What vacuum do you recommend?

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Waffleman

New Member
Aug 16, 2016
5
Not sure
Getting Quadra-fire Vermont AE installed in the next month or so (looking forward to winter!). What vacuum do you recommend I get . Was considering the Cougar Ash but some of the reviews on Amazon aren't so good. What is a good quiet vacuum to clean a pellet stove?

Many thanks.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,029
southwestern Minn
Getting Quadra-fire Vermont AE installed in the next month or so (looking forward to winter!). What vacuum do you recommend I get . Was considering the Cougar Ash but some of the reviews on Amazon aren't so good. What is a good quiet vacuum to clean a pellet stove?

Many thanks.
I doubt you can get a good quiet vacuum. I also have a Cougar ash vac. And think its great. You can buy cheaper but lots of advantages over the cheap ones. Double filters with metal canister and fire retardant filters. They keep dust inside the vac and being metal is safer if you do suck up some embers. When I bought mine 11 years ago a friend of mine who served on the fire dept laughed at me when I spent a lot of money for the vac. He said he could buy a lot of plastic ones compared to what mine cost. About a month later he called and asked me to stop by so I did. He pointed out where he had set his plastic vac the night before in his yard. There was the metal handle and metal motor parts everything else was burned plastic. He then wanted the website for the Couger vac. This was careless on his part and being a fireman he should have been more careful but human nature being what it was he forgot to empty the ashes into a metal pail.
Having said that you used to get a metal pail with a metal hose that you could hook a suction hose from a chap vac to the metal pail and the ashes etc would be trapped in the metal pail. I think Harbor Freight sold the outfit for 25.00. This worked as a friend of mine had one.
 

jackhammer

Burning Hunk
Aug 21, 2015
205
western ma
Getting Quadra-fire Vermont AE installed in the next month or so (looking forward to winter!). What vacuum do you recommend I get . Was considering the Cougar Ash but some of the reviews on Amazon aren't so good. What is a good quiet vacuum to clean a pellet stove?

Many thanks.
I agree with rona. My love-less ash vac is 19 years old and I've never had an issue with it. Quiet? No, good, safe? Yes. I replaced the filters for the first time last year, yes, I take good care of my stuff. Some people love their shop vac, I would pass on that for many reasons, safety number one. If you get the accessory kit with the vac, it should serve you well for a long time.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
I use this cheapie $30 wet/dry from HD..
CLAMP & WHITE SOCK FREE..

Now before someone bombards me with smokey the bear stuff like hot embers,
I use a 2"paint brush and push any thing that is in the burnpot into my ashpan which get's emptied into a metal outside can.. Harman P61ash pan is Huge and requires emptying far/few between.
the vacuum get all the nooks/crannies /shelves/walls/fines box/ignitor compartment any everything else.
oh, and I change the sock couple times a season. It really does catch all the dust...
yes it is noisy..
 

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womaus

Feeling the Heat
Oct 25, 2015
498
Central MA
I picked up one of these from Amazon last year, it's rated for ash removal, it's HEPA rated, and it's as noisy as all get out. $70 or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JDU453G/?tag=hearthamazon-20

For the amount I need to use it the decibel level isn't a problem. I'd have no problem recommending one to another pellet stove owner.

EDIT:

I just went to the manufacturers website, found this:

Specially designed for fireplaces, wood/pellet stoves, coal stoves, BBQ grills and more. * For cold ashes only.
Specially designed for fireplaces, wood/pellet stoves, coal stoves, BBQ grills and more. - Durable easy to clean stainless steel tank. - Powerful by-pass motor to pick up your toughest messes - Thermal protective device for user safety. - Durable vinyl covered flexible steel hose with metal intake nozzle. - Two stage filtration system stops ashes from discharging out the exhaust. - Efficient HEPA cartridge filter stops ultra fine dust and resists clogging. * For cold ashes only.
 

camdids

Member
Nothings Quiet. If your intent is to Vacuum the Ash while still warm, then you will need one that says it can handle it. Personally I'm happy letting my stove cool for 5 to 6 hours and using my Lowes ShopVac with the Fine Dust Filter. Been doing that for 8 years now without a problem.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,484
central pa
I am sorry guys but no matter what your vac says sucking up hot embers can have very bad results. We have really pricey rovacs and soot masters and there have been plenty of times I have had them on fire when i missed a coal.
 

