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How To Choose A Shop Vac

When it comes to repairing the problems caused by water damage, the shop vac is a great tool to have on hand. In addition to water damage problems, they are also good tools for cleaning out your vehicle. They have a number of major advantages over a traditional vacuum cleaner, such as the ability to pull up either liquid or dry materials, as well as material of larger diameter. Shop vacs are generally more powerful than regular vacuum units.

So how and what do you consider when looking at a shop vac purchase? Shop vacs come in a wide variety of sizes, from 1 gallon all the way up to 55 gallons. Smaller vacs are more suited for pulling up dry materials, but if any degree of liquid is involved, then a more powerful unit is needed. In most cases, a 16 gallon model is ideal, since it is large enough to pull up liquids but not so large that it becomes difficult to handle. You also want to purchase a unit with a stainless steel tank as opposed to plastic, since plastic is far more difficult to clean.

You will also need to consider horsepower ratings for the shop vac motor. The more horsepower, the greater the suction. You want to pick the highest horsepower available for whatever size tank you have selected.

Vacs also come in various power sources, from corded to cordless, rolling, and wall mounted.  Cordless vacs are excellent for cleaning up smaller spills, but would be useless for a large job. Wall mounted types are good for a vac that is designated for a specific area.

There are a number of features that should be incorporated into your decision, from longer or shorter power cords, tool accessory storage, quiet operation, a built in liquid pump, and other options. Determine your needs, both current and potential, and then choose a unit designed to meet those needs.

Finally, there is price. Shop vacs are available at any home improvement store, and can run from $50 for a low end model to $300 for the high end options. Ideally, you should be able to purchase a shop vac that will handle most of your needs for around $150.

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