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  • Using Shop Vac as a pump

    My pool cover pump broke and there is stagnant water on the cover. I want to use Ridgid Shopvac to drain the water by hooking up a hose to the drain plug and submerging the vac hose in the water.

    Would this work?

  • #2
    Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

    If I am understanding you correctly,
    the drain can not be open while vacuuming, as it will suck back through the drain, (the vacuum creates a suction in the canister)

    so one could suck up the water until the tank is full and then drain and do it again sucking out what ever the vacuum canister will, (one may be able to put a hose ball valve in the hose line so it would not need to opening up and hose put on and then take the hose off and cap and repeat, just shut off suction fan, open up valve and drain and close valve and repeat,

    follow the directions for the filter when using with wet products, and I would suggest you plug in to a GFCI protected plug
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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    • #3
      Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

      You might be able to keep your shop vac dry by putting a barrel or other container that can withstand negative pressure upstream of the vac.

      Run a hose from the vacuums' suction port to the canister very near the top.

      Run a second hose from the barrel to the pool cover or where ever you want to pick up the water.

      When you turn on the vac it will draw a vacuum on the barrel then on the hose going out of the barrel to the pool. Water will be drawn into the hose and travel to the barrel where it will fall into the bottom of the barrel. The vac not having enough lift over the large diameter of the barrel will leave the water in the barrel and continue to draw water through the hose into the barrel. The water will never reach the vac canister unless you let the barrel fill up. This way you can catch much more water before you have to stop the vac.

      Haven't tried this myself I just thought of it when reading your post and think it might work.

      OK, now what am I forgetting and why would this not work?
      ---------------
      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
      ---------------
      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
      ---------
      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
      ---------
      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

        Googled pool cover pumps $38.00 - $109 . Why screw around ?????????
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

          I get what you are suggesting, you want to use the shop vac as a loop to draw water in and out through the drain plug so the canister does not fill. I wouldn't want to keep the motor running long enough to empty a few hundred gallons sitting on the pool cover, so I would use the shop vac to get the intial draw from the pool then quickly shut the shop vac and disconnect the inlet hose and let it gravity run. You might want to attach a length of garden hose to the inlet hoe to give you more working hose.

          I took my new pool cover off over a month ago because so much water welled up on top it displaced most of the water in the pool!
          Next season I'm drilling a few holes in the cover so rain water leaks in. Large debris will be kept out and I won't be constantly draining water off the cover. Frank

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

            Bob D's suggestion might work, but I think it would put quite a bit of load on the vac motor, which is most likely well above the design.

            Basically, you have to understand how a vac works... it doesn't really suck stuff in one end and pump it out the exhaust. Simply put, the motor-driven fan blows the air out of the container, filtering out any debris before it leaves the exhaust port. As the air is evacuated from the container, it creates a vacuum... meaning that the pressure inside the container is significantly less than "atmospheric" pressure. That "vacuum" or difference between the internal pressure (within the container) and the outside air pressure, causes the inlet hose to draft the normal "atmospheric" pressure (approx. 14.4 psi) in an effort to re-achieve "atmospheric" pressure inside the container... thus taking any debris, dust, etc. with the air flow. It's only a matter of attempting to equalize the outside air pressure and the inside air pressure that has been reduced by the motor driven exhaust fan.

            That air flow can carry debris, liquids, etc. but only so far as it can maintain a negative pressure within the container... should the pressure on the exhaust come into balance with the intake, it no longer functions.

            CWS

            Should you open another port (like the drain plug), then the "vacuum" becomes just that much harder to achieve, because then air would have an additional entry point... both the hose inlet as well as the drain hole. Basically, vacuum can only be achieved if the air flow leaving the container exceeds that which is allowed ot enter the container.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

              Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
              Googled pool cover pumps $38.00 - $109 . Why screw around ?????????
              because sometimes people like to figure out stuff on your own rather than buy a solution. depends on if time or knowledge or the personal satisfaction of figuring out how to tackle a problem is more important for the particular job.

              i figure the OP knew he could go get another pump, and was trying to solve the problem w/o spending any money using the equipment that he had on hand. kinda like when you slip a cheater over the end of your 18 when you know you really need a 24, but don't want to run back to the truck to get one.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                Excellent point. I have an old 350 chevy engine He can convert to a pump ,If He's interested
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                  Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                  I have an old 350 chevy engine He can convert to a pump, If He's interested
                  It would prolly work better than a vacuum cleaner.
                  "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                    Tool the chevy 350 as a pump reminds me of MacGyver and his inventive use of common everyday items to solve a problem for better or worse. We all experience a MacGyver moment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                      There actually used to be a conversion for the air-cooled Volkswagen engines that converted one side of the engine to an air compressor. Two cylinders still operated as an engine to power the other two as a pump. Probably could use the same concept as a water pump. Perhaps a bit overkill for a pool cover, but WTH...
                      "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                        I am MacGyver ! 1974,Back in Mass., Had just built My new home. Heated with oak. Used an old V.W. bug front end, torsion bar.
                        Welded on hitch n steel plate. Mounted a freebee Morris minor 40 H.P. engine with vickers 2000 P.SI.,12 Gals.Per Minute vane pump. Big Hyd. cylinder. Showing off, I would sever a 12" piece of oak firewood sideways. Had add in paper " have splitter will travel"Wish I still had it !
                        Last edited by toolaholic; 04-08-2012, 04:35 PM. Reason: spelin
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                          Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                          because sometimes people like to figure out stuff on your own rather than buy a solution. depends on if time or knowledge or the personal satisfaction of figuring out how to tackle a problem is more important for the particular job.

                          i figure the OP knew he could go get another pump, and was trying to solve the problem w/o spending any money using the equipment that he had on hand. kinda like when you slip a cheater over the end of your 18 when you know you really need a 24, but don't want to run back to the truck to get one.
                          Thank you for the idea !! I love this shop vac so much, I want to use it for everything. Wondering how far I can push its limits.

                          Was anybody able to use it as a lawn mower ? Just kidding.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                            Originally posted by clmsntgr View Post
                            ... Was anybody able to use it as a lawn mower ?
                            No, but you can use it to give yourself a piss-poor haircut...

                            Flowbee factory direct Also Flowbee deluxe with vacuum
                            "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Using Shop Vac as a pump

                              here is a little pump I have to go with that Chevy 350 motor, most likely it will drain it,
                              Attached Files
                              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                              attributed to Samuel Johnson
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                              Comment

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