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  • Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

    Hey there,

    We just got a Ridgid 9 gallon wet dry vac for Christmas. Model 0970. I asked for a shop vac...but hadn't specified what brand. I didn't realize that the filter situation is what it is with this vacuum.

    So I just took it out of the box, and discover that there is a giant filter that needs to be thrown out and replaced from time to time-unlike my friend's shop vac, which uses thin pieces of non-woven fabric. Replacement filters are $30 a pop, and there is a huge amount of landfill waste involved.

    So I call Home Depot and ask if we can return it-yes but only for store credit. We're renovating our whole house...so its likely we may use that amount before we're done anyhow...but still, it doesn't give me a vacuum NOW, which is what I need. Furthermore they tell me that if I want to vacuum drywall dust, I need a whole other filter, for another $30.

    Sooooo, do I really want this vacuum, or is it just gonna be a big cash sink, or something I destroy prematurely?

    Expected usages---connecting to sanders, drywall dust, cleaning a dirty car, general shop and barn vacuuming for a couple of really dirty DIYers.

  • #2
    Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

    One thing I can tell you is that I'm not aware of any consumer grade shop vac that comes equipped from the factory with a filter that will handle drywall dust or sander sawdust. You'll need to buy an aftermarket HEPA, at the minimum, filter for that type of work. Other than that, most any type of shop vac will handle the other chores you mentioned.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

      I usually used a set up that incorporated a five gallan bucket that I put water in. A hose attached to a hand sander and another hose would attach to the shop vac. All the drywall dust would end up in the bucket, saving the shop vac. Unfortunately I loaned the set up to someone and I can't remember who... sigh. I think the rig cost me around $30 at Menards, several years ago.

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      • #4
        Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

        I have a sears 16 gallon vac, and have used it for many many years, (it takes the same filter as the normal Ridgid vac), now I do not remember how many years I have had it,
        but my guess is 20+ years, I bought a spare filter when I bought the vac, and have used in construction and farming and remodeling, for the past 20+ years, I ended up buying my third filter this last December,

        most of the time I would just shake it out, if it was stubborn I would drop it on the floor, and blow it out with a air hose, (from the inside out), I even have a special made air filter nozzle made from a standard blow gun, and attaching a 1/8" pipe with 1/16" holes about ever inch down the pipe, the last 10 inches or so, the and a pipe is about 12" to 14" long, the end is plugged, I use it on my tractor and combine air filters as well. (similar filter design).

        but the only reason I replaced it was that the rubber on the ends broke and it would not hold together any more.

        shake out and blow out (from the inside), the filter and use again and again and again and again.


        (if using a conventional blow gun keep pressure to less than 30 psi, if you make one with a long tip like I did with many holes in it most of the time the air pressure is lowered as there are many holes but keep it down so the paper does not tear), hold up to light to see if there are any holes in it or drop a light bulb down in side of it and look for any holes, (importation on if using with tractor type air filters), as any hole in them may ruin a engine. (note: if doing for an engine read the warranty as it may void the engine warranty by reusing a air filter),( John Deere at one time sold a similar tool as I described above)
        Last edited by BHD; 01-10-2010, 08:15 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

          Originally posted by Heather Kidd View Post
          Hey there,

          We just got a Ridgid 9 gallon wet dry vac for Christmas. Model 0970. I asked for a shop vac...but hadn't specified what brand. I didn't realize that the filter situation is what it is with this vacuum.

          So I just took it out of the box, and discover that there is a giant filter that needs to be thrown out and replaced from time to time-unlike my friend's shop vac, which uses thin pieces of non-woven fabric. Replacement filters are $30 a pop, and there is a huge amount of landfill waste involved.

          So I call Home Depot and ask if we can return it-yes but only for store credit. We're renovating our whole house...so its likely we may use that amount before we're done anyhow...but still, it doesn't give me a vacuum NOW, which is what I need. Furthermore they tell me that if I want to vacuum drywall dust, I need a whole other filter, for another $30.

          Sooooo, do I really want this vacuum, or is it just gonna be a big cash sink, or something I destroy prematurely?

          Expected usages---connecting to sanders, drywall dust, cleaning a dirty car, general shop and barn vacuuming for a couple of really dirty DIYers.
          also the ridgid filters, not the paper one but the better ones for fine dirt and drywall dust easily spray off clean with water. low stream as to not tear.

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          • #6
            Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

            I've had two 12-gallon Ridgid vacs for around five to six years now. I've used them hooked to my table saw, router table, RAS, sanders, general clean-up and even wet pick-up. I did buy a HEPA filter for use with drywall dust too.

