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soot vacuums

greg22089 Member Posts: 3
I recently began shopping for the soot vacuums used to clean oil furnaces.  I'm told these vacuums have double filters so it will not blow soot all over the customer's basement.  I'm finding these vacuums to be around $300.  Is there any thing around for less money?  Just looking to clean a few furnaces/boilers, not a major business.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,454
    edited March 2010
    See the rules on the main page

    We do NOT discuss pricing here.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • OilsBetter
    OilsBetter Member Posts: 14
    edited March 2010
    soot Vac.

    IMHO if you do not know exactly what a soot vac. is and why you use one, maybe you shouldn't be doing clean outs to begin with.

    Are you also changning filters, strainers, nozzles? Do you have the a combustion analyzer, or the proper guages for setting the electrodes and z dimension?

    To answer your question though. Soot vacs use a disposable bag which traps all of the particulate that gets sucked up. It also uses what is called a pancake which is a secondary filter in case something was to bypass the bag or the bag was to rip.
  • greg22089
    greg22089 Member Posts: 3
    Sorry to wreck everyone's day

    First, I apologize for talking about prices on this wall.  I should have read the rules on the main page first before asking my question.  It was an honest mistake.

    Second, I do know what a soot vac is and am quite familiar with them.  Also, I have the necessary equipment to perform a proper clean and inspect with the exception of a vacuum.  This is why I posted my question.  In addition, I also change nozzles and filters.  However, what I do when I clean and inspect a boiler is irrelevant to the question regarding a vacuum.

    I'm not sure why there was such rudeness in the replies to my post.  Sorry to inconvience the professionals.
  • toilburn
    toilburn Member Posts: 44
    Soot Vac

    Only a soot vac will stand up to the fine sulfer laced soot particles.
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557

    You could probably use a shop vac, but it won't hold up and would probably be a pain to keep clean. I've never used anything but a standard soot vac.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,524
    Silk Bag

    You would need a silk bag to run a shop vac . They sell them ... We use to use them on the old Pullman and Scotty vacuums
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557

    That's got to be pretty messy when the vac fills up. I'd rather have disposable bags, though I guess that would be less green.
  • Jim Hankinson
    Jim Hankinson Member Posts: 99
    edited March 2010
    dacron bag

    The throw away bags are fine if the bag is changed on a regular basis. They tend to deteriorate when there is soot or scale in them for more than just a short period of time. I started using the dacron bag years ago and other than burning a hole in one from hot debris from the chamber, they hold up well, can be shaken out to restore suction and can also be hosed off if they get too dirty.

    BTW, if you buy a cheap vac that's what you'll have. Mine is a Sid Harvey and it's lasted for many years none the worse for wear. They carry all the repair parts you might ever need, i.e., hose, soot snoot, etc.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,524
    Bag it

    A disposable bay is the way to go ... As stated they can rot in the tank . The worst sight in the world is watching the soot blowing out of the vac behind you ... I change out the bag after each use . Beside the leakage I hate totting around the extra weight ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 769
    Hold On

    Before you get insulted you said, "I'm told these vacuums have double filters so it will not blow soot all over the customers basement."  As I read it it looks like you haven't used one of these.  I'm sure others got the same impression. The intention wasn't to insult you just try to educate you.

  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,005
    soot filtration

    You need at least 0.3 micron filtration, which is HEPA level. Understand there are soot particles smaller than this though. Multi-layered filtration with disposable bags is a plus as previously discussed.

    FWIW, I took your OP as sounding more like a DIY'er than a pro. Understand these pros are reluctant to give out DIY advice and read site rules, too.
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