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We put our shop vacs through a lot of abuse, so it’s likely and completely natural that somewhere along the road we might run into a hiccup in regards to the smooth operation of the device. Although, if your shop vac is losing suction and not operating at its full potential don’t go buying a new one yet, because it’s most likely an easy fix!
Shop Vac Losing Suction – Likely Causes and Quick Fixes
There can be a number of different reasons for why your wet dry vac is experiencing suction loss, and before we go into how to fix these issues we’ll go into what they might be and after, if there is a way, we’ll tell you how to avoid these from happening in the future! The most common causes are a Dirty filter, clogged hose or inlet, a crack in the hose, or finally a crack in the tank itself.
Shop Vac Losing Suction – Dirty Filter
As you probably know, the air you suction goes through the filter before it goes shooting out the exhaust port. What most people don’t take into consideration is the fact that blowing the air out is vital to suctioning more in. A simple fact, yet often overlooked.
And because of this fact, if your shop vac is struggling with blowing the air out it’s also going to struggle with suctioning. So, when looking at it this way the first thing that comes to mind that might be causing the suction loss is of course a dirty filter, block the air from getting out!
The fix for this one is obvious, firstly, if your vac comes with a filter cleaning button – press it. After you’ve done so bring your shop vac to the closest sink or bath. the reason you want to do this before you take the filter out is because it’s gonna be shed a lot of debris on your floor if you just take it out and carry it to wherever you’re gonna clean it.
After You’ve taken it to wherever you’ll be cleaning it slowly remove the filter and place it into the sink, bath etc. and start carefully cleaning it with a medium stream of slightly hot water. Keep going until it’s clean and then be sure to dry it off and let it dry till it’s completely dry before you place it back into your vac. If you’re in a hurry feel free to use a fan or a similar device to speed up the process
Clogged or Damaged Hose
A quick and easy way to check if your hose is clogged or the inlet is to simple remove the hose and carefully check the inlets suction with your hand. If you feel that the inlet is operating at full potential then it’s very likely the hose is damaged or clogged and vice versa.
So, if you’ve deduced it has to be something about your hose that’s hindering the suction power of your device then the first thing you can do is take a flashlight and see if there’s anything clogging the hose. If you’re having trouble with that for any reason another good way to check this would be to place an end of the hose in your bath and run some water through the one you’re holding – see if the water comes out smoothly or there seems to be something hindering it.
If you’re sure it’s not anything IN the hose, then start checking for cracks ON it. Even the smallest crack can hinder suction quite a bit, so it’s important you’re careful and thorough with your inspection. If it’s a crack that’s small enough to be hard to find regular duck tape should do the trick, if the crack is big you’ll most likely need something stronger.
Also, be sure to check if the section where your hose and suctioning attachment meet is not letting out air in some way as well. This can be caused by either simply having it poorly attached, or you’ve worked it for so long it’s developed small cracks, in which case the simplest fix once more is taking a roll of duck tape and rolling it around the section where the hose and attachment meet, this should do the trick!
We won’t use a whole subsection for this since it’s a quick fix – if it’s your inlet that’s blocked just poke out whatever’s blocking it with whatever’s handy and you should be good to go!
This is the most serious damage a regular person should take on by themselves. Anything related to electric components and so on – we highly advise staying away from. Now, this is obviously quite a simple process to look at, but there’s a lot of things we look in our day to day lives and this guide is here to remind us of those things.
Just take a good look at the tank from the outside from all sides and there isn’t a single crack to be seen but nothing else seems to be at fault you can go ahead and take the top off your shop vac, see if there’s something by the top that’s usually covered by the head of the shop vac that’s hindering suction. If there’s not a single crack again then the last possibility that’s still somewhat fixable is that somehow through long use the top’s become slightly loose and it letting a bit of air out.
If you think that this is the case – once again, the simplest fix we can provide for this is just taking out your trusty roll of duck tape and rolling it around the section where the top and tank of your shop vac meet. Keep in mind if you do this it’ll be harder to remove it later, so only do this if you’re desperate to quickly squeeze some more solid operation time out of your trusty vac.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s none of the above listed reasons as to why your shop vac might not be suctioning at its full potential, then it’s most likely something with the motor, and this is where we advise to start considering to just buy a fresh device, or if your shop vac comes with a warranty taking it to get it fixed, since working with these parts by yourself can be potentially dangerous and not worth the risk.
Shop Vac Losing Suction – Conclusion
If your shop vac is losing suction then it’s likely because of a dirty filter, clogged or damaged hose or inlet. Washing the filter will take care of the problem if it’s a dirty filter and a good roll of duck tape can take care of a lot of the rest. Good solutions don’t necessarily have to be complicated!