Wet spill vacuum cleaner attachment

wet-spill-vacuum-attachment

You’ve got to hand it to [Lou], not only does he know how to build simple items, he also knows how to sell their worth. Here’s a wet spill vacuum cleaner attachment which you can build on the cheap. A picture of the final product fails to have the same impact as his video showing its use in cleaning up a simulated cat disgorging from the carpet.

From the picture we’re sure you’ve already figured out how it work. The air and damp matter come in one side and are dropped into the jar as the air is sucked out the other. [Lou] suggests raiding your recycling bin for the jar. The intake and outflow are both pieces from a PVC P-trap intended for a sink drain. They have a threaded flange which keeps the part from pulling all the way through the 1.5″ holes drilled in the lid.

This is going to work best with a high-flow shop vacuum. So while you’ve got the tools out, why not build a dust separator as well?

Comments

  1. Wrap it Good says:

    What is the white tape-like substance?

    Didn’t he have any duct tape?

    • Nebulous says:

      The white tape-like stuff looks like teflon tape, often used to make screw-threads water- or gastight. Good stuff, but not used to greatest effect here :)

      • Sheldon says:

        You’re referring to “PTFE” tape which is recognisable in that it has no adhesive properties and incredibly thin (as you pointed out, for filling in threads to make them air/water/gas/fluid tight). What Lou used was “electrical tape”, a sticky-back plastic tape that has a reasonable amount of natural stretch before it breaks, typically used by electricians to tape over wires as it’s relatively thick so can insulate bare ends. It also tends to last a bit longer than normal “sellotape” which can have a tendency to yellow and go brittle although will leave a sticky residue.

        • George says:

          Yeap, it is an electrical tape. It needs to be stretched before applied though in order to glue to the surface. Sorry for my crappy english :-)

        • Alex Rossie says:

          PTFE tape isn’t actually intended to “fill-in” the joint but to reduce friction to the point that the joint can be made water tight or gas-tight itself.

          Common misconception though that leads to dodgy plumbing.

  2. medix says:

    Not sure I see the point here. Most shop vacs are good for liquids provided you remove the filter. My old vac had a float valve that would block airflow when the reservoir filled up to prevent water from entering the motor.

    • wretch says:

      I think the idea is for regular vacuums which usually can’t handle liquid spills.

      • medix says:

        I’ll give him that, though I can’t remember the last time I found a shop vac that *wasn’t* rated for liquids. Granted, I don’t browse for shop vacs all that often (but when I do.. ) ;)

      • dirf says:

        I think the confusion here stems from the inclusion of the phrase “This is going to work best with a high-flow shop vacuum,” which was kind of silly. I believe he’s using a regular household vacuum that you typically clean carpets with.

    • Funky Shopvac says:

      Liquids make your shopvac funky. Especially if the vac already has other solid crud and dust in it.

      Plastic bin shop vacs stink. Metal bin shop vacs rust, even the stainless ones.

      Also, most shop vacs have filters in them. The liquids accumulate on the filter and ruin the efficiency.

      So keeping the shop vac dry is a good idea.

  3. DainBramage1991 says:

    You end up spending as much on the materials needed to make this as it would cost to buy a small, cheap shop-vac. Nice hack, but no value.

    • sneakypoo says:

      10 bucks for the pipes, some tape and a random jar is enough to buy a shop-vac these days?

      • DainBramage1991 says:

        I see about $20 worth of materials there. And, yes, you can find a shop-vac for $10 is you keep your eyes open, though $20 is more common for new ones.

        • sneakypoo says:

          I don’t think I would trust a $10-$20 vac to not burn my house down but maybe that’s just me. Tear apart enough cheap crap from China and you start getting paranoid…

          • saiboogu says:

            These are available for $20 at my local Lowes. $20 + $4 for a 5 gallon bucket, if you really don’t have one of those laying around. Perfectly serviceable shop vac, and mine’s lasted for years of abuse no problem.

        • Greenaum says:

          I think you’re confusing “shop vac” with something else.

    • NewCommentor1283 says:

      lol all the materials were free?
      i mean instead of plummbing supplies,
      one could use the regular hose pictured
      and just ducttape it in place.

      the hose pictured would be free on the curb
      i know ive found a few that way

      PS: love the hack, why didnt i think of this?

