FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Central Vacuum System work?

A central vacuum is a series of pipe that run through the walls, ceiling or floor with wall inlets located at convenient places for you. The hose is plugged into the wall inlet which will activate the power unit and you can start vacuuming. 100% of the dust and dirt that is vacuumed up and taken away from the living area to the power until that is usually located in the garage or basement. The dust and dirt is collected in the dust bag or compartment of the power unit and is easily and cleanly emptied 2 or 3 times a year.

What are the benefits of having a Kiwivac Central Vacuum System?

Improves your family’s health – All the allergy and asthma causing dust, dirt and allergens that are vacuumed up are removed away from the living areas to the large dust capacity power unit, usually located in the garage or basement, leaving the air quality within your living area cleaner and healthier to live in and breathe.

Extends the Life of your floor coverings and furnishings – Your carpets, floor coverings and furnishings will last longer with a deeper cleaner clean by the more powerful central vacuum.

Saves Time – Less time is spent vacuuming because the suction is up to five times greater than a portable vacuum cleaner. And with a central vacuum you only need to empty it or change the bag a couple of times a year.

Cleanest Emptying Systems – Minimal contact with the vacuumed dust and debris when emptying your Kiwivac AVT system, with our unique slide plate emptying system and the closed double lined filter bags.

A Quieter Vacuum – With the power unit located away from the living area there is no annoying noise where you are vacuuming, like you get with a portable vacuum cleaner.

Less damage to your walls and furnishing – With a portable vacuum being pulled around behind you, they tend to have a mind of their own and can head off in any direction denting and banging into you walls or furnishings.

A selection of power units to suit – Whether you like bagged or bag-less systems we can provide you with one that suits your needs.

Ergonomic– no more back strain, with a telescopic wand you can adjust the wand to the correct height for whoever is doing the vacuuming, and shortening it up for vacuuming the stairs. Or if you prefer you can have standard wands and plastic wands to suit your needs.

Ease of use – makes vacuuming stairs a breeze, no portable vacuum to lug up the stairs.

The unique tumbling motion of the dust and dirt in our bags means there is minimal suction loss until the bag is completely full.

Kiwivac AVT has the large range of tools and accessories available in New Zealand to help you take care of your floor coverings and furnishings.

What should I look for when choosing a Central Vacuum for my home?

The only meaningful measurement of the Central Vacuum system is the power produced at the floor tool, this is a combination of suction and airflow (clean-ability rating), expressed as air watts.

Comparing motor performance figures (e.g. horse power, Amps, RPM or watts) is meaningless, as this is a rating of power input not output. Likewise vacuum (water lift) or air flow alone proves nothing. A Central Vacuum Cleaning system needs a specific combination of both factors to do the job effectively.

Vacuum is greatest in a closed pipe, while air flow is greatest in an open pipe. Professional selection for the right combination of your requirements leads to optimum performance.

A properly designed system will be a good investment and free of hassles. Remember you are buying convenience. We recommend consulting your Kiwivac agent for an appraisal to suit your individual needs.

Does A Kiwivac Vac System Need Regular Servicing to Keep the Warranty Valid?

No, Kiwivac Systems don’t need regular servicing to keep the 5 Year Warranty valid, saving you money over the long term. Other brands require regular servicing to keep the warranty valid and can be required every year or 2 years.

We suggest if you are looking at buying a Central Vac you ask if there are any ongoing servicing required to keep the warranty valid.

A Kiwivac system uses disposable closed bag, it is necessary to use the Official Kiwivac Blue Bag as these bags provide the best filtration. Generally a bag will last between 4 – 15 months. We find on average people use 2 bags a year . At around $9.00 per bag this will save you several hundreds of dollars over the period of the warranty.

I can't move my vacuum head over my new SmartStrand, Tribecka or Nylon Solution Dyed Carpet

We are finding that newly carpeted or re-carpeted homes with Solution Dyed Nylon Carpets like Triexta and SmartStrand and carpets such as Rhino and Silk are having problems with their central vacs not being able to move the floor tool over the new carpet. With this new type of carpet the conventional floor tools tend to stick to the carpet making it very hard to move across the carpet and vacuum. Give us a call for a choice of floor tools that will work on your new carpet. Phone 0800 354 948

Does my Kiwivac need regular servicing?