            But, I've never thrown any of these filters away and they all work great. I just empty the barrel, brush out the flutes on the filters, and on occasion take the filter out into the yard and blow them out with the unfiltered vac nozzle on the exhaust.

            These filters are not "throwaways" as you label them and if given reasonable care, they'll last for years. They are even washable.

            When I bought the Hepa filter, it was around $23 as I recall and the regular filters were about $18. So if they're now $30, it's obviously been awhile. But even at $30, what does that cost a year... about $5.

            CWS

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            • #7
              Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

              I've got the small 6 gallon Ridgid wet/dry vac. I have a standard filter, and the $25 or so replacement blue Hepa/Level 3 filter. I use it for lots of things, lots of usages, have had the vac (which I got on sale for $29) and the filters for about 2 years now. Similar usage as you, Heather Kidd, but with a bit additional usage on jobsites / renos. I've found that the price was well worth it. I've always been a ShopVac brand fan before, as they were available with the fabric overlay for the filter, which you mentioned. I find that little addition is not worth it, in my opinion. The fabric overlay basically is like a pre-filter, and just prevents larger pieces from hitting and potentially damaging the filter, and/or clogging it. Well, I find that the Ridgid filters are actually a little bit better designed, and a little more sturdy, eliminating the benefit of that cloth. Also, I always found that the cloth overlay on ShopVac brand vacs had a tendency to easily clog up and become plugged, leading to so-so suction performance. The longevity and performance of these Emerson motors on the Ridgid wet/dry vacs are the deciding factor for me.

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              • #8
                Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

                First off, the original filter on those things are pretty good. A Hepa filter is only needed for ultra fine particles. Like virus sized ones.

                Second, you can fit a vacume bag inside the unit. This will save your filter as the vast majority of the dust will stay inside the bag and not stuck to your fitler. It also lets you get full vacuum power until the bag is full. Not loosing power as more debris gets sucked up.

                Third. It's a wet dry vac. Believe it or not, you can wash the filter. Use a garden hose, and a soft bristle brush. I then use compressed air to help blow it dry. I have used my same filter for the past 4 years without any problem. Just as long as you don't rough handle it while cleaning, it will go on for years.

                Forth... if you don't like your Ridgid then get a full cash refund back from HD. As long as you bought it within the past 90 days, you can return it no questions asked. Thats part of the Ridgid policy. If HD balks, then speak to the store manager.

                Matt.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

                  I have several cleanstream filters , for Ridgid vacs, one that is 15 years old and still is OK. The goretex used and the build quality is the best. Ridgid has improved their replacement filters, I have used them , they are good but the cleanstream are better,hold up very well when washed, are NOT paper or paper blend . The 9 gal unit is a louder , cheaper made vac. I do not like that unit.

                  The problem with Vacs is that the air coming out of the motor has carbon from the brushes, and is not filtered. I have placed a thin fiber filter used on house vents, inside the vac, below the motor exit vent on the cover, they turn black within minutes, with fine carbon dust. That is a limitation of most shop vac designs. We have a Kenmore true hepa, that does have a hepa filter on the exit from the motor exhaust too.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

                    Originally posted by Andrew M. View Post
                    I have several cleanstream filters , for Ridgid vacs, one that is 15 years old and still is OK. The goretex used and the build quality is the best. Ridgid has improved their replacement filters, I have used them , they are good but the cleanstream are better,hold up very well when washed, are NOT paper or paper blend . The 9 gal unit is a louder , cheaper made vac. I do not like that unit.

                    The problem with Vacs is that the air coming out of the motor has carbon from the brushes, and is not filtered. I have placed a thin fiber filter used on house vents, inside the vac, below the motor exit vent on the cover, they turn black within minutes, with fine carbon dust. That is a limitation of most shop vac designs. We have a Kenmore true hepa, that does have a hepa filter on the exit from the motor exhaust too.
                    I like the little exhaust mufflers that you can get for the exhaust ports on these Ridgid vacs. They seem like a bit of a protruding ugliness, but they work well for this, I find.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

                      ihave one of those mufflers on my shop vac, works great, cuts the noise down and no dust blown out the back end.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ridgid 9 gallon Wet Dry Vac-worth it or not?

                        Hello, I have owned and tried so many of these vacs and I have to say, 30 yrs and I still buy the S*ars Craftsm*n and they work better and last longer. ...and will suck the paint off a wall! GregC
                        GregC, President/Founder of Quick Belt System
                        www.quicktoolbeltsystem.com

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