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Old 09-15-2016, 08:59 AM   #1
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How Many Uses For a Wet/Dry Vac Aboard?

I've seen a wet/dry vac mentioned in other threads but haven't seen one dedicated to the many uses for one aboard...
I'll start it but sure there are many others out there

List your common and uncommon uses for a wet / dry vac aboard

Mine are

Normal cleaning

Bilge cleaning - gets the residue bilge pumps can't get

Water pump impeller replacement - my impeller lost all of the vanes when it went - lots of rubber pieces downstream - the shop vac sucked many back from the pump housing - then used it on "blow" in the heat exchanger outlet to blow back pieces - then suck at the pump again - repeat - did an amazing job

Works well at cleaning diesel, fresh water & holding tank vents...I avoid blowing in the fuel but can use both on other tanks - and remember diesel only - DO NOT USE ON GAS as they are not ignition protected

Dock mate used it to retrieve admirals mascara top that she dropped down the head sink & blocked the drain - easy - 10 sec job

I've heard but not tried (yet)

Can be useful to pressurize tanks to find leaks

Vac applied to fuel vent or fill (other openings closed) can help reduce spills if you have to add / replace a valve in a partially full diesel tank (again not for gas)
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:08 AM   #2
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Is it snowing in NY already?

Use it to suck a string through a wiring chase so you can use it to pull wire.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
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- Inflate pull toys and floatables
- Initial fill volume on larger dinghies
- For winterization to remove water from domestic water lines
- To clear blocked scuppers and lines
- When replacing zincs in coolers to limit salt water leaks
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Is it snowing in NY already?
Not yet but leaves are starting to turn and on the look out for geese heading your way... another season just about over
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:35 AM   #5
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Sucking or blowing out AC drains.
Cleaning out the AC pans.
Cleaning strainers.
Stray water in the bilges.
Cleaning of the tops of the batteries after filling.
Sucking out water lines for repair.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:41 AM   #6
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How many use the head that drops on a 5 gal plastic bucket?
I've often looked at them while wandering around HD.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:53 AM   #7
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Sucking out shower sump when the pump needs to be serviced.

Cleaning the bilge.

Cleaning up fire extinguisher powder.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:02 AM   #8
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I don't have one on my boat. If I think I may need one, I'll bring it from home. The last one I had had wheels on the bottom and it rolled off the floating dock because of a wake and went into the river. I pulled it back out by the cord but it was never the same after that.


After trying several different vacuums to just clean up the inside of the boat, I settled on a small canister vacuum that cost me $6 at a thrift store. It uses replaceable paper filter bags. My wife likes it and that's what counts.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:25 AM   #9
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Used it to suck water out of voids in the keel and skeg.

Used it to suck reeved deck seams of small bits of deck calking.

Used it to clean the interior of the car after grinding off all the cetol from the swim platform.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbevins View Post
How many use the head that drops on a 5 gal plastic bucket?
I've often looked at them while wandering around HD.
I use one from time to time.

They also make a handy blower or inflator for tubes and such.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:36 AM   #11
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Because I live in New England and am thinking about winter storage:
Sucking the water out of the engine water strainer
Sucking the water out of the shower sump
Sucking the last bit of water out of the bilge
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:11 PM   #12
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I would hesitate to use it on diesel. It might just atomize it enough to cause ignition. Probably not.

Now while saying that and the same poster warned of using it on gasoline....one such lad decided it was a good idea in our marina about 5-7 years ago. He is no longer with us. If you look into the vents of the motor, you will see a continuous blue spark that runs the electric motor. One laborer died....the other seriously injured.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbevins View Post
How many use the head that drops on a 5 gal plastic bucket?
I've often looked at them while wandering around HD.
I do.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:37 PM   #14
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Washer leaked all over aft cabin when hose let go. It helped with the mess. Use for dog hair on upholstery and rugs too. We have a small one.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:12 PM   #15
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I use a drop in 5 gal bucket type. Even though lately I have been using the 3 gal buckets.

I have 2.

One dedicated dry, one wet. When the wet dies, rotate as 5 or so years of heavy service and they all start to die.

The dry has a 25 foot cheapo pool vacuum hose so no part of the boat is unreachable.

The both do dozens of jobs that are only partially done by other kinds of vacs.

The most recent use out of the box....bought the cheaper combustion coolant leak detector...and used the vacuum instead of a vacuum line on the engine (don't have one on my diesel) or gand pump....worked great.

Can't imagine a liveaboard without one or two shop vacs..whichever type you choose.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:32 PM   #16
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In addition to things already suggested, we use ours to vaccum the cabin. We have a small upholstery beater brush head from our home Dyson that fits on the shop vac hose and works great. Due to limited space, it is the only vaccum that lives on the boat. We do bring our Dyson cordless down once in a while for a more thorough vaccuming.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #17
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Can't tell you how many holes drilled, cuts with a saber saw, and sanding with a Dremel tool, I've done with the shop vac nozzle in the other hand. It's easier to suck up the mess as you make it.

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Old 09-15-2016, 04:34 PM   #18
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Stinger wet vac - Can use it to inflate vac and blow. Have a few of them always one on the boat. Works well stores easily and cheaply replaced if necessary.


Stinger 2.5 gal. 1.75-Peak HP Compact Wet Dry Vac-WD2025 - The Home Depot
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Is it snowing in NY already?
For us northern folks, that comment was really out of line.


Theres some great ideas here.

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Old 09-15-2016, 04:48 PM   #20
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Dry my hair
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