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Ash Vac v Shop vac

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Lowarea, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Lowarea

    Lowarea New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Horseheads NY
    Newbie started burning in February and have learned a lot. Until now I've been using my way to big shop vac.

    I need to buy either a smaller shop vac or an ash vac. What do you think? Recommendations?

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    6 gallon 3 HP Shop vac with HEPA filter and Drywall filter bag inside.

    No matter what anyone says, NO vac is rated to suck Hot Coals. All vacs need to let the stove cool.

    Save your money and buy more pellets :)


    Been doin this for 5 seasons and had an ash vac. Hated it. Short hose, low suction, and filter clogged after second use... :(

    My pennies. Everyone has there own ways. Some like the expensive ash vacs. Some don't.
    Lake Girl, will711 and Brokenwing like this.
  3. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Loc:
    Winthrop, Maine
    I would buy a 5 gal shop vac with a hepa filter and a drywall bag. The ash vacs just don't have the suction of a shop vac and most aren't rated for hot coals.
    DexterDay and ScotO like this.
  4. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Like Dex said, ash vacs ain't what they are cracked up to be. I've been using a shop vac for years, never once had a hot coal in it. Now, that said, I don't vacuum the stove out. I just shovel it out into a pail. But I use the shop vac to keep any fly ash and dust from getting all over the place. With a HEPA filter and drywall bag, it does the job pretty darn well. Again, DON'T VAC A HOT STOVE OUT NO MATTER WHAT!!
    DexterDay likes this.
  5. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Loc:
    Winthrop, Maine
    I guess we have had the same experiences. Got an ash vac for Christmas. Used it once.
    DexterDay likes this.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep. Hated it.... :(

    Yep.. Even the most expensive units say only "Warm Ash" not Hot Coals

    All stoves (whether its wood or pellet) need the proper time to cool. Pellet stove about an hour, my woodstove, about 1-2 days (depending on how deep ash bed is and what wood was burned, stirring up after a half day out).
  7. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    852
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I use this with a drywall bag on sale at lowes right now $36.97:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_334639-20097-9330611_0__?productId=3326078&Ntt=shop vacuums&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=shop+vacuums&facetInfo=

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_11931-20097-9067111_0__?productId=1006323&Ntt=drywall bag&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=drywall+bag&facetInfo=

    I dont use a Hepa filter I do vent the exhaust out my window though. The filter is white I have never used it for anything other then the pellet stove and its still white thats enough to convince me no ash is getting through the drywall bag.
  8. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Loc:
    Alfred, Me
    Shop vac works great.
  9. Lowarea

    Lowarea New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Horseheads NY
    Thanks it's unanimous, I didn't think that ever happened here!
  10. bf525

    bf525 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Loc:
    Kingston,N.Y.

    I Bought the Powersmith ash vac thru Amazon last fall,and really llike it no dust, vaccum replacement bag cheap to buy about 8 dollars only thing I did was replace hose from my old shop vac hose a little longer. Much better than using Shop vac
    http://www.amazon.com/PowerSmith-PA...TF8&qid=1357780621&sr=8-1&keywords=ash vacume
  11. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    429
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    I have both, and use both. I use the shop vac for real cleaning. Shut the stove down, let it cool down, clean it out. Much more suction, much bigger filter.

    I use the ash vac for quick clean ups if I don't want to or can't wait quite as long for the stove to cool completely. I'm not sucking up coals or anything, but I'm much happier to put potentially warm ash into the metal ash vac.
  12. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
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    606
    Loc:
    long Island NY
  13. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    556
    Loc:
    South of Boston MA
    I use both, biggest difference is I will use the ash vac for warm coals and not think twice. For my biweekly heavy cleaning it is the shop vac with the drywall bag. I then leave the shop vac outside for a few days to make sure. BTW I have an ash vac next to each pellet stove makes the fast vac a breeze especially good for the Whitfield as it needs moe frequent attention.
  14. DMZX

    DMZX Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    NE. Oregon
    I have used an old Hoover upright with an allergen Z Bag for the last two seasons. Works great. Compact,and the bags are cheap.

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