Failed Shop Vac Dust Collection


Derek_PNW
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Well, if I had waited a few months to wise up I may not be in this situation. I thought I could buy a shop vac, cyclone, container, and some plywood to build a nice quiet dust collector. I should have just bought a dust collector... Well I saw many designs online and none had a lot of ventilation for the shop vac... I thought it would overheat and while it still works it blows my sad 15A breaker instantly (that is my next task.... power distribution...). I am thinking it has a short or something... maybe someone can explain a theory or two on why... The shop vac draws 11.8A. My dad 15A breaker in my garage also has one GFIC socket as well... so the breaker is not blowing but that is...

Anyways to my main ask... the cyclone has a 4" pipe on the top. Any suggestions on mounting a dust collection blower from a craigslist dust collector? Any way to have it filter? I am open to all suggestions. Here is my "dust collector." Thanks all for the help!

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yeah, what he said.  I'm not sure what the exact breaker issue is...

That's a really nice setup.   If the only issue is that it's tripping the breaker - you need to fix the breaker issue.  If the shop vac works, there's not really a reason it should trip a 15A breaker.  Breakers do go bad........so you might want to try it in different circuits to see if it works elsewhere.

To your question about mounting a blower - there are a lot of factors.  would need to see what the blower looks like; the blower itself might dictate how to mount filters; also how much head room you have.  I could see some vertical supports/legs mounted to your cart extending up, to a platform just at the top of the cyclone onto which you mount the blower.  That assumes you'd leave the shop vac in the cart - and that you have the headroom for such a tall thing. It'd be pretty top heavy, so you might reconsider remaking your cart - take the vac out, put the drum in the cart and the cyclone on the top, and then the blower on top.  If nothing else it'd be shorter.

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Just a qualifier about your setup.  I have something similar but, it is a shop vac, not a dust collector; set your expectations reasonably.  I think you did a great job on it and simply have to resolve an electrical problem.  Your build is much more refined than my "mad scientist lab prototype" that I have been meaning to rebuild.

How old are the breakers; they do wear out.  Do you have a VOM and have a fundamental familiarity with its use?  Is there an outlet on another circuit you can run a properly sized extension cord to in order to eliminate the vac?  Is there an air return properly sized for the vac's intake?

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Thank you all for the support. To be honest, I was frustrated last night. I was trying to clean up the garage so I can finish my workbench and the damn thing would trip right when I turned it on. So I went to the next step... buy a real dust collector.

Thanks for the help and I will get on answering your questions.

After some internet research, I have one GFCI socket which is right after the breaker. The GFCI trips and the whole garage blacks out. Why is there one GFCI in the garage? Why wouldn't the circuit just rely on the breaker for protection?

It is a great point to test it. I did some research and I will go pick up the necessary instruments.

If the GFCI is bad I feel comfortable replacing it. I am a little more cautiously optimistic with the actual breaker.

Now on to the shop vac cabinet. It is sealer except for the exhaust. I think I should install a few cabinet fans... I will also test the resistance of the shop vac since I did smell that lovely burnt electrical smell.

Again thank you for all of the help!

Sorry, I forgot to answer your question Gee-Dub. The town home was built in 2008 so I would assume the breakers have not been replaced yet. We bought it last year.

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I have no electrical knowledge whatsoever. However, I had an air compressor that kept popping the breaker in my garage. I was using a long outdoor orange extension cord with the compressor. I went to a local guy who rebuilds electrical motors and he advised I shorten up the extension cord and use a more heavy duty cord (thicker). Solved my problem. 

 

-Ace-

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Your concept is good. I have a Ridgid vac & Dust Deputy that I use for small tools like the router & sanders. It performs very well & hardly any dust gets to the filter. Before I got a big dust collector that was all I had. It kept (barely) up to the jointer & planer.

One small thing you could improve, is to replace the flex hose from the cyclone to the vac with hard pipe & elbows. Less static pressure loss. Lee Valley had a good selection of small pipe & fittings.

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About 40 years ago I was using a handheld, metal case grinder. I stepped into some water on the shop floor and started getting shocked. It was enough juice that I couldn't let go of the grinder, but it didn't trip the breaker. Fortunately I had enough muscle control in my arm to throw the grinder out of my hand.

A GFCI would have given me a little jolt and then tripped.

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38 minutes ago, Waldvogel Review said:

Im almost positive thats not true. At least in California. Ive been in new and old houses here and none of them are GFCI. The only rule is if its within 10ft of a water source i believe.

I don't know any more than what I was looking up awhile back when I was helping a neighbor troubleshoot his garage power, but I believe anything outside of a living area, including in garages and sheds needs protection. In the neighbors case, I guess it used to be ok to tie it into a bathroom GFCI so the outlets all looked normal but the GFCI was tripping in his basement bathroom so it took us forever to figure out.

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Just now, CandorLush said:

I don't know any more than what I was looking up awhile back when I was helping a neighbor troubleshoot his garage power, but I believe anything outside of a living area, including in garages and sheds needs protection. In the neighbors case, I guess it used to be ok to tie it into a bathroom GFCI so the outlets all looked normal but the GFCI was tripping in his basement bathroom so it took us forever to figure out.

