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Thread: What is a shop vac?

  1. #1
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Default What is a shop vac?

    My basement is getting dusty and mucky with all the work I am doing down there.

    I do not want to use our ordinary household vaccuum cleaner.

    Is a Shopvac something I need? What are they?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Any fairly large bucket type vacuum could be called a shop vac. They usually have a larger hose than a household vac, and many of them can vacuum up water. They usually have a filter for the motor, but the waste often is not deposited into a bag.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Member Artie's Avatar
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    I would go one step farther, and say the waste is never deposited into a bag. But thats part of the utility. You just unsnap the side catches, lift the top off, and dump the debris into a convenient receptacle.

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    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    It's a Vac that's used in a shop
    Silly English......

    I have a dry vac for wood chips/dust
    And a combo unit that can vacuum up water
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default What is a SHOP VAC???

    Since we tend to tell it like it is over here, a shop vac is simply a vacuum used in the shop! Each manufacturer gets to make up the details of how THEY want to make it. And of course "ShopVac" is a registered trade mark, so only that one company gets to use that exact word. Everyone else has to call it a "shop vacuum". I'm sure your homies would find a much more colorful name for it, but we like to keep it short and sweet!

  6. #6

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    Could be a wife too.

  7. #7
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    So, do I need one? To clean up the basement?

  8. #8
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    It's a Tool !
    Of course you need one !!
    All depends upon the basement, what you vaccum up, & how well you like your current household Vac
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  9. #9
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Default

    I also use mine to occasionally clear the condensate drain from my air handler (piping is under slab).
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Depends...

    Some of them can hold 16gallons or more, so it will hold a lot of crud before you have to empty it. The hose is generally bigger so you can pick up bigger stuff. They're typically noisy. If you have a lot of sawdust, or similar stuff, it is quicker than sweeping, and gets more of the small dust. Otherwise, it's just one more thing you have to find a place for...
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artie View Post
    I would go one step farther, and say the waste is never deposited into a bag. But thats part of the utility. You just unsnap the side catches, lift the top off, and dump the debris into a convenient receptacle.
    That'd be one step too far. I use the (optional) filter bags anytime I'm vacuuming drywall or plaster dust - otherwise, the fine dust just blows out the back, totally useless.
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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    A shop vacuum is really a valuable tool for cleaning up construction areas that may have screws, nails, bits of wire, large amounts of sawdust and other debris. A household carpet cleaning vac usually has a dust collection bag that is relatively small and prone to rupture with the sharp metal objects. The small hose would also be quite prone to clogging. Then of course there is the problem of water. A wet/dry shop machine will handle gallons of water, just be sure you empty any debris you have in the tank first Some have a filter that needs to come out before sucking up water. Do you need one? I'd sure think so.

  13. #13
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Here is one found at the big box store for about $70.00 on up...

    Last edited by Cass; 11-30-2009 at 04:46 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default shop vac

    Shop vacs are often called wet/dry vacs because they also suck up water. If you have an application that can use one, then YES you need one. They make small ones and large ones. Which you need depends on how MUCH stuff you are picking up, and how much room you have to store it. If you go for the best, a metal one, be advised that they develop a lot of static electricity and you will get zapped everytime you touch the tank, unless it is grounded, and the ground plug on the cord does not usally drain the static electricity.

  15. #15
    DIY Member Artie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    I use the (optional) filter bags anytime I'm vacuuming drywall or plaster dust - otherwise, the fine dust just blows out the back, totally useless.
    Thats good to know. I didn't know they existed. I purchased one of the "hepa"-style filters, and it accomplished the same thing. (Prevented drywall dust blow-by, that is.)

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