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Ash Vacuum recommendations?

Post in 'The Gear' started by wahoowad, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Ash vacuums seem so damn expensive. I'm not paying $175 for one, I'll deal with the dust first. That said, I still would like to do a better job managing the ash mess. Currently I dump my ash pan into a metal bucket and I'm good with that aspect. I want to vacuum the remaining ash from the door, underneath the stove and other places it collects. I don't want to drag my shop vac inside. Is my Dustbuster or my regular carpet vac good enough or will they pass the fine dust and make it worse?

    I only work with cold ashes. Also, it is really sunny this morning and I am really aware of all the ash dust everywhere. it's bad.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    A lot of that may have to do with what type of vac you own and what bags you use. My carpet vac is an old upright with some cleaning hose attachments. I use good quality "allergen trapping" bags and it seems to do the trick fine for ashes.

    Most "Dustbusters" and other battery vacuums I have seen seem to have a pretty flimsy filter to keep the sucking power high because of the limited power of the battery motor. They seem to spew even normal dust, so I can just imagine a huge cloud of ashes.


    Corey
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Get a little 2.5 gallon shop vac at lowes with an extra hose and one of the cheese cloth type filters that wrap over the other filters.
    The extra hose you stick on the exhaust side and throw it out the window in case any dust gets through. it might set ya back 40 bucks.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Don't use mini vacs or dust busters, they blow the dust back into room. :)

    I now use a regular house vac with hepa filter and just put hose just inside a metal bucket and hold, dump shovel full of ashes into bucket and make sure and hold vac hose near (not in) ashes.

    If you hold it "near", all the dust is instantly sucked up into vac...........the down side of doing this, you have to make 100% sure all ashes are cold because if one hot ash makes it into vac, it would be like a flame thrower in a couple seconds from the air pressure and dust bag full of lint. :bug:

    I just make sure my ashes are cold, and I NEVER put nozzle into ashes, just away from about an inch or so and all it does is collect the fine dust, works great for me and my wife says she can see no dust on anything afterwards.

    One other thing, if you want to make sure and get ALL the dust, put your vac hose into stove every time you get a scoop and hold it near, it also will instantly clear all dust floating inside your stove, then just follow your shovel with the nozzle to your bucket and dump that shovel full.

    After you are done, if you have any doubts about the ashes being cold, remove your bag and take it outside to a safe place and leave it until the next day, you can always put it back in the vac later, be sure of this.





    Robbie
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    get a ash vac:)

    The dust buster will be a dust creator.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    What is an ash vac?
    I shovel ashes into a covered metal bucket that sits nearby.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've always used a shop vac with the ash/dust filter element. It works just as well on ash as it works on drywall sanding dust. You just have to clean the filter out more frequently. Actually, I have two filters so that I can vacuum out the dirty one with the clean one.
  8. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    I just scoop my ash into a trash can, but then I'm making only occasional fires now and I wait til the ashes are cool. I'm told that using a water sprayer mildly will reduce the dust particles during scooping.

    Jay
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Are you guys actually vacuuming ALL the ash out of there?
    Both of the ideas in the last two posts seem like good ones to me.
    For me it's a tedious to drag the shop vac from the basement.
    I bought a couple of bags for the shop vac (not cheap) when I swept the chimney, but I don't think I filled it up too much. I also put an exhaust pipe out the window, again, I don't feel like going through all that every time I empty ashes.
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    When I had my old boiler down in the basement, I made a vacuum system out of PVC drain pipe. It had two hoods that I could put over both the ash drawer and the cleanout for the chimney. Just hook the shop vac up to the system, open up one of the hoods and do your thing. The vacuum action picked up most of the soot and ash and all I had to do was clean the filters occasionally. Your wife probably wouldn't want one of those in the living room, but it worked great in the basement.
  11. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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    Always be careful where your ashes ended up. The house across the street burned down about 12 years ago (just before we moved in) when they put a bag of ashes they thought were cold out on their deck! They rebuilt the house and sold it. Several years later the wife shot the husband and buried him in their back yard. Not sure exactly why she shot him but I'd bet it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for those ashes!!! True Story!
  12. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    I hate to call it this but, I have seen an attatchement that you can buy or simply make. It is the same operating principle as a "bong" if you know what that is.

    What it is is a 5 gallon bucket with lid (hopefully I can describe this well and clear enough) with two ports on the lid that you attatch your vacume hose to. The bucket is filled halfway with water by the way. One of the ports is actually a length of pvc that extends below the water line of the bucket. The other port is well above the water line. You do need a second section of vacume cleaner hose. The hose that goes to the vacume from the bucket is connected to the port that is well above the water line call that hose "A". The second vacume hose (or the part you will be holding while sucking up ashes) is attatched to the port that extends below the water line called hose "B".

    When you turn the vacume on, negative pressure or suction is created in the bucket. The bucket is sealed so the only place it can draw from is the other hose that is connected to port below the water line-hose B.

    So you suck up the ashes with hose B. The ashes flow up hose B, then get pulled into the water (remember the pvc tube below the water line in the bucket) inside the bucket. The ashes stay in the water and nothing but clean air is pulled up thru hose A. Dust free and very safe as any hot coals are immediatly extinguished in the water. It traps all the ashes, coals, dust, and dirt. The water can get dumped in the garden or where ever you dump your ashes.

    Well hopefully it makes sense. I see no reason why someone could not fashion one of these without much trouble. A bucket with lid, a couple pvc fittings, a short pc of pvc pipe, an extra section of hose and some silione sealant. KD
  13. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    How much is a picture worth? :)
    http://www.sandkleen.com/Sand & kleen Inst page_2.jpg

    Home page of the product.
    http://www.sandkleen.com/index.html

    A little more info.
    http://www.homebuildercanada.com/1903TT.htm


    I have an old vacuum, 30's or 40's that uses a water filter system, it makes some of the blackest water you ever seen you really want to be outside when you open it up.
    __________________
    Andre' B.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If you have a vac that can scoop up water, then why not just put a couple of gallons of water into the tank.
  15. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Andre B. Thanks for the pic. That helped alot. Now that you mention it, I did see the setup being used for drywall. The one I seen did not have that big filter thingy in pic. It had a hose connected to a sanding pad so all the drywall dust was pulled in to that, then trapped by the water.

    I guess just getting a shop vac filter wet would work, but, what a mess cleaning it all up. This way the bucket is the only thing that gets nasty and a simple hosing off takes care of that.

    I like how it can be made at home for cheap using a 5 gallon bucket and some plastic pipe. KD
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