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Ash clean-up

Post in 'The Gear' started by firecracker_77, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I'm currently using a broom and dust pan and a string mop on my ceramic floor with my first stove. That's easy, but I'm putting in second stove on a hearth pad with carpet in that room, so I can't have that level of ash / dust in that room settling on the carpet and ruining it. Is there a vacuum that will clean up ash around my hearth pad without blowing any of that out into the air like some cheaper vacuums do.

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Get a vac with a hepa filter. Too fine to let anything through, but ya gotta keep the filters clean. Be very cautious in using a vac near a stove. One tiny hot ember can turn the vac into a fire breathing dragon.
    ScotO, Backwoods Savage and PapaDave like this.
  3. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I have seen shop vacs for fireplace ashes. I just know my shop vac ejects out into the room some particulate. I have a concrete slab under my carpet. I'm really thinking about having my tile guy cut out a much larger section than a typical hearth pad and tile that area so I don't have to worry about the ash on the carpet. I can't operate within the confines of a typical hearth pad. Not with carpet around it on all sides.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Last year someone here mentioned a contest where one of the prizes was a Cheetah Ash Vac . . . I entered . . . and somehow I won.

    For the past two or three years I've always cleaned my hearth with either a small broom and dust pan or if I knew there were no coals I would use my shop vac with a dry wall filter.

    Now I use the ash vac that I won. Truthfully, I never would have bought this myself if I had not won it. Now . . . after having used it . . . I have to say it is one of the handiest things I have used and would buy another one tomorrow if it died on me since it makes cleaning up the hearth and area in and around the stove wicked easy . . . absolutely no dust . . . no fear of sucking up a small coal (I always used to place my shop vac outside or in middle of the cement floor in case I had somehow sucked up a hot coal even though I was very, very, very careful as to what I sucked up and when I cleaned the hearth.)

    About the only negative is the noise . . . check that . . . two negatives . . . they're pricey for what they are . . . a shop vac that uses a metal canister and a hose that is heavy duty.
  5. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    about how much? $150?
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    With the exception of not getting an ember (only using on floor hours after reload) a Regular Shop Vac with a HEPA Filter (like jags said) but add a Fine Filtration Dry-wall Bag (inside) for another layer of Protection.

    I use a Shop vac on ALL my Pellets stoves and for the Ash around the 30-NC and also when I scoop the Ash out (have nozzle near the top pf Ash can to suck dust). I did have one boo-boo and caught an ember, I then bought a cheaper Cleva Ash vac ($60) and hated it. Way less suction, way louder, and a hose that was as long as my Forearm :(. Quickly went back to my Shop Vac :)

    I use a 6 Gallon with 3.5 HP w/ HEPA and Fine Filtration bag....
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We use a combination of whisk broom and small hand-held vac; just a cheapy. No problem. Just be more careful and you won't have much of an ash problem at all.
    ScotO and firecracker_77 like this.
  9. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    The ashes come when I open the front door or when I scoop out ashes. Woodstoves are messy...
  10. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to have to consult you when it comes time. The ash vacs are a good $150 plus up to $250 for that Cheetah vac.
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As mentioned they're pretty pricey . . . depends on the manufacturer and the model, but the cheapest is a bit south of $100 and the most expensive is north of $250.
  12. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    I too after much more hemming and hawing than was worth it, purchased the ashvac that Love-Less makes called the Cougar. In my opinion it is well worth the pretty penny it costs because it basically makes the task of cleaning the stove safe and extremely easy. I didn't want to use the regular type of shop vac simply because I have found glowing embers in ashes way after the fire was "out" ... I once found a grape sized ember glowing at the bottom of bunch of ashes three full days from when the fire was "out" that alone convinced me to use the ashvac type of vacuum.
  13. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    The Cougar seems to be a little quieter than the Cheetah.

    Found this on youtube.

  14. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, they do advertise it as quieter but it by no means is "quiet" as far as vacuums go. Still it is easy, fast and safe and that is fine for me.
  15. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I sucked an ember into my shop vac this past year. smoked the house up real quick, ended up burning half the filter out of it.
  16. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I use a scoop and ash bucket to get the ash. I'm talking about cleaning up around the hearth and the exterior of the stove. Not too many embers to worry about there.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I empty the ash pan and vacuum before the first reload one morning each week (usually Saturday), so there's minimal chance of embers, and do something unique to minimize risk and eliminate dust. I bought a long hose for my shop vac, and I set the vacuum outside, feeding the hose in thru a door or window. I learned the hard way that bringing a shop vac indoors to vacuum ash can be a good way to coat everything in your house with a fine, invisible (until you see it on your feet, hands, clothes) layer of dust!
  18. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    That's exactly what I'm afraid of with a shop vac. Last year when installing a stove at my house, I went to clean-up and forgot to put the dry filter back on the shop vac. The contractor I'd hired didn't inform me of the issue and when I turned around, the whole room had a dust fog hanging in the air.
  19. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    You can get a fancy and more expensive ash vac, but a shop vac with a good filter and this exhaust screen on the exhaust port will do the trick See pic below.
    Make sure the shop vac has the same diameter connection. They can be purchased at Home Depot.

    click pic to enlarge.

    Attached Files:

  20. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I use a Shop Vac all the time (upstairs and down) and no compliants from my Wife....

    If you use the standard filter, you will create a dust/ash storm. You must use a HEPA filter (replaces factory piece of crap) and if you want to go the extra mile, buy some Fine Filtration Dry-wall Bags, that go inside.

    If there is no fear of Ember suction, then the Shop vac can have several uses (Car, Boat, Etc) where the Ash Vac isnt a good car cleaner (short hose and less suction).

    I sound like a broken record here, but as Don said above (another pellet burner) Shop Vacs are just fine... There are many more pellet burners using Shop Vacs, than Ash vacs. Many more. They just need the proper filter. Thats all that the ash vac has, is a bag filter (Dry wall bag) and the factory filter is HEPA on an Ash Vac.

    My 2 pennies (again).
  21. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Well that would certainly be much cheaper. Small shop vacs cost very little.
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Full disclosure: I do use my small shop vac indoors to vacuum up around the stove. Bought it specifically for that, and cleaning up Christmas tree needles. Works pretty well. The big one that had made the mess is used for some pretty messy work, so there's no HEPA filter on that. The one I use each week depends on where I used each last, and which is closer at hand.
  23. burnagain

    burnagain New Member

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    I do something similar to this, but i just got another standard hose and put it on the exit side (one that blows air) of my shop vac and run the hose out the window. You can find the standard length hoses pretty cheap and it keeps the power switch right there next to you.

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