EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac with HEPA Filter

When I bought my first house (I was a happy condo dweller prior to the birth of my second son), I got a gift card for a home improvement store from some of the folks I worked with. Since my mother-in-law had already bought me a lawn mower, I used that gift card to purchase another staple of the Suburban Dad’s Garage: a heavy duty wet-dry shop vac. It quickly proved its usefulness as a dry vac in cleaning up after a couple of wood working and plumbing (mis)adventures, and as a wet vac following a sump pump failure & subsequent replacement. That last part was when I learned a valuable lesson about the filter cartridge that catches dirt, debris, sawdust, PVC shavings, copper shavings & solder slag: it gets ruined, and makes a HUGE mess inside the drum, if you don’t take it out before pumping the residual water from your basement sump.

I’d like to say that never happened again, but I had the old “there’s got to be a better design” thought every time I carefully positioned a large trash bag underneath so I could finagle a waterlogged & debris-laden filter out of my shop vac canister without making an even bigger mess on the floor. Now, I don’t believe this had anything to do with our R&D engineers’ development of the EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac, but it IS an amazing coincidence…

Not that it’s particularly difficult to change the filter in my shop vac, but this is indeed an “Easy Switch”.

If you’re looking for a powerful, reliable, and easy to use industrial vacuum, here it is. Made to fit a standard 55 gallon open top drum, the EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac Systems come in a variety of configurations to meet your specific Industrial Housekeeping needs:

  • If you have a drum, the EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac kit comes with everything you need for basic operation:
    • The EasySwitch Wet-Dry unit itself
    • Drum Lid with filter hatch
    • Standard or HEPA filter & pre-filter
    • 20ft compressed air hose, pressure gauge, and shutoff valve
    • 10ft vacuum hose, crevice tool, straight wand, skimmer tool, and dust brush
  • For portability and convenience, the Deluxe system adds:
    • Drum dolly
    • Upgrade to anti-static vacuum hose and Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools
    • Spill Recovery Kit (for floor cleanup of liquids)
    • Magnetic Tool Holder
  • And if you need a drum, the Premium system adds that as well.

The standard filter is suitable for general purpose dry vacuuming, but for critical dust removal, our HEPA filter conforms to IEST-RP-CC-007 specifications for minimum 99.97% filtration at the 0.3 micron level. If your cleanup involves toxic materials, respiratory irritants…anything that people shouldn’t be breathing…you’ll definitely want the HEPA filter.

For critical dust containment, the award winning HEPA EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac System is your durable, reliable, compressed air operated solution!

And, of course, you can still remove the filter (don’t forget that part; that’s how this blog started) for high performance liquid vacuuming as well. If you’d like to find out more about the HEPA EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac – or any of our other Industrial Housekeeping Products – give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Utilizing CAD Files

When I was in 6th grade, our art teacher, Mrs. C, taught us to draw fruit one day. I was academically gifted (I’d had straight A’s since 1st grade) but I was AWFUL at drawing. I was doing OK with my orange, apple, and even my banana. When it came time to draw a pear, I realized I had 35 cents in my pocket (that’s what milk for snack time cost) so I pulled out that quarter & dime, used them to trace a quarter-sized circle with a dime-size circle slightly intersecting it, erased the middle parts, and “free-handed” little arcs to complete the pear shape. Mrs. C told me I wasn’t allowed to do that and gave me my first bad grade – ever. Now, I LOVE going to art museums and taking in the wonders of those who are far more skilled than I with pen and brush, but I STILL have no aptitude or desire for drawing anything myself….with a pen or brush, that is.

My first job out of the Navy involved some very basic CAD use…mainly making simple changes or additions (and usually just title block text) of existing drawings. As I more familiar with CAD, I realized the method for drawing a pear shape in CAD was, in fact, my own personal grade school method: intersect two circles, trim, and fillet. So there, Mrs. C!

My next job took my CAD utilization a bit further…making assembly drawings of systems, using existing CAD files for the individual components that made up the system. The key word there was “existing” – the First Law of CAD is, “Don’t ever draw anything twice.” So, I’d get CAD files from the manufacturers, insert them into my template, put them where I wanted them to be in relation to the other pieces of my little puzzle, send the drawing(s) to the end user for piping and foundation prep, and as long as the folks in the shop followed my drawings (which is was hard not to), everything worked out great.

