How to Remove Filter from Ridgid Shop Vac

Every once in a while, you may find out that the shop vac isn’t running at its fullest. That may be because its filter isn’t functioning correctly. For situations like that, you need to know how to remove filter from Ridgid shop vac. 

You’ll need to access the filter by unlatching the lid. Once you’ve reached the filter, click on the protruded stud in the middle. Then, lift the tabs with your hand. Finally, you can slide the filter off of the cage. 

Try not to damage the filter in the removal process. Ensure the utmost safety and stick to the step-by-step instructions supplied by the manufacturers.

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How to Remove the Filter from the Ridgid Shop Vac

The Ridgid shop uses their patented Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System. Regardless, we’ll be going over the filter removal procedure of the commonly used assembly systems for your convenience. You can also clean the filter first instead of replacing.

Safety Precautions

It’s better to look before you leap. So, go through the owner’s manual to check out all the warnings or any tips the manufacturers may have for you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll come across some helpful tips that just might make your work go smoother. 

Locate the Filter

Before you start working, make sure the shop vac is not plugged in any electrical power source. 

Once you’ve unplugged the vacuum, you can access the filter by separating the motor from the dust collection drum by unlatching the covering lid. Next, take out the motor cover, and you should be able to see the filter inside. 

Take the Filter Out

As mentioned above, the removal process of the shop vac’s filter depends on the vacuum’s make and model. To make things easier for you, we’ll be going over the most common ways. 

1. Filter Plate & Nut

If your filter has a filter plate and a nut, you’ll want to first take out the filter nut on the top. It’s the little stud that has threading going through it. 

Next, take any tool to unscrew the filter nut. Or, if you’re feeling confident, you can unscrew the nut using your hands as well. After you’ve unscrewed it, detach the nut. 

Now the filter plate is no longer attached to the shop vac filter, so you can just pop it off. With that, you’re ready to remove the filter plate from the end of the filter. 

Finally, slowly slide off the filter from its cage, and voila! You’ve taken out the filter from your shop vac. 

Be careful not to lose any of these parts. Otherwise, you can no longer fit the filter back in its place and will have to invest in a new shop vac.  

2. Screw Cap

Another standard assembly system is the screw cap system. It’s just like the filter plate and nut system, only bigger. You’ll also have to keep track of fewer parts. 

The previous system used a filter plate and nut to secure its filter, whereas the screw cap combines both. It works both as the filter nut and the plate by staying attached to the filter. 

The cap is patched clockwise to keep the filter secured in place. So, to remove the filter, unscrew the cap counter-clockwise, and the cap should quickly come loose.

Then take out the cap from the filter cage. And just like in the filter plate and nut system, slide the wet-dry vac filter off of its cage. 

While you do have fewer parts to keep track of, make sure not to lose the cap as you’ll need it to put the filter back in or replace it with a newer one. 

3. Qwik Lock Fastening System

The Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System is a trademark system used by the Ridgid shop vacs. Some other top brands also use this technique to hold their filters in place. It’s a very efficient and user-friendly system that eliminates the need to keep track of extra pieces and makes the filter removal and replacement process a breeze. 

The Qwik Lock Fastening System integrates the filter plate right into the filter and uses an especially designed stud and filter cage to fasten the filter securely into its place. 

To take it out, hold the filter tabs of the Qwik Lock filter with both hands. You’ll see a protruded stub in the middle of the filter cap. Press down on it with your thumb. 

As you push down on the stud, the filter will let go of the tabs. When you feel the filter let go of the filter tabs, lift them. Doing so will cause the shop vac to let go of the filter. Then, slide it out of the cage. 

And don’t worry, you won’t have to keep track of anything but the filter, which is a pretty significant advantage. So, there’s a lower chance that you’ll lose it. 

4. Retaining Band

If you have a specialty filter, the chances are that it uses a retaining band system which is different from a cartridge-style filter. You’ll need a screwdriver to take it out and put it back in the retaining band. 

Once you’ve got the screwdriver in hand, loosen the retainer band to get it out. If you’re trying to ease the screw, patch it counter-clockwise or to the left. 

As the retainer band comes loose, carefully take it out so that you don’t tear the filter while getting it out. After you take out the band, take out the filter from its cage, and you’re done. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I wash my Ridgid filter?

Yes, you can wash the filter of your Ridgid shop vac. However, do note that they’re not suitable for deep cleaning. If you think that the filter is obstructed with debris, take it out by following the steps above and give it a light wash. After washing the filter, make sure to dry it out before putting it back in.

Can I reuse my Ridgid wet-dry vac filter?

Ridgid shop vacs come equipped with a washable filter. Thanks to this wonderful feature, you don’t have to throw out the filter every time it’s obstructed. Instead, you can simply take the filter out, give it a light wash, dry it out, and voila! The filter is ready for you to use again.

Can the shop vac run without its filter?

If you’ve lost your filter or simply decided to go without it, be careful not to use the vacuum cleaner to vacuum any solid waste. As the vac has no filter, the debris can get into the machinery and cause it to malfunction. If your filter doesn’t have a filter equipped, you can only use it to vacuum water and wet debris.

Does my Ridgid shop vac have any other function?

Some models of Ridgid shop vac offer to double as a blower. But keep in mind that it’s not its primary function, so don’t compare it with a typical blower.

Why is there debris inside my shop vac?

There can be a few reasons why. One possible answer is your bottom gasket isn’t seated correctly. If you had removed or replaced the filter recently and failed to place the bottom gasket properly, there’s a chance that the debris could bypass the filter, resulting in it going inside the shop vac.

Wrapping Up

You undoubtedly know what an active role your Ridgid shop vac plays in keeping your workshop clean. It’s thanks to its hard-working filter that this wet-dry vac can do such a fantastic job. 

This post should cover up all you need to know about filter removal. No matter the type of assembly system, you should no longer have any trouble. Happy spring cleaning!

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