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New Specification Provides Guidance on Installation and Materials for Central-Vacuum Tubes and Fittings

Embedded in house walls, central-vacuum tubes and fittings connect wall receptacles to a remote power unit in the home. Users attach a portable hose to the wall to access high-powered cleaning in various rooms.

ASTM F 2158, Standard Specification for Residential Central-Vacuum Tube and Fittings offers an installation guide and material specification for tubes and fittings used in central-vacuum systems.

“The tubing goes through the walls the same way as a plumbing system,” said ASTM member Ralph Guinn, an air-electronics technologist who helped develop F 2158. “There are a lot of central-vacuum products out there that can be made to any specific standard and may, in fact, fail in the field because of substandard material being used,” he averred.

ASTM approved the standard on Dec. 10, 2001. “At the moment, there is no marking on this product to show that it’s made to any accepted standard,” said Guinn, manager of Quality Assurance for Canplas Industries, Ltd., Barrie, Ontario, Canada. “The specification, of course, will allow that to happen. The vacuum-cleaning industry also wants to standardize the tube and fittings to be assured that they are getting a consistent quality,” he added.

Subcommittee F17.25 on Vinyl Based Pipe will maintain Standard F 2158, which was initiated by ASTM Committee F11 on Vacuum Cleaners. Manufacturers, engineers, users, installers, consultants, and retailers in both groups collaborated on its development. “What we have done is develop this standard so that it can be recognized in national and international uniform mechanical codes,” he explained.

According to Guinn, homeowners can reference F 2158 for installation of central vacuum systems. Building and mechanical inspectors can use it to determine if tube and fitting installations meet the ASTM standard.

For further technical information, contact Ralph Guinn, Canplas Industries, Ltd., Barrie, Ontario, Canada (phone: 705/726-3361, ext. 402). Committee F17 meets April 15-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa. For meeting or membership details, contact Pat Picariello, manager, ASTM Technical Committee Operations (phone: 610/832-9720). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM