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Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

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  • Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

    I have the WD1246 12 gallon wet / dry vac as the heart of my dust collection system. I noticed today that suction was way down. I checked the hoses, and ducting no problem, checked the Thien Cyclone, no problem, checked the filter. Problem... I have the Ridgid VF6000 HEPA filter, which they say you should be able to wash out. I tried first rinsing it out from inside, which simply did NOT work, then I washed it down from top down and had a steady stream of sawdust filled water go down my driveway... My question, since Ridgid doesn't say in the documentation...

    Would the filter being wet restrict air flow? Even though the filter is now clean, it is still not allowing for very good suction...

    I checked the suction at the vac, not just at the lines, and it is not pulling very strong. I figure it has to be the filter, or at least I hope it is. What else could it be?

    This vac is less than 6 months old...

  • #2
    Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

    I can't say for sure, because I've never cleaned the filters with water, but it seems very likely that would restrict airflow. I guess you can prove that by running it without the filter for a bit just to see if the suction is back.

    Since that filter protects what goes through the motor, I don't think I would run it until the filter had dried completely. Although it IS a wet/dry vac, it still seems like a bad idea to let any water mist (from the filter) go through the motor.

    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

      I agree with Jim. You are supposed to remove the filter for wet vacuuming, so it shouldn't hurt anything to have it off for a little bit to check suction. That also makes me think it should be dry before being reinserted though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

        The manual for the WD1246 states that after washing the filter you can reinstall it and run the vac to dry it. Of course, you can't use the vac to pick up anything in this time or you'd have a real mess with that filter!

        I'd agree with checking suction with the filter removed. I've never used the HEPA filter so can't comment on how well they can be washed. With the amount of time and energy it takes to wash the prefilter in my shop air filter, I often wonder if it's really worth it.

        John

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

          I usually just bang mine against the side of a garbage can for a quick clean (during a project) and have used the vac itself with the hose coming out the output (blower side) to blow it out. (all this done outdoors). I have washed mine a couple time and let dry (have a spare for changeout) but did not see any particular advantage over just blowing out the dust. If the dust you picked up is oily or greasy, you will need to spray the filter with some detergent-type cleaner (some of the orange citrus all-purpose sprays work well) and then rinse well with clean water.

          I have had my vac (the 14 gal model) for a couple years, and the filters have been cleaned over 50 times and are still working well. Note that using it for dust collection from a sander or bandsaw will load it up quite quickly.

          Check the suction without the filter on. If it is still poor, the problem is not the filter. I would check the seals on the Thein first and look for other leaks in the system. A piece of saran wrap moved over the seal/joint areas will usually suck in readily if there are any leaks. Also check flex hoses for pinhole cracks.

          Go
          Practicing at practical wood working

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

            Okay here's the update on my setup.

            The filter finally dried up, and suction returned to normal, HOWEVER, the was just clean filter sucked up all the fine crud that was lining the tank of the vac.

            In order to restore proper function to my system I think I need to...

            #1. Remove the filter and tap it out in a garbage can outside.
            #2. Empty the cyclone can.
            #3. Rinse and dry the vac tank.
            #4. Get my hands on a second HEPA filter.

            The reason I was washing it instead of tapping it out was I was trying to keep the fine dust from flying everywhere... In the long run, I should have done this outside and let them fly...

            Lesson learned. Next...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

              The best way to clean a HEPA filter is to blow it out with air pressure.
              Washing the filter works OK, but then leave it outside to "air dry"

              Banging the filter against the garage wall may damage the filter. It may tear, or become
              deformed. Believe it or not a HEPA filter is fragile, especially if you want it to work as it's designed.

              Use no filter inside any wet-vac when sucking up liquids EVER!. When finished dry the
              inside of the wet-vac thoroughly and wipe it down removing debris before reinstalling the paper filter.

              A HEPA filter has very tiny holes [obviously], when the filter is wet they[the holes] get plugged with water droplets, thus the wet-vac struggles to "suck"

              I have two Ridgid wet-vacs, One 16 gallon and one 5 gallon. both have HEPA filters and yes! I have extra filters. This way I can always have a clean dry filter in the machine as the other is being cleaned.

              Remember stressing the wet-vac will cause the motor to burn up! That's why Ridgid
              did that recall with the ring....This ensures those that improperly use their wet-vac does not burn it up and blame it on the manufacturer!!!