No, not unless you find that it has lost some suction or something on it isn’t quite working like it used to or is broken. Every time you change the bag you are changing the primary filter, or if you have a slide plate system, the filter is designed to self clean and once again doesn’t require regular servicing.This is where our systems are unique from all other systems, other systems need or suggest regular servicing. If you would like it serviced to make sure everything is working to its best, we will service it for you, but it isn’t necessary and will tell you this.

We have people ring up with Kiwivac systems over 10 years old and ask if it needs servicing as they have never had it serviced. We ask if they have a problem or feel it has lost suction or isn’t working as well as it should do and if their answer is no, our reply is it doesn’t need servicing unless you have a problem. We are honest and want to save our customers unnecessary expense.

How to Empty the Slide Plate ATV System

  1. Attach a rubbish bag

  1. Pull slide plate out

  1. Push slide plate back in
  1. Ensure the power unit is not in use. Pull the black O-ring off the collar of the power unit. Place your rubbish bag through the centre of the o-ring pull the bag up and over the collar and now stretch the O-ring over the collar so that it holds the bag in place. Ensure the bag is folded back over the O-ring and is not hanging down below the collar anywhere, or some of the dust and debris will miss the going into the bag.
  2. Pull the slide plate out 3/4 of the way and let the dust and debris fall into the rubbish bag. Leave it for a couple of minutes for it to settle.
  3. Replace the slide plate back into the power unit ensuring it is pushed all the way back in. Once it is in the correct position remove the rubbish bag by twisting the bag and then pulling it downwards. Put the O-ring back onto the bottom of the power unit.
  4. You can dispose of the contents of the bag, either by putting it into your compost or in your household rubbish collection bin.

Switch Hose Questions

Why won’t my switch hose work?

It may be inserted in the inlet valve incorrectly.

The correct way to insert your switch hose

The two metal bands need to make contact with the inlet contact points at approximately 12 o’clock, one on each side of the plastic on your switch hose.
To ensure that your switch hose works properly please make sure you insert the end into the wall inlet as far as it will go. With the gap in the metal band vertical as in picture 2.
The newer Kiwivac inlets have two little lugs located at the hinge end of the inlet, when you open the flap, ensure the switch hose tab is between these and it will work properly and won’t move around in the inlet.

The wrong way to insert your switch hose as showed in pictures 3 and 4.

The switch on the switch hose will not turn the switch hose on or off, and the power unit will either not start or will run continuously. If this happens recheck the wall insert end of the hose to see if the gap is in the right place between the contact points in the inlet, or turn the hose cuff until the tab is at 12 o’clock as shown it picture number 2 ensuring the hose is pushed right into the inlet.
If the hose is inserted correctly as in picture 2 make sure the hose cuff is pushed in as far as it will go, right into the inlet so the metal band makes contact with the contact points inside the inlet.
If you have Compac Square inlets – There are two little lugs located at the hinge end of the inlet, when you open the flap, ensure the switch hose tab is between these and it will work properly and won’t move around in the inlet.

How does a switch hose work?

A switch hose works by turning the little black switch on and off at your hand piece. This allows you to turn off your system without having to go back to the wall to unplug it. To achieve this 24 Volt wires run, within the moulding of the hose, from the wall cuff to the hand piece.

My switch hose keeps cutting in and out

Your hose may not be in the wall inlet properly. See below for help with getting it in the wall inlet correctly.
Or your inlet maybe worn and the hose has become loose in the wall inlet valve. If this is the case the inlet may need replacing.

There should be two locators on the wall outlet to place the tab on the end of your switch hose into. Make sure the tab in pushed in between the two locators, at either the top or bottom of the hole you plug the hose into.

If there are no locators:
Make sure the two metal bands on the end of your switch hose is lined up with the two metal terminals inside the wall socket.
You need one metal terminal should be on each metal band.
Click on ‘How does a switch hose work’ above to see the images showing how to plug your hose into the wall inlet.

