Maintaining A Wet/Dry Vac

Maintaining A Wet/Dry Vac

What machine can be found in both homes and construction sites, is easily portable, and has the ability to up suck dust, debris, and liquids? We’re talking about the versatile and industrious Wet/Dry Vacuum, also referred to in some circles as a "shop vac." 

If you own a shop vac you may be thinking of all the tough jobs it can tackle and likely cannot imagine being without this time-saving wonder of a machine! So doesn't it make sense to give it all the care and maintenance it needs to keep going? Of course!

5 focus areas for maintaining your Wet/Dry Vacuum

Note: Prior to any maintenance, make sure your Wet/Dry Vac is unplugged or disconnected from any power source and that you are in a well ventilated area. The process will differ slightly with each machine.

1. Filters

Your Wet/Dry a vacuum. Many machines have two different types of filters which allow it to suck up both liquid and solid matter and these need checked and/or changed. When cleaning the filters make sure to use low water pressure so as to not rip the filter. Allow the filter to completely dry before placing them back into your machine. It is recommended that filters be changed every six months but if you use this machine daily or detect a musty order check in more often. Keeping your filter clean and undamaged helps protect the vac performance and life.

2. Emptying the Tank

Instead of using a vacuum bag, the wet and dry cleaner usually uses a two bucket system that separates the liquids from the solids into two different chambers. The importance of emptying the inner bucket regularly cannot be stressed enough and should be emptied after each use.

3. Cleaning the Tank

Once the lid is off safely empty the machine of any debris. Fill it with warm water and dish soap. Add a cup of bleach and let the tank sit for 1 hour. Rinse the machine thoroughly to ensure there are no traces of soap or bleach. This is also a good time to give the outside a good wipe down using mild soap and water or warm wet cloths. Let all the parts dry completely before putting it back to work.

4. Power Source

In most cases, Wet/Dry Vacuums have power cords attached, and with daily use, these can get damaged and wear down over time. Be sure to inspect all cords before and after each use. Some vacuums may use batteries to operate, and these units will require some additional maintenance. Water levels are critical and should be checked regularly. Inside each battery are cells that contain water. With normal charging, you will see the evaporation of this water and thus the need to adequately top off each cell. Depending on use, manufacturers recommend this to be done on a weekly basis. Remember, due to mineral content in most tap water, the need to add distilled water is vital.

5. Squeegees

Some Wet/Dry Vacs contain built-in front mount floor squeegee such as the Viper Shovelnose SN18WD Wet/Dry Vacuum. If you notice the squeegee leaving streaks on the floor, it’s time to replace! The streaks are telling you that the job is not getting done completely and efficiently which will cost you money and time. These blades should be replaced routinely to guarantee maximum recovery of the liquid that needs to be picked up. Even a new squeegee should be checked to ensure it is free of debris.

Did we miss any helpful tips? Let us know in the comments below!


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