Many of us full timer’s and live-aboard boaters have a central vacuum system installed on our rigs in the form of the Dirt Devil CV-950 or something similar. The advantages are many; very compact, powerful, no bulky machine to store, can be mounted outside the living area, convenient to use, etc.
But let’s talk more about the “convenient to use” part – it’s great that all you have to do to start the machine is open the door on the wall mounted inlet and plug in the hose, I mean how cool is that?
Well, not so cool sometimes if while in the middle of your favorite chore you just want to stop for a minute or two to adjust the furniture, answer the phone, or whatever – in this case the choices are either to just let the machine run, or hustle over to the inlet – which according to Murphy will always be the maximum possible distance away from you – and pull the hose to get the gosh-darned thing to shut up already.
But what if there was a better way – a way to just push a button and turn the system on or off without removing the hose from the inlet? Even better what if this upgrade cost less than $10? Sounds pretty good right? Believe me it makes the job of sucking lint off the floor much less sucky.
The remote controlled switch pictured has a claimed range of about 80′, has a short pigtail so it doesn’t hog an entire duplex outlet and is even UL approved for outdoor use . We picked this one up at Home Depot (Model # RC-009A-1, Store SKU # 202620) for under $10 and it includes everything you need. For us it installed easily and works as claimed.
To install, just plug the receiver (large black box with the plug on it) in between the vac plug and the outlet – that’s it! No configuration! Just press the on/off buttons on the remote to operate (of course the vacuum hose must be plugged into the inlet for the vacuum to turn on). We usually just carry the remote around in a pocket, but you could also find some means of affixing it to the hose handle.
NOTE: When choosing a remote switch for your vacuum system you must make sure to not exceed its ratings – the remote switch shown has a 13 amp capacity and the CV-950 is rated at 11.5 amps, so the remote is well within specification. Make sure the remote switch you choose has a higher Amp or Wattage rating then your central vac system.