How to Use a Shop Vac to Vacuum Water


Tired of wiping off the spilled water with a regular mop or worse, a wet towel? Wishing there was a simpler, quicker solution? You can now use a power-driven electronic tool to ease your chores – a simple and quick solution to cleaning the water spills with a shop-vac!

It’s a pump attachment that can function with most wet-dry vacuums. The device is capable of soaking and removing substantial amounts of water. Are you wondering how this pump works? In this article, we have detailed down the process of how to use a shop vac to vacuum water.

Using a shop vac as a water pump

Using it to vacuum water is not that different from using a regular vacuum cleaner. It has a hose attached to soak up and remove the water. 

However, the vac itself does not store the water inside; instead, the hose carries the water to another location. This is perfect if you are looking to drain a large amount of water quickly, perhaps draining out a small pool or hot tub.

What Does a Shop Vac do?

The purpose of this device is to assist in construction and woodworking. It comes with a high-power suction unit and a motor that sucks up dirt, debris, and other small parts of materials from woodwork shop and construction sites.

Attached to the vac is a hardy, large-sized hose and a container to hold the debris and help clean up extremely dirty spaces. The hose can suck in screws, nails, sawdust, wood chunks, small pieces of metal, and other small materials cluttering woodworking shops and construction sites.

These aren’t the only functionalities of the shop-vac, it can also be used to vacuum water. Sounds a bit unusual? But it is a convenient tool to aid in vacuuming water, here’s how it works.

Is It Safe to Use a Shop Vac?

In case you’re wondering if it is safe to use an electric machine to vacuum water, let us assure you, it is, in fact, very safe to use. This handy equipment can suck up anything from small to a large amount of spilled or stored water, milk, or any low viscid liquid.

We face many issues such as broken pipes, flooded garage, clogged toilets, or flooding in rooms during heavy rain. The solution to these catastrophes is to simply plug in your shop-vac, the wet mess will be dry and clean in no time.

Moreover, it not only ensures minimal effort to clean a mess but also prevents expenses from heavy damage repairs. Some shop-vacs include a separate storage container for dry dust and water, while some models may only have one container to hold both dry debris and water.

How to Use a Shop Vac?

Before working with it or any tool per se, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of how it is used to avoid any disruption. As for using a shop-vac to vacuum water, it is not that different from using a regular vacuum cleaner.

The shop-vac pump comes with a hose attached to soak up and remove the water to aid in your cleaning chore. The hose sucks up the water and stores it in the water tank or a container inside the vacuum. So, here’s the entire process.

Step 1: Remove Lid

The first step is to remove the lid. This is also known as the motor compartment and houses of all the electrical components of the shop-vac. The lid has two snaps on either side of it to hold it down. Remove the snaps to lift the lid properly.

Step 2: Check the Internal Storage Compartment

The area right under the lid is internal storage. Simply check to ensure the inside is clean and empty. Put the lid back on once this is done.

Step 3: Attach the Intake Hose

On the internal storage container, you will spot an empty hole. This fits your intake hose and should be adequately sealed. Ensure the end of your hose has a rubber sealing before plugging it in; without one, there may be liquid leakage. Once the hose is plugged in, make sure it is firmly in place and airtight.

Step 4: Remove Plug Stopper

On the back of the shop-vac is a plug stopper which has to be removed, allowing the pass-through of everything vacuumed to the external container. This is necessary if the internal storage does not support holding liquids. The plug stopper covers the exit valve, and once removed, will allow the attachment of a second hose.

Step 5: Attach an Exit Hose

Take any garden hose and attach it to the exit valve, which should be threaded. If it isn’t threaded, simply use thread or electrical tape around the hose, to ensure no leakage. Once the hose is secured in place, move the now exposed end to the external container or any open space you would like to direct the water towards.

Step 6: Power on the Shop-Vac

Once you have verified that every component is connected securely, turn the machine on. Vacuum a little and check for any signs of leakage; turn it off if you notice any spillage and redo steps 3 to 5, then try again. With the machine running properly, simply keep vacuuming till the container is full.

Safety Tips

When using the internal storage, it might be difficult to spot if it is nearly full. You can be alerted of this by a sudden high-pitched noise from the motor. If this happens, immediately turn off the machine and clear the storage before resuming the task. This noise can also be heard if something blocks either the internal or external hoses.

In these situations, the shop-vac needs to be turned off, and the obstruction cleared; otherwise, there is some risk of damaging the motor. With everything out of the way, you can now finish the task and turn off the machine when you're done.

Be careful to clean up the internal storage and don’t leave any liquid inside, as this might potentially damage the lid when moving the shop-vac around.

Final Words

We believe following these simple steps will help you understand how to use a shop vac, and make it quicker and simpler for you to clean water out. The truth is, every new tool designed to make our chores simpler seems a little tricky at first, but we assure you it will get easy if you follow the correct method.

So, you are ready to let go of the mop or towel and pick up a shop vac to vacuum water now, aren’t you?

About the Author Jack G Marinelli

I love to clean floors, living areas and I know much all about the vacuum. Here I am sharing some of my experience, tips, and guides, so you can learn.

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