Thread Number: 17118
Plaster Dust Test
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Post# 183486   6/1/2012 at 00:27 (2,960 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Awhile back i had a room addition built onto my home, thus creating A huge amount of plaster dust, both in the new room itself, and also thruout the rest of the house.
If you've ever dealth with LARGE amounts of plaster dust, you know how badly it lingers and flys thru the air. Its evidently lighter in weight that regular household dust.

I thought this would be a good test for the different vacuums i own.

(Mind you, my collection is relatively small compared to many)

One particular nasty day of much plaster dust being spread around, i first brought out the Filter Queen,,Mejestic Tripple Crown early 90s (Red model).

Made sure the cannister was empty, and a new Filter Cone and Medipure (charcol) filter was in place.
NOPE,,,clogged and choked almost immediatly. Suction was down to practically NOTHING within seconds.

Sorry to say the Filter Queen was a VERY POOR performer in this test.
Whereas ive always been partial to the Filter Queen for all other types of cleaning,,and always will be. THe FG is an excellent vacuum,its just the cellulous Filter Cones are not meant for picking up large amounts of Plaster Dust evidently.

Next came the Rainbow D2. Made sure there was fresh water in the pan and that the seperator was perfectly clean.

Im sure you can guess what happened.

EVERY SPECK of that plaster dust went right out the exhaust of the Rainbow. Was like a white FOG in the room.
The water in the pan turned white almost immediatly. Woulda been great if you are Lilly Munster. There again, The Rainbow is excellent for picking up most kinds of dust and dirt, just not large amounts of plaster dust,,and ive been told Talcum wont stay in a Rainbow water bath, as it wont stay wet in water, and will fly right out the back of the Rainbow faster than the lovbird of happiness!

Next came the Electrolux Silverado with a brand new bag and Automatic Control set at number 6 (meaning bag will fill completly before motor shuts off and bag door opens)
The Lux did OK,,BUT,,,the suction was very poor after a few minutes. Even with a half full bag, the release button of the bag door was starting to quiver,,like it wanted to pop open. I have always wished the ELectrolux C Bags werent so small,,and/or the Electrolux bag compartment was bigger!

Beam Central Vac came next. Yes, the central vac did OK,,BUT the filtering of the Beam was poor,,,it left ALOT of plaster dust in the exhaust.
Yes, the nice thing about Central Vac is that it removes 100% of dust and debris from the area its being used in. BUT,,just transfers it somewhere else.
The exhaust of the Beam did have alot of plaster dust remaining for several days, even after the dust bin had been emptied and wiped out with a damp rag.
Evidently some plaster dust was remaining in the central vac plumbing and/or hose itself.

Next came the TriStar Compact(late 90s model, gray and black metal speckel tone body).
Made sure the cloth bag and paper bag liner was brand new,,motor filter was brand new, and Hepa exhaust filter was brand new.

Finally,,,THE WINNER!!

The Tristar NEVER lost suction UNTIL the bag was so full, you couldnt cram one more speck of plaster dust in the bag.
HOWEVER, I DID have to stop and turn the bag once or twice so that it would fill evenly,as the machine DID loose suction once the slant of the bag matched the slant of the lid of the Tristar. But once the bag was turned,and there was more bag area on the motor side,,the full suction returned. No big deal.

After filling 3 TriStar bag liners completly full of plaster dust and debris,plus sawdust and wood shavings, i inspected both the motor filter and exhaust filter.

The cloth bag was slightly dusty. Needed to be washed.

The Motor Filter was slightly dusty.

The exhaust filter was completly clean. Not ONE SPECK of plaster dust in ANY part if the filter,(of which there are 4 parts or levels.) NO dust on ANY.

Yes the TriStar filters and bags can be expensive, compaired to some other vacuum cleaners, but not as expensive as others.

I can say tho,, worth every penny.

If you ever do any remodeling where plaster dust is an issue,,test your vacuums for yourself!

IF i owned a cleaning business, or a business where getting up every speck of dust possible is the main goal,,, id use a TRISTAR COMPACT.

Im sure other vacs would have performed well, if not better than any of mine, for what its worth,, this is just what the results were with my vacs, in my small collection.

(Did NOT test a Kirby this way,,being a direct air system, i knew the motor,,fan,fan blades, fill tube and bag would be caked with plaster dust,,couldnt bear the thought of it!)