Still having problems give us a call on 0800 354 948 and we will help.

What is the difference between a standard hose and a switch hose?

A standard hose starts up your vacuum system as soon as the hose is plugged into the wall inlet valve, whereas a switch hose is controlled by the switch on the hand piece. You can turn it on and off at the handle while it is still plugged into the wall.

I need a new hose will a switch hose work with my system?

So long as your wall inlets have two metal terminals inside them a switch hose will work with your system. Contact your local dealer for more details on 0800 354 948.

What should I do, my hose seems blocked?

Reverse the hose into the inlet valve and make contact with the contact points to make the vacuum system start up; this should suck back the blockage. If you have a utility inlet on your machine you can do this at this inlet to prevent the possibility of blocking your pipe work. If it does not clear the blockage call your local dealer on 0800 354 948 for further help.

VacPan Questions

What is a VacPan and how does it work?

A VacPan is usually located under a set of drawers, in the toe kick in the kitchen area, or any other hard flooring area that is away from water that requires sweeping up of small messes without having to get out you vacuum hose. You just sweep the crumbs up to the VacPan, flick the lever on and once the mess is gone turn the lever off again.

My VacPan is leaking air.

Check that the lever is turned off fully, if the motor is running and it is still leaking air and you think it is right off, get down and have a look to make sure nothing is stuck in it that is preventing it from completely shutting off. If there is something there that is stopping it from shutting off, flick the lever so it is completely open, remove the obstruction and close it off again. This should solve your problem, if not contact your local dealer. Call 0800 354 948.

Kiwivac Bag and Slide Plate Questions

Where can I get replacement Kiwivac Bags from?

Ring your local dealer on 0800354948. You may be able pick them up from them or for your convenience have them couriered to your door.

How often do I need to change the bag?

The average size home and family would need a new bag 2 – 3 times a year. We have heard from people whose bag lasts them up to 18 months! It does vary depending on your floor coverings, how big your home is, how many people live in your home and if you have long haired pets etc. You will notice lose of suction when the bag needs replacing and the hardest part of changing the bag is getting the full bag out.

Can I use other bags in my Kiwivac?

No, you will void the warranty, as only Kiwivac bags have the double micro-filter liner that protects the motor against damage for dust and dirt. If you use any other bag you will void your warranty. 99% of Kiwivac Central Vacuum power units take Part # A60, it is only extra wide bodies that take the bigger bag Part # A64.

Can I reuse a disposable bag?

No, you need to put in a new bag whenever you empty your system, as the Kiwivac Bags are made with a micro filter material in them, which is one of the filters within your system. Every time you change the bag you are changing the filter and therefore protecting your power unit from damage caused from dust and dirt getting into the motor. Would you put new oil in your car and reuse the old filters, it’s the same thing. If you reuse a bag it may cause damage to the motor.

I have a Central Vacuum System that takes bags, but isn’t a Kiwivac, where can I get replacement bags?

We sell bags for all other brands, contact your nearest dealer, phone 0800 354 948.

I have an AVT Slide Plate machine, how do I empty it?

These can be emptied very easily and cleanly. Firstly ensure that the machine is not running. Remove the black rubber ‘O’ ring from the base of the power unit. Place a household plastic rubbish bag around the base of the machine. From the bottom slide the ‘O’ ring back over the rubbish bag. Fold approximately 10cm of bag back over itself to ensure that it is held firm.

Pull the black slide plate out to allow dust and debris to be collected in the attached bag. Push the slide plate back in completely and allow the dust to settle before removing the attached bag. The Slide Plate must be inserted all the way back into the space provided. Always put the slide plate in before removing the rubbish bag. NEVER start the power unit with the rubbish bag still attached.

I have a bucket central vacuum can I replace it with a Kiwivac Bagged Model?

Yes you can replace any existing central vacuum power unit with a Kiwivac Bagged or Bag-less model. Generally they will fit onto your existing pipework, very occasionally we need to alter the pipework to get your new Kiwivac power unit to fit.

