How To Remove Filter From A Ridgid Shop Vac

How To Remove Filter From A Ridgid Shop Vac

If you’ve ever done any work with a Ridgid shop vacuum, then you are probably familiar with the concept of the dust filter. These filters are installed on most Ridgid shop vacs to keep dirt and debris from damaging the motor or reducing its life span. However, some users may find that these filters get in the way when trying to clean up certain materials. For example, if you’re working with something like wood chips or sawdust, then installing the filter is going to make things more difficult. Luckily, it isn’t too hard to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vacuum. The process is almost identical to any Ridgid vacuum model. Keep reading to learn more about how to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vac!

How To Remove The Filter From A Ridgid Shop Vac?

Limit The Space For Dust

Before you try any of the other methods listed in this article, it is important to first try to limit the space for dust. This might seem obvious, but it is a common mistake many people make. In order to limit the space for dust, you have to start by cleaning up. When you clean up, you are removing the dust and possible debris from your working area. You are also creating space for your Ridgid shop vac to do its job. When cleaning up, remember to clean your table saw and band saw tables, your router table, your drill press, and every other surface you work on regularly. There are many different ways to clean up, but the most important thing to remember is to be consistent. This means cleaning your working area at least once a week.

Install A Filter Breather

The first method you can use to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vac is to install a filtered breather. This is a small device that you attach to the front of your shop vac. It’s designed to let air flow through your vacuum while still trapping the majority of the dust. The filter breather allows a controlled amount of air to enter your shop vac so that it doesn’t “over suck”. If you’ve ever turned on a shop vac and then noticed how loud it gets, you’ve experienced “over sucking”. This is when the suction from your shop vac is so strong that it actually pulls the filter off the back of the vacuum. You can avoid this by installing a filtered breather.

Add A Shoe Cover Or Shroud

Another way to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vac is to add a shoe cover or shroud. A shoe cover is a cover that attaches to the front of your shop vac. It attaches to the entire surface of your vacuum so that it covers the filter portion. This essentially creates a barrier between the filter and the items you are vacuuming up. While it still sucks up the dust and debris, it no longer sucks up the dirt and dust that is sitting right on the filter. A shroud is a similar device that covers the filter. The difference is that a shroud moves with the airflow of your shop vac. This allows a shroud to more easily trap dust and debris.

Make Use Of A Permanent Vac Hose

Another way to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vac is to make use of a permanent vac hose. A permanent vac hose is essentially a hose that you attach to your shop vac and leave attached. With this method, you remove the filter from your Ridgid shop vac and attach the hose directly to the back of the vacuum. This essentially blocks the filter from receiving the dust and debris. This method is great for those who want to use a shop vac for more than just cleaning up sawdust or working with wood.

Install An Electronic Shoe

The final method for removing the filter from a Ridgid shop vac is to install an electronic shoe. An electronic shoe is a device that attaches to the bottom of your shop vac and covers the filter. The electronic shoe essentially blocks the filter from receiving the dust and debris. The filter is still there, but it has been blocked so the items are sucked up directly through the bottom of the vacuum. Why would anyone want to do this? Well, there are a few reasons. For one, blocking the filter allows you to use your Ridgid shop vac in wet environments. Another reason is that it makes it easier to clean your shop vac in general.

Why Do You May Want To Remove The Filter From A Ridgid Shop Vac?

You Want To Use Your Vac For Dryer, Sanding, And Sawdust

If you’re doing a lot of dryer cleaning, then you may not want to keep the filter in your vacuum. The filter is designed to trap fine particles of dust and debris, but if you’re dealing with larger objects like sand or sawdust, then it is just going to clog up the filter and prevent proper suction.

The Filter Is Preventing Proper Suction

If the filter in your vacuum has been in there for a while and is clogging up, then you may want to remove it. This is because as the filter gets clogged, it will not allow air to flow through it properly, meaning that your vacuum will not be able to suck up as much dust and debris. You can expect a drop in suction power of somewhere around 30%-50% when you have a clogged filter.

The Filter Is Clogging Up Frequently

If you have a shop vac that is frequently clogging up the filter, then you may want to remove it altogether. This is because the filter is designed to trap fine dust particles and debris. As this accumulates, the filter will clog up, making it harder for the vacuum to suck up larger debris. At this point, the only way to fully unclog the filter is to remove it, wash it off, and then put it back in.

How To Install A New Filter In A Ridgid Shop Vac? 

Some Ridgid shop vacuums have a filter that can be cleaned, while others have a disposable filter that must be replaced. Before installing a new filter, read the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, you can install a new filter in one of two ways: –

  • Over the top of the vacuum: Some filters, such as the Miele FJM filter, sit over the top of the machine. Others, such as the Kenmore filter, fit inside the machine. When installing a new filter, check fit to ensure it doesn’t block the suction. Most filters have tabs or a notch on one end that lines up with tabs or a notch on the machine. 
  •  Inside the vacuum: Most disposable filters, such as the filter for a Ridgid shop vac, sit inside the machine. Make sure the filter is seated properly with no gaps at the edges.

How To Clean The Ridgid Shop Vac Filter? 

If you have a reusable filter, clean it regularly to maintain the best suction and extend the life of the vacuum. Use woodworking vacuum cleaner bags, which are designed to trap the fine particles that clog ordinary paper bags. 

Warm water: The best way to clean a reusable filter is to soak it in warm water and vacuum cleaner detergent. Periodically, swish the filter around in the water to dislodge sawdust particles that are trapped in the filter. 

Vacuum cleaner attachments: If a filter is heavily clogged, you may need to use a vacuum cleaner attachment, such as a crevice tool or brush attachment, to clear out the filter.

How To Use A Shop Vac Without A Filter? 

  1. If you don’t have a filter, use a shop vac without a filter only for dry materials that won’t cause a clog, such as sawdust, sanding dust, or drywall dust. 
  2. Never use a shop vac without a filter for wet materials, such as wood shavings from a table saw, because the wet materials can clog the vacuum’s motor. 
  3. Instead, use a shop vac with a filter. You can increase airflow through the vacuum by extending the hose and bending the vacuum head to direct airflow in a wider path. 
  4. You may be able to use a longer hose if your current one is too short. If your shop vac is too small for the job, buy a larger model.

The Bottom Line

If you’re working with something that would damage the filter, then you may want to remove the filter from a Ridgid shop vac. You can do this by detaching the filter from the hose or the vacuum itself. You should make sure that you have the right tools and materials for removing the filter. You also shouldn’t put a dirty filter back in your Ridgid vacuum.