Post# 183490 , Reply# 1   6/1/2012 at 00:41 (2,960 days old) by hoover1 ()        

I did the same thing when we had the home theater speakers put in our basement and i forgot to put plastic on our BLACK CARPET. it was so much fun that i started going to the hardware store and getting plaster to do this with. I did this until one day i forgot to change the bag in my hoover convertible and the bag slipped off and the dust was everywhere, i was so frustrated that i had to call stanley steamer to clean it up. That was the end of that!

Post# 183530 , Reply# 2   6/1/2012 at 07:28 (2,960 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Since the Tristar worked so well I would then assume that any of the similiar type vacs would work just as well i.e. Vortech, Airstorm, Miracle Mate


Post# 183534 , Reply# 3   6/1/2012 at 07:40 (2,960 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

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I did the same test several years ago with my Kirby

We tore wall paper off the kitchen when we moved in. I had never used the Kirby sander, but thought it was a good test.

I used my Ultimate G with a Heritage Sander. I had a Micron Magic bag in the Kirby. The sander worked great! No dust in the room.

The Kirby was still at full suction power and not one drop or trace of plaster dust escaped that bag.

I was impressed.


Post# 183539 , Reply# 4   6/1/2012 at 07:56 (2,960 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

We're actually having some plaster work done tomorrow (not everyone's having a day off over the Jubilee weekend!!), only a small patch though where the walls have been absorbing water from an old internal wall that's now external (some builders have no understanding of waterproofing!!), I have insisted that none of my vacuums are used for cleaning up any mess left behind, but I'm sure that there will be something to clean up afterwards, and knowing that the tristar copes so well with fine powdery stuff from my comparison between itself and the Miele, I know it'll perform beautifully... :)

And that's with single-layer paper bags too, though I do tend to double-up the bags (sitting one inside the other) just to add another layer of filtration, so it's 4-stage filtration (Paper, Paper, Cloth, HEPA dome filter), add the original buttplug filter and it'd be another 3 stages of filtering, though I'm confident the HEPA dome would trap any escapee dust before it even went through the motor... :)

Post# 183544 , Reply# 5   6/1/2012 at 08:18 (2,960 days old) by henry200 ()        

That's an interesting comparison.  I would have thought that the cyclonic action in the Tristar bag wouldn't have been effective on really fine dust.  Usually you see demonstrations of the effect with sand or something more coarse which wouldn't coat a surface the way plaster dust will.


When I purchased my previous house I sanded all the wood floors before moving in.  The dust was everywhere, coating the walls, ceiling, windows; what a mess!  I used a Honeywell air purifier to clear the air and a Kirby Classic III fitted with a Heritage emptor/bag assembly.  The Kirby performed very well, with only moderate loss of suction towards the end.   A good amount of dust escaped the paper bag (the only ones available back then) but the heavy cloth outer bag trapped it well-enough. 


Shortly after the floor sanding episode I invested in a shop vac fitted with a HEPA filter and high-efficiency bags which I've used for all post-remodel cleanups since then.  My household vacuums all breathed a sigh of relief.


I used a Filter Queen as my daily driver for several years and every time I emptied it the filter cone was thickly caked with super fine, chalky dust.  I wondered at the time if heavier soil like sand, spinning rapidly in the pan rock-tumbler fashion wasn't getting pulverized, creating some of the chalky type dust on the filter.



Post# 183713 , Reply# 6   6/1/2012 at 23:02 (2,959 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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Did someone say PLASTER DUST? THat's all I've known!!'Bob the Builder" used his shop vac. I swept, then used a Connie. kept it off the hard, bare KNOW what happens on the bottom of that cleaner. There wasalso buckets and buckets of old blown-in insulation falling from the attics when the ceilings came down. A NIGHTMARE!

Post# 183771 , Reply# 7   6/2/2012 at 06:23 (2,959 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Plaster dust is how I eventually ruined my Dyson DC01. It just couldn't cope! In the end the trusty Vax canister came out and took it all out - albeit with a fabric washable dust bag fitted so that the paper bag wouldn't burst open.