      PPS: this is for a regular vaccum,
      the ones with hose attactments (well, the connection port)

    • George says:

      I don’t think that you can find a good vacuum cleaner that can handle liquids at the price of 10$. Well maybe something from China but I doubt if it would continue to work for a long time.

    • Lou says:

      At first blush, this is certainly no better than a shop vac, but it is much easier to clean, because there is no long hose and motor, so you can rinse the whole thing in the sink. I have a regular shop vac, but didn’t want to coat the inside of the hose with all the yucky stuff. My wife likes that it is a simple lightweight attachment to her regular vacuum, and more importantly that I built and used it, before she got home.

      If you have an old plasic jar, this is 10 bucks to build. Better yet, I built it for free with parts from around the house… …but now two of my sinks leak BAD!

  4. I made a small one of these for my handheld vacuum out of a spice jar and aquarium tubing a few weeks ago. Screamed like the Devil when it was running, but sucked the coolant/mud out of the spark plug wells on my car like a champ.

    One benefit this has over a wet-vac alone is that you can collect whatever it is you’re sucking up. In my case I was curious about the makeup of the gunk, so having a clean jar of it when I was done was very nice.

  5. Will Lyon says:

    Works just like a typical Mityvac but on a bigger scale: http://www.mityvac.com/hq_images/MV8020.jpg

  6. Snap says:

    Very nice idea, especially since our 1 year old dog had a rare toilet mishap this morning. I was imagining more separation of the inlet and outlet pipes (by extending one of them half way into the jar), since isolating the two to let the gunk fall out of the way is the whole point.

    • Lou says:

      A baffle would be a great add. LateralThinkerer posted a perfect solution in the video comments. Use the other part of the P trap down inside the jar, to provide more inlet/outlet separation. I think that would work best if you cut half of it off, so the inlet air would come down, into the jar, turn, and create a vortex/centrifuge effect.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    I think he should have glued the pipes into the lid, just seems more secure, now if you’ll excuse me I have to buy 2 p (pee?) traps and a jar of peanuts.

  8. echodelta says:

    Featured in Pop Sci or Mex decades ago made with pickle buckets. Make in-hose port extend down into tank a way with an angle to get a vortex. Got yuck! Jab hose in hole near top of disposable jug, suck on top with regular hose held by hand. Trash. Done. Beats cleaning out a wet vac, which for poo will never quite come out. Old textbook way to clean up spilled mercury. Bottle, two hole stopper, two pieces hose, suck by mouth!

  9. Bloodlock says:

    I think,if use some epoxy instead of that piece of wood will be better…
    and a flexible extension so the jar will be always in vertical position…

  10. G-force says:

    I made a similar version of this to get extra transmission fluid out of my car. It used a pickle jar and some spare tubing. I punched two holes into the lid and duct taped around the hoses. It worked very well. This is a nicely refined way of doing the same thing.
    I wonder if a setup like this would work well for breeding brakes?

  11. ejonesss says:

    he showed cleaning up oil but i would be careful not to use it to clean up gasoline because of the fumes in fact any flammable liquid could create a fire risk so never use to clean up flammable liquids.

  12. mindprobe says:

    Poo Master 3000

  13. Trav says:

    I wouldn’t use this with your “good” vacuum, especially if it’s your wife’s, for long term.

    Regular wet/dry vacs (at least the ones I’ve seen) keep the cooling air for the motor separate from the vacuuming air. Most home vacs use the suctioned air and circulate it through the motor to cool them. While you might be careful not too suck up too much liquid to go to the vacuum, the damp vapors might cause the motor to corrode. Giving you rusted bearings or corroded contacts and windings.

  14. Cold says:

    Additionally, I would add some manner of “castle wall” type attachment to the end of the house to allow for constant airflow, rather than a flat edge that causes it to clamp down and seal against the surface (especially with liquids).

    Even just cutting square notches around the end of the house mouth would suffice.

  15. Funky Shopvac says:

    I made a mini version of this for solo bleeding vehicle brake systems.

    The nasty brake fluid is deposited in a mason jar. You definitely don’t want that in your shop vac, or your vacuum pump.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s