Wet Dry Vacuum – Your Household Workhorse
Construction creates lots of dust. In fact, I was always amazed at how much dust is created by building and remodeling. Scientists for years have blamed the greenhouse global warming on the use of fossil fuels. Personally, I think all of us builders and remodelers are partially responsible.
Wet dry vacuums are really handy. They are much more rugged than a traditional vacuum cleaner and can go more places. I consider them the 4x4 vehicles of the vacuum product line. The newest models put to shame the first generation models. Today you can get ones that pump water they collect, do double duty using a detachable blower motor head, inflate any conceivable item with nifty attachments, and much, much more.
Perhaps the best innovation is the sound reduction you will find with most vacuums. They still create noise, but not as much as before. Certain models offer optional mufflers.
Click here to watch a video on two types of wet dry shop vacuums.
You will also like the tough, new plastic canisters or tanks. The days of rust are gone forever. The plastic bodies also make some of the units lighter. The particular model I own is so light weight that when I adjust the blower output muffler a certain direction, the vacuum moves itself across the room!
The Horsepower Issue
When the column ran in all of the papers, I got several e-mails and calls to my radio show about the bogus horsepower ratings of the vacuum motors. There is a simple way to calculate horsepower when you know the amount of watts a motor consumes - or so I am told. If you divide the watts by 746 it gives you the horsepower. A typical 15 amp circuit in a house allows 1,800 watts to travel through it before tripping. This means that a motor operating at 1,800 watts can produce 2.41 horsepower. A 20 amp circuit allows 2,400 watts to pass by. This equates to 3.21 horsepower. The callers and e-mailers wanted to know how the manufacturers could claim, 4, 5 and 6 + horsepower ratings.
Well, they use a term peak horsepower. Evidently peak horsepower is calculated at 2.5 to 3.0 times the actual horsepower figure. It is a theoretical horsepower limit of what a motor is capable of doing with no restrictions in an ideal working environment.