Accessories for my Central Vacuum

Where can I get replacement accessories for my internal vacuum system?

Whether you have a Kiwivac, or another brand, we have an extensive range of accessories and tools that will fit most systems. See our Accessories and Spare Parts section.

My wand is too short.

If your wand has a large black plastic ring around it you will find it is a telescopic wand. If you hold on to this while pulling/pushing the other end of the wand away from you it will extend. Your particular wand may have a small button that you need to push before the wand will extend.

My wall Inlets don’t match my new décor, can I replace them?

Yes, we have a large selection of colours available, contact your local dealer on 0800 354 948 for more information and to see our colour range.

My wall inlet is broken or discoloured - Can I get them replaced?

Yes, we have a large range of inlets to replace those broken and discoloured inlets, including Kiwivac, Cen-vac, Compact, Vaculine, Plastiflex, Vacuvalve and Deco. We also have some metal inlets. Contact your local dealer on 0800 354 948.

Installation Questions

Can a Kiwivac AVT Central Vacuum Cleaner be installed into my existing home?

Yes, we can install a Kiwivac AVT System into 99% of existing homes. So long as you have a crawl space in your ceiling or under your home we can generally put a system in for you. It can be piped and installed usually in one day, with very little mess or disruption to you. Call your local dealer for more information or a no obligation free quote on 0800 354 948.

At what stage do I need to get the pipe work put into my new house?

This is done around the time the electrician and plumber are doing their work. After the roof has gone on and before the wall linings are put on. In some cases it is necessary to put the pipes under the concrete floor, if this is the case you need to contact your local dealer earlier.

You are best to contact us after you have decided on your plan and before the floor goes down if it is on a concrete pad or before any building commences. If you have already started building and you have just remembered about the Central Vacuum give your dealer a call on 0800 354 948.

When do I decide on the type of inlets I would like to have? - Square or rectangular (oblong)

You need to decide before or at the time of piping out your home. As we have our unique Kiwivac inlets and other compact inlets that have different size face plates. As a gib guard is put on at the time of the pipe out and the gib board is cut around the guard, therefore determining which type of inlet can be fitted when you finish off your system.

Do I need an inlet in each room?

No, generally an inlet covers an area of about 80 Square metres. The average home needs between 3 and 5 inlets depending on the design constraints of your home.

My home is piped out for a Central Vacuum System; can a Kiwivac AVT go onto my existing pipe out?

Yes, a Kiwivac AVT power unit will fit on all pipe work. We will need to come and have a look to see which power unit will best suit your needs and what you would like with your system. Give us a call on 0800 354 948 to find out more.

Why should I install a Kiwivac Central Vacuum System?

Our systems have the cleanest emptying systems available, ensuring you have minimal contact with the dust and debris that you have vacuumed up. Kiwivac systems are designed and built here in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions. We consult with you on the best design, hose length and tools for your needs and our systems are designed to perform at their best at all times.
We pride ourselves on having great back up service.

When does the power unit go into my new home to complete the system?

Your system is finished off with the power unit, and inlets put on the walls, when you are about to move in. Once the carpet is down, all the painting is finished and the kitchen units are installed.

Other Questions and Preventative maintenance

My system seems to have lost its suction.

Check to see if the bag is full, if it is you need to change it.

If not, check all your inlets to see that they are fully closed including the VacPan, if you have one. Plug your hose into the inlet closest to the power unit and walk around your home and listen for any air leaks. If you hear a leak check the inlet and remove anything that may be keeping it open. This should solve your problem, if not continue with the following.

Plug your hose into each inlet to see if suction is lost at all the inlets. If there is the same amount of suction at each inlet try the following.
Check the lid is on properly
Check the cloth bag under the disposable bag hasn’t dropped down. If this has happened lift up the cloth bag so the wire ring in the cloth bag sit above the swage in the machine body.
Check that all the inlets have lid rubbers on the inside of the flaps.

If you still have a problem contact your local dealer on 0800 354 948 for further help.

The power unit keeps running even if nothing is plugged in.

