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Shop-vac and ashes

Post in 'The Gear' started by mj5001, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. mj5001

    mj5001 Member

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Make sure those ashes are truly cold. When banked, they can stay warm for a few days. Keep the vac outside so if something does happen, the house does not burn too.

    Matt
  3. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, only use the vac for cleanup, not for emptying the firebox. There is always a risk of sucking up a live ember in there. Shovel out the bulk of the ashes into a metal container. And put that container on a non-combustible surface when done.

    For cleanup, I use a dry-wall dust filterbag designed for the small shopvac. They come in 2 packs and are inexpensive. It works great and is easy to find at the local hardware store.

    http://www.shopvac.com/shopvac-accessories/Departments/Drywall-Dust.aspx
  5. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

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    safety aside, just use the medium or hepa shop vac filter along with a fine particle bag insert for the container. No matter the filter, dust eventually gets out. The bag insert is key. I use it for sanding drywall as well.
  6. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    I'll admit to using the shopvac to clean both pellet and wood stove ashes, IF the stoves have been off for a couple of days. Well, pellet stove off for a couple of hours....but it gets stuck outside in the middle of the patio for a couple of days after that. Usually I shovel the wood ashes into a metal pail, but if I need it really emptied out (like last week to replace some gaskets, I wanted it EMPTY), I left it down for 2 days then vacuumed it.
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    To me it don't sound like a good idea to vacuum ashes never know when a glowing ember could get vacuumed up.
  8. mj5001

    mj5001 Member

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    How do you use the filter "bags" ? I have a 6 gallon shop-vac that uses a cartridge filter but how in the heck do you install a bag? better a drywall dust bag or a hepa cartridge filter I wonder?
  9. mj5001

    mj5001 Member

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    Ok -- saw a tutorial on the Shop vac site.

    Seems to me, the bags may be better for fine dust or ashes?
  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I bought a shop-vac from wall mart just to be able to get those big filter bags. I use it to clean chimney soot. I shovel out ashes but use the shop vac to clear ash out of the secondary air holes.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The bag attaches to the suction port, inside the drum. Seasoned Oak, check with your local hardware store.
  12. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Only time I use a shop vac to vacuum ashes out of the firebox, is when I shut down for the season and I KNOW there are no embers remaining, because the stove has not been used for a week or two. I do shop vac around my stove to clean the area, but I ensure there are no embers or coals around.
  13. mj5001

    mj5001 Member

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    do you use the bag WITH the cartridge filter? seems like the bg gets squeezed with it in there. I have a 6 gallon shop-vac
  14. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    I was using a handheld vaccum the other week to vacuum up the hearth, and I hadn't put any wood on the fire for hours, but somehow I sucked up an ember and it started to melt the dustcup. Still don't know where it came from. I'm not going to vacuum up the hearth mess in any of my two rainbows, so I'm on the lookout for one thats pretty beat up to use around the stove so that way any hot embers will go into the water and not have to worry about fires. Just please be carefull there are no hot embers when vacuuming, let them lay there for a couple of hours
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    vacuume after 2 days!!! I still have coals after 1 day and have hot embers for an easy 2 its still warm in there after 2 days!!! I do use a small vac to get ashes that have pulled out on the hearth after a reload, but only after hours of being out of the stove. ANd I do use my shop vac for the stove but only after the stove has been out for weeks!! Like at the end of the season. Once this thing is going 24/7 and has a coal bedthat is inches deep and full of ashes I will have coals in the stove for at least 3 days after a reload probably!
  16. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    My FIL, God rest his soul, was vacuuming with a Kirby around his woodstove and burnt the bag off the vacuum. Cost him over 100 bucks to buy a new bag for it before my MIL beat him.
    lopiliberty likes this.
  17. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Just to add to all the wise words about NOT using a ShopVac for ashes; I once was cleaning out my stove with my ash vac and it almost was four full days since the stove had been burning wood when I noticed a big bright red coal right under the ash that I was vacuuming up! I never would have believed it but it was right there again almost four full days after the fire finished!!! If I was using a Shop Vac that sucker would seriously have started a fire. Not worth it at all; I say either use the tried and trusted method of slowly shoveling the ash into a completely non-combustible container, or, use an ash vac but never any other regular vacuum. Hope that helps.

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