A wet/dry vacuum is a highly useful tool in the home and at the factory. Without the ability to vacuum wet materials, any wet liquid or soaked solid material would have to be disposed of and cleaned another way, such as by sweeping or spraying the mess away. A wet/dry vacuum is a highly useful tool that makes clean-up of mess a breeze in any situation. But, have you ever thought about how a wet/dry vacuum actually works? Normal vacuums are damaged when moisture enters the vacuum, so how can these vacuums accept liquids? The process is actually surprisingly simple and straightforward.
On top of the machine a motor sucks air into the machine with the use of a rotating fan and motor assembly. A vacuum attachment tube attaches to the motor over a large bucket that collects the dirt and water. The narrow tube design of the unit causes the vacuum attachment to suck up material and liquid at a high pressure and speed. The contaminants then pass into the bucket. Once the contaminants reach the bucket, the air pressure suddenly drops because the airflow enters a larger area. The contaminants and liquid drop into the bucket because of the sudden lowering in air pressure. The air itself still passes through the top of the bucket and out the exhaust, because the pressure is still high enough to pull the air through the filtration system. This process repeats until the machine is turned off. The dirt and water collects in the bottom of the bucket. When the bucket is full, the motor will turn off automatically. The operator then must dispose of the liquid and dirt in a safe disposal area. If the materials inside the bucket are toxic, the liquid must be taken to a toxic waste dump to avoid polluting a city water supply or the ground.