25 Essential Central Vac Tools

There is nothing out of the ordinary tool-wise that integrators need to carry to install central vacuum systems.

By the nature that there is low-voltage wiring that needs to be connected to it, central vacuum system installation has found a niche with systems integrators. In a nutshell, central vacuum is a power unit, sometimes called the “can,” that creates the suction for the system. It is routinely placed in the garage, basement or utility room where other water or HVAC equipment is housed.

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Next is the hose and attachment set. That is typically 30 feet in length. There are longer sets available. A 30-foot hose in an arc from the outlet will cover 600-700 feet of living space. The outlets are then strategically located throughout the rest of the home. There is nothing out of the ordinary tool-wise that integrators need to carry to install CVAC.

Each of these tools are typically going to be carried by a custom electronics technician, except perhaps a PVC pipe cutter, but if technicians are running wire in conduit, they will already carry that tool.

  • ½-inch right angle drill
  • Reciprocating saw
  • 2¼-inch self-feeding wood boring bit
  • 4-inch-long shank
  • 12- to 18-inch bit extension, ½-inch shank
  • 2- to 100-foot extension cords, heavy duty
  • Ladders, 6- and 8-foot
  • Hammer
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Tubing cutter; special CVAC pipe cutter
  • Screwdrivers
  • 33-foot tape measure
  • Cordless drill
  • Light for attic and crawlspace installation
  • Torpedo level
  • Small flashlight
  • Pencil
  • Wire nuts; small blue
  • PVC glue
  • 8-inch wire ties
  • 1-inch roofing nails or screws
  • ¾-inch No. 8 screws
  • ¾-inch wire staples
  • Fine-tooth wood blade (optional)
  • Wood chisel, ¾ inch (optional)

For retrofit installs, integrators might have to use 9/16-inch bit for easier installation. Do not use hacksaws to cut tubing. Use tubing cutter specified.

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About the Author


Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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