Thread Number: 15789
Will vacuuming damp carpets damage my machine?
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Post# 168123   2/3/2012 at 09:59 (2,987 days old) by Sanifan ()        

I'm an apartment manager in a town that's often rainy. Just recently, we had a bit of a snowfall too. So as you can imagine, the carpet at the apartment building entryway gets a bit damp as people come in. It's usually rain water but during the snowfall it was unmelted snow which got tracked in and then melted (with the snow there was also traces of salt, which is used to keep the sidewalks and streets from freezing).

If it were my own home, I would avoid vacuuming when the carpet is damp. But as it's an apartment building, the vacuuming must take place! I tried to time it so I vacuumed on days in between rain or snow falls, so that the moisture had a chance to evaporate. The carpet was at least a little damp some of the time I vacuumed, though. It's a very low nap commercial carpet, so there's not a lot of loft to hold the water. The carpets weren't soaking wet, more dry than wet, but there was some dampness.

Will vacuuming damp carpets kill my vacuum cleaner? I've never heard anyone mention this issue, so maybe the airflow dries out the inside of the vac before the water can do any damage? I'm particularly keen on hearing from any vacuum repair professionals who see a lot of broken machines. Is dampness a factor in the demise of a vacuum cleaner?

I'm also curious if the salt causes much damage. We don't get a lot of snow in my town. Nothing like folks get in the midwest or on the east coast. When a city uses a lot of salt on roads and sidewalks, can the residue that gets tracked into the house damage the vac when it's sucked up?


Post# 168127 , Reply# 1   2/3/2012 at 11:47 (2,986 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Personally, I wouldn't vacuum damp carpeting, it can cause mould and odour issues inside the vac, especially if it's bagged, and as for salt brought in on shoes, it could cause some minor rust issues on metal parts, bit should be easy to clean off with some wire wool... :)

Post# 168130 , Reply# 2   2/3/2012 at 12:43 (2,986 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Why don't you use a wet-dry canister shop vac for the wet areas? Or one of those deep cleaning upright carpet steam washers? These are designed to take in water without damage to the machine or to you! I'm more concerned about YOUR health - it's dangerous to vacuum wet surfaces with a regular machine - you can get a nasty shock. The warning is plastered on all non-wet/dry vacs. Just my 2 cents worth...coming from a Canadian who sees lots of wet lobby carpets in winter! :-)

Post# 168136 , Reply# 3   2/3/2012 at 13:48 (2,986 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

sebo_fan's profile picture
That's exactly how my Miele S4212 Eco got damaged by a family member. They had vacuumed up what they thought was grit following snow fall outside that someone had brought into the home and rubbed it on the front door mat. The collected grit that got sucked up however must have had loads of ice underneath when it had been walked in. I didn't realise anything until a couple of days later when the Miele went onto high power when switched on even when the dial was selected to low and each click of the dial didn't change anything. There was hardly any suction coming out of the hose which I thought was strange as the bag had only been changed.

When I lifted the bag door, the bag was completely soaking. Obviously when the canister is made to store in the upright position, the weight or whatever pushes down on the micro filter cartridge behind the motor and in this case, that filter was also soaking wet and had allowed the water to seep into the motor! How to ruin a Miele motor!

Post# 168147 , Reply# 4   2/3/2012 at 14:27 (2,986 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"How to ruin a Miele motor!"

I can think of a few more ways.........

Post# 168152 , Reply# 5   2/3/2012 at 15:05 (2,986 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Now now!

Post# 168156 , Reply# 6   2/3/2012 at 17:10 (2,986 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Yeah, well, I guess you could say that about any brand these days, including Dyson.

Post# 168158 , Reply# 7   2/3/2012 at 17:16 (2,986 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
They are poorly made, and some brands actually make them deliberately weak so they will die and the manufacturer will make another sale sooner. What a world we live in.

Post# 168160 , Reply# 8   2/3/2012 at 17:57 (2,986 days old) by pinkge (Indianapolis,Indiana)        
damp carpet!

