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Exploding vacuums?

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  • #16
    Not an answer to the question, but a true story- my roommates were both smokers, and it was common for them to leave a burning butt in the ashtray. The girl would vacuum out the ashtrays during the regular house cleaning routine. I came home from work one day and there was a burning smell, which I quickly determined was coming from the vacuum cleaner. You guessed it- the crap inside was smouldering, and it had burnt a few holes through the filter.

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #17
      Id imagine that the filter in the vacuum would catch most of the wd40, plus wd40 isnt a horribly volatile solvent. On the list of things im worried about blowing up my vacuum, its pretty low on the list, unless im vacuuming up a gallon of it. The relatively small amount clinging to chips i doubt would be enough to be a problem

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      • #18
        From contained (pressurize) to a vacuum pops, you folks are as nutt as I am. Open the waste hatch Lt. Trash Man. Ouy!! JR
        My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

        https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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        • #19
          WD-40 doesn't ignite very well, you can barely get it to flash after it's been boiled off as vapor. I don't think you have anything to worry about unless some random confluence of events happens and some interaction with a static discharge occurs.
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
            When I was 12 my buddy and I tried to make a jet engine with a vacuum cleaner (blowing) and injecting gasoline into the stream. It looked very impressive... Until his mom cut the experiment short. (We did this outside in his driveway - we weren't complete fools.)
            Typical mother, a dad would have been there seeing if he could roast marsh mellows over it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAHfqS5OEhU

            I nearly died laughing when they tossed Winnie the Pooh in it 🤣🤣

            I just need one more tool,just one!

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            • #21
              As long as you are not using the spray cans of WD40 which uses propane as a propellant your probably OK. I made myself a cyclone bucket from a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid and some plastic plumbing fittings. This is in line between the vacuum and the hose with the nozzle. The centrifugal force from the air circulating in the bucket throws most everything except some fine dust to the outside of the bucket then it drops to the bottom. The total length of the two vacuum hoses is probably around 15 feet. As far as I know the vacuum stays dry inside so most of the WD40 ends up in the cyclone bucket. I could have a look in the vacuum later today if anybody is interested to know how dry it is.
              Larry - west coast of Canada

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              • #22
                Not quite the same, but I got the blame for a real exploding vacuum cleaner. We had a bath of de-ruster which contained sodium hydroxide (lye to you North Americans) which was spent. I got the cleaner guy to suck it up using a large vacuum which was also used for machine coolant. Although the vacuum cleaner was cleaned out at the start of the job, there was a small amount of aluminium swarf in the bottom. Half an hour later, it was switched on and the hydrogen gas exploded and one of the three motors powering it blew out and bounced off the wall, fortunately nobody was hurt.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                  WD-40 doesn't ignite very well, you can barely get it to flash after it's been boiled off as vapor. I don't think you have anything to worry about unless some random confluence of events happens and some interaction with a static discharge occurs.
                  This. Seems like a lot of discussion about how to prevent it with very little consideration to how dangerous (or not) it really is. You'd be hard pressed to cause any sort of explosion with WD40, even spraying it directly into the vacuum.

                  Many years ago spray cans of WD40 were much more volatile because of the propellant (some say propane) but it hasn't been that way for a long time now. Those fun experiments we used to do with using WD40 to power a cannon just don't work any more with modern WD40.

                  Easy test - spray some WD40 on your mill table, concrete floor, or whatever, and try to light it with a propane torch. Not much happens. Even lighting it directly aerosolized from a spray can, it makes a small flame but nothing like spray paint, hair spray, or many other products, and even then, most of the WD40 fails to ignite.

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                  • #24
                    Well, oil burns if finely divided and mixed with air, even heavy oil, so I guess that proves WD40 does not contain oil.... !
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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                    • #25
                      I recall a mythbusters where they explored vacuuming gasoline with a shop vac. Totally weird that it did not explode. And yet, not exactly confidence inspiring.

                      A quick search turned up this video with a former cast member. Similar result. Really kinda odd. They cheat at the end, and it is satisfying.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-0-PH-ZU_0

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                      • #26
                        I've sucked up metal chips with my shop vac for the last 20 years. I've used WD and other various cutting oils and never had a problem. I have given it a thought at one time but after going this long I don't worry about it. I also vacuum the shop floor, saw dust wood chips and everything else. I use a filter bag in the canister and a filter on the motor.
                        I have a rubber hose on the vac, it doesn't give static bites like the corrugated plastic hoses that come with these vacs does. Now you have me thinking.
                        My rubber hose is about shot and has gotten pretty short from having to cut the end when the rubber splits.
                        It may be dangerous to use the plastic hose.

                        JL................

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                        • #27
                          I think the newer shop vacs blow up easier because they're have so much HP already ... but you notice the ads never say how much TQ.

                          Nah. It's really hard to light WD40 in my experience.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                            I think the newer shop vacs blow up easier because they're have so much HP already ... but you notice the ads never say how much TQ.

                            Nah. It's really hard to light WD40 in my experience.
                            As I have said before, the home vac mfgs are a bunch of b s artists. That SIX hp shop vac? They got that figure by jamming a screwdriver into th e fan, and recording the highest amp draw the millisecond before it went up in flames. You will never see a true six hp motor run on a 120 volt 30 amp circuit.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Corbettprime View Post

                              As I have said before, the home vac mfgs are a bunch of b s artists. That SIX hp shop vac? They got that figure by jamming a screwdriver into th e fan, and recording the highest amp draw the millisecond before it went up in flames. You will never see a true six hp motor run on a 120 volt 30 amp circuit.
                              I know, It just drives me nuts when I see BS advertising like that.... ditto for lawn mowers, notice how Briggs don't always give the HP any more, just some "TQ" bs? Back of the envelope quick calcs shows that 6 HP would need 40 amps, not gonna happen on a 110 circuit. (I wonder if I should have used "sarcasm" tags in my earlier post)
                              Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 03-27-2020, 11:06 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                                .......

                                Nah. It's really hard to light WD40 in my experience.
                                At least with the chips, any volatile solvent in the WD40 is likely long gone by the time they get vacuumed up, and the oil is not volatile enough to be lit by a spark, unless it were to be broken up into a mist, and even then it would likely take a flame.
                                1601

                                Keep eye on ball.
                                Hashim Khan

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