Your Questions – Answered.

Do you have a question about your Shop-Vac® vacuum that you’ve been dying to ask, but just never had the chance? We do our best to answer customers’ questions in the most convenient way possible. We decided to compile a list of some of the questions our customers ask the most. We’re hoping you’ll be able to scan and find an answer to something you’ve been wondering for a while!

Why does my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac blow dust back into my room?

The dust isn’t being stopped by the filter and is being exhausted out of the blower port and back into the air. This can be caused by a hole in the filter, the filter not being properly installed, or the dust being too fine for the filter. If the dust is too fine, you need to upgrade to a filter capable of catching the dust and dirt you are cleaning up. When you are picking up fine dust, you need a HEPA or high-efficiency cartridge filter, a cartridge filter with a HEPA collection bag, or a cartridge filter with a high efficiency disposable filter bag. These filters are not available for all vacs.

What is the open port on the back of my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac?

This is the blower port*. You can connect your hose to this port and use it as a blower to blow leaves from your patio, grass clippings from the sidewalk, etc. Many blower ports are open and do not have a cap. This is normal. If you are seeing dust blowing out of the blower port, please refer to the previous question. *blower ports are not standard with all models.

Why does my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac blow air out instead of pulling it in?

The hose is connected to the blower port instead of the inlet on the tank. Simply remove the hose from the blower port and connect to the inlet located on the front of the tank.

Why does my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac shock me?

The shock is caused by a buildup of static electricity.Static shocks are common in dry areas or when the relative humidity of the air is low. To reduce the frequency of static shocks, the best remedy is to add moisture to the air with a console or installed humidifier.

Why did my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac lose suction?

The most common causes of loss of suction are dirty filters or a clog in the hose. To troubleshoot, remove the hose from the vacuum, place your hand at the opening of the tank inlet and turn the vac on.

If you feel suction at the inlet, the issue is with your hose or accessories. Check your hose and accessories for a clog. If no clogs are found, check the hose for a hole or crack - even a small crack can cause a loss of suction. If a crack or hole is found, replace the hose.

If you do not feel suction at the inlet, turn the vacuum off and unplug from the outlet. Follow the steps in the user manual that came with the vac to clean the filter. Check the filter for rips or tears; replace with a new filter if any are found. Empty the tank or if you are using a collection bag replace it if it’s full. Make sure the filters are properly installed then secure the housing to the tank. Plug the cord into the outlet, turn the unit on and place your hand at the tank inlet to check for suction. If you still do not feel suction at the inlet, turn the vacuum off and unplug from the outlet. Check the tank for any cracks and make sure the drain cap, if applicable, is secured to the tank.

If none of these troubleshooting suggestions help, please give us a call at 570-326-0502, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (in the U.S.). Not in the U.S.? Visit our international services page.

Which filter should I use for wet pickup?

The best filter to use for wet pick up is a foam sleeve. The foam sleeve will stop debris, which may be in the water, from being sucked into the motor. When picking up water containing debris; such as, glass, stone, etc. you may want to consider adding a tear resistant wet / dry collection bag. The bag will trap the debris while allowing the water to pass into the tank. You can then remove the bag with the debris, dispose of it and then dump the water into a suitable drain. These filters are not available for all models.

Which filter should I use for dry pickup?

The filter you need is based on the type of debris you are picking up.

  • For large debris (wood chips, gravel, etc.) use a filter with a general household filtration level or better.
  • For medium size debris (sand, sawdust, etc.) use a filter with a medium filtration level or better.
  • For fine debris (drywall dust, cold ashes, etc) use a filter with a fine filtration level.

It is important to use the correct filter for your pickup needs. Using the wrong filter could cause the dust to blow back into the room. Specialty vacs may have different filter requirements. For these vacs, follow the instructions in your user manual.

Do I need to use a collection bag?

There are many benefits to using a collection bag. It makes it easy to empty the tank and dispose of the debris. It also helps to keep the filter on the lid cage from becoming clogged and lessens how often you need to clean that filter. To answer the question, “do you need a collection bag?” - it depends on the vac you are using and the type of dry debris you are picking up.

  • Vac with a cartridge filter or reusable dry filter: If you are picking up large to medium size debris, you do not need to use a collection bag. If you are picking up fine debris, you need to add a high efficiency filter bag or HEPA collection bag to trap the fine dust. Without the bag the fine dust will go through the filter and blow back into your room.
  • Vac with a HEPA cartridge filter: You do not need a collection bag.
  • Vac with a foam sleeve: Some of our smaller vacs come with a foam sleeve and a collection bag. For these vacs, you must use the collection bag with the foam sleeve.
  • Specialty Vacs: Some specialty vacs require a collection bag and some do not. For these vacs, follow the instructions in the user manual that came with the vac.

If I add a HEPA filter to my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac can I pick up lead paint?

No. Our vacuums CANNOT be used to pick up lead paint because this may disperse fine lead particles into the air.

Where can I get service for my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac?

Contact Shop-Vac® Customer Service at 570-326-0502, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (in the U.S.). Not in the U.S.? Visit our international services page.

Which size accessories fit my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac?

To determine which accessories fit your vac, you need to determine the diameter of your hose. To do this; use a measuring tape to measure the distance across the opening of the accessory end of the hose. Shop-Vac® brand hoses will measure roughly 1.25”, 1.5” or 2.5”.

There are also adaptors available to allow you to use different size tools with your hose. These adaptors are not available in all sizes.

To determine what hoses fit your vac, you need to determine the diameter of your vacuum inlet. If your inlet measures roughly, 2.5” in diameter you can use 1.25”, 1.5” or 2.5” hoses with standard hose ends. If you have an inlet other than 2.5” in diameter, look for hoses that fit your model number or vac type (All Around EZ®, Micro®, etc.).

Can a Shop-Vac® wet dry vac be used for vacuuming hazardous materials?

Do not vacuum toxic, carcinogenic, combustible or other hazardous materials such as asbestos, arsenic, barium, beryllium, lead, pesticides or other health endangering materials. Specially designed units are available for these purposes.

Can I run my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac continuously?

Do not leave the vacuum while it is running and/or plugged in. The vac must be attended while it is in use. The filters need to be check and cleaned periodically. Always turn the vacuum off and unplug from the outlet before servicing the filters. If you are picking up fine dust, the filter will need cleaned more often.

After reading over this lengthy blog post, are you still left with unanswered questions? If so, feel free to reach out to our Shop-Vac® Customer Service at 570-326-0502, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (in the U.S.). Not in the U.S.? Visit our international services page.