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I have a previously-owned wet/dry ShopVac that I have only used for its wet mode (basement floods a lot). I now want to "switch it over" to its dry mode for the first time ever:

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Not sure if it helps/matters, but the diameter of the black plastic protusion hanging down underneath the top-part is 5 1/2".

My question: what specific part(s) do I need to buy so that this will work in dry mode (and pick up debris and dust), and how do I install them?

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    Never had one, but was under the impression that wet/dry just meant it could suck saw dust and water, depending what you put the hose in.
    – crip659
    Oct 15 at 20:47
  • Although I would love to find out that is the case (truly!) I don't believe it is, as when I googled this question it comes up with a wide array of different filters, filter retainers and other parts...none of which seem standardized/generic or that would fit my particular model. Oct 15 at 20:49
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    @crip659 A typical shop vac (of any brand) has two places you can place the hose - one for vacuuming and the other for blowing. The difference for wet vs. dry is "filter in" = "dry" (to catch the dust so it doesn't blow back out) and "filter out" = "wet" (so that the filter doesn't get ruined by the water). Oct 15 at 20:59
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Good to know.
    – crip659
    Oct 15 at 21:33
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Normally the only difference between wet and dry mode is a filter. Typical paper filters don't do well after getting wet so they need to be removed.

The only thing you should need is a new filter, and maybe a cap used to retain the filter. I've never had that exact brand so I'm not sure how the filter is held in place.

ShopVac is one of the oldest companies making these vacs and their website has a filter finder where you can enter in the model number. Once you find the filter number you can find it for purchase locally or on your favorite site. There's bound to be aftermarket versions as well.

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  • Thanks @JPhi618 (+1) - when I google "ShopVac filter" I get a huge amount of different results that are difficult to make sense of. Some look like cylindrical HEPA filters, others are foam sleeves. Some have "retainer caps" and others don't. So maybe I should be asking: how do I figure out my exact ShopVac model and how do I use that information to find out what exact part(s) I need? Oct 15 at 20:51
  • The model number is typically close to the plug or motor where the required electrical information is. Foam filters are for wet mode, the pleated paper filters are what you want. The ShopVac website has a filter finder that can help.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 15 at 20:54
  • @hotmeatballsoup, Edited answer with more information and model number location from the ShopVac website.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 15 at 21:01
  • Thank you I was able to locate my model number, search for it on their site and locate what part at my local hardware store to pick up. All set, thanks again! Oct 15 at 22:37

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