How To Suck Up Water Using A Shop Vac

Can you suck up water with a shop vac? Shop vacs can suck up the water in an emergency if your home floods from a rain storm or if your washing machine leaks. You can use a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck up water or any type of liquid as long as they are not considered flammable. Using a shop vac to remove water is easy and setting it up is simple, it can be used on wet carpet or wet tile.

How To Suck Up Water Using A Shop VacHow To Suck Up Water Using A Shop Vac

How to quickly vacuum up a water leak on your floor?

  1. Get your wet/dry shop vac
  2. Open the lid and REMOVE ANY PAPER FILTERS
  3. Foam filters around the motor housing can be kept in place
  4. Remove any dirt or dust debris in the canister
  5. Secure the top of the shop vac to the canister
  6. Plug in wet/dry shop vac to an outlet
  7. Attach the shop vac hose if not already connected
  8. Choose the correct accessory tool for the wand to efficiently remove the water
  9. Begin sucking up the water on the floor
  10. Use the wand to angle it correctly so the water sucks into the shop vac
  11. The shop vac will turn off when water reaches near the top
  12. Empty the water from the shop vac when full
  13. The side or bottom of the shop vac should have a drain hole, use it
  14. Continue removing the water from the floor
  15. Once finished empty the water from the shop vac and let it air out
  16. When the water has been removed from your floor, use a small fan to fully dry the flooded area


How to vacuum up water with a shop vac

If an emergency occurs and you have flooding in your home, get your wet/dry shop vac and open the top to expose the inside of the vacuum canister. Empty out any dirt and debris first. Remove any filters made of paper, if there is a foam sleeve on the motor housing it can stay installed, just remove all paper filters.

Do you remove the filter when using a shop vac for water?

When vacuuming wet areas using your shop vac you will need to remove the paper filter. Any types of liquid including water can damage the filter. The filter will get wet and fall apart when used with water. The paper filter in your shop vac is for vacuuming dry dust and dirt only.

Will the shop vac turn off when full of water?

Snap the top portion of the shop vac back on the canister and begin vacuuming up the water on the floor. Do not worry about the shop vac overfilling with water as the shop vac should have a small float near the motor housing that will stop the motor when the water gets to high.

Should I remove the paper filter on my shop vac?

When you suck up dust or dirt the shop vac usually requires a paper filter. When using it to suck up water, the paper filters inside the shop vac will need to be removed. Certain types of shop vacs have a foam filter inside and can stay installed when sucking up water. Just remember that when sucking up water, to remove any type of paper filter inside the shop vac.

Most people have the default shop vac setup to be used to suck up dirt or dust. If you have a sudden flood or water leak from your refrigerator water line, or your R/O water filter system leaks water everywhere and you need to remove the water from the floor as fast as possible, open up your wet/dry shop vac and remove all paper filters. Vacuum the water up and dump any excess water when the vac stops becomes full.

Do I need to clean the shop vac after sucking water?

Once finished sucking up the water (and it has been draining out in the step before) unplug the shop vac from power and open the canister. Have a look at the motor area and be sure there is nothing that has been sucked up in the water that may be stuck or lodged in the area. If there is a foreign object, this could stop the motor from turning off when the shop vac becomes full of water and water could overflow.

Clean the inside of the shop vac and remove any pieces of this or that that may be left over after removing the water. After cleaning the inside of the shop vac, remember to let the shop vac dry out after removing any water from the floor before you use it to suck up dirt or dust.

How to set up the shop vac for normal use?

If you will be using the shop vac to “default” vacuum up dirt or dust in the house, garage, car, or outside, remember to reinstall the paper filter as the paper filter will prevent dust from blowing out of the top of the shop vac while you clean. The paper filter is also needed to filter out particles. Install whatever else is needed on your particular model to vacuum up dry dirt or dust. You may need a foam sleeve that attaches to the motor housing. When performing normal vacuuming where water is not present, be sure the inside of the canister is dry to avoid water sitting at the bottom of the shop vac and causing different types of mold, rust, wet paper filter issues.

Can my shop vac suck water?

If you have a quality wet/dry shop vacuum water can be removed from your floor quickly. A wet-dry shop vacuum can remove any debris on the ground before it was flooded with water. A wet/dry shop vac is an efficient way of removing water by sucking up liquid through high suction power.

Shop vac manuals for filters or parts

If you need help with troubleshooting, parts, filters or other issues with your shop vac, here is a PDF file for multiple model numbers of ShopVac vacuums. Click to download the Shop-Vac Wet Dry vacuum cleaner users manual.

Troubleshooting your shop vacTroubleshooting your shop vac

Do you have a water leak and need help cleaning up water from your floor? Do you have a wet/dry shop vac to assist you? If so and it is not working properly to remove the water, use the comment form below and let us know your model number shop vac and someone can assist you to remedy the issue.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance Tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 33 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of appliances. Contact here

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