What Kind of Pipe is Used for Central Vacuum

Central Vacuum Pipe

Piping is very important to complete a central vacuum system.

Your newly purchased central vacuum system unit will need you to install piping for it to work.

But, what kind of pipe is used for central vacuum systems?

There is an option of three kinds of pipe for you to choose from when installing a central vacuum cleaning system throughout your home:

  • Central vacuum pipe or tubing

  • PVC pipe

  • Flexible pipe

The central vacuum pipe and the PVC pipe are the two most commonly used piping in the installation of a central vacuum system.

Many say that you should only use central vacuum tubing as it is designed specifically for the cleaning system. Others argue that PVC piping is an excellent alternative because there is not much difference between the two kinds. 

Hence the dilemma on which one should to buy.

In this article, we discuss the main differences between the two commonly used kinds of central vacuum piping systems. We include some of the good points and some of the bad ones you should know.

Central vacuum PVC pipe

PVC piping stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is also often referred to by its “schedule,” For example, Schedule 40 or Schedule 80). The main difference between the two would be the wall thickness, pressure rating, and pipe color. PVC piping is one of the most varied kinds of plastic tubing on the marketplace today. It is used in a variety of different industries across the world and for many different purposes.

What materials make PVC piping?

PVC is made of polyvinyl chloride, which is a reliable type of material made from vinyl chloride. Phthalate is then added to make it softer and more flexible. This is so that it can be easily molded into different shapes like central vacuum tubing and fittings.

Typical uses of PVC piping

  • Plumbing for water mains

  • Sprinkler systems

  • Sewage pipes

  • And also piping for central vacuum systems

Available lengths and sizes of PVC pipes

Central Vacuum Pipe Sizes and Lengths

The central vacuum pipe comes in different sizes and lengths to fit different systems.

These pipes come in various central vacuum pipe sizes, lengths, wall thicknesses, diameters, with a range of different fittings. The average PVC central vacuum pipe size is 20 feet or 6 meters. This offers better performance and requires less cutting and gluing. But, they can also come in other lengths if you need them to be shorter and more prolonged. 

The walls of the PVC pipes are thicker than a central vacuum pipe. They also typically range from half an inch up to 5 inches in diameter. 

If you choose to use PVC piping, it is best to use schedule 40 pipes. With these special central vacuum pipe adaptors for the inlets of your unit. Schedule 40 pipes have slightly larger diameters that help with the airflow. This also then improves the performance of your cleaning system.

Why do people use PVC pipes?

There are many different reasons why PVC pipes are the kind of pipe used for central vacuums, and they are:

  • Easy to obtain from the local hardware stores as well as plumbing stores

  • Easy to install or replace

  • Saves you money on freight charges for large piping packages

  • Affordable as they are mass-produced for a variety of uses

  • Lightweight

  • Does not corrode easily

  • They are strong and durable

  • The materials they are made from are recyclable

  • Have little risk expanding or contracting due to temperature change

  • Works well for underground installation

  • PVC or plumbing pipe has a larger diameter and offers less of a chance of blockages

References and Resources