What is a shop vac?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Ian Gills, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    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. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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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.
  3. Artie

    Artie New Member

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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.
  4. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

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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
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    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. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Could be a wife too. ;)
  7. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    So, do I need one? To clean up the basement?
  8. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

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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
  9. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    I also use mine to occasionally clear the condensate drain from my air handler (piping is under slab).
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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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...
  11. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    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.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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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:eek: Some have a filter that needs to come out before sucking up water. Do you need one? I'd sure think so.
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Here is one found at the big box store for about $70.00 on up...

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    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. Artie

    Artie New Member

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    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.)
  16. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I still use a filter. But the bags make your filter last a lot longer before clogging. I'd go through a few filters a day, otherwise.

    Also make emptying the vac, a LOT less messy.



    Ian - yes, you need a shopvac. And I'm not saying that only because you're begging for someone to say it...

    You already own a sawzall, am I right? Without a shopvac, your tool collection is out of balance. The mess-making power embodied in a sawzall, require cleanup power to match.
  17. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    The sawzall is peanuts compared to the drywall router.

    It's just a dust machine.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    dust

    NOTHING makes dust/sawdust like a radial saw.
  19. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

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    Try using a circular saw on drywall :D
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Why?

    quote; Try using a circular saw on drywall

    The next question would be WHY would you even want to do it? Unless you are cutting 8 sheets at one time.
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