Dusty wet / dry vacuum

My apologies if this is not the appropriate group for this topic, but I have no idea what group is? Any suggestions for the right group to ask
this, gratefully accepted. Unfortunately there is no "rec.wetdryvacs.tech"
I have a serious problem w/ my CRAFTSMAN WET/DRY vacuum. It constantly emits dust when in operation. The dust smells like the burnt dust that goes through any vacuum when it is leaking dust & going through the motor. I have numerous allergies & bought this model because it advertised that a HEPA filter was available for it. It is a: CRAFTSMAN WET/DRY PUMP VAC 16 gal/ 6.5 HP Model #86773-29 (LOOKS LIKE A RED & BLACK 'R2D2')
For dry vacuuming I have always used 4 layers of filters, per the owners manual. The CRAFTSMAN Disposable Filter Bag        917893 The CRAFTSMAN professional HEPA filter         917886 The CRAFTSMAN Cartridge Filter (Black Stripe)      17884 The CRAFTSMAN Foam Sleeve 17888
I've used it twice for wet vacuuming. Both times I've carefully followed the Owners Manual & also meticulously cleaned it out.
I'm hoping to find suggestions for a solution for its dust problem. Or at least an explanation or some such.
All suggestions gratefully accepted, John
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Perhaps you reassembled it incorrectly? There are gasket surfaces at the ends of the filter that need to seal reasonably well, to the vacuum and to the blank-off plate that gets screwed on with the wingnut at the bottom.
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ATP* wrote:
-snip-

I've studied & studied it w/ the same idea in mind & can not see how or where it is bypassing any gaskets. There is only one gasket between the dirt chamber & the upper vacuum chamber that the seal is broken when emptying it. Even if it leaked, the air has three more levels of filtration to go through. This particular model does not have a wing nut @ the bottom of the filter. It has a broad bowl shaped thing that captures 2 small tabs on the filter frame & is rotated CW to tighten it down. So far as I know I have always tightened it down after assembly.
It is possible I have somehow or other reassembled it improperly. I will restudy it & the manual w/ that in mind.
Thanks much, John
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On 25 Nov 2006 21:05:23 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "john"

...and next time, buy a real poncho, not a Searz poncho, eh?
----- = Dain Bramaged...but having lots of fun! http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Love Frank Zappa!
cheers T.Alan
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On Sun, 26 Nov 2006 10:56:38 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,

I was wondering how many would catch that. <g>
----- = Dain Bramaged...but having lots of fun! http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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john wrote:

Are you sure you are supposed to use all those filters at the same time? My first thought is that's what's causing the air leak in the filter area which is probably what's causing your leak.
GWE
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The poor old vacuum cleaner is hard pushed to even suck through all the filters you are using, and small leaks at the sealing surfaces are under extra strain. The filters may even be collapsing under load.
As you have allergies, and the dust is causing you problems, I would suggest you invest in a vacuum system that sends the waste air and crap outside your house (or flat).
This could be a purpose built system, or simply a couple of extra hoses so you can keep the vacuum cleaner outside. I use my homebuilt system like this in my workshop cleanups, and the fresh air is wonderful.
Hope this helps, Peter

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snip-----

Yep! What Peter said. I, too, have a system that discharges outside. Only the very finest of dust gets past the cyclonic separator, which is discharged. The balance of the crud accumulates in the large collection portion of the vacuum cleaner bottom portion and is easily emptied. I went far out of my way to avoid a system that uses filters of any kind----they're clearly a PITA, and discharging the spent air outside gets rid of the dead flesh smell that comes from the typical filter type vacuum cleaner. I'm totally satisfied with the system we have, and no, I'm not affiliated with them. Ours is a Vacuflow 960 and is plumbed in the shop, with an extension and multiple outlets in the house. I'd buy it again in a heart beat.
Harold
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

Dear Bushy Pete & Harold
I will keep in mind the idea of running the exhaust to the outside, as a last resort. It would mean buying a new vac as mine is designed to exhaust out the handles & other non-round openings in the lid.
Your thoughts are interesting. I don't think any of the 3 last filters could have collapse due to the cage they fit around. Also I suspect that the main paper filter would remain collapsed after it was turned off. But your idea of all the filtration causing a seal leak sounds plausible.
When I used it with the 4 filters mentioned in the original post, it ran fairly easily. By that I mean that it didn't seem to be straining like it would if I covered the intake hose. It also had a god-awful amount of suction. (I.E. I don't dare put the intake near anything I don't want to be sucked into it) When I installed the CLEANSTREAM HEPA filter in lieu of the CRAFSTMAN folded paper filter, along w/ the 3 other filters I have used since the beginning, it was suddenly running under more stress, & quieter. The problem is that it's still putting out as much dust as ever even w/ the new HEPA filter. When I examine the new HEPA, & it's surrounding pink foam filter, they show no signs of having trapped much dirt. This leads me to 2 possible scenarios. One, the dirt is by passing the filters. I don't see how, I've looked & looked w/ a flashlight & do not see any telltale signs of dust left behind as it was sucked past the seal area. Two. The dust has, somehow or other, in the past, made it into the motor & is continuing to exhaust even w/ the new HEPA filter. Perhaps if I let it run long enough the dust would all be drawn out? I've also thought of putting rubbing alcohol into it w/o any filtration, & do one of the non-recommended things in the Owners Manual to cause it to mist.
Perhaps enough of that would clean it out or ruin it.
Thank you both so much for your thoughts, John
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snip-----

