A wet/dry vacuum isn't just for contractors needing to clean up their work space or job site. You know that dry cereal spill from your toddler in the living room or your teen dropped her soup bowl in the kitchen...
With the right attachment you can get every aspect of your home tidy from top to bottom. Baseboards, crown molding, hardwood, vinyl, carpet and even rugs...Yeah, it can be used for all of that.
Of course there are large models that can quickly suck up everything from water to screws to wood and every toy in the vicinity but this won’t be one that is easily tucked away in your hall closet. And on that same hand, a smaller model won’t have the canister storage capacity to handle a flood in the garage.
A mini wet/dry vacuum is on that is under 5 gallons and due to its very small size it is ideal apartments as it is lightweight and easy to store. But due to its size it will not be able to accommodate large spills or large items.
The small wet/dry vacuum runs from 5 to 9 gallons. This too won’t have the muscle for bulky items but it can hold twice the amount as the mini and is still on the same level for storage.
For the medium sized wet/dry vacuum, they can hold between 10 to 14 gallons. This size can outperform the previous 2 smaller sizes with more suction, storage capacity and could possibly still be kept in the house in the closet.
The large wet/dry vacuums range at 15 to 20 gallons. These are pretty much a standard on job sites and garages. They are powerful and can hold a lot. They tend to be louder and can become very heavy depending on what you have put inside of them. At 8 lbs per gallon (water) a full canister would make for a quite heavy vacuum and not very easy to manage when it comes time to empty it.
You will need to replace your filter every so often depending on how often you use it and what you use it for. If you have many pets as we do then you will need to replace the filter every couple of months or so as the pet dander and hair can build up making it not easy to clean out. . Also depending on the job your wet/dry vacuum needs to do, there are options for different filter. There is large, medium, fine and wet debri filter which would be a foam filter..
A dust bag makes cleaning out your container incredibly convenient and easy. This bag fits inside of your canister and once its full you simply pull it out, close it up and toss it.
Extension wands, these can range in length but they can really make for easy cleaning and less of an achy back when you don’t have to bend over to clean up.
There are some wet/dry vacuums that come with a drain spout on the canister. You simply attach a garden hose when needing to drain it, no need to attempt to lug about a full canister of water or liquids. Some models also come with a pump which is incredibly convenient when needing to empty the kiddy pool or garden pond.
Optional diameter hoses are also available. Many of the smaller wet/dry vacuums come with a hose that is only 1 1/4 in diameter. You can upgrade to a hose that is 2½-inch which will have less issues with clogging and can also suck up the mess much more quickly without clogging.
The right nozzle for the right job. Most wet/dry vacuums come with a couple of standard nozzles like a utility nozzle (the large round one) this is for larger debris, and a crevice nozzle for areas along your baseboards or tight spots. You can find other attachments for other areas like your car interior, a dust attachment or a squeegee.
All vacuums are rated by their manufactures by numerous means and none of them may measure their own wet/dry vacuums in the same manner.
How much energy will your vacuum consume? They will all vary but generally nothing over 12 amps.
Maximum Power: All wet/dry vacuums have a horsepower ranging from the small ones at 1.5 to 2 and the large wet/dry vacuums coming in at 3.5 horsepower.
Water Lift: This is also known as sealed suction and this measures how much water your unit can left. The higher the number the better, look for at least 50 inches of lift.
CFM of Air flow: Cubic feet per minute of airflow. This measurement tells you how much air can be drawn into your machine with restrictions such as filters, etc. You want to find one that is more than 90cfm because anything less than that isn't going to give you much in suction.
Decibels: The larger the machine the louder it will be. They range from 60 to 85(near the equivalent to a garbage disposal) decibels and at the higher end the manufacture may recommend ear protection.