit — usually in the garage or basement.
Use a tubing cutter for cleaner cuts.
Use 2-1/4" wood boring bit similar to a Forstner bit.
Rent a right-angle drill if you do not have one.
Tools you'll need
- Drywall saw (optional)
- Electrical tape/duct tape/cable ties
- Electric drill - 1/2" (1.3cm) with right-angle head if possible
- Forstner wood-boring bit - 2-1/4" (5.7cm)
- Hole saw or cutter - 2-1/4" (5.7cm)
- Masonry bit - 2-1/4" (5.7cm) (optional)
- Metal coat hangers
- Pipe/tubing cutter or hacksaw and miter box
- Safety goggles
- Screwdrivers (Phillips and flat blade)
- Steel tape measure
- Stud finder
- Utility/razor knife
- Wire stripper/cutter
- Wood chisel
- 30' (9.15cm) piece of cord or string
Installing the inlet valves.
To install an inlet valve in existing construction, start by finding the center of the bottom plate of the wall. Then from the basement use the hole saw to drill a hole up into the wall cavity. (Remember to wear safety goggles throughout the installation process.)
There is a simple way to find the center of a wall. Using a section of wire cut from a coat hanger, drill a pilot hole through the carpet or hard surface floor. Drill as close to the wall as possible — pointing the drill bit at a 45-degree angle.
In the basement, see where the coat hanger has come through. Measure over from the coat hanger to find the center of the bottom of the wall plate. Using the hole saw, drill a hole into the wall cavity.
Using the flashlight, and/or broom handle, check to see that the wall cavity is free from obstructions to the desired height of the inlet valve — before cutting a hole in the wall. Then, on the wall, center a mark above the pilot hole made by the coat hanger. This will be the center of your inlet valve.
Center the wall inlet bracket, trace the outline, then cut a hole in the wall. Attach the wall bracket to an elbow of pipe.
Connect the low voltage wire to the inlet valve stem. Attach a small weight to the opposite end of the wire and feed the wire through the hole to the basement. Insert the inlet valve and bracket into the wall. Mount the inlet valve so the valve folds down to open.
Installing inlet valves in new construction follows the same basic procedures.
Measure the length of pipe, making sure your cuts are straight and clean. Use a sharp knife or sandpaper to eliminate burrs that might collect dust or hair that could form a dirt trap. Starting with the inlet valve farthest from the power unit, begin test fitting then gluing together sections of piping. Join sections of piping to the main trunk line which ties into the BEAM power unit. Splice together the low voltage wires along the trunk line. Run and connect the trunk line to the BEAM power unit. If mounting the power unit in the garage, drill a pilot hole through the wall using a wire coat hanger to check location and for obstructions. Then cut a 2 1/2" hole though the wooden joist above the masonry wall between the basement and the garage. Feed piping into garage to unit.
Installing the power unit.
Mount the BEAM power unit using detailed instructions included with it. Strip the ends of the low voltage wire coming into the garage and connect them to the power unit. Plug the power unit into an electrical outlet, flip the manual override switch on/off to test it. Then plug in the lightweight hose to clean up any minor mess you may have made installing the inlets.
Congratulations! You're on your way to a cleaner, healthier home!