Edward Hughes

Member
Aug 17, 2012
163
Eastern shore Md.
Nothings Quiet. If your intent is to Vacuum the Ash while still warm, then you will need one that says it can handle it. Personally I'm happy letting my stove cool for 5 to 6 hours and using my Lowes ShopVac with the Fine Dust Filter. Been doing that for 8 years now without a problem.
Question?You said, "Lowes Shop vac with Fine Dust filter," is that with a fine filter bag, or just the filter?
Thanks for your time Camdids

Ed
 

jackhammer

Burning Hunk
Aug 21, 2015
205
western ma
I use this cheapie $30 wet/dry from HD..
CLAMP & WHITE SOCK FREE..

Now before someone bombards me with smokey the bear stuff like hot embers,
I use a 2"paint brush and push any thing that is in the burnpot into my ashpan which get's emptied into a metal outside can.. Harman P61ash pan is Huge and requires emptying far/few between.
the vacuum get all the nooks/crannies /shelves/walls/fines box/ignitor compartment any everything else.
oh, and I change the sock couple times a season. It really does catch all the dust...
yes it is noisy..
And I'll bet the suction is a lot better too. That's one thing about my vac that I'm not crazy about. It does a good job, just wish there was more suction. And yes, as long as you use common sense, you shouldn't have any mishaps with hot stuff! Just remember, common sense isn't so common nowadays!
 
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Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
I use a 5 gal Shop-vac with the fine-dust bag (yellow).
 
Last edited:

Edward Hughes

Member
Aug 17, 2012
163
Eastern shore Md.
I use a 5 gal Shop-vac with the fine-dust bag (wellow).
Ya I use the same at 8 bucks a piece with tax. Do not want those half ash pellets with the price of those bags. I also use
a Shop-vac Canister Type CleanSteam Filtration # 90340 Type W, to catch any blow by with a bag, at the hose.
Happy wife Happy life
Thanks
Ed
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
This was careless on his part and being a fireman he should have been more careful but human nature being what it was he forgot to empty the ashes into a metal pail.
At least it was out in the yard ... not on the porch or inside the house!
 

UpStateNY

Feeling the Heat
May 4, 2008
406
Catskill Mountains
Ash Vac are not needed and over rated. I always let the stove cool down for 6 hours and use a wet/dry shop vac. I really don't want to figure out what I am going to do to dispose of hot ashes. Too many stupid fire dept calls for hot ashes thrown in the woods.

Shop Vac with bag and filter. Filter can be hepa filter if you like. Now you can handle dry wall, wet clean up, vacuum your car and anything else. In the fall I even use the shop vac to blow the leaves out of the shrubs in front of the house. Yeah that is a pain but I am too cheap to buy a leaf blower.

IMO - One wet/dry shop vac does it all and takes up less room on the garage.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Shop-Vac-10-Gallon-4-Peak-HP-Shop-Vacuum/50159053
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,953
South Central NH
I used a small 2.5 gallon Shop Vac for the first year (always cool ashes, then put the vac in a place where if it caught fire, it wouldn't cause damage).

Then I bought a Power Mate for about $70. It worked fine, then quit shortly after the warranty was up (naturally) so I was back to the Shop Vac.

I just bought a Shop Vac Ash Vac like Womus got (not at that good of a price - just bought it locally a couple of weeks ago). Haven't used it yet; heck, haven't even opened the box yet. But, I figure if the regular Shop Vac did fine, then so will this one.
 
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Peterfield

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2013
1,394
New Hampshire
Presently using a Powersmith I got on sale. I have used other brands but never heard a quiet ash vac. Just put on ear protection before using. The stainless steel shopvac model is good and has plenty of suction and I still have that in the garage.
 
