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  • 4550 vac bags tear

    I've had the Ridgid 4550 "toolbox style" vac for a while and it works fine.

    The other day I started using bags. Today I go to change the bag and it has a tear in one "leg", about 3/4 of the way to the end. Never knew it because I still had the pleated filter. Never picked up anything but drywall dust.

    So I clean everything, put a new bag in very careful not to pinch it and use it to pick up some more drywall dust. I open it up after 10 minutes and the new bag is torn, same exact spot, same exact shape tear but the other leg. Diagonal tear about 2" long.

    OK, I put another new bag, leave the pleated filter out and run it again. Sure enough, after about 10 minutes it blows. Same exact tear, other leg.

    Anyone seen this? I'm thinking Twilight Zone...

    DG

  • #2
    Re: 4550 vac bags tear

    Look inside the vac for any ruff or sharp spots that might be snagging the bags. I wonder if the bags may be defective in design such as being either too big or small. Since you have had them all bust open in the same place, I would try something like thin foam as a sort of bag protector. Good luck and please let us know more.

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    • #3
      Re: 4550 vac bags tear

      I already looked. No sharp edges and the bag does not show any creases or other telltale signs of pinching, piercing or cutting. Just a 2" ragged tear. Looks like the bags just burst at that spot.

      Not always the same "leg" of the bag but always the same location on the leg and same size/shape tear.

      I did inspect the bags carefully before installing and no sign of anything abnormal in the tear area.

      DG

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      • #4
        Re: 4550 vac bags tear

        Hmmm Maybe the machine is too powerful and Ridgid needs heavy duty filter paper for them. It will be interesting to see what others post regarding this.

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        • #5
          Re: 4550 vac bags tear

          I wonder if it's a defective batch of bags?

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          • #6
            Re: 4550 vac bags tear

            I found someone with a similar problem on a Porter Cable vac. No apparent cause other than bad design, i.e. bags not strong enough.

            Since the tear is predictable (same spot always) this other person resorted to taping the spot with masking tape, etc. before use. Which cured the problem, if you can call that a cure.

            It is unbelievable that a manufacturer would actually NOT test the bag design.

            DG

            Edit: No, it's not a defective batch. The bags came from 2 different stores and were bought 6 months apart.

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            • #7
              Re: 4550 vac bags tear

              I bet it's a case of trying to do the old "One size fits many" rather than to design-engineer a proper bag just for your model vacuum cleaner. Maybe you can go a little wild and try lining the case where the bag rips with some 1/2 or 1 inch foam.

              This reminds me of a brand X zipper bag that was made for old timer Hoover uprite vacuum cleaners. The brand X outer bag was made too big. If you used the genuine Hoover bags they would explode after a few seconds. If however you used the brand X bags they were made larger (again a one size fits many) they would work, but they clogged up fast if you were sucking up fine dust. The only good answer was to get the real Hoover zipper bag, but it was super hard to find as they (Hoover) quit making them long ago.

              I wish I had access to the Ridgid 4550 without having to buy one. I would like to see if I can somehow figure a cure or if the engineers messed up. I bet there are bags made that would work fine for you. The problem is finding them.

              Come on people and post what's happened to you with your 4550. I'm sure there are other members of this forum that own them. Please post.
              Last edited by Woussko; 03-23-2007, 12:42 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: 4550 vac bags tear

                There may be some truth in that. Both the 4050 and 4550 "portable" vacs use the same bag. The 4050 came first, so it's a good guess the bag was designed for it.

                Having said that, I can't see an obvious reason why it should blow on the 4550. The main difference is that there is less space inside the 4550, as there is a large well where the hose and cord are stored. That well takes away a good amount of the internal volume. The bag "legs" barely fit between the well and the sides of the can, but they do fit with a little care.

                I do own both vacs, but I've never used bags in the (older) 4050. I suppose I could experiment a bunch and engineer a solution, but I'm not on Ridgid's payroll, so I have better things to do with my time, like earning a living. I will tape up the next bag at the trouble spot and see if that works.

                Just hoping someone else could confirm they use bags on the 4550 and they tear. Or they don't.

                DG

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                • #9
                  Re: 4550 vac bags tear

                  I did find a solution that works. You need to disregard their directions.

                  The instructions/picture printed on the bag show the bag "legs" being draped straight out, along the outside walls of the can. Pretty normal and obvious, but doesn't work. The bag blows.

                  What DOES work is to form the bag legs into a donut shape around the pleated filter. This keeps the bags from blowing out (don't know why).

                  It also provides more bag capacity, as there is a little more room in there, as compared to the recommended setup.

                  We'll see how this works longer term, but so far it looks like somebody at Ridgid screwed up big time.

                  DG

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                  • #10
                    Re: 4550 vac bags tear

                    Now that I think about it, every time that I went to replace the bag, it does seem as though it was torn. I always figured it was due to sucking up something carelessly, or just leaving it in there too long (overfilled).

                    I pretty much only use the bags when sucking up drywall dust, but I don't always remove the bag before using it for more coarse material. A lot of times, I only think of the bag after I start to lose suction, and by then the bag has blown open and the filter is clogged full.

                    I have thought about using a different bag, but like dgbldr, it's not my focus. Next time, I'll have to try the "donut" technique. It would be nice to have an alternate source for the bags.

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