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Thread: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

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    Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Well I made a dry run today to see if my 5.5HP Shop-Vac had what it takes to blow out my floor drains (2 drains 1 line) but it didn't do the job. I'm assuming I gave it enough time, I ran it for 5 minutes and not a single bubble came out of the drains. Can someone suggest a different brand, model that has worked for them? I really don’t want to spend $300.00 on vacuum/blower if I can help it.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    A shop vac isn't going to do the trick for drains. A compressor will work, but you need to have a way to quickly seal off the line since the water pressure will refill it almost instantly.
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    If you don't want to spend the money, you can always go to home depot and rent a compressor. I think they're around $30 for a day.
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    I actually own two air compressors; one is more portable then the other. The easiest one to use would be the Bostitch pancake compressor, details are as follows:

    6 gallons
    2 HP Peak
    1.35 HP Running
    3.4 CFM @ 40psi
    2.1 CFM @ 90psi

    The other compressor is DeVilbiss but it’s currently wired for 220 and I don’t have a 220 source close to the equipment pad. I can rewire back to 110 if needed. Details are as follows:

    30 gallons
    4 HP
    11.9 CFM
    8.8 CFM @ 40psi
    6.9 CFM @ 90psi

    Do you think either of these compressors have the muscle to blow the main drain lines?

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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    I forgot to mention, the main drain valve is within reach of blow point, if I close the valve while air is being blown through the pipe, wouldn't that work?

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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Quote Originally Posted by zooming993
    I actually own two air compressors; one is more portable then the other. The easiest one to use would be the Bostitch pancake compressor, details are as follows:

    6 gallons
    2 HP Peak
    1.35 HP Running
    3.4 CFM @ 40psi
    2.1 CFM @ 90psi

    You won't make it far with this....just finished winterizing with a Craftsman 30 gallon, 4.5 CFM @ 40. That thing ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran. I could hit each line with a shot of 40 PSI, but that would last for about 30 seconds. In the end, I blew each line about 4 times.

    The other compressor is DeVilbiss but it’s currently wired for 220 and I don’t have a 220 source close to the equipment pad. I can rewire back to 110 if needed. Details are as follows:

    30 gallons
    4 HP
    11.9 CFM
    8.8 CFM @ 40psi
    6.9 CFM @ 90psi

    Better get your wire nuts out. This hog will more than likely do the trick. Assuming you use a paint gun with this most of the time?

    Do you think either of these compressors have the muscle to blow the main drain lines?
    I ended up going anywhere from 20 PSI (which blew the returns just fine), but again, didn't last long. 30 PSI for 45 seconds blew my MD just fine.
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Quote Originally Posted by zooming993
    I actually own two air compressors; one is more portable then the other. The easiest one to use would be the Bostitch pancake compressor, details are as follows:

    6 gallons
    2 HP Peak
    1.35 HP Running
    3.4 CFM @ 40psi
    2.1 CFM @ 90psi

    The other compressor is DeVilbiss but it’s currently wired for 220 and I don’t have a 220 source close to the equipment pad. I can rewire back to 110 if needed. Details are as follows:

    30 gallons
    4 HP
    11.9 CFM
    8.8 CFM @ 40psi
    6.9 CFM @ 90psi

    Do you think either of these compressors have the muscle to blow the main drain lines?
    I think you need the big one.

    I have used a 5hp 50 gal (throttled down to 30 psi. from its usual 90 psi.) since 2005. It's in the basement next to the garage and a good 200' from the pool. I have about 100' of air hose and then an adapter to 150' of regular garden hose. The garden hose connects to a fitting on the filter plumbing thoughtfully put there by AnthonySylvan (requires a double female adapter). 30 psi. (or 2+ atmospheres,) would blow the MD in a 66' deep pool and the garden hose can handle a lot more than 30 psi. The key is volume. 30 seconds is way more than you need. On the shallow runs, skimmers and returns, a number of short shots works better than continued blowing.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Quote Originally Posted by zooming993
    I forgot to mention, the main drain valve is within reach of blow point, if I close the valve while air is being blown through the pipe, wouldn't that work?
    That's how I do it. I also installed a union before the main drain valve so that I can remove filter and pump for the winter. That way I can put a rubber plug in to backstop the Jandy valve. I feel safe not bothering with antifreeze with a double airlock. So far, so good through four winters.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Although we don't personally use them, I was at a pool and they winterized the maindrain with a special rubber plug that has a stem connector that you would see on a tire. I'm assuming that they used a compressor and that the plug may be a type of check valve (kinda like a car tire) to not let air out once it is in.
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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    Ok so it sounds like I need to use the big guy. I’m thinking I’ll leave it set for 220 and run a 100’ air hose. I see Durk was able to run over 150’ so I’ll give it a try. I was just out messing with the regulator on the compressor and I noticed when I set it on 40 psi and started letting air out it fell to around 25 to 30 psi. If I’m not mistaken I need to blow out the main drain line at 40 psi, correct? Do I set the regulator a little higher so to keep a consistent 40 psi? What is considered the max pressure when blowing out the lines?

    Thanks

    gkruske, I have used the compressor for painting but I mainly use it for general garage use, I'm of the opinion bigger is better!

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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    My experience last weekend was just that. I would bump it up to 40, and let it go. However, it just wasn't powerful enough. That thing would sit there and run, and would not be producing. Not enough oomph, too much air on continuous use.

    I blew my MD at 40 PSI, and did just fine. I was anywhere at 20-30 on the returns/skimmer, but would bottom out and stay at zero until I shut the regulator off. As long as your compressor is able to maintain 20-25 for a couple minutes, I'd say you'd get the job done just fine.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Re: Shop-Vac Doesn't Have Enough Kick!

    I don't know where you got the 40 psi number, but if you don't have unlimited compressor power a number that high can be counter productive. In effect, you are just creating an obstacle to air flow through the regulator. 40 is fine if the compressor can maintain it. If it can't, you are probably better off at a lower number so more air can flow through the regulator. Just my humble opinion.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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