Do you have a VacPan in your home that you sweep the dust and dirt up to? If you do check that the lever is fully closed and that there are no sticks or anything that could be stopping it from completely shutting off. Open the VacPan and try clearing it with your finger to see there is nothing keeping it open. Turn the lever to the off position, hopefully this has solved your problem.

If you still have a problem contact your local dealer on 0800 354 948 for further help.

Do you service other brands of Vacuums?

Yes we service and sell spare parts for almost every brand of Central Vacuum including 5 Star, Astrovac, Auskay, Beam, Canavac, Centralvac, Compact2, Cyclovac, Drainvac, DVS, EasyVac, Elantra, Electron, Eurovac, EVS, Excel, Hayden, Hayden Supervac, Hills, Hoover, InterVac, Laservac, MaxVac, Modern Day, Monarch, Ovis, Premier, Premier Clean, Pullman, Smart, Smartvac, Silent Master, Tellus, Tornado, Ultra Clean, UltraClean, UltraVac, Valdeig, Vacumaid, Wadvark, WardVak, and Zanussi.

Preventative Maintenance

Although your system has been designed for maximum performance and service life, there are some guidelines you can follow to help prolong its serviceability and life.

  • When removing the hose from the inlet valves, hold the inlet lid up for three (3) to five (5) seconds after removing the hose, until the suction stops.
  • Do not use on wet surfaces.
  • Never vacuum up liquids of any kind with your central vacuum system. If you accidentally do, leave your hose plugged into the inlet valve and let the system run for approximately five (5) minutes, without vacuuming up anything, to dry out the hose and vacuum pipes. If you fail to do this and continue to vacuum the dust and dirt will stick to the walls of your hose and pipes and reduce the performance of your system.
  • Never vacuum up Gib dust, plaster dust, fire ashes, construction debris; these may cause damage to the motor, the warranty does not cover such damage.
  • Never activate the power unit unless a hose is inserted into an inlet or the VacPan is open.
  • Do not pick up anything that is burning or smoking, such as cigarettes, matches or hot or warm ashes, or any flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline or use in areas where they may be present.
  • Keep the surrounding space around the power unit clear to avoid the motor overheating.
  • With the Kiwivac Bag model power unit always make sure the Kiwivac dust bag and filters in the correct position.
  • Always use a Kiwivac Bag which is especially made for our bag model power units. Using any other paper bags voids the warranty and lessens the filtering of the power unit.
  • Empty the power unit dust compartment periodically.
  • Never activate the Slide Plate power unit with the rubbish bag still attached to the bottom or with the Slide Plate out. Make sure the slide plate is pushed back as far as it will go, when returning it to the correct position.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaning product on the power unit.
  • If installing in a cupboard or confined area make sure there is adequate ventilation to ensure there is good airflow around the power unit.
  • Never attempt any internal repairs on the power unit. This should be done ONLY by an authorised Kiwivac AVT agent.
  • For more information please consult your Owners Operation Manual that was provided with your system when it was installed. If you don’t have a copy email or phone us for a copy.

Drimaster Questions

What does Drimaster actually do?

Drimaster prevents many of the problems associated with condensation in your home, such as mould growth on walls, ceilings, furniture, clothes and curtains.

Drimaster also eliminates any musty odours which can result from severe condensation. It purifies the air, resulting in less allergens and providing relief from those suffering from asthma or allergies.

The outcome is a cleaner, drier and healthier living environment.

What difference is there between Drimaster and other leading home ventilation system providers?

Drimaster offers all the same benefits as other positive pressure home ventilation systems in the New Zealand market. However, the difference is the much more affordable price and cheaper on-going running costs.

You can be assured you are purchasing a reliable and quality product, made by a reputable and world-class company with many years’ experience in the industry.

Where is Drimaster made?

Drimaster is made in England by Nuaire, the UK market leader in energy-efficient ventilation solutions for both the residential and commercial sectors. Nuaire have been designing and manufacturing ventilation systems since 1963 and are an innovative and world-class company with their products now available in over 40 countries worldwide.

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