Thread Number: 43729  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Shop-Vac Model 600A (thrift store find)
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Post# 456473   9/4/2022 at 01:37 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Hey all! I'm here to update you on a vacuum I bought earlier this year on January 11. See post #42915 for background.

Here's a photo of the Shop-Vac Model 600A in the store back in January, in the bottom-left corner.


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Post# 456474 , Reply# 1   9/4/2022 at 01:38 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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And here's a photo of it as of now. It's missing its chassis and wheels and has an aftermarket hose, but for $10 I certainly cannot complain.

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Post# 456475 , Reply# 2   9/4/2022 at 01:39 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the price tag. It had been there since December 27, only a couple of weeks.

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Post# 456476 , Reply# 3   9/4/2022 at 01:39 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the top of the unit. A nice little crack in it, but nothing major. It's a beater. I'm not sure if there's meant to be a pipe or something for the exhaust. I'm more familiar with how cars work rather than vacuums.

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Post# 456477 , Reply# 4   9/4/2022 at 01:40 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the underside of the vacuum. That is some seriously nasty-looking rust. Or is it glue for the chassis? Either way, I'm pretty sure I've seen a Freak Kitchen album cover that looked like this. Surely some steel wool will see to it without any problem.

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Post# 456478 , Reply# 5   9/4/2022 at 01:41 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the inside of the top of the unit and the filter. It's covered in some grass because my mother had started to use the vacuum before I could get pics. I'm unsure if the line-in from the hose is meant to be on an angle like that. Or did it break off?

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Post# 456479 , Reply# 6   9/4/2022 at 01:42 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the inside of the canister. Missing a lot of paint, but oh well. The remaining paint looks like someone left tubby custard in it.

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Post# 456480 , Reply# 7   9/4/2022 at 01:42 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Model name detail.

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Post# 456481 , Reply# 8   9/4/2022 at 01:43 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the on/off switch. Nice and simple.

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Post# 456482 , Reply# 9   9/4/2022 at 01:45 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Photo of the plug. Someone converted it to two prongs with a pair of pliers. In 1969, the 3-prong design was mandated for large appliances (refrigerators, washers/dryers, etc.), although it was never a requirement for smaller appliances such as vacuums or fans. Likewise, in 1974, it was required that every home convert to using 3-prong outlets instead of the older 2-prong design. As this modification proves, not everyone had done so, as enforcing codes like this on a residential home would intrude on the rights of Americans. So-called "cheater plugs" were invented and sold to combat this problem, but can be dangerous, and some people just hacked the third prong off anyway.

TL;DR, the previous owner had 2-pronged outlets, and their Shop-Vac was not compatible.


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Post# 456483 , Reply# 10   9/4/2022 at 01:46 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Speaking of dangerous cords, I'm not sure if this happened before I bought it or if it got damaged when being stored over the past few months. Yeah, asbestos!* Thank God I was in a well-ventilated area.

*This was a joke. I have no idea if it was actually asbestos.


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Post# 456484 , Reply# 11   9/4/2022 at 01:46 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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I think I did a pretty good repair job. It's good enough, at least.

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Post# 456485 , Reply# 12   9/4/2022 at 01:47 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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Eat. Eat! The Shop-Vac in action. It's hard to get a picture demonstrating it being used unless I were to suck up a bag of sand or something.

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Post# 456486 , Reply# 13   9/4/2022 at 01:49 by LadyDobermann (Marshfield, Wisconsin)        

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That's all for now until I get my other recent vacuums cleaned up. They're seriously filthy. I'm honestly a little grossed out. Enjoy this bonus meme picture I made using the photo of the Shop-Vac's underside. It uses the text from the original album - but the background is Photoshopped in.

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Post# 456487 , Reply# 14   9/4/2022 at 02:51 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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Some steel whool would clrar off that rust.
And id change the cord its risky bare wires and a missing prong.


Post# 456492 , Reply# 15   9/4/2022 at 09:19 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Agreed. I'd replace that cord for sure. It's just too dangerous. Otherwise, as you said, it's a good beater machine.

Looking at the first photo, there seems to be a Kirby (Classic III?) in the background, possibly with a hose and some tools in a box next to it. That would have caught my attention before the ShopVac.

The Goodwill store near my house uses an Oreck-looking Hoover upright like the one in the middle of the first photo for it's store machine. They previously had an Electrolux upright that looked like a Discovery II but simply said 'Lux' on the front of it.


Post# 456501 , Reply# 16   9/4/2022 at 16:08 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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This is all common damage for a Shop Vac and especially thrift store find. These old "oil drum" Shop Vacs are getting harder to find. Other common issues with Shop-Vacs are new motor brushes and fresh grease and/or new bearings are needed.

Grounding prong only needed for wet pickup or outdoors on damp ground. Cord is OK as long as you watch where you are dragging it.

When I restore my vacs they all get a new cord anyway if there's a lot of nics and cuts but mainly the vacuum is so old the cord has just become rock-hard and snaps like uncooked spaghetti if you even touch it.

For the paint loss inside, all the damage and rust would need to be sanded down and cleaned, mask off the undamaged areas, color match the existing color and then primer and paint. One of the main reason why these vacuums died early was too much water being left sit in the drum without it being able to air out and be properly cleaned and it just rotted them away.


Post# 456503 , Reply# 17   9/4/2022 at 16:19 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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It's difficult to find information on old Shop-Vac models but I believe this vacuum came out in 1986. Earliest correspondence I can find is from The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky, Sep 21 1986.

For the missing tools you might get lucky and find a complete kit somewhere on eBay. Caddy might be easy to find. The hose was originally white as well. For a redneck bodge you might be able to find a flower pot dolly that matches the diameter of the vacuum and has a lip on it and use that for now.


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