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womaus

Feeling the Heat
Oct 25, 2015
498
Central MA
I just bought a Shop Vac Ash Vac like womaus got (not at that good of a price - just bought it locally a couple of weeks ago). Haven't used it yet; heck, haven't even opened the box yet. But, I figure if the regular Shop Vac did fine, then so will this one.

Get the earplugs ready...this one is a screamer. We've got two cats, we can vacuum around them while they're sleeping with a standup and a canister...fire up this one the go to the next county.

It's good to have the HEPA rating, speaking as one that painted residential and commercial in a former life. The smaller the particulate it will contain results in less particulates being blown out of the vacuum exhaust. Can be a good thing, even for just common allergies. I have a big MinuteMan vac, picked up years ago while involved in some lead removal work. Still running strong, but I certainly didn't want to risk blowing up a $600 (now more like $1500, it was 25 years ago) vac doing ash work.
 
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MCPO

Minister of Fire
I`m using a cheap , $49 "Sno-joe" ash vac that comes with a dual filter system that definitely keeps the fine ash dust out of the exhaust. Not a whole lot of power but enough to remove the the ashes as it was designed for , plus it`s reasonably quiet . It does exactly what it is supposed to do and I`m happy with it .
 
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rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,029
southwestern Minn
Ash Vac are not needed and over rated. I always let the stove cool down for 6 hours and use a wet/dry shop vac. I really don't want to figure out what I am going to do to dispose of hot ashes. Too many stupid fire dept calls for hot ashes thrown in the woods.

Shop Vac with bag and filter. Filter can be hepa filter if you like. Now you can handle dry wall, wet clean up, vacuum your car and anything else. In the fall I even use the shop vac to blow the leaves out of the shrubs in front of the house. Yeah that is a pain but I am too cheap to buy a leaf blower.

IMO - One wet/dry shop vac does it all and takes up less room on the garage.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Shop-Vac-10-Gallon-4-Peak-HP-Shop-Vacuum/50159053
6 hours to cool down the stove would never work around me . Hit the off switch and after half a hour and dump the ash drawer into a metal30 gallon garbage can. Clean the stove which takes 20 minutes and restart. If I want to clean the glass I can shut the stove off around 2;00 pm for a hour then clean the glass.
 
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MCPO

Minister of Fire
6 hours to cool down the stove would never work around me . Hit the off switch and after half a hour and dump the ash drawer into a metal30 gallon garbage can. Clean the stove which takes 20 minutes and restart. If I want to clean the glass I can shut the stove off around 2;00 pm for a hour then clean the glass.

Yeah, 6 hrs is a long time to wait for pellet ash to cool. Having to wait 6 hrs is an inconvenience and may be an indication of excessive unburned pellets in the ash bin. I`ve never seen unburned pellets in my ash bin.
My central heat system takes over during my monthly maintenance cleaning with no change in the house temps so it makes no difference how long it takes to cool ashes anyway . Monthly cleanings are rather quick for me , rarely exceeding 2 hrs downtime.
 
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Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
After being stopped, my stove will do a long, like 15 minutes, cooling cycle. After that, everything about it, inside and out, is long extinguished and totally back to room temperature. When one can hold the fire pot in his hands, what could be hot enough in there to ignite a fire... I empty the ash tray into a metal bucket, brush the inside surfaces and vaccum the deposited dust.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,029
southwestern Minn
Some stoves will let the exh fan run 6 hours before shutting off. Harman being one. Others will shut off in half a hour or 45 minutes. Its all how the stove was designed
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,953
South Central NH
I just unboxed and used my Shop Vac ash vac last night and am impressed. It is well made, and has great suction. I am comparing it to the Power Smith (that lasted just over its warranty period of 1 year) and if I could go back in time would have gotten the Shop Vac the first time around. Of course only time will tell if it lasts longer than the PS did, but judging from how my other Shop Vacs have lasted, I don't think that will be a problem.

I do wish it had a longer electrical cord and flex hose, but they are the same length as was on the PS (yes, I still have the PS and compared side-by-side) so that is just me.
 
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