Using Your Shop Vac as a Water Pump – DIY Tips

by James Williams

We all have water spills that happen to us periodically. While working with water and some of it drops on the ground. The question is how do you get rid of it. There are many techniques you can use for a small amount of water. You can wipe it up with a paper cloth or you can use a vacuum. However, what happens when you have a lot of water you need to get rid of. Most people don’t have a water pump, but you can actually use a shop vac to remove a significant amount of water.

Shop Vac As A Water Pump
Shop Vac As A Water Pump

The Problem of Pumping Water

Pumping water is actually really difficult. There are many things to consider such as pump overheating and having the right pump for the job. When it comes to can you get rid of water with a pump, the answer is a resounding yes. However, a water pump is expensive and it might be something that only happens once in a while.

You won’t be using your water pump often and it would be a purchase you make that doesn’t pay off in the end. It makes no sense to buy something that you won’t be using quite often. This is where using your Vac will come in. Most people have access to a shop vac and they are relatively inexpensive compared to using a dedicated water pump to remove water from anywhere.

A shop vac might not have been made for this job, but there are a few of them who have the ability to pump water out. You just have to know how to do it and which ones to use. Obviously, there are many things to consider before using a shop vac to pump water. The most important point is that you will be pumping water.

Cleaning Up Spills

Generally, sometimes the best choice for cleaning up a spill is to use something like a mop. It might be painful backbreaking work, but you require no electrical tools and it is something that you can do with the most basic equipment. On top of that, you don’t need to do or by anything else as long as you have the mop and a bucket.

This is often the best choice since it is easy and cheap. For most bills, it is going to be the best choice since the spill isn’t that big. However, bigger spills will require more creative thinking in order to fix.

Why You Would Use Your Vac as a Water Pump

Using your shop vac as a vacuum pump is simple on the surface, but there are things you need to know and understand to make it work properly. The question is why would you do that? The answer is you will already have a shop vac. You can turn it into a water pump without having to buy a dedicated water pump

. Most people need a vacuum at home and a shop vac actually makes a great choice for a vacuum cleaner. There is no need to get something else in order to clean up spills. Since this works with spills as well as the dedicated water pump. In some cases, it might even prove a better choice than actually using the dedicated water pump.

There will be things that you have to consider and make sure you get them right since you can destroy your vacuum cleaner by trying to use it as a water pump.

How to Use it as a Water Pump

So how do you do it? The first step is to understand what you will be doing with the vacuum cleaner. That means understanding how the vacuum cleaner works so you can modify it to pump water. The most important thing to understand is your shop vac is designed to vacuum dry things.

That means dust and dirt and so it is made with that in mind. When your vacuum is turned on it simply sucks things in through the filter and collects them in the bucket. This process needs to be modified in order to get the water in. For example, you will ruin your filter if you get it wet.

As such this is something that must be avoided no matter what. Once you have removed the filter and removed other parts that can get in the way, it is time for you to get to the liquid and start sucking it up. You do it the same way that you would any other substance. Another thing to remember is that you should be doing from the and that sucks and not the end that blows.

If you get this wrong, you will be spraying water all over and this is what you want to do. Having a deep understanding of this process is critical. Another thing to consider is whether you are damaging your vacuum or not.


The biggest downside to this is you might be damaging your vacuum cleaner. Not all shop vacs will work as a water pump. Reading the manual will help you figure out whether yours works or not. There also other things to consider and getting your hands on the manual is critical. You should read the manual to make sure you have an understanding of the entire process.

However, before you get started the process is quite simple. Remove the filter which is the first step. After you’ve done that, remove anything else that might be getting the way and then bring the vacuum to the water that needs pumping and switch it on.

Make sure that the vacuum hose is connected to the sucking part and not the blowing part. After that, everything should work well and your water should be pumped into the vacuum canister.


A vacuum cleaner can be used as a water pump. The shop vac is incredibly versatile and something that most people should have in their homes. Understanding how to use it to pump water is critical to getting the job done right without damaging your machine.

About James Williams

Hi, This is James from HomerDIY. I have great experience in writing about everything related to Pump and DIY tools. For the last few years, I am researching the different types of tools and sharing my opinion on this blog.

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