Post# 183777 , Reply# 8   6/2/2012 at 07:15 (2,959 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I used my dyson dc23 which coped more than well with the dust, it outcleaned even the big industrial vacuums with ease as its filter never blocked . However that clear bin was badly scratched by bits of concrete  flying around on the inside. I was really impressed at how well it did , so was my builder , he bought a couple of dc19's we had in stock 

Post# 183809 , Reply# 9   6/2/2012 at 10:37 (2,959 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Well, looks like the Tristar isn't getting a plaster dust test, cos the landlord managed to hire a very tidy plasterer, cos there's nothing to vacuum up after them... :\

Though, I do wonder who's vacuum he used... :S

Post# 184504 , Reply# 10   6/6/2012 at 05:01 (2,955 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I can remember a time or two-a couple of drywall contractors in the Virginia area(Manassas)would stop at the vacuum store there and inquire about used TriStar-Compact vacuums and Filter Queens to use on jobs for clean up.I suggested to them to double up on the paper bags or filter cones if they were picking up drywall and plaster dust-its very fine and ABRASIVE-hard on motor bearings.They liked the suggestion.Otherwise for drywall-plaster dust a shop-vac type vacuum with the multi-layer paper bag and HEPA pleated filter would work.The few times I have cleaned up plaster dust the Kirby I had at the time worked just fine-G3.Had to change the bag more often then with regular dirt.Since it was mostly the dust-no chunks or nails to worry about.

Post# 411337 , Reply# 11   7/9/2019 at 20:07 (366 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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Ive been sanding this long table to repaint it chocolate brown and my C9 Comapct has been AMAZING at picking up the fine dust that comes whit sanding what a thank !

Post# 411356 , Reply# 12   7/10/2019 at 05:20 (365 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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Dude give it a rest already! There was no need to revive a 7 year old thread just to brag about your compact AGAIN. We get it. You love your compact. But I for one am sick to death of hearing about it SO many times and seeing so many dead threads revived just for "I love my c9 it's such a beast/tank/whatever".

Post# 411362 , Reply# 13   7/10/2019 at 11:51 (365 days old) by Rainbowd4 (TN )        
Speaking of giving something a rest...

Or just being plain rude. You know what I do when I see a thread title that seems old, repetitive, or doesn't interest me? I ignore it and keep on scrolling. I look every day on here to see what's new, or being posted, and there are MANY threads that don't interest me, or are silly, dramatic, etc. I usually only click on the ones that interest me. Seriously, how rude can one be? Wait, don't answer that.

Post# 411364 , Reply# 14   7/10/2019 at 13:17 (365 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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Just updating thst she works great o shaw dust and plaster.Like said above cant be nice keep quiet theres no need to tall to you manners.Sorry if i talk alot bout my c9 but thougt id share and update dont lile it dont talk really that simple.........God bless

Post# 411365 , Reply# 15   7/10/2019 at 13:32 (365 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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No need to be rude dont like it slidr on by simple ......
My grand mother and god father had one hool evet since ok so there .
Il try to talk less about it .
This c9 is the first vacuum ive rebuild from a to z so be nice ty yall habe a good day .

Post# 411374 , Reply# 16   7/10/2019 at 20:39 (365 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

My Kirby Heritage II did well with picking up the dust from sanding joint compound. Used the Micron Magic bags and had no issues at all. I skim coated the walls in the kitchen then sanded them down to smooth out and rolled on a sand coat for texture.

Also used a Kirby Classic model with the H II bag using the original Yellow bags at the time to suck up powder from a fire extinguisher in a church fellowship hall. Now that is some tuff stuff to clean up and trap. Kirby performed beautifully.

Post# 411375 , Reply# 17   7/10/2019 at 20:45 (365 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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Well as mention above my vacs perform very well i use it again today to finish the sanding process before paint i vacuum all the dirt came out great .
Older vacuum perform well in hard and tuff situation ,but ...Make sure to have proper filters and bag install makes all the difference.

Post# 411376 , Reply# 18   7/10/2019 at 20:47 (365 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

As a side note this isn't any worse than all the harping about the Kirby needs to be completely redesigned that we seem to hear every year or two. It is a Kirby Leave a time tested and proven design that works alone.

Post# 411379 , Reply# 19   7/10/2019 at 21:21 (365 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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Thats true as well .Different brand come up at different time any way he took it wrong no biggy il let that slide no need for dust mite on the board ......
Was just commenting my experience whit my vac i apologize to any one i rub the wrong way per say . Happy Vacuuming .

Post# 411535 , Reply# 20   7/15/2019 at 10:43 (360 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
when I catch someone

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in my house using baby powder or any of those fine powders, it makes me CRINGE because that stuff gets EVERYWHERE.....I think it's worse than plaster dust.

Post# 411538 , Reply# 21   7/15/2019 at 15:57 (360 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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For sure

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