View Full Version : Can't find central vacuum outlet

12-04-2012, 08:22 PM
I have a 12 year old house.

There is no central vacuum installed.

On the upstairs, and downstairs floors, there are blank panels on the walls, and behind them are outlets for the central vacuum. I can see a pipe running down from the upstairs and the downstairs pipe also runs downstairs. I'm guess the house was roughed in for a central vacuum.

However, I can't find the "base" outlet where the cannister would go. I've looked all over the garage and the basement (which was developed a few years ago). I'm thinking the dingbat who developed the basement may have put drywall over the base panel.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could figure out where the base panel is? I thought about using a plumbing "snake", but they are quite big in diameter and have read they can damage the thin walled plastic pipes.

has anyone ever seen a thin gauge "snake"?

Any other ideas?


12-04-2012, 08:25 PM
fish tape? :dunno:

go till you hit something, get someone to move it around till you can hear it in a wall?

12-04-2012, 09:09 PM
:werd: big ass washer tied to a string should do ya

12-04-2012, 09:24 PM
My house was roughed in when I bought it 4 years ago. Pipes ran straight down and then just ended in the roof of the basement, you could look straight up them. I had to run all the elbows and horizontal pipes to the canister.

If they did nothing to the piping I would suspect the same except they dry walled over everything with the roof.

Could be wrong, hope so for your sake.

Try the washer or wheel nuts on a string and listen for where it hits.

12-04-2012, 09:26 PM
I have a golf ball on a string you can borrow :)

12-04-2012, 10:40 PM
As suggested, grab a fish tape at Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=100660169&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&cm_sp=BazVoice-_-RLP-_-100660169-_-x#.UL7QFxLQTEg)

12-04-2012, 11:13 PM
The PVC pipe will only be stub downs. They do not go to your mechanical room.

They are almost always directly below the blank off plate in the basement and almost never on outside walls.

You will have to do all the plumbing yourself in the basement.

12-05-2012, 12:09 AM
As sillysod has said there would be no 'base' connector in the basement unless the person finishing the basement connected this all together.

12-05-2012, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by Pacman
I'm thinking the dingbat who developed the basement may have put drywall over the base panel.

Yup, that's exactly what they did.

You can hook a line tracer up to the power line they ran with the PVC, and that should allow you to trace exactly where it is behind the drywall.

12-05-2012, 09:10 AM
Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I'm going to buy some of the fish tape that was suggested and see how that goes.


12-05-2012, 09:37 AM
When I had to find mine, was run alongside the cold air return throughout the house. The end of mine was inside the cold air return duct at the bottom of my stairs. It was pretty much the last place I looked.

12-08-2012, 08:34 PM
Compressed air into the tubes. Should be able to hear hissing from behind a wall?