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Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

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  • Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

    I bought a Ridgid Wet/Dry vac at Home Depot to vacuum the carpet at my bar. It quit working within the first year of use. I had to basically "hunt" to find a Customer Service number for you. Home Depot doesn't carry that information and I had to find out, from the backdoor, that Ridgid is actually Emerson Tools.

    When I called Customer Service, I got a lady who it was evident that english wasn't her first language, because it was hard for her to understand what I was describing the problem was. She gave me an RMA over the phone, but was supposed to e-mail me the address I was to send the unit for Warranty. After 5 days of no e-mail, I hunted the website and found the address for Emerson Tools. I called them and found the address of Ridgid.

    After ponying up the cost to send the vacuum to Ridgid (versus picking the original unit up at the local Home Depot), I get the unit back with a little note. It appears that my vac is not covered under the warranty because I used it as a vacuum cleaner.

    When I called to ask for further on this matter, I get a long litany from the lady who doesn't speak English, of a polite way to blow me off, why Ridgid doesn't warrant it's product. It wasn't re-wired, it wasn't used without the filter, it wasn't tampered with on the cord or switch, and it wasn't used for "wet". I have a bar. It was used to vacuum the carpet. There was, supposedly grass, paper, and plastic wrappers in the vacuum. What would you expect to find on the floor? Check your carpet at home!

    After speaking with Tina, the Customer Service Senior, I got the same litany of why Ridgid/Emerson doesn't honor it's warranty. Basically, using a vacuum cleaner as a vacuum cleaner invalidates the warranty. Obviously a tough lesson to learn. I'm obviously in the market for a new vacuum, and now I know, DON'T BUY RIDGID!

  • #2
    Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

    Why didn't you go into more detail about the reason(s) why Ridgid said you vac wasn't covered under the warranty. There is no way that I'm going to believe that they said it wasn't covered because you used it as a vacuum cleaner. There's got to be more to this story than you're telling us.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

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    • #3
      Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

      You have got to be kidding?

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      • #4
        Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

        The reply letter says:

        The vac's blower wheel is full of debris, paper, grass, gold tinsil and plastic wrappers. This vac will not be covered under the warranty. Signed Tina Dickerson, Senior Customer Service.

        I told her we never used it without the filter as there is no "water" to vacuum at a bar. We mop the bathroom floors. She just informed me that the filters are supposed to be able to be washed, but we never did it. I get the filters in the 5-pack. I told her it sounds like a defect to me. She then goes on to tell me of 2000 warranty issues she's dealing with. I'm heading over to Lowe's to find a real wet/dry vac with a real warranty. Guess what my recommendation will be to anyone buying a vac?

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        • #5
          Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

          If the fan (blower wheel) is a mess either the filter broke or at some time the vac was used without it. How else could the mess have happened? It could just be BS and it's actually clean, but I can't say unless I could see it (motor-fan assembly) for myself. As for a shop vac, you have loads of choices. Look them over carefully and be 100% sure the filter cartridge is installed properly and has no holes in it. Also, I think you'll like that a good many models can now be used with paper throwaway dirt collection bags. No more big mess in the drum and/or filthy cartridge filters.
          Last edited by Woussko; 09-27-2007, 09:56 AM. Reason: corrections

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          • #6
            Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

            Check the fine print on the warranty of the new vac that you choose. Look for words that void the warranty if used for commercial purposes (ie your bar).
            Not sure what model you had but I use my WD1850 for all matter of wood and construction debris including drywall dust and the filter cage is always clean so nothing gets past a properly chosen and installed filter.
            If you check your manual it has all the contact information and also suggests dropping it off at a local repair center

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            • #7
              Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

              It sounds like, from your other posting in the "Ridgid s_cks" thread, "some wheel was full of debris.." That implies that it was either used without the filter or somehow the filter slipped, or was misinstalled and debris was able to get past it. Debris should not be able to get past a properly pressed in filter...especially not big debris like the wrappers you mentioned. I've had a press on filter slip down when manhandling a vacuum....not a Ridgid. The other possibility would be a faulty filter...bad seal or torn element...that should be pretty obvious when looking at the filter. Ever see anything like that?

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              • #8
                Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

                Originally posted by rodeojim View Post
                The reply letter says:

                The vac's blower wheel is full of debris, paper, grass, gold tinsil and plastic wrappers. This vac will not be covered under the warranty. Signed Tina Dickerson, Senior Customer Service.

                I told her we never used it without the filter as there is no "water" to vacuum at a bar. We mop the bathroom floors. She just informed me that the filters are supposed to be able to be washed, but we never did it. I get the filters in the 5-pack. I told her it sounds like a defect to me. She then goes on to tell me of 2000 warranty issues she's dealing with. I'm heading over to Lowe's to find a real wet/dry vac with a real warranty. Guess what my recommendation will be to anyone buying a vac?
                is it ruined or does it just need a good cleaning of the dirty parts?

                why didn't you bring it into a local service center that could have worked with you on a local basis?

                i use my shop vacs primarly for liquid, sewage and concrete cutting slurry.

                so far so good and no filter for wet pick ups.

                i do agree that it's a filter issue. either it was not installed properly, or it was missing at some point.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Wet Dry Vac Invalidates Warranty if it Vacs

                  What model are you talking about? Your description of the "5-pack" of filters almost sounds like the little "Stinger" vac (under $30). I have two of those as well as two of the 12-gal shop vacs. I've been very happy with all of them, using them for a variety of stuff, including some clean up in a basement which had some damage from the heavy rains a year ago.

                  If it's the Stinger, I can see that the filter might have slipped, as it is only held in place with what amounts to a big rubber band. It's the only vacuum that I've seen that recommends removing the paper filter before using it for wet pick-up. But even then, the user must use some sense in it's operation. It's use for even minor liquid pick-up is questionable if the liquid contains dirt or other debris. I used my Stinger in such a matter and I immediately heard the "debris hit the fan" (literally as well a figuratively). So I stopped and grabbed the bigger vac, later taking the Stinger apart and thoroughly cleaning it before using it again. (You just can't use a vac without the filter!) So, while I can see where that particular vac could get damaged, I probably wouldn't be to upset if it understandably conked out. But, as the user, it is essential that I take some responsibility in it's operation.

                  I question warranty/service claims where it is indicative that the user neither inspected the filter or paid attention to low suction or over-heated motors and continued to operate the vacuum to a point where burn-out or other damage occured. While I can understand the "bad-joke" of having a warranty refused because you used the vacuum to vacuum, I think it goes well beyond that. Finding debris downstream from the filter is surely an indication that the unit was not operated properly. Unless it can be proven that the manufacturer's design is at fault, you're probably out of luck. Owner's of any product have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to the product's use, IMO.

                  CWS

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