Undoubtedly, if you own a shop vacuum you have asked, ‘ is it safe to vacuum water with this vacuum ?’ Additionally, if you are serious about the type of vacuum you use, you have likely come across the terms ‘water vacuum’ or ‘water filtration vacuum’. So, what makes that any different from your average vacuum? Today we kick off our series on water and vacuums in this blog post. Later on we will have two additional parts which will discuss filter bags and industrial ‘water only’ vacuums.
Uses Water As A ‘Filter’
The simple definition is any vacuum that works with water. The water filter vacuum is a slightly more technical concept. Let’s look at an example.
Imagine you are a road worker on a major interstate. You need to cut into the asphalt for some repairs; however, there are cars going by on the road and you want to make sure you and those in the cars don’t breathe in all that dust. You would probably use a water-fed gas power cut off saw for this job. The water dampens down the dust, making it fall to the ground as slurry, leaving you with a muddy mix of dust and water.
In this instance, a water vacuum would be a vacuum that could pick up this watery slurry. The difference is that your normal wet+dry water vacuum can pick up dust and water debris simultaneously. This means that a wet+dry water vacuum can do both dust and water.
How Water Performs Its Filtering Function
While there are vacuums that use water as a filter, these are generally used in household settings or industrial floor cleaners. For construction and similar industrial setting requiring wet and dry collection, wet+dry water vacuums are preferable since they can collect much more material and are easier to clean out when done.
When vacuuming wet materials, the amount of dry dust that reaches your filters will be lessened because much of the dust is caught up in the water. Particles may be dissolved in the water, much like the sugar in your morning coffee or suspended in the water, eventually sinking to the bottom of the barrel, or ‘precipitating’ out. This is much like throwing a few pebbles in your morning coffee. You can then drain out the water and all the dirt you sucked up with it. Soluble particles will flow out in the water; just rinse out the remaining insoluble particles later.
Where Water Vacuum Selection Becomes Tricky
Maybe you need a small vacuum for cleaning out your flooded basement. Maybe you need a contractor sized vacuum for professional work. This is the key thing to keep in mind: most water vacuums will require you to switch the filters out depending on if you are sucking up wet material (such as water or slurry) or dry material. That takes forever.
We can offer a solution in that our vacuums are the some of the few vacuums on the market that are capable of sucking up wet and dry debris at the same time, without switching filters. Yep, with our vacuum you don’t need to swap out the filter during any job – it will pick up the water filtered dust as well as any free floating dry dust at the same time.
What Water Vacuums We Offer
We have three options for water vacuums:
8 Gallon HEPA Wet+Dry Pro Vacuum: This water vacuum is our most economical and would be suited for DIY/homeowner use and light construction work. A hydrophobic filter repels water that gets close to your filters, thus protecting them from damage. Check it out by clicking here.
16 Gallon HEPA Wet+Dry Vacuum: This water vacuum best suits frequent homeowner and heavy construction use. There is an entirely separate compartment for the water and dust to collect, making it impossible for your filters to become water logged. Additionally, it has twice the capacity of the previous version. Check it out by clicking here.
Slurry Vacuum: This vacuum is best for commercial and industrial use. It is a vacuum that sits on top of a standard 55 gallon drum and sucks up water. It is a wet only vacuum, but if you primarily vacuum up wet things – this is the king of the water world. We will have a dedicated blog post on this vacuum in Part 3 of our Water Vacuum Series.