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HEPA vac for new lead renovation

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  • HEPA vac for new lead renovation

    I am trying to get ready for the April 2010 EPA Lead Renovation rules that require a HEPA vac for cleanup. I know Ridgid makes HEPA filters for their vacs but will the vacs with the HEPA filters meet the requirement for having a "HEPA vacuum". The rules state......

    .... HEPA vacuum means a vacuum cleaner which has been designed with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter as the last filtration stage. A HEPA filter is a filter that is capable of capturing particles of 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. The vacuum cleaner must be designed so that all the air drawn into the machine is expelled through the HEPA filter with none of the air leaking past it....

    I know the filters meet the requirement but will the vacs meet the no air leaking past requirement?


  • #2
    Re: HEPA vac for new lead renovation

    I think Ridgid's Vac division would have to be the ultimate decision maker on this question. But from my limited experience with their typical shop vacs (I have two of the 12-gal units) I'd say absolutely NOT!

    First off, I've used a couple different filters with the unit, including the HEPA rated one. They all do a very good job and the HEPA is terrific. Even with the middle cost filter, I've had no problem with plaster dust. But asbestos can be very fine, and though a HEPA filter might well do the trick, you have to worry about containment within the vacuum and the seal around the rim is anything but perfect.

    When the motor is running, the vac does not leak and there's nothing discernable in the outlet stream. But dust does build up around the inside lip and when you turn the vac off and move the vac, either carrying it or just rolling it, dust does spill from the rim... and it does so in such abundance that I wish Ridgid had included a rubber seal in the design.

    Perhaps their high-end vacuums have addressed this problem, but even then I think they would have to have some type of certification for an application like asbestos removal and other toxic applications.

    From what I've seen on two asbestos removals at our factory (watching only the "coming and going", as the area was sealed from all outsiders), they use some highly specialized vacuum systems. My understanding from talking with one of the techs, is that they are multi-filtered and designed specifically for such tasks.

    I hope this helps,