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Small shop vac for stove and ashes

Post in 'The Gear' started by Kenster, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Jan 10, 2010
    Texas- West of Houston
    I'd like to have a smallish shop vac that would be good to clean up around the stove. Does not necessarily have to be big enough to suck up all the ashes in the bottom of my VC Vigilant. Of course, it would need a HEPA or other fine material filter.

    What do you guys use. I need one that can be trusted not to blow fly ash all over the house when I use it.

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I don't use any vacuum cleaner in my stove . . . and I'm quite leary of using it around the hearth on the off chance it might pick up an ember or coal that I think is dead and it is not . . . generally I just sweep my hearth and stove . . . vacuum it once a year at the end of the year after it has been dead for weeks . . . I will admit to using the vacuum though on the hearth once in a blue moon -- typically long after I have loaded the stove (usually in the morning after an overnight burn.)
  3. FGZ

    FGZ Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    N.Shore MA
    I use my shop vac for seasonal clean up. If you're confident the embers are dead, have at it. My insert is about 10-15 feet from the back porch, and I picked up an extra hose from the dumpster so i can leave the vac on the back porch and just run the hose in the house. They also have a bag insert for the inside of the shop vac (mine is a Rigid) that's made just for small particulate like for sanding sheetrock, so I use that as well. Very clean, no mess inside that I know of, and I like being able to get every bit of ash out of there.
  4. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I put the vac outside.

    Only clean it out that one when it's shut down for the summer and I know that it's 100% cold... like couple weeks since I put wood in it.
  5. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

    Oct 12, 2011
    South Central WI
    Generally, I use my Ridgid shop vac with fine filter and filter bags. Order my bags in bulk for about $3.00 each, versus $16 for two in the store. I haven't ever used it around a hearth or to clean out a stove. I have seen special (for ash) all metal vacuums sold at Blains Farm and Fleet for about $200.
  6. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

    Sep 28, 2010
    SW CT
    If you REALLY don't want a shop-vac to be a dust-spreader, get a gore-tex filter. Only way, IMHO.
    Indefinitely reusable.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Sep 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Another vote here for vac outside with a long hose. I have found no matter what kind of filter I use, there will always be minute particles ejected with the air. There aren't many particles more minute than fine ash, and no worse place for it to land than on bright interior white trim or fabrics.
  8. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

    Dec 11, 2009
  9. sheepdog000

    sheepdog000 New Member

    Dec 7, 2010
    If you really want a vacuum for this, I remember seeing a metal vacuum at Menard's in their Stove & Fireplace isle. I don't recall the price though.
  10. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    N.E. Penna
    My stove was out for 2 days when doing the end of the year cleaning a few years back. As I was finishing up the bottom of the stove I saw the cat beat feet up the basement stairs in a way I'd never seen that worthless animal move before. That's about the same time I noticed the really strange smell. Started putting 2 and 2 together and turned to look at the shop vac behind me. When I say it was shooting a 4-6 foot flame out of the exhaust, I'm being conservative in my estimate. Grabbed the vac, ran outside and threw it against the ground next to the drive, it broke open and I was able to stand there ruining my shoes as I stomped the fire out.

    Amazingly, the shop vac fired up after. Smelled like hell for about 6 months or so whenever I used it, but it is still going.

    My advice is if you plan on cleaning around the stove w/ a vac, make sure it's an Ash Vac.

    Here is an example: http://www.amazon.com/Hearth-Countr...9ROO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1319561082&sr=8-4

  11. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Jan 5, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    We think we're good, but Shop Vacs REALLY know how to start a fire!
  12. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Aug 11, 2008
    Northeastern Ohio
    I sweep the large debri with a broom and dust pan and then either use the vacuums attachment or the tried and true dust buster

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