Now, this was way back in the 1990’s, so I got most of my CAD files via email, and, occasionally, on 3.5″ floppy disks or CD’s. EXAIR Corporation has offered drawing files for our products in our CAD Library for many years now. You can always find four fundamental file extensions:

  • PDF – these can be opened with Adobe Acrobat…they’re “just for looking at”. They don’t denote any particular scale, and won’t directly import to a CAD file. They’re useful for quick & easy answers about overall dimensions, bolt hole sizes, thread pitches, etc.
  • DWG – this is AutoCAD’s “native language.” These files will open seamlessly in AutoCAD, if that’s what you’re using, along with many other programs. But, if it doesn’t.
  • STP – we’re well in to the 21st Century, and many designers have moved on from the above mentioned 2D files to solid models. Most solid modeling programs are compatible with these files.
  • SAT – these are, to STP, what DXF is to DWG…a “more friendly” file for certain solid model programs.

With the launch of our new website, we now offer 64 native extensions so you (hopefully) do not have to modify, import, or convert any drawing that would take additional modification – just download the file you need right from our Resources, 3D Models and CAD drawings link. And dare I say, if you can’t find the extension you need, you are using some fairly obscure software – perhaps an SAT or STP file will suit you.

If you’re designing a system or making an assembly drawing incorporating EXAIR catalog products, we have all of these in the CAD Library. If you need one for something that’s not in the catalog – a Super Air Knife less than 60″ long with a Plumbing Kit installed, for example – we can provide that as well...just contact an Application Engineer.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Electrical Panel Heat Protection: Limitations of Fan Cooling

In preparation for some labor-intensive outdoor projects, I did some research into heat-related health risks, and their prevention. My first thought on prevention was getting someone else to do it, but my wife made a good case for “pride in ownership”, and I DO have a good many tools suitable for these projects. Also, I am notoriously frugal, so after getting a couple of estimates, I realized the value in a little DIY (do it yourself) and commenced planning.

High on that list of risks was the possibility of heat stroke. It’s recommended that the victim be taken to a cool space (someplace air conditioned, for example). Air flow (like from a fan) can help too, but only if they’re taken someplace where the ambient temperature is less that 95F (35C). If it’s that hot, the air flow can actually make things worse, since heat transfer requires a difference in temperature. If the cooling medium (air, in this case) is the same temperature as the object to be cooled (the human body, in this case), no heat will be transferred – and the heat stroke wins. That’s a bad day in the back yard.

This is, in fact, the exact same limitation with a popular method of electrical panel cooling: fans. We’ve been using mechanical methods of imparting motion to air for cooling purposes for a long, long time: Blowing on a spoonful of soup or a cup of coffee before a warm (but not scalding) sip, waving hand fans at oneself during indoor gatherings, installing electric fans in those same buildings, and the list goes on. Fans are inexpensive to purchase & operate, come in a variety of sizes & configurations, and are oftentimes used to circulate cooling air through occupied rooms, confined spaces, and, of course, electrical & electronic panel enclosures.

These are quite effective for panels with moderate-to-high internal heat loads, as long as the ambient area temperature is less than the temperature you wish to cool the panel’s internal air to. In those situations, the only real concern is the quality of the air in the environment. As you can see in the photo to the right, filters are an absolute “must”, and they’re going to require regular maintenance. This means cleaning or replacing the filters, as well as cleaning the fan grills and blades themselves. It’s still very likely that some of that dust is going to get inside the enclosure, and while we’re on the subject of environmental contamination, so will humidity. I probably don’t need to tell you that dirt and/or water, and electricity, don’t mix.

There are other methods of cooling (panel a/c, thermoelectric coolers, water cooled heat exchangers, heat pipes, etc.) that limit environmental contamination, but they’re still going to need periodic (oftentimes frequent) attention: filters will clog, refrigerant coils will get fouled and corrode, moving parts will wear, motors & switches will burn out, etc. Even with the advances made in refrigerant technology, the leaks that panel a/c and heat pipes are prone to are still bad for the environment.

