How to Use Shop Vac to Pick up Water

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 20, 2022
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A shop vacuum is a powerful machine to have in your home or your workshop. Although mostly used as a workshop tool, it can help pick up liquid spills on your floor easily. However, that is not the main function of this tool, and to get this done, you need to adjust some settings in your device. However, do not let the thought of messing with the options intimidate you. Understandably, many casual owners of this machine feel a bit uneasy operating it, which can leave a lot of mystery. But with our help, you will be able to pick up water, soda, or any other type of liquids you need to with your handy shop vac. How-to-Use-Shop-Vac-to-Pick-up-Water-FI When you start your own workshop or buy your first home, make sure to add a wet dry vac aka a shop vac into your shopping list. These vacs are way more than just a regular vacuum. These vacs can suck up just about anything. In this article, we will give you a complete guideline on how to use a shop vac to pick up water easily. So, without further ado, let us dive in.

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Things to Know Before you Start

Before you start using your shop vac, there are a couple of things that you need to know about it. As you might already know, shop vac, or any vacuums for that matter, come with paper filters. Although they are perfectly fine when you are sucking up dust and dirt, when picking up liquid, you want to remove them. However, foam filters are okay, and you can just leave them on. Additionally, make sure to give the instruction manual a thorough read before you start working. It contains a lot of information, and you might even learn something about your particular machine that you did not know before. Furthermore, make sure you are using a shop vac to only pick up non-flammable liquids like water or soda. Flammable liquids like kerosine or petroleum can cause severe problems and may even result in an explosion. You might also want to remove any bags over the bucket of your shop vac. Since you are picking up liquid, it is easier to dispose of it when it is stored neatly in the bucket of your shop vac. If the spill is on a hard surface such as the floor, you can use the shop vac normally. However, for carpets, you might need a different type of attachment on the hose of your machine. Typically, most shop vacs come with this type of attachment with your purchase. But if you do not have this accessory, you need to consider buying an aftermarket one.
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How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick up Water

Now that you know about the basics, it is time to get into the process of picking up water using a shop vac. Keep in mind that there is a slight difference between cleaning up small spills and draining puddles.
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Here are the steps to cleaning small spillages with a shop vac: To clean a puddle due to a broken plumbing pipe or rainwater, you need a garden hose. Here are the steps to draining puddles using a shop vac:

How to Drain the Collected Water from the Shop Vac

Once you are done picking up the water or any other liquid, you need to drain it from the canister. The steps to draining water from the shop vac are quite simple and straightforward.
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While cleaning out the canister, make sure you do not use any chemicals. Just a simple mixture of soap and water is enough to clean it.

Safety Tips when Using a Shop Vac to Pick up Water

Although most wet dry vacuums are suitable for picking up water, there are a few restrictions out there. Here are a few safety tips that will make sure your vacuum does not run into any trouble during the cleanup process.
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Final Thoughts

One of the major benefits of using a shop vac is the ability to pick up liquid waste as well as solid ones. And with our easy to follow steps, you should now have no trouble using it to clean up water spillages or puddles in your home or workshop. You can use a shop vac as a water pump too. Apart from doing regular household chores, you can also use them for everyday maintenance. Whether it is puddles on the floor, ashes from the fireplace, snow on the doorstep, large piece of debris or liquid spills, shop vacs can take care of them all.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.
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