Water and any vaccum----well what a way to kill a vac/except it it is a Rainbow with the Aqua mate to help pull up the water and dampness.

Post# 168162 , Reply# 9   2/3/2012 at 20:08 (2,986 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

sebo_fan's profile picture
Yeah but not but yeah JM - it's like everything though, from computers to cameras to even ball point pens. Everything is disposable these days, not like it used to be - I don't miss carrying my Hoover Senior up 3 flights or stairs, or my old 12KG Vax Powa canister though!

Post# 168191 , Reply# 10   2/3/2012 at 23:25 (2,986 days old) by billybud21 ()        
Stay away from damp carpet

I would never recomend using any vacuum on a damp carpet -- unless you are ready to get rid of it. In addition to issues mentioned and not mentioned before, e.g, mold, engine damange, rust on metal machines, etc. It will also add to caking of dust in the hose, head and internal air passages. The wet dry vac is the way to go in this case.

If you have a dyson, by all means use it on damp carpet. One less working dyson brings us that much closer to world peace.

Post# 168193 , Reply# 11   2/4/2012 at 01:40 (2,986 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Wet,damp carpets----DON'T-water is the obvious issue-and the salt or other deicers will damage ANY vacuum.-yes even plastic ones.and these are abrasive-will erode plastic or metal fans and fancases.Maybe you should have some carpet dryer fans-blowers in your equipment-use these to dry the carpet before vacuuming.

Post# 168219 , Reply# 12   2/4/2012 at 07:35 (2,986 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
My advice to you would be to buy a wet and dry Vacuum Cleaner which can vacuum up water and dirt.

Post# 168223 , Reply# 13   2/4/2012 at 09:01 (2,986 days old) by Sanifan ()        

Good advice, guys. I'll look into getting a good wet/dry for those days when it's raining or snowing.

Post# 168224 , Reply# 14   2/4/2012 at 09:10 (2,986 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Vacuuming up wet stuff will kill a vac. My mom (a.k.a. The Appliance Killer) even managed to destroy the Compact C-4 I grew up with that way. That should have been REALLY hard to do, because the Compact/TriStar design locates the dust bag a little ways away from the motor. But not only did she vacuum up something wet, she kicked the vac into a storage closet for several weeks and forgot about it, giving the wetness plenty of time to corrode motor parts.

The TriStar CXL I have today was bought because I really loved that old C-4, and it was as close as I could get to it, and still have a modern vac with a PN. Pity the CXL can't be used with the old Polish-Aire attachment; TriStar has added a lock button to its wand system. That Polish-Aire - which Mom only used a few times - used to fascinate me.

Ah, well. I have a Lux B-8 polisher, so I don't really need a Polish-Aire anyway. But this hobby isn't really about what we actually need, now is it?

Post# 168270 , Reply# 15   2/4/2012 at 13:35 (2,985 days old) by Sanifan ()        

Truth be told, I do avoid vacuuming on wet days. I usually wait for a lull in the weather. So in the worst case the carpet is just slightly damp. Probably not enough moisture to show up on a paper towel if pressed to the floor.

Still, your point is well taken. I'll use a wet dry vac on those questionable days.

I've been using the Dustcare as my daily driver for work. It's a workhorse vac, it's well used and slightly beat up so it gets first dibs on really dirty jobs. It's one of those vacs that I cherish for its performance and utility. It's the one I've been using on the entryway. It's still going strong, but I do want to take good care of it to keep it that way.

Your stories of really sucking up good amounts of water are real horror stories!

Post# 168280 , Reply# 16   2/4/2012 at 16:04 (2,985 days old) by baglessball ()        

That reminds me of when I was a kid. My aunt was using a lux cylinder to clean out her car. She also had a bucket and cloth to wipe down the interior. You guest right, distracted by something in the car she let go of the hose, which fell in the bucket and emptied it of all its contents including the cloth! It was gutting! But also a little bit funny.

