How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick Up Water the Right Way?

How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick Up Water

If you are familiar with woodworking or construction, there’s a good chance of knowing quite much about Shop Vacs for workshop. These are heavy-duty mess dealing vacuums that can even work with water and glasses. Something your regular home vacuum may not be very good with handling.

Its high-power motor as well as suction units are pretty well designed to help you out in such a crisis where water is all over the place. And you badly need to get rid of the water mess as soon as possible. Let’s talk about how to use a shop vac to pick up water and get things sorted properly.

Here’s How to Use a Shop Vac to Pick Up Water Properly.

The wet-dry shop vacs are well able to suck up liquid stuff easily. You can get rid of spilled juices as well as scattered glasses. No matter if it’s in your workshop, garage, or simply home floor. In some cases, it can even solve problems such as clogged toilets, minor floods from recent rain, and even broken pipe issues. These work amazingly at saving your house from water damage in no time. Keep on Reading…


There are two things you need to figure out before doing anything at all. First of all, check the water amount you need to pick. Then have a look at the collection tank capacity to find out if it can hold that much. If there’s a dust bag then remove it. However, some models might have tanks for both. In that case, make sure the tank is clean and empty to work properly.

Get Filter & Filter Retainer Out

The filter of a shop vac is probably very important in usual case. And that’s when you are working with picking dust and dirt. However, in the case of water, there’s no need for using filter or retainer with a shop vac. And that’s where some people get really confused with should they remove the filter from wet/dry vac or not.

The best thing to do here is detaching filter and retainer both. Doing so before working with any liquid or water suction is ideal for the wellbeing of your tool. Since you are removing the filter anyway, try to clean interior dust at this chance.

Also, remember that some filter is not meant to deal with water suction. It can cause many damages to the filter because of this large amount of liquid. And in some cases, the shop vac can get entirely damaged. With the filter retainer out, you allow water to flow freely inside collection tank. While you can keep focusing on the vacuuming process.

Since not all shop vacs are made the same way, you should read its manual carefully before trying anything at all. It will help in finding the right way of detachment as well.

Fix the Water Removing Accessory

There should be more than a few accessories coming along with a shop vac. You need to pick the one that works for liquid or water suction. Connect that attachment to the hose. In most of the case its either a singular squeeze nozzle or simply a combined attachment with a floor brush.

Turning the Vacuum On

Find the closet wall socket and insert power cord for plugging it in for running. You want to do this with enough carefulness. Make sure the power cord is not in any contact with water on ground. As we all know, electricity and water don’t go well together and are often a reason for causing unreturnable disastrous outcomes.

Once the vacuum is on, start picking up water. But you need to be very mindful of the sound of your vacuum while working. If there is any high pitch sound then it’s best to stop right away. Because this usually indicates that the tank is full and needs to be emptied to work further. If you keep on ignoring this sign and vacuum water then the tool’s motor will be in danger. Also, there’s a good risk of causing an overflow of water.

Some modern models come with an auto shut-off feature. And so, it can automatically turn off whenever the collection tank is full. So, any further damage with such a model because of the full tank is quite not possible.

Unplug Tool & Empty the Tank.

Once you are done with picking water or the tank seems to be full, turn off machine. You need to now empty the collection tank and clean it properly if your job is done already. After every use, it’s very important that you give the tank a good cleanup session. It does not have to be a very big or prolonged usage to give the tank a good cleaning. You should do this after every usage as a regime.

Get the head of vacuum out first. And then bring it outside of your house to a place that is suitable for this chore. You can simply pour the inside content out into that place. Another way is by using the drain plug. This should be onto the drain port of tool. Since the tank is full, it can be quite heavy to carry outside. That’s when the drain plug may come in help. You can choose from any way out of these two according to your convenience.

After removing the contents, wash tank with some warm water and dish soap. Make it completely dry. And then you can put the filter and filter retainer back.

Wrap Up

Now you know how to use a shop vac to pick up water in any circumstances. This wonderfully useful tool can be a savior to many tricky situations where you need to get rid of liquid out in an easy and convenient way. Especially when it’s about getting water out from flooring that can experience damage if not taken care of properly. From woodworking to home needs, shop vacs are great to use with their peak performance. Good Luck Using Them Properly.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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