When I first moved into my house many years ago I was pretty upset it didn’t have central vac. But since it also didn’t have a laundry room, a dishwasher, air conditioning, or a miniature stage with velvet curtains and performing mice wearing teensy, tiny top hats, I wasn’t really surprised. Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no.
One day, after a particularly hard day of fixing up the house and searching for talented mice, I laid my weary head down on the spare room bed to take a nap. Which in itself is highly unusual for me. Now I see, it was kind of divine intervention by the large appliance God in the sky.
You see, I dreamed, (and it was one of those reallyyyyy realistic dreams where you swear it’s actually happening even though it doesn’t make sense that you wouldn’t have studied for your final exams) … that my house had central vac. It was hidden behind the bed in the spare room. In my dream.
When I woke up, I was really excited to have had this premonition and pulled the bed away from the wall. No central vac. Not even a performing mouse. Just a wall.
So, the next day I went up to Costco, bought myself a central vac kit and brought it home and installed it. It’s really not as hard as you think.
That baby has been servicing this house for the past 11 years NO problem. Suck, suck, suck. Until this weekend. When no more suck. The vacuum was sucking a tiny bit, it wasn’t like it was broken altogether, but it couldn’t even pick up a piece of cat fluff. And it normally eats up cat fluff like a Doberman. So the fella and I started frantically trying to figure out what was wrong. Me, because I can’t relax until whatever is broken gets fixed, and the fella because he can’t relax if I’m not relaxed.
If you too have a central vac that sucks but not nearly enough you have a few options. Low suction on your central vac. can be one of a few things. It could be as simple as needing to clean your filter or empty out the cannister. If that doesn’t do the trick chances are you have a blockage.
Here’s what you do to fix your blockage. First have a big hot cup of coffee and a popcorn sized bowl of prunes. No … wait. Wrong blockage.
1. Determine where your hose is blocked. If you get low suction at all of your outlets, it means your blockage is either in the hose or more likely, between the first outlet and your canister. If you only have low suction on one outlet, the blockage is between that one and the one that’s working fine.
My blockage was between my first outlet and the canister so any of the outlets past that didn’t work either.
The solution is simple and almost guaranteed to work. The only problem is … you need a second vacuum. Something powerful like a shop vac. or a one of those little car vacuums. Which is what I used. I’m normally not allowed to use the fella’s car vacuum after that one time when I sucked up wet birdseed and the next time he went to use the vacuum the birdseed had grown so much it filled the entire vacuum and he couldn’t get the lid off of it. Yeah. So. I’m not supposed to use his vacuum anymore. But I did.
2. To unclog your central vac., just stick the hose from your portable vacuum into the offending central vac. outlet and let ‘er suck.
The hose should just fit right in the outlet and create good suction. If not just wrap a towel or your hands around it to create a good seal.
For me, a big hunk of cat hair came up right away. I pulled it away with my fingers. Then I gave it another suck.
This time, I got cat hair and a little bit of Christmas. It was quite exciting and fulfilling.
I pulled that out too and figured I was done, but decided to give her one extra suck. And this happened …
It may have been the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. You know how some people get a gross excitement out of extracting pimples? Well this was like that only not as gross.
Clearly I wasn’t fibbing about sucking up cat hair with the vacuum all the time. And yes. That is an After Eight wrapper. Last time I bought those was about the time Ross & Rachel were on a “break”.
Also in that pile were some twist ties, pine needles, little bits of bark, unmentionable gross stuff and a sequin.
With about 5 minutes of work (including dragging the car vacuum out of the shed) I got the vacuum fixed, free of charge and immediately. Had I called someone my best guess is it would have cost between $50 and $100 to have someone come out and diagnose the problem and fix it. This way, I got the thrill of seeing the actual blockage and I didn’t have to listen to some guy pretend like this was a way bigger job than it was.
The absolute BEST part of all of this is I now have enough cat hair to knit those little mice some suits, plus the sequin is perfect for their Liberace tribute.
All in all. My day sucked. And I couldn’t be happier about it.