Durability of Shop Vacs

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OK, lets get this out of the way up front. I use my shop vac a lot. Their last job was sucking up the dirt from edging the sidewalks. But the durability of the last two shop vacs I owned (both Shop-Vac brand) has been less than impressive.
I would be interested in hearing what others experiences have been in tougher than normal shop vacs -- brand, size, etc. I am willing to pay for a decent unit, because the last two units (which were like $80 or so) didn't last that long.
Matthew
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Matthew wrote:

years ago. Use it for everything from cleaning up the sawdust in my garage to sucking leaves from the gutters. Sucked up the water when the water heater leaked, sucked up the gravel under the bathtub when I needed to get to the drain line. I can't seem to kill the thing, I want a quieter one so I can use it as a dust collector hooked up to the router but it just won't die and give me an excuse to but a new one. I have never even changed the filter for it either.
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Second the Sears for durability and excessive noise. I have this horrible feeling that it will outlive me.
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Try using a muffler. IIRC, HD carries the one I put on my Shop Vac brand and it cut the noise quite a bit. Still not what you could call quiet, but it helps a lot.                         Mark L.
Lobby Dosser wrote:

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Mark L writes:

I had one for a Ridgid. Pulled it apart and stuffed it with very coarse brass wool (couldn't find the steel wool). Decreased the noise even more, but it did reduce vacuum power a bit.
Charlie Self "Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half." Gore Vidal
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Put me in line. Mine almost requires double hearing protection and it really does suck, but it just won't die. I do like the detachable head that the wife uses as a leave/debris blower to blow off the sidewalk, but I'd imagine that's pretty common these days.
--

-Mike-
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I've owned two. The original Sears 16 horse model was a good sucker but louder than it needed to be. It ran a long time. Too long. Onna 'count of it being so loud I longed for the day that it would shoot craps and I could get me one of those sooper silent Euro-vacs. That day came and I bought a Fein. Aside from the fact that it involved an additional investment (a pleated filter and a brush nozzle) I like it and it holds up well.
UA100
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I have a 5gal Shopvac that I've had a long time, and a 16gal Shopvac I've had for about 5 years now. Both are going strong, and both have seen their fair share of abuse. The 16gal one was used to pump out our basement once, and is currently the DC for my planer. The 5gal is currently used to vaccum up garage gunk and broken glass and such.
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On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 17:44:46 -0500, "Matthew"

I've been using a 16 gal. ShopVac for five or six years now. It has sucked water and all sorts of unmentionable debris without any problem. Probably about the hardest use it got was when I busted the rear window of my pickup canopy and had millions of tiny glass granules down in my lawn. I just vacuumed it all up (along with about 40 gallons of grass. A few years later one of my boys threw a rock through a side window on the same pickup. This time in a gravel driveway. I almost filled the 16 gal. tank with gravel and glass. It took two husky guys to dump it. I have vacuumed up incredible amounts of drywall dust and normal shop detritus, all without a hiccup. I think I paid about $100 for it, but IIRC it was on sale marked down from $150 or more. Good to replace the stock filter with a washable tyvek one.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Iuse two 16 gal. sears shop vacs. They work well, albeit a bit loud. One is in the garage, the other in the basement where it sucks up stuff from the floor as well as the DC for my planer. The basement unit has a Cleanstream filter. I really couldn't ask more of either one except to be quieter.
On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 17:44:46 -0500, "Matthew"

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On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 17:44:46 -0500, "Matthew"

my about $300 porter cable vac has been a good performer, but I wouldn't use it for lawn edging...
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I have been using my shopvac 16 for about 20 years and it still works perfect. Water- saw dust- dirt- if you take care of the filter it will suck harder and last longer. I wrap an old t-shirt around the foam filter shake it free of dust occasionally and when sucking water I tape like a plastic hefty bag against the inside to prevent water getting sucked into the motor.

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I have an old shop vac that has been in regular (but not extensive use for at least 15 years). I find it a bit noisy, but it has sucked just about everything including water, grass, dirt, cement dust, saw dust, etc.
Recently I noticed that dust was coming out the exhaust. Taking it apart revealed the foam filter had failed. I got a new hard plastic filter instead of the foam filter with the nag around it since I rarely such water with it anymore, and then bought the bags that fit inside. It seems to work better this way. Its noisy but I think I paid like $50 for it new. I got my money's worth out of it.
One of the hold down clamps broke off years ago, but it seems to be fine with just the two left.

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Matthew said:

My original 10 gal Shop-Vac lasted for 15 years, including sucking the crap out of our outdoor pond. The metal cannister finally rusted out and I replaced it with a 90L series (93010-11) 10 gal, "4 HP" model.
This is the worst thing I ever used. The motor squeals and the bearings resonate and the motor windings constantly fill the room with the peculiar odor of burning insulation. I even tore it down to see what was wrong. Chinese armature, bronze sleeve bearings, and a really crappy switch.
Waddya want for $60?? I wish I had bought something else...
FWIW,
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

We have a few Shop Vac brand at work. The switch went on every one of them. They all deteriorated in about three months. We do use them to vacuum water so we even tried the very expensive ($300) one that sits on a drum. No better than the cheaper ones. Ed
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I have the feeling that we're dealing with a "generation crap" problem here, too. The 30-year old Monkey Ward branded (manufactured by Shop-Vac) is still in the basement, after I found that I could get Shop-Vac branded replacement filters. The Shop-Vac replacement is in the garage, where the grinding noise from the new age universal motor isn't so noticeable. Quieter on the exhaust, though.
<Greg G.> wrote in message

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I had a Shop-Vac brand unit for many years but recently I decided that one should not have to wear a respirator and hearing protection to operate a vacuum cleaner. So I put it in the trash and bought a Fein. So far I am very happy with that choice. It's quieter than the vacuum I use inside the house on my carpets (probably cleans better too).
Lee
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Lee Gordon wrote:

I've had a Shop Vac now for about 14 years that's still going strong. I never used it for anything wet; just the usual crap around the garage... sawdust and vacuuming out the car. I upgraded the filter to a HEPA and added a Ridgid muffler to it. It remains loud enough to cause chromosomal changes.
Last week I installed a Penn State dust collector with their accessory muffler and now have a system quiet enough to hear the radio or normal conversation while it's being used. I'll continue to use the Shop Vac for the car.
I guess this means I can put away the respirator and ear muffs now.
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I've had my Fein Turbo II for 6 years and it still works like it was new.

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