Shop vac that doesn't pump dust?

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What does the filter element of your unit look like? If you are missing the paper filter that goes over the foam pad, you will have exactly the symptoms you described. The paper filters, and the ring to hold it in place if you don't have that, should be pretty cheap.
After you get it working, check the filter frequently. I find that the ring works its way loose over time, making the problem happen again.
I had one freeby vac I picked up that didn't have the ring or filter. I had a spare filter, so I cut the top ring off a nursery flower pot that was the right size for a new ring.
Bob
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buy a new shop vac that can be used as a blower, then attach some hoses and exhaust the air outside.
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Seems a little excessive if all he needs is a properly installed filter to do what he needs.
Bob
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Thanks, all! It'll have to wait for this weekend before I can take the thing outside and feildstrip it enough to blow the dust out with leaf blower from upwind side, measure the guts, and go to the store and see if any of the cloth bag or paper disc filters will fit. Lowes web site looked promising. None of the industrial supply houses around here are open after my normal working hours. I'm pretty sure none of the cartridge filters that look like truck air filters will fit- mine has no fittings for that locking disk or ring the pictures show.
The one I have is OLD. 600C model number is not even listed on their web page. Metal can, not plastic, looks about 6? gallons. Intake and outgo holes in top, not in side. 1.5 hp. From the styling, early 80s at the newest. Yeah, I probably need a new one, but as long as this one still sucks, and I can rig some sort of dust filter up, well... It works great on normal dirt, it is just the fine stuff like rust/drywall/concrete powder that put it in smoke generator mode.
And as to the carpet- hiring someone is looking better and better.
aem sends....
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I have some really old mini shop vac (actiually Genie Jet Vacs) they sell filters with "bottoms" rather than the sealing disc.
The ones wil the sealing discs have too large ID to fit my vacs
check out this filter....they give the ID as 5 3/4"
if your filter receiver is about that size (or slightly smaller) a friction fit will work great.
http://www.cleanstream.com/store/3313209067.html
as long as you can get good filters for your shop vac why get a new one?
cheers Bob
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wrote:

I wonder if any automotive air filters would work for him? He might have to make a retainer.
But I also wonder why he can't netsearch for the proper ShopVac parts/data.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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wrote:

(my cars have the same problem- they usually have fallen out of the book.)
aem sends.....
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Just because it's not in the cross reference doesn't mean that you can't get filters for it. Last time I looked, the filter mount on almost all Shop-Vacs was the same, and took the same size foam filter / bag / pleated filter. You want a filter that has an opening on one end but is sealed by a metal or plastic cover on the other end, and whose opening is a snug fit to your vac's filter area. It will take some force to push it on.
Shop-Vacs are common enough that you can find third-party filters. For example, Gore (the Gore-tex people) make a filter called CleanStream that removes even extremely fine dust from the air.
    Dave
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writes:

the lid, and take all that and a tape measure down to the big-box. Hopefully I'll find something that fits, or can be made to. (I figure the borg would get cranky if I carry the lid and motor into the store and start test-fitting stuff.)
aem sends...
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Just take the top of the vac to the store. Then you can't go wrong.
Bob
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wrote:

pays me after 5 pm and on weekends anyway.
aem sends...
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wrote:

BTW, the less expensive paper filters, the ones not for soot, are circle shapped. They go on flat along the bottom of the cage, and then wrinkle as put around the foam filter. They are held on by a plastic ring (whhere the cross section is a quarter round) for shop-vac, and a thick rubber band for Ridgid.
If you have the ring, you can buy a bad of filters for a dollar less at Walmart. If you need a ring, you can buy a bag at Lowes with the plastic ring, or iirc and HD with the rubber band ring. I like the plastic ring better, but if for some reason, I want to store one outside of the machine, the rubber band takes less space. I can't remember why I once wanted to store one outside the machine.
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Is it an actual "Shop Vac" brand vacuum? What size is the tank?
Most shop vacuums have a foam filter that is mostly for sucking up liquids.
If you vacuum dry items, there's usually either a paper bag that slides over the foam filter and is held in place with a rubber band, or there's an actual pleated filter that slides in place and is held in place with a screw-on cap.
The pleated filters come in various filtration ratings (how small of a particle they block), but tend to be fairly expensive ($15 and up) and clog up rather quickly.
If your Shop Vac is 12 gallons or larger, you can buy large filtration bags that wrap around the inside of the tank and attach to the incoming hose port. These are more affordable (typically 3 bags for $15) and last a LOT longer than the other filters (though I leave the original filters in place when I use the bag). The bags also make emptying a lot cleaner and easier. When the bag is full, just take it out and throw it in the trash. Sure beats dumping the can with dust flying everywhere.
The filtration bags are typically available in "Fine" and "Medium" particle ratings, at any of the home centers (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.). I use the fine bags for vacuuming saw dust and cold ashes from our woodstove, and have never had a problem with dust coming back out.
Of course, if you can't find bags or filters for your vacuum, maybe it's time to upgrade to a new Shop Vac? Just a thought...

I've never done it but you could seal off the space with plastic, put on goggles and a face mask, and have one person vacuum the dust as you pull back the carpet slowly.
Another option might be to wet it down first. It would keep the dust down, but would make the carpet heavier. Cut it into small pieces to take it out. Then scoop up whatever wet goop is remaining with a flat shovel.
Anthony
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I take a craftsman wet/dry vac and have a real long hose. Then I remove the internal filter. The vac is placed outside turned on. I take the hose inside and go to town. Sucks everything outside and doesnt clog the vac. Works real well. I got the 20' hose from sears.

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Untill something catches in the impeller and drags the motor to a screeching halt.
You probably do get really good suction.
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

but you are pulling dirt into your vac's MOTOR,it's not good for it. Filters keep the dust from ruining your motor bearings/brush contacts.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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That's true for ordinary household vacuums, which run the dirt pickup air through the motor (after the filter) for cooling. But all of the shop vacs I've ever looked at have a separate path for motor cooling air. Motor cooling air comes from the space around the motor via slots.
You really need this change in construction for vacuuming up water. The filter for water pickup (particularly if it's just a foam sleeve, not a pleated filter) lets some water through, and you don't want water inside your motor no matter how briefly. Also, shop vacs normally have a float valve so when the tank fills up with water the float blocks the impeller inlet instead of having the vacuum start spewing water out the outlet port. Once this happens, there's no air flow at all through the tank, but the motor still needs cooling air. Again, a separate motor cooling air path solves this problem.
Good central vacs for houses also seem to use separate motor cooling air, though I've seen one that cooled the motor with the filtered air. If you throttled the air flow by putting a small nozzle on it, the motor would overheat and trip a thermal protector after a few minutes on that particular unit.
    Dave
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writes:

There's still the issue of chunks sticking in the blower, stopping it or throwing it off balance, or just plugging it up over time.
Bob
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Sure. I wouldn't pick up water without at least a foam filter in place on my old Shop-Vac.
My newer vac has waterproof pleated filters, so you use the pleated filter even for water pickup.
    Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

But shortens the life of the motor because it lets dust/grit get into the motor.
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