How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick up Water?

A shop vac is a vacuum that has a lot of power and it is a lot louder than normal household vacuums. It is a versatile piece of equipment that can not only be used in a workshop but also around the house. It can be a useful tool in your garage or basement and is ideal for blowing or picking up dirt and debris of various shapes and sizes. Plus it can even be used to safely pick up different types of liquids.

These liquids can be anything from a spilled glass of wine to larger quantities of water. For instance, if your basement has flooded or you need to drain your pond for some much-needed maintenance. 

But, you might ask, how to use a wet-dry shop vac for water?

In this post, we take you through one step at a time that explains how to use a shop vac to pick up water in and around your home.

Make sure you have the right type of shop vac

Vacuuming up water might be something that is new to you. But there is no difference between whether you vacuum up dirt and debris or a puddle of water. The only thing for you to do is to make sure that you have the right type of wet and dry vacuum cleaner.

So if you are not using a vacuum with the brand name, like shop-vac, you should check the user manual to make sure that you are able to pick up water with it. If not and you use it to pick up water it will not last very long, in fact, you could destroy it instantly.

If your vacuum is a shop-vac, there is no need to worry because they are all wet-dry and are capable of cleaning up water. Let us get started on how to use a shop vac to pick up water around your home.

Check the collection tank

Check the collection tank of your Shop Vac SVG

Before you begin the task of picking up water. First, check the amount of water, you would like to pick up against the capacity that the collection tank is able to hold. 

If your model of shop-vac has a dry dust bag and a wet tank, then it is best that you remove the dust bag. But if it has a collection tank for both, make sure the collection tank is empty and clean before you use it.

Remove the filter and the filter retainer

Remove the filter and the filter retainer from your Shop Vacuum Cleaner SVG

The shop-vac filter is an extremely important part of the vacuum especially when you are picking up lots of dry dust and dirt in your workshop or garage.

But there are times when you don’t need the filter or the filter retainer and that is when you work with water. So the question that is asked by many people is, do you remove the filter when using a wet/dry vac?

The answer to this would be that it is best to remove the filter and the filter retainer before you start to suck up water or other liquids. Take the opportunity while removing the filter to give it a good dust or clean.

Filters can become damaged if used while you are cleaning large amounts of liquids, which could end up destroying your vacuum. Removing the filter retainer will allow the water to flow freely into the collection tank while you are busy vacuuming.

But remember, not all shop vacs are the same, so be sure to check the user manual to determine if you do need to remove the filter.

Attach the accessory for removing water

Attach the accessory for removing water to your Shop Vac SmartVacuumGuide

Go through the many helpful accessories that were included with your shop vac and attach the one to the hose that is for removing water. It could be either a singular squeegee nozzle or a combination with a floor brush.

Turn on the wet-dry vacuum

Turn on the wet-dry Shop vacuum SVG

Plug the power cord into the nearest wall socket but before you turn it on, make sure that the power cord is not exposed to any water on the ground.

I am sure that you know that water and electricity are not a great combination.

Then begin to vacuum up the water but keep an ear on the sound of the vacuum while you are working. Often when you hear a high pitch sound, it is a sign that the tank is full and you need to stop and turn the vacuum off to empty the tank. Do not continue to pick up the water as this will cause damages to the motor

Some shop vacs have an auto shut-off feature for when the collection tank is full. This helps prevent damage to the motor as well as overflowing of any water.

Turn-off, Unplug and empty the contents of the tank

Turn-off, Unplug and empty the contents of the tank of your Shop Vac SmartVacuumGuide

Once the tank is full or you have completed your task of picking up all the water, it is then time to empty and clean the tank. Cleaning the shop vac should be something you do after every use. It no matter how big or small, wet or dry the job is if you want to keep it functioning at its best every time    

There are two ways for you to empty the tank out once the job is completed. You can remove the head of the vacuum, then carry it outside to a suitable place to pour the water out from the tank. Or by removing the drain plug from the drain port. But whichever you choose remember the more water there is in the tank, the heavier it will be.

Once the water has been completely drained out, it is best to then wash the tank out with warm water and some dish soap. Then before you replace the filter and filter retainer to store it, make sure that the tank is completely dry.

There you go, knowing how to use a shop vac to pick up water is not all that different from using a traditional household vacuum cleaner. There are a couple of things to make sure of before you start using it like it is a wet and dry shop vac. Check that it is empty and clean and that you have removed the filter and you can then begin to pick up the water.

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