That makes more sense. I believe someone did that in my families old house to put a plug on the back porch. Garage power is no different than the rest of the house. Even outdoor sheds often have power professionally ran to them buy tying in a breaker, running and burying conduit and running up to a light, or a plug or two. Of course, once you run power to a shed or put it on a foundation, the city\county often will try to tax it as part of the house sq footage

jerks lol

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1 hour ago, Waldvogel Review said:

Im almost positive thats not true. At least in California. Ive been in new and old houses here and none of them are GFCI. The only rule is if its within 10ft of a water source i believe.

They're not required in ceiling outlets used for garage door opener, but they are required for the wall outlets.   GFCI is also required for outlets in unfinished basements as well.  The basic assumption is if you've got a concrete floor, the chances are pretty good you're going to pour water on it.

 

Anyway, back to the OP.   The GFCI breakers can also go bad.   I'd start by replacing that.   A new GFCI costs about $10.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Minnesota Steve said:

They're not required in ceiling outlets used for garage door opener, but they are required for the wall outlets.   GFCI is also required for outlets in unfinished basements as well.  The basic assumption is if you've got a concrete floor, the chances are pretty good you're going to pour water on it.

 

Anyway, back to the OP.   The GFCI breakers can also go bad.   I'd start by replacing that.   A new GFCI costs about $10.

 

 

I looked it up and you are correct. BUT...... Im not going to pay the extra expense for that. Ill just keep water off my floor lol

 

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For a lot of GFCI installs, there is one GFCI and the rest of the outlets are downstream from it, so you essentially get GFCI protection on the entire line of outlets. It's cheaper than installing a GFCI on every outlet. But if you plug your vac into any outlet in the chain, you are still running it on the same GFCI, even if you aren't using the exact same outlet.

 

On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 11:47 PM, wtnhighlander said:

If your vacuum is tripping the GFCI, the outlet is bad, or your vacuum has a problem that could kill you. Don't take shortcuts here.

This is the best advice here. It could be just a bad GFCI, which is easy to replace. Or it could be that the vac is trying to kill you (or burn your house down). There is no harm in replacing the GFCI, they are easy to swap out and only a few bucks at the hardware store. But don't take it out and put a regular outlet in its place. If replacing the GFCI doesn't solve the problem, your shop vac might be trying to murder you and I would suggest repairing or replacing it.

-E

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46 minutes ago, Elroy Skimms said:

For a lot of GFCI installs, there is one GFCI and the rest of the outlets are downstream from it, so you essentially get GFCI protection on the entire line of outlets. It's cheaper than installing a GFCI on every outlet. But if you plug your vac into any outlet in the chain, you are still running it on the same GFCI, even if you aren't using the exact same outlet.

yup, I've seen cases where multiple bathrooms, with shared common walls are all wired off a single GFCI. At first glance you'd think one of the bathrooms wasn't protected by GFCI at all.

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5 minutes ago, Isaac said:

yup, I've seen cases where multiple bathrooms, with shared common walls are all wired off a single GFCI. At first glance you'd think one of the bathrooms wasn't protected by GFCI at all.

A bit of thread jacking here..... None of my outdoor outlets were working.  I couldn't figure out why.  I tried tracing the pipe from the panel out the outlets to see if the wire was disconnected somewhere.  I finally gave up and hired an electrician, who did some detective work and found the outdoor outlets (which were not GFCI) were all connected our our powder room outlet (which was GFCI).  We had never used that outlet for anything so didn't realize it had tripped, causing the outdoor outlets to not work.  All of the houses in my subdivision were wired that way.  We ended up running new pipe to my panel, so the outdoor outlets would be on their own breaker, and installed new GFCI outlets.

 

 

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To jump back into the conversation. . . First, thank you again for all of the help and insight. Electricity is a big unknown for me and dust collection is too. I am sure I overthink CFMs and obviously have a high expectation for machines which were not designed to fit my requirements. . . :D

I trashed my shop-vac last night. On a "cold start" it pulls a high static pressure. After a few minutes of use, the motor starts to heat up, falters, and the suction drops significantly. Plus there is a strong burning electrical smell. The good news, it was $50 on Black Friday (Black Month more like it). The bad news, I am out $50.

I have recently purchased a Grizzly G0710 1HP wall-mounted dust collection blower with the optional canister filter (the joys of living in Washington about a hour away from their showroom). Are you ready for my excellent "Sketch Up" skills (P.S I used PowerPoint instead. . .)?

I am planning to place the blower into the cabinet with fans on the back of the cabinet on the top and bottom to cool the cabinet. The dual fans move 107CFM each. . . so I think it will keep cold air in and hot air out easily.

For the inlet connection to the blower, I would like to use a small segment of 4" flex hose and then transition to 4" PVC up to the cyclone (see the side view). Will the 4" flex hose dramatically kill my CFM if used for about 6" in length?

For the outlet to the canister filter attached to the side of the cabinet, I will use 5" flex hose. Will the outlet flex hose run hurt CFM as well? Should I use PVC?

Final question, anyone know where to buy smooth bore flex hose? I know it is not extremely smooth in there, but I am also worried about how I attach it to the tool I am using. I will move the hose to the tool I am using.

Any thoughts and ideas are very much welcomed! Thanks!

 

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