My Vote For Handiest
The Mighty Wet-Vac!
(This article originally appeared in the free email newsletter
I call The DRSNews.
One of the handiest tools around home & shop these days has
to be the wet-vac.
I have 4
or 5 of them, and use one every
single day, on the job and off.
I thought it’d be fun to
few of the things they can do, especially in the
appliance service business. Many thanks, btw, for all your
I’ve learned some really neat new tips from you guys!
My personal favorite: Defrost frosted up refrigerators, using a small
pressure sprayer full of hot water and the vac (fastest method ever!)
* Unclog sink, tub, or dishwasher drains
* Clean lint from dryers
* Empty water from ‘dead’ dishwashers
* Open clogged refrigerator defrost drains using a computer
cleaning (3/8” nozzle) attachment – a very handy nozzle for lots of things
* Pick up various messes little kids make in the middle of the
(yech! – sit it outside, go back to bed, then hose it out in the AM!)
* Empty water from washers for service – replacing pumps,
on most washers, you can just hold it onto the end of the drain hose for a few seconds
* Clean those really long dryer vents, using a 30 ft central vac hose
* Clean those hard-to-reach refrig. condenser coils, with the vac running and a long condenser brush
* Pull heaters & wires through curved tubing or conduit,
small string through first
(refrigerator Yoder loops, etc)
* Clean AC & Dehumidifier coils - spray with water or a
coil-cleaning chemical first
* Retrieve cell phones from floor drains (better you than me,
* Check various hoses for clogs (listen for the vac motor’s
* Compact sleeping bags and bulky blankets in plastic bags for
* I guess you could use it to just vacuum or blow dirt,
* 'Evacuate' nuisance bees, like Yellow Jackets, from
hard-to-reach nests inside house walls (don't ask!). Just run it
for a couple of hours near the nest entrance, then spray a
bit of wasp/hornet spray into the 'business end' just as you're turning it off. Awesome!
(Note: do NOT spray with the vac running, as the spray's
propellant is flammable and will likely blow up your vac!) Spray
more into the hose, plug the end, and let it sit overnight. I've
vacuumed out literally gallons of bees at a time this way
from outbuildings and ground nests, and it works really well for
* Pull a vacuum on a water heater to replace an element - even a
bottom one - WITHOUT
draining the water!
PS - One tip I’ve learned with my ShopVac™ brand units: it’s not
change back and forth between that paper ‘bag’ and foam
‘wet’ filter. I just
use 2 foam filters and pick up water or
‘dry’ with no problems. Some models are more sensitive to this
than others, though, so experiment.
know there are probably many more (email
me your favorite), but I’ll leave it at that for now. If you
don’t have a wet vac, get one – you’ll be
and if you plan on picking up much water, stay with the 5-6 gallon size. At 8
pounds per gallon,
that’s heavy enough when full! I love the little 1 galloin
size that hangs on a wall, too. Very convenient.
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Many Thanks! - Dave
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