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Old 03-10-2010, 04:32 PM
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Need a good shopvac, not like the lousy thing I have from Sears

I have a Sears 3 hp 6 gallon shopvac.

Mine won't pick up dust. Anything half an inch beyond the end of the hose won't even be disturbed, except maybe by the noise. There's nothing else it produces that could disturb anything.

If I use the hose as a giant eraser and scrub it across the surface I want to clean, it will disturb the dirt enough so that anything in direct contact that's light enough will get sucked into the machine. Yes, I've changed filters and tried to keep it clean.

The bottom line is that an rag is a easier, more powerful solution for clean-up than this expensive noisemaker from sears. When I try to clean surfaces in my shop or home with this thing, the only sign I've attempted are the marks or tracks the physical contact of the attachment I was using made in the dust I was trying to clean. Other than the tracks the tool physically made in the dust, the dust is undisturbed.

Don't get me wrong. If I take the attachments off and put the bare hose against my hand, it will bite and hang on. Once the end of the bare hose is w/in a 1/4 inch of something, such as my hand, the suction becomes powerful. But as I said, move the hose a 1/4 inch further away and my hand, and the dirt, might as well be on the moon. Sears tells me everything is fine.

Is this how shop vacs are supposed to work? I wouldn't know. I always used rags before to keep things clean.

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:55 PM
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How old is the vac? might just be old and tired i know mine is, and it's doing about like you describe and i have had it for 12 years or so.JMO


Cole
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:13 PM
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When is the last time you cleaned the filters? And how long a hose on the vac.?
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:31 PM
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I have a sears one and it will suck white off rice....I've not had any problems other than it sucks up too much stuff..lol
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:58 PM
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I have two Rigids a 5HP and a 3HP. Love both. Each has a double length of suck hose. Now I can't use somebody's that just has a single length.

NEVER buy another filter element. I have used the same element that they came with new. But I frequently have to clean them off by carefully lowering into my garbage can, shut lid against my arm and then knock the heck out of the element against the side of the can. About once a year I also use a brush to get into the folds better and also will backflush with a garden hose and then let dry.

Those elements work better when they are slightly dirty - just like my Martini's

Mine have had all the sawdust, sheetrock dust, cat puke, dog hair, dirt, bondo, sanding dust you can imagine.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:03 PM
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I have a 15 gallon ShopVac, works great now that I have fixed the wheels that kept falling off.

Vince

Last edited by 302 Z28; 03-25-2010 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:10 PM
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I've got a 20 year old 3 hp. 16 gal. Sears wet/dry shop vac that would suck the proverbial chrome off a bumper hitch. This thing would make a $50 whore bow her head in shame. Of course I clean the filter every once in a while and make sure there's no blockage in the hose....it's called "Preventative Maintenance"
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkydog
I have two Rigids a 5HP and a 3HP. Love both. Each has a double length of suck hose. Now I can't use somebody's that just has a single length.

NEVER buy another filter element. I have used the same element that they came with new. But I frequently have to clean them off by carefully lowering into my garbage can, shut lid against my arm and then knock the heck out of the element against the side of the can. About once a year I also use a brush to get into the folds better and also will backflush with a garden hose and then let dry.

Those elements work better when they are slightly dirty - just like my Martini's

Mine have had all the sawdust, sheetrock dust, cat puke, dog hair, dirt, bondo, sanding dust you can imagine.
I will second the Rigid's. When I was the tool buyer at the company I used to work for, I picked up a couple and the guys loved them. Gave up on the over priced Shop Vac brand.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ownerT
I will second the Rigid's. When I was the tool buyer at the company I used to work for, I picked up a couple and the guys loved them. Gave up on the over priced Shop Vac brand.
I also love the Rigid's, they are VERY powerful yet still quiet. I have had/used many different brands and I think Rigid's are the best for the money. There are some out there that are better but they cost 3 times as much if not more and not worth it to the home hobbyist.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkydog
I have two Rigids a 5HP and a 3HP. Love both. Each has a double length of suck hose. Now I can't use somebody's that just has a single length.

NEVER buy another filter element. I have used the same element that they came with new. But I frequently have to clean them off by carefully lowering into my garbage can, shut lid against my arm and then knock the heck out of the element against the side of the can. About once a year I also use a brush to get into the folds better and also will backflush with a garden hose and then let dry.

Those elements work better when they are slightly dirty - just like my Martini's

Mine have had all the sawdust, sheetrock dust, cat puke, dog hair, dirt, bondo, sanding dust you can imagine.
Your very right about the Rigid vac's, mine works great. One thing about the filter, I'll blow mine out with compressed air, just take it out into the yard and blow the dust out. Have to be careful watching direction of wind and if the neighbors are out, creates a big cloud of dust!!!
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:11 PM
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I'm glad you guys are happy with your shopvacs.

My shopvac has a new filter as of yesterday. I tried to clean the old filter; I thought that might be a problem. Theoretically, according to Sears, the filter can be cleaned. But it didn't help. So I bought a new one.

I use the hose that came with it. I don't use any attachments that weren't made by Sears.

Let me explain what brought this to my notice. Here in North Texas we've been getting a lot of snow and rain. I don't know why, but one of my dogs gets more countryside on her than the other. So I have to give her a bath a couple of times a week. That leaves a lot of dirt in the tub. I thought an easy way to clean it up would be to use the shopvac. It won't pick it up the dirt. Even though if I lean close I can blow on it and move it. I can blow on it and move it with a puff of air, but the shopvac can't pick it up.

I would think that if I can blow on the dirt and move it, the shopvac ought to pick it up. But like I said, the only mark it makes if I use an attachment is the physical displacement of the dirt where the tool touches the surface. I can take the attachment off and just use the hose and scrub it along the surface and it will clean, but like I said, a damp rag is faster and easier.

Basically, since I bought it a couple of years ago I think I've used the shopvac the way 90% of people who buy them use them. Cleaning car interiors and carpets. As I said, if you scrub hard enough it seems to work. It's just that when I tried to vacuum loose dirt off of a hard, white plastic surface I noticed, "Hey, this thing doesn't seem to be working very well."

And it isn't. Before I never really thought about it.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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Sounds like something is FUBAR with your vac. I'll try to make a funny joke now: you are using the electric motor on it, right?

Your screen name makes me think you have an IH vehicle.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:48 PM
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Last year about this time I posted that my 24 year old 16 gallon Sears vac was dying, even with a new filter and wanted suggestions for a new one. It wasn't dying!! I had about a 50% restriction of some sort of stringy crud in the hose. It seemed to suck pretty well - that is until I went to clean up under my table saw. I 'reamed' out the hose, cleaned up whatever else I could and it's good for another quarter century. The little one, also a Sears 5 gallon (I think), needed a new filter. Got one the same size at HD for about 60% of the Crapsman - works fine now.

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Old 03-12-2010, 02:17 PM
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Since youve cleaned your filter you have air flow comin in the hose to the filter and the container. Now check the air outlet. My vac has a filter for the air outlet (and a 265mph blower attachment) but wherever the air exhaust is check for clog because if it is the air will just swirl around in there and youll lose all that suction.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:27 PM
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yeah iam the parts jobber for my shop and i get them sears vacs . they work great never a problem and they get used hard.
i think you got an obstruction also , check the suction with no hose or attactments , then add a hose section and check it , then check the attactments. also as was said try putting the hose on the exhaust side and check air flow.
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