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Shop Vac with special filter or true ash vacuum

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Melissa220, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    349
    Loc:
    central ME
    Any thoughts on shop vac vs special vacuum? I know a small shop vac with filter is cheaper...pardon me...less expensive than a dedicated ash vacuum, but I wondered what the general concensus is?

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I use Shop vac and a HEPA filter with Drywall/Fine Filtration bags on the inside.

    A pellet stove is unlike a woodstove, in a Pellet stove may keep an ember for an hour or so. But a woodstove will keep an ember for several days.

    Let the stove cool (I will purposely start and stop, once it completed a Shut down cycle, just to do another) and there should be no worries of embers. IMHO.
    Defiant likes this.
  3. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I hear you on the cost associated with each vac. I use a shop vac with a drywall filter too, and only on the ash that falls outside of the stove. I rarely vac the stove interior during the season unless something needs attention inside.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Mellisa is using a Pellet stove that will need attention weekly (biweekly if she wants to push it!)

    But because she is new, some do it "Daily". I gave up on that. . I did it. Not gonna lie. But now I go as long as possible (month).

    With my woodstove, I still use the same vac. Just put it on the edge of the ash bucket. To get the fly ash.
    gbreda likes this.
  5. The Ds

    The Ds Feeling the Heat

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    Western PA, USA
    Debbye and I are newbies,and we looked at the expensive,metal canistered models as well as the good old shop vac.....Reading reviews of the expensive models,there was no consensus which was best......Based on cost,and the fact that we never intend to vac the stove when hot embers may be present,we went with the shop vac and purchased a 2 pac of the drywall filters.....Has worked great so far!! We highly recommend the shop vac/drywall bag combo....Just make sure stove is cooled down first....
    smoke show, gbreda and DexterDay like this.
  6. kcellwood

    kcellwood Member

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I too use a shop vac with a HEPA and drywall filter. I let the stove go throught the cool down mode and start cleaning. I dovac the inside of the stove once all other cleaning is done. Before I vacuum though I take out the ash pan. I usually do this each Saturday morning.
    I take the shop vac and put it out on the walkway for the day just to be sure nothing is still smoldering.
    DexterDay likes this.
  7. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

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    204
    Loc:
    The Great North East
    I use a shop vac with a drywall filter. I also have a window right next to the stove. I put a spare hose on the exhaust side of the shop vac and put it out the windows. This ensures that there is no way I can get dust inside my home. I have been doing this for about 5 years. I did a weekly cleaning of my stove when I was burning 24/7.
    woodsman23 likes this.
  8. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Old Lyme CT
    I have both the expensive Love-Less (Cheetah II) and a couple of shop vacs with the hepa filter and fine filtration bags. I prefer the shop vacs, cleaning the Cheetah II after each use takes as much time to clean as the pellet stove and is very noisy.:cool:
    smoke show likes this.
  9. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Lakes Region, NH
    LOL, same here.

    Shop vac with dry wall filterf after cool down
  10. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    central ME
    Okay - consensus: Shop Vac with HEPA filter and fine filtration bags it is. Need more $$ for pellets anyway!

    What does everyone put their ashes in and how do you dispose of them?
  11. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    I empty the ash pan into an empty pellet bag, Kind of full circle :)

    You can dispose of the ash or use it on the lawn/garden like lime for acidic soil.
  12. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I use my empty dogs food (44 pd. bags) bags. After the process of filling ash cans and cooling anything still hot in them they eventually make their way to the trash once a month or so. I have 4-3 gal. galvanized cans, 1 stays near the stove and another replaces it when it gets full. The full cans go to the crushed stone walk in the backyard and will sit there until all the cans are full. They then make it to the dog food bag.
  13. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    Well, after comparison shopping at lowes and home depot and the cost of a smaller shop vac or rigid with the appropriate HEPA filtration items, i ended up on-line ordering 'PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum' from Ace Hardware through Amazon. Price a bit more than a Rigid would have been but less than a Shop-Vac. We'll see.
  14. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Let us know what you think, looks like a good deal.
    [​IMG]
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I had a Cleva that I bought from Menards (after using my Shop vac for several seasons) I used it twice, I think...

    Then I sold it. It has a very short hose and suction was sub par in my opinion. Thats only comparing it to my 3.5 HP unit, not my 6 HP Shop vac. The suction wasn't the deal breaker, it was the hose length. It was normally around $90-$80 and I got it on sale for about $50.

    Please let us know how you like it.....


    ashvac2.jpg
  16. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Check the suction before you use it. If you have any reservations, send it back and get a shop vac.
    smoke show likes this.
  17. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Same here. Well said.
  18. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    Will do. I had been putting off cleaning after the initial burn to get and use a vacuum as part of the learning to clean curve. I have some ash in the pan that I think I will use the vacuum on too as further test. before doing that tho, I will - as sailor suggested - check the suction first.

    And I will report back! Expected delivery anywhere from the 13th to the 18th.
  19. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    Vacuum shipped yesterday. It better hurry up. I want to test it out and clean up after the initial burn so I have an idea what I'm doing before getting a prolonged burn going and lots of clean up.
    in the process of taking out the Oakies and putting in the Maine's Choice.
  20. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    I just got the power Smith Ash vac also. Used it once and it has great suction and not too loud. Hose is plenty long enough. Filter fits tight on lip and nothing coming out. Instructions say can vac warm ashes up to 140 deg F. Great for ~80 bucks.
  21. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    Great to hear! Thanks richkorn
  22. WOODNUT358

    WOODNUT358 Member

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    RI
    I went and bought a Lovless Cougar vac a couple of years ago,and it was the worse vac I had ever used.I wound up selling it.I have used every method of dust collection in my wood shop,and sheet rock dust control when remodeling.The best thing I have found,was a shop vac with a fine dust,or hepa filter.I use a 6gal.Craftsman,and it works great.Most of us get sucked in to these "special" ash vacs,and later find out we just spent money we didn't have to. Good luck!
  23. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, Anthony. I'll report back on this particular model.
  24. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yep......can use either or. But, if you are the type of crazy yahoo (you folks know who you are....on second thought, you probably dont) who is gonna suck up live embers, make sure your filter is nonflammable......the drywall dust filters are flammable.....suck up a live ember, and it might be bad!

    Melissa- you need to scrape your burn pot once a week, but with the p43, and a fair quality pellet, you should be vacuuming out the inside of that stove roughtly when you empty your spacious harman ash pan......I'd say every 3 weeks to a month........

    cant re-iterate enough, DO NOT suck live embers up in a shop vac.......dead embers, ok
  25. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    [quote="Lousyweather, post: 1177156, member: 10230"
    Melissa- you need to scrape your burn pot once a week, but with the p43, and a fair quality pellet, you should be vacuuming out the inside of that stove roughtly when you empty your spacious harman ash pan......I'd say every 3 weeks to a month......../quote]
    I have a feeling that I might....might.....clean more frequently until I am comfortable with everything and know how the pellets burn. I'm sitting with a variety right now, so even though I might have burned only the eight bags of Energex, lets say, I may clean so I can see what level of fly ash and ash was accumulated in the stove.

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