If this sounds like your environment, and you’re looking for safe, dependable, durable heat protection, look no further than EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems. Using the Vortex Tube phenomenon, they generate cold air from your compressed air supply, with no moving parts to wear or electric devices to burn out. Systems are on the shelf & ready to ship in cooling capacities to 5,600 Btu/hr. We also “tailor-make” systems for higher heat loads, from stock products, that can usually ship right away as well. Once installed on a sealed enclosure, the only thing the internals of that enclosure are ever exposed to again is clean, moisture free, cold air. All of our Cabinet Cooler Systems come with an Automatic Drain Filter Separator – the only preventive maintenance that’s ever required for the systems is the periodic replacement of the filter’s particulate element.

Inside, outdoors, high temperature, dirt/dust/humidity, corrosive and classified environments are no problem for EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems

We can quickly and accurately specify a Cabinet Cooler System to meet your needs with just a few key pieces of information – you can fill out a Sizing Guide (or complete one online) and send it in to us, or you can call an Application Engineer with the data. It only takes a minute to do the calculations, and we do them over the phone all the time. Installation is straightforward and usually only takes a matter of minutes. We have a number of short “how to” videos on our website that cover all aspects of installation, and if you ever have specific questions or concerns, an Application Engineer is a phone call away. We look forward to hearing from you!

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler Systems for Class II Div 1 – Explained

Among the different meanings of the word “Classified”, my favorite example is from the movie “Top Gun”. Maverick (the hot shot fighter pilot) tells Charlie (the aviation expert and his soon-to-be love interest) that he can’t disclose the location of his encounter with an enemy plane: “That’s classified. I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.”

That’s not the “classified” I’m writing about today, although this definition is near and dear to my heart as well: “Areas with possible fire or explosion risks due to explosive atmospheres and/or mixtures” are known in industry as “classified” or “hazardous”. Operations in such areas are strictly regulated…depending on the nature & severity of the hazard, the use of non-sparking tools (commonly made of brass) may be required, for example. Equipment installed in these areas must likewise be designed to eliminate risks of fire or explosion…like EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems. These are engineered and approved for use in certain classified areas. In the United States, the National Electrical Code (NEC) defines these areas in a system of Classes, Divisions, and Groups, depending on the nature of the material that presents the hazard (Class), whether it normally exists or if it’s just possible in abnormal situations (Division), and the specific type of the subject material (Group).

EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems provide safe and reliable heat protection in classified environments

Among the classified areas we can specify a HazLoc Cabinet Cooler System in, I’ve previously covered Class I Div 1 here, and Class III has been covered here. Class II areas are where the material presenting the hazard is dust, and that’s the subject of today’s blog.

Typical Class II environments are, well, dusty places. One example would be a coal burning power plant. Specific areas of may be classified as Class II Div 1, if sufficient concentration of the dust exists during normal operation. These plants have a machine called a pulverizer, which is aptly named…it turns lump coal into dust, which is way more efficient to burn than lump coal. Areas adjacent to the pulverizer may be Class I Div 1, but the rest of the boiler room itself may be considered a Class II Div 2 environment. As long as the pulverizer is working properly (e.g., sending all the coal dust into the boiler instead of the boiler room), there’s a low probability of a explosive or ignitable mixture of coal dust in the air.

Class II areas are further separated into Groups, defined by the type of dust that merits the Class II designation:

  • Group E: Atmosphere containing combustible metal dusts, including aluminum, magnesium, bronze, chromium, titanium, zinc and their commercial alloys or other combustible dusts whose particle size, abrasiveness and conductivity present similar hazards in connection with electrical equipment.
  • Group F: Atmosphere containing carbonaceous dusts, carbon black, coal black, charcoal, coal or coke dusts that have more than 8% total entrapped volatiles or dusts that have been sesitized by other materials so they present an explosion hazard.
  • Group G: Atmosphere containing combustible dust not included in Group E & F – such as flour, grain, starch, sugar, wood, plastics and chemicals.

EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems carry the UL Classified Mark, and as such, can be used safely in classified areas on purged electrical enclosures. It’s important to note that, to maintain Class I Div 1, Class II Div 1, or Class III integrity, they must be used in conjunction with such a purge & pressurized control system – they don’t take the place of such a system. We stock them in cooling capacities from 1,000 to 5,600 Btu/hr, in NEMA 4 or NEMA 4X (IP66) ratings.

EXAIR is committed to safety, and that, of course, includes the proper specification and use of our products. If you’d like to find out which of our Cabinet Cooler Systems…or any of our engineered compressed air products…are suitable for use in a particular environment, give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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