I agree that it isnt reommended, but can't always be helped, I used to work as cleaner. I personally didn't have a problem after using them. Sebo's, dysons, kirbys, hoovers, luxs etc.I'd always check the bag or bin whilst I was doing it and vac the area fast just to get the bits up. It was easy to tell if the carpet was too damp with a dyson as inside of the drum would become wet and day would stick to it. So it was always my last job, just incase it went a bit wrong I'd have to take the machine apart to dry. Never once has the carpet been so went for the vacuum to pull liquid into the motor.

The damp cause dust to stick to the insides of the machine, which then drys and starts to cause a build up which would new scraping out periodically.

Henry was much easier for jobs like this, so he was usually kept in the boot of my car!

Post# 168336 , Reply# 17   2/5/2012 at 00:01 (2,985 days old) by vacmaster0000 ()        

Nah, aslong as there isn't standing liquid, go for it. Once at a friends house, her mom poured bleach on the floor to mom, and didn't see it, ran over all of it, it turned out fine. Sounds normal, you'll be fine.

Post# 168406 , Reply# 18   2/5/2012 at 15:14 (2,984 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Use a wet/dry shop vacuum & a Turbocat! :)

The ORIGINAL Turbocat, NOT the new Turbocat EX or Zoom.

Post# 168412 , Reply# 19   2/5/2012 at 15:43 (2,984 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Can I please advise the original poster NOT to listen to that advice given by "vacmaster0000", as it isn't correct.

Vacuuming up anything other than a rain drop of water with your Vacuum Cleaner is dangerous to you and your cleaner.

Post# 168502 , Reply# 20   2/5/2012 at 23:13 (2,984 days old) by vacmaster0000 ()        
Excuse me?

Who the hell are you? A 7 year old kid who has 2 Hoover vacuums and thinks he can post on here 24/7? You make a hell of alot of threads, a drop of water will damage a machine? Hell no. Aslong as its not standing, or soaked, it's fine. And you shouldnt say ''not" to listen to a poster, one day your going to do it to the wrong person, I hope you do. Im just posting my 2 cents, there was no need to say not to listen to me, so really, back off. I never said vacuum up a damn pond.

Post# 168509 , Reply# 21   2/6/2012 at 02:40 (2,984 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Excuse ME. I'm 16 years old, I own 8 Vacuum Cleaners, and I post often - Is it a crime ? If so, I am very sorry and I hand myself in for arrest.

Vacuuming up any amount of water is potentially dangerous - Just ask anybody who has had an electric shock from a Vacuum Cleaner.

I wasn't starting a fight, I was just saying that what you said was, in my opinion, wrong.

I just don't want somebody or their vacuum being damaged.

Post# 168519 , Reply# 22   2/6/2012 at 04:09 (2,984 days old) by vacmaster0000 ()        

I see what you mean there, it's just really, that was uncalled for, if you disagreed with my comment, then there was no need to say it. It you don't have anything nice to say, keep it yourself, okay? And he'll be fine, aslong as he's not sweeping up soaked, or damp surfaces, he'll be okay.. I don't want no body getting hurt either. But really, it's not alot of water.

Post# 168586 , Reply# 23   2/6/2012 at 16:03 (2,983 days old) by markus79 (Finland)        
look this vac

Volta Bolido water vacuuming. I think this vacuum sold with Eureka brand also



Post# 168592 , Reply# 24   2/6/2012 at 16:45 (2,983 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
In Jamie's Defense (Defence):

Vacuum cleaners run on 240 volts where he's from, so anything that might cause a shock here could weld you to the wall where he is. Sounds like he's just operating out of an abundance of caution.

Post# 168612 , Reply# 25   2/6/2012 at 20:16 (2,983 days old) by vacmaster0000 ()        
Aw yeah

That's true. Well idk.

Post# 168630 , Reply# 26   2/6/2012 at 23:01 (2,983 days old) by Sanifan ()        

Is the Turbocat better than your run-of-the-mill turbo brush?

If it's good, a Turbocat and a wet dry vac sound like a good combo.

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