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Question re: wet/dry vac for emptying fountain

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  • Question re: wet/dry vac for emptying fountain

    First off, I looked through the archives and didn't see anything addressing this, so as a newbie I'm sorry if this has somehow been answered somewhere else.

    My mother-in-law has a cement fountain in a plastic liner for the surround. The chemicals she uses to treat the water has dissolved a great deal of the cement and it has turned to silt in the surrounding pool. She hasn't done anything with it in sometime, so the water has gotten stagnant and difficult to see through.

    She wants to use my 16 gallon contractor wet/dry vac to suck all of the water and silt out. So my questions are:

    **Is this even a good use or will I trash the vac trying do the combination liquid/silt?

    **If I can do it, what do I need to have in place...special filters, etc. to ensure I do it right and don't wreck the vac?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and guidance.

  • #2
    Take the filter off of the inside of the vacuum and you should not have any problems. Just wash it out after your done.


    • #3
      one of these might also help with your task
      I think you need to leave the filter on though, check the manual


      • #4
        wayne, do you know if this pump works at the same time as the vac? or do you have to run them at separate times?

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          I dont have one so I cant test the theory but it should work while the vac works especially if the input remains inder water. It must have some type of backflow prevention or the vac would loose too much suction power with the unit installed on the drain port.

          Cactusman has one, try PM him. Here is the tread where he talks a bit about it


          • #6
            sears pump

            the sears pump will remove the water from the vac, but I'm not sure how well it will do pushing out the silt and crud.

            The instructions for the drain pump indicate you run the pump with the vacuum off! and only as a drain.

            If you have a lot of water to drain why not pick up a cheap submersible pump or maybe even rent one. This will work faster than the 16 gal wet vac.

            Cactus Man, in 108 degree Glendale, Arizona


            • #7
              Well, I'll tell you what I would do... this is certainly "low tech", but it works well. Just take a common water hose, without the nozzle, stick one end in the fountain so it is below the water lever. Either have someone turn on the water (or put a brick or something to hold the fountain end down, and turn the water on yourself).

              As soon as the hose fills, shut off the water, disconnect the end hooked to the outside faucet and place that end lower than the fountain. If the outside faucet is uphill from the fountain, you'll have to quickly plug the faucet end, so the water doesn't completely empty the hose into the fountain.

              The water will drain out of the hose, and in turn cause a syphon action which in turn will drain the fountain. You can handle the fountain end of the hose and as long as it stays below water level, it will continue to sypon.

              You can then use a trowel (or small shovel) to scoop out the sediment.

              Maybe not as classy as messing up your shop vac and having to spend time cleaning it up afterwards; or dropping $$ on a pump, but it works well.

              Sometimes, "simple" is all that is required,

              Last edited by CWSmith; 06-25-2006, 12:56 AM.


              • #8
                Hydraulics 101

                A siphon will work as CWS suggested, but you do not need to connect to a hose bibb to get it started. If you have enough water in the fountain, you can submerge the hose in the water and fill it that way. Once the air is all displaced from the hose anchor the one end or have someone hold it in the water while you cover the other end of the hose with your finger (to keep the water from draining out while you move it) and then drag the hose out of the water to an elevation lower than the fountain. You can even cross over an obstacle higher than the fountain water level (up to approx. 32.9 ft) as long as your outlet is lower than the bottom of the fountain. In any case if the outlet end of the hose is not lower than the bottom of the fountain then you will not be able to siphon all the water out, only to the level of the hose ends. Generally speaking, the greater the difference in elevation the better the siphon will work.

                More than you wanted to know about siphons:
                Last edited by Bob D.; 06-25-2006, 05:52 AM.
                "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



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