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I was reminded of Ben’s excellent post on vacuuming the ash in your fireplace when I was cleaning mine out a few days ago.  I’ve always just waited till the ash was cold, then I bust out a brush and dustpan.  With a price tag of over a hundred bucks, are ash vacuums really worth it?

I know that the regular old unmodified shop-vac will turn your living room into an ashen fallout zone, but can the specialized fireplace vac be used for other things?  That’s an awful lot of space taken up to just clean the fireplace.

Is the powered way just that much better, or does your name need to be Casanova before you actually run that many fires through your fireplace for this to become worthwhile?  Let us know in comments.

Cougar Ash Vacuum [Love-less Ash Company]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


15 Responses to Hot or Not? Fireplace Maintenance

  1. Rick says:

    You might not want to bother for a fireplace but I can see the true value in owning one of these for my pellet stove where getting into all of the nooks and crannies translates into better performance.

  2. Kif says:

    It sucks ash.

  3. Dano says:

    I would have gotten an extension hose and left that vac on the other side of the window. But thats just me.

  4. Steve Fine says:

    There is a drywall bag for the ShopVac. Can this be used with ash?

  5. Kris says:

    There’s also a water trap thing that you can put between your shopvac and the nozzle to trap drywall dust. Maybe this would work with ash as well?

  6. Stan says:

    I dunno. My shopvac does drywall and in the manual says it can be used to vacuum out the fireplace.
    I got the HEPA filter, and the bags for it.
    It was less than $100. I’ve used it in remodeling the house and sucked up a hella lot of drywall dust and lath & plaster, without any dust cloud in sight.

  7. Old Coot says:

    What Stan said.

  8. shopmonger says:

    use a bag ……….See my previous posts on using a vacum for the fire place

  9. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    I put an old drywall bucket in series with the vac & hose. I cut two holes in the top, wedged in a straight floor extension that I never use into one, and attached a spare hose to the extension. When I’m cleaning up messy stuff or liquid I just stick the normal vac hose into the other hole in the bucket & use the spare hose. Sure, some makes it past the bucket into the vac, but most stays in the bucket.
    I did the same thing with a piece of plywood & a wheelbarrow when I had to dig post holes in very sandy soil. I tried using a post hole digger, but the sand kept flowing off the auger back into the hole. I ended up excavating with the vacuum.

  10. Brau says:

    Agree with Stan. I use my Rigid Shop Vac but use the finest grade filter (specifically indicates use with drywall and ashes). It does not blow dust into my living room and I should know … I do the dusting. I have to wonder who’s dumb enough to vacuum when it’s still hot, though.

  11. fred says:

    We use Porter Cable drywall sanders hooked to Fein Vaccums.
    The Fein machines are a real class act – producing substantially less noise than other vacuums that we’ve had over the years.
    Fein now has a few new models to choose from

  12. They have nice affordable shop vacs at home depot that you can vacuum out the ash and will not blow dust all over your house. I own a chimney company in houston and that is what we use. I never have a problem with getting dust around the house. You can use a shop vac for some many things they are well worth buying. One thing to think about as well make sure you get your chimney inspected once a year. Most people don’t know but a build up of creosote in you chimney is flammable and can actually cause a chimney fire “a fire combustion inside your chimney”. A lot of house fires are actually caused by this. Not to mention a yearly maintenance can save you thousands of dollars if problems with your chimney are detected early.

  13. Charlie says:

    According to the link, you CANNOT VACUUM HOT ASHES with these things.

    Yep, check it out – pure unadulterated snake oil… I checked all the major brands of “ash vac” and every one of ’em says you have to wait until there’s no live coals. So really, it’s just a way overpriced HEPA vac with a heavy metal can.

    There’s a huge market out there for a safe way to vacuum hot ashes. Seems like a water filter would do the job…

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