              Use your tools properly, use them only for what they are designed to to do, and safely, You'll then experience a long tool life with minimal problems. Oh, AND READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL!!!! so you can learn how to use the specific tool correctly.



              Cactus Man
              Last edited by cactusman; 12-02-2008, 12:28 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

                Agree 100% , I wish there was one of those 'best answers" things like yahoo....

                Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                The best way to clean a HEPA filter is to blow it out with air pressure.
                Washing the filter works OK, but then leave it outside to "air dry"

                Banging the filter against the garage wall may damage the filter. It may tear, or become
                deformed. Believe it or not a HEPA filter is fragile, especially if you want it to work as it's designed.

                Use no filter inside any wet-vac when sucking up liquids EVER!. When finished dry the
                inside of the wet-vac thoroughly and wipe it down removing debris before reinstalling the paper filter.

                A HEPA filter has very tiny holes [obviously], when the filter is wet they[the holes] get plugged with water droplets, thus the wet-vac struggles to "suck"

                I have two Ridgid wet-vacs, One 16 gallon and one 5 gallon. both have HEPA filters and yes! I have extra filters. This way I can always have a clean dry filter in the machine as the other is being cleaned.

                Remember stressing the wet-vac will cause the motor to burn up! That's why Ridgid
                did that recall with the ring....This ensures those that improperly use their wet-vac does not burn it up and blame it on the manufacturer!!!

                Use your tools properly, use them only for what they are designed to to do, and safely, You'll then experience a long tool life with minimal problems. Oh, AND READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL!!!! so you can learn how to use the specif tool correctly.



                Cactus Man

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

                  I could be wrong here, but I don't recall the owners manual saying anything about washing or drying the filter. They simply say to replace the filter when it becomes plugged, but the packaging for the filter says it is washable / reusable...

                  http://www.ridgidparts.com/pdf/WD12450.pdf

                  Perhaps I missed something in the owners manual?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

                    Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                    I could be wrong here, but I don't recall the owners manual saying anything about washing or drying the filter. They simply say to replace the filter when it becomes plugged, but the packaging for the filter says it is washable / reusable...

                    http://www.ridgidparts.com/pdf/WD12450.pdf

                    Perhaps I missed something in the owners manual?
                    No, you didn't miss anything. Of course replacing the filter with a new one will make the vac run better but if they told you that cleaning it will also do the same thing they wouldn't sell as many replacement filters now would they.
                    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

                      I have the 16 gal. vac. It's been great. Except I've had to change once and constantly clean other times the filter because I use it around a metal saw area. I cut 8" rounds that are 20 ft. long. I like to keep the area around it clean and every day I run the vac picking up the steel borings. The borings are mixed with cutting fluid and it's a sticky mess. There's got to be a better filter out there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Wet / Dry vac dust collector losing suction.

                        Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                        I could be wrong here, but I don't recall the owners manual saying anything about washing or drying the filter. They simply say to replace the filter when it becomes plugged, but the packaging for the filter says it is washable / reusable...

                        http://www.ridgidparts.com/pdf/WD12450.pdf

                        Perhaps I missed something in the owners manual?

                        Dry Filter (per the manual)
                        1. Some removal of dry debris can be
                        accomplished without removing the filter
                        from the vac. Slap your hand on top
                        of the lid while the vac is turned off.

                        2. For best cleaning results due to accumulated
                        dust, clean the filter in an open
                        area. Cleaning SHOULD be done outdoors
                        and not in the living quarters.
                        3. After filter removal from vac, remove the
                        dry debris by gently tapping the filter
                        against the inside wall of your dust
                        drum. The debris will loosen and fall.

                        4. For thorough cleaning of dry filter with
                        fine dust (no debris), run water through
                        it as described under “Wet Filter”.

                        I have used method #2 / #3 for the last 3 years.
                        I have never cleaned one with water, not yet anyway.

                        Try putting the filter in a plastic bag.
                        Use a wire tie at the top of the bag.
                        hold the filter at the top of the bag with
                        your fingers. this may help in keepng the saw
                        dust down / contained.

                        I am thinking on using a foam sleeve over the filter
                        as a pre filter or maybe a nylon stocking.
                        ain't tried it yet though.

                        May be worth a try anyway.

                        Dave
                        Last edited by Davet; 12-29-2008, 08:27 AM.

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