Dusty wet / dry vacuum


My apologies if this is not the appropriate group for this topic, but I have no idea what group is? Any suggestions for the right group to ask this, gratefully accepted. Unfortunately there is no "rec.wetdryvacs.tech"
I have a serious problem w/ my CRAFTSMAN WET/DRY vacuum. It constantly emits dust when in operation. The dust smells like the burnt dust that goes through any vacuum when it is leaking dust & going through the motor. I have numerous allergies & bought this model because it advertised that a HEPA filter was available for it. It is a: CRAFTSMAN WET/DRY PUMP VAC 16 gal/ 6.5 HP Model #86773-29 (LOOKS LIKE A RED & BLACK 'R2D2')
For dry vacuuming I have always used 4 layers of filters, per the owners manual. The CRAFTSMAN Disposable Filter Bag        917893 The CRAFTSMAN professional HEPA filter         917886 The CRAFTSMAN Cartridge Filter (Black Stripe)      17884 The CRAFTSMAN Foam Sleeve 17888
I've used it twice for wet vacuuming. Both times I've carefully followed the Owners Manual & also meticulously cleaned it out.
I'm hoping to find suggestions for a solution for its dust problem. Or at least an explanation or some such.
All suggestions gratefully accepted, John
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I had a big Craftsman with the optional drywall dust filter bag. Can't remember how efficient it was with it installed. ie how inefficient. It was an option for maybe $30, it looked like a big white cloth diaper with a draw string. No other thoughts.
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bent wrote:

Hello brent
Did this drywall dust bag cut down on the emissions? I think that the dust is by passing the filters by taking a different route, or it got through the original 4 levels of Craftsman filters & is now in the motor & putting out the burnt dust. I have now installed a Gore HEPA filter & it is still putting out dust. If I use this same Gore filter in a 6 Gal Shop Vac that I 'rescued' & carefully cleaned up, from a dumpster, it doesn't put out as much dust.
Any more insight happily accepted, John
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Are you sure the gasket where the filter "seats" is in good condition. The gasket on mine went kaput way before it should have. I installed some foam weather stripping and solved the problem.
Max
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<...snip...>
Have you tried contacting Sears?
--

-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Hi Mike I have a longer description of this written & up addressed to Sears, from which I made this post. I am definitely going to contact them, but I am hoping to be better prepared or more knowledgeable before I do. I hope to hear of others who have/ have not had problems w/ shop vacs emitting dust. I've been doing more on line research since I made this post & what I'm reading @ some sites (some what between the lines) is that a HEPA filter does not mean that the vacuum is a HEPA device. Also one site that is selling $2K vacs, is that no "cheap vac" is a HEPA device. I hope they are wrong.
Thanks, John
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Thanks John. Actually, I should have said more in my reply to you. I am interested in what Sears says and has to offer, but as well, I'm interested in alternate address of the issue. I just wondered if Sears had "recognized" the issue and stocked or supplied a suitable address of the problem. Sometimes we get lucky and the company will offer a retrofit product free (given some success at negotiating with them). I was kind of curious if you'd reached any level of success with Sears on this front.
I have a Sears behemoth shop vac too and I have the same issue you do. Not to mention the noise that rivals a jet engine. I probably should just buy a new shop vac - smaller by a long shot than what I currently own, but I guess I'd rather find a simple solution to the filtration problem. The link that one of the guys posted yesterday might be the ticket for that. The noise is something I address with ear muffs. My god, this thing is loud! If my shop vac ever dies, I will certainly look with a greater scrutiny at the device that replaces it.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Well, I am hoping to, but realistically I'm dubious. For one thing it will be 5yrs old in Feb 07. It worked fine for 3-1/2yrs.

I'm certain that my model is different from yours. It is not particularly noisy for a vacuum (weather shop vac or not) It was advertised as quiet & I have to agree it is. However that may be part of the problem. It does not exhaust from the 2-1/2" hole. It exhausts from several openings in the lid. I read somewhere that this is all or part of the muffling. The 2-1/2" hole is covered.
I will let this group know if or if not I make any progress w/ Sears, John
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I use the disposable vacuum bags in my shop vac also. Both the regular and special drywall bags have worked well for me. I like them because they drastically cut down on filter clogging and cleaning. They reduce the pass through dust considerably also.
john wrote:

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john wrote:
<snipped>

Take a look at the "CleanStream" filters available for your vacuum.
http://www.cleanstream.com/filters_wetdry.html
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Nova wrote:

Thanks Jack That's a good suggestion. So good, in fact that I've already done it :-) However it hasn't helped. I will excerpt what I wrote to brent:

When I said

I meant the

I just couldn't remember the >CLEARSTREAM< name & I knew it said >GORE< on the box. I believe that the CLEARSTREAM filter is capable of removing most dust to a point that it won't bother me. But as I said, my theory is that the dust is in the motor from previous usage. The thing is that I've babied & cleaned the big vac ridiculously. I've always followed the manual. There is no reason I can think of why it's doing this. I have thought of putting rubbing alcohol into it w/o any filtration, & do one of the non recommended things in the Owners Manual to cause it to mist.
Perhaps enough of that would clean it out or ruin it :-/ John
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I cannot even picture the system. I buy a lot of things by the recommendations of Consumers Reports magazine. Nobody else has the nuts to do what they do. Its worth the money. I used to have a subscription and collected them. You can bet if wanted it, I knew about it before I bought it. Having said that I would often find a close-cousin type product on sale when I went to get it.. Anyways it was like the L-88 of shop-vacs. This was years ago. If it one of the largest units, this may counteract the added drag of the diaper.
I bought the diaper specifically for large quantities of drywall sandings. I didn't like what was like baking powder on every floor. Can't comment on it because i didn't notice a problem before, and was not concerned with respiratory considerations. I do know I would not necc remove it if I needed to p[ick something up. It would become a really big furry, powdery mess!
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