Advice On How To Use a Shop Vac
A shop vac can be very useful, particularly if you’re doing anything which involves waste, such as renovating your home, painting a room, doing DIY in the garage, and a whole host of other things. Regular vacuum cleaners are really only designed to handle carpet dust and allergens, but the shop vac is more versatile than a regular vacuum. It’s important to know how to use a shop vac correctly, though, so here are some starting points.
1. Set it up
Carefully unpack your new shop vac, ensuring that any extra instructions and parts are stowed to one side. You’ll want to ensure that all the fittings are in place and that you’ve glanced over the specifications because not all shop vacs do the same things. Some models require you to thoroughly clean the canister once you’ve finished; others will have certain items that the manufacturer recommends not to be suctioned up.
Next, you’ll need to insert the four wheels into the caster feet, maneuvering them so that they snap into place. Then turn the tank upside down and firmly navigate each of the caster feet into the four holes on the bottom of the tank. Screw them into position and turn the tank right-side-up so that it’s resting on its wheels.
Now install the filter; some models have cartridge filters that screw on, others have a foam sleeve and a paper filter. Ensure the bag is placed into the tank, fitting it neatly around the edges. Position the hole over the nozzle of the intake port, place the top onto the tank, then close the latches. The latches will only work if the top is correctly positioned. Install the tool holder, connect the hose to the intake port, and you’re ready to roll!
2. Set room up
First things first; get every piece of furniture out of the room, if possible. Use a regular vacuum to remove any dust. Then, mentally clock those areas of the carpet which have the most staining or spots and apply some stain remover on them. Add some carpet cleaner solution with water, perhaps via a watering can with sprinkler. Scrubbing comes next, using a scrub brush, striking a balance between quite forceful but not overly aggressive. You can use a stiff-bristled push broom or even a deck brush, so long as you brush the entire carpeted area.
Now you’re ready to use your shop ‘wet-dry’ vac. Make sure the flat attachment is in place in order to get maximum suction power. All the carpet cleaner water needs to be suctioned up, then more sprinkling of water and round two, to ensure all the soap has been extracted. Soap residue can permanently damage carpet fibers and underlay if not removed.
3. That’s a wrap
This whole process should mean that not a bit of soap remains on your carpet. It will then take about three days for the carpet to dry absolutely. Keep at least one window open and use an oscillating fan, if you have one. It is essential to let your carpet dry properly, so don’t replace any furniture before the three days, or mold might start to form.
Vacuum cleaners cannot do what a shop vac can do. The motor is far weaker, and it cannot handle wet substances. A commercial vacuum cleaner is more robust and powerful than a regular vacuum cleaner in many ways but again, not suitable for watery surfaces. Carpet cleaners are good at just one thing, ie. cleaning carpets; their unique system can include the dispersal of solution and special rotating brushes with great suction power. However, a shop wet-dry vacuum is more versatile and can handle not just carpets but other surfaces.
Shop wet-dry vacs can suction water itself, as well as a whole range of rougher surfaces of all descriptions. The bag and paper filter will need to be removed unless it has a foam filter that can withstand the water. But it is robust enough, and the electronic hardwiring is protected well enough that you can use it in any number of situations. It can suction up nails, urine, poop, wine, coins, socks, even pet hair which will tend to clog up the rotating mechanism of a regular vacuum cleaner.
Shop vacuums will tend to have a float that will shut down the suction power from the motor if the canister gets filled with water. If the machine starts to alter in pitch and lose considerable suction power, you will need to empty the tank before continuing.
If your basement floods, your shop vacuum can quite easily suction up the excess water. There are some models that will allow you to use output hoses for draining off the water. It is not the ideal replacement for a water pump but can help until you can put the best procedure in place.