Heh! Or burn down the house. Rubbing alcohol burns quite well, so running it past a motor with brushes isn't my idea of a good thing to do. I'd be very careful about making that decision. Considering your vacuum is a filtered type, it probably uses the discharged air to cool the motor, so it is routed though it. Bypass type use a different source for cooling.
I don't think you're pumping residual dust-----it is-----somehow-----getting past your filters as it's collected. Hard to say how, I agree.

Welcome. Hope something good comes from tossing them out.
Harold
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

Duh, head slap, Oh $h1t, YER RITE Harold, I hadn't thought of that. I've read the warnings about flammable materials through it, but I hadn't realized that rubbing alcohol is flammable. I mean, I knew it, but some how or other I hadn't connected the dots. It seems so benign. I mean, think about it, it could cause a flash fire wherever the fumes are. Wow, thanks bunches & bunches for the warning. I owe ya a case of beer or somptin.

It could be using outside air to cool it, but I don't think so. It's too bad Sears has discontinued it, because it can't be viewed on line. But it is a combination wet/dry, quiet, blower, and pump-out model, which is funny looking, kinda like a red & black R2D2 from Star Wars. The Exhaust air exits from several different areas, which at least partially contributes to its quietness. (And it definitely is quieter that most shop vacs) It also has a 2-1/2" hole in the rear w/ a screw on cap that can be removed for use as a blower. It was the quiet & the pump-out features that caused me to buy it. The "Shop Vac" brand vac listed below describe its features fairly well:
http://www.tylertool.com/sh966hp16gap.html
But it looks more like this model:
http://www.tylertool.com/shopvac3.html
I suspect mine was made by "Shop Vac".

Boy, I'll say some good came out of this, John
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Have you thought about using a "water trap"on the intake side of your vacuum? I started doing that after destroying a shop vac with drywall dust.
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Someone wrote:

No, how did you go about that?
Thanks, John
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An acquaintance had a problem with the "shop vac" she was using to collect the dust from soap stone carving using a rotary tool. She produced so much dust that the cooling air drawn through the motor carried enough dust into it to totally seize the brushes in their holders as well as the motor bearings. What a mess! She just could not grasp the concept of keeping the vac some distance away and using the hose as a pickup near the work area. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Gerald Miller wrote:

Wouldn't matter if she had it in another building. Most of the shop vac units use the air from the suction hose for cooling the motoron it's way out of the vac. Soapstone dust is like drywall dust, it gets everywhere.
She'd be better using a furnace blower as an exhaust fan and hosing it out every few days.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Trevor Jones wrote:
-snip-

-sinp-
Trevor I just realized that I'm making an assumption that may not be valid at all. I've been assuming that if 0.03% passes & it's all <3 microns, that it won't affect my allergies. I don't know if that is true or not.
Thanks for your thought provocation, John
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Well, if you believe the electrostatic air cleaner or air filter people, it is the smaller particles that are most allergenic. I find that true for myself - the stuff my electrostatic cleaner captures is so small I can't distinguish particles under my 50x microscope, but my head is clear if it is kept out of the air. The bigger stuff I see floating by in the sunbeams doesn't seem to bother me. (Well, except for the layer of it that is always obscuring my computer screen...)
Loren
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Gerald Miller wrote:
-snip-

Hi Gerald
I have 2 lengths of 7' hose. I usually use both. I usually keep the unit away from the area of vacuuming, but I certainly not religious about it. As I said in the last reply to Harold, I don't think it draws outside air for cooling, but I'm not entirely sure. I am going to have to find out for sure.
I can't imagine why your friend would not want her vac as far away as reasonable if just for the sake of noise abetment.
You wouldn't happen to remember what brand & model this was? Or maybe she would?
Thank you for your input, John
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Both of mine use room air independent of the vacuum action for cooling. Acquaintance (not friend) was probably using it without a hose, or if using the hose, wanted it close by for easy switch access. Fortunately I haven't seen this person for several years. I think that, at that time, her aim in life was to find someone to build her a complete dust removal system at no cost because every time I came up with a suggestion, she would reject it as too expensive. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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