When we originally purchased our house, the previous homeowner offered us a good deal on his 16 gallon 6.0 HP Craftsman Wet/Dry Vacuum because he'd have no use for it in his new home. I figured that such a tool might come in handy someday, so I accepted his offer. Within the first week of living in our new house, I would find out just how handy it could be.
As we were unpacking and cleaning up after the move, we started a load of laundry without realizing that we had dropped a couple of socks into the wash basin. When the waching machine hit the spin cycle and the water drained into the basin, those socks floated into the drain and blocked it, preventing the water from draining out. That left only one place for the water to go, and that was up and over the sides of the basin, onto the basement floor.
When I went down to put that load of laundry in the dryer, I discovered the flood of water that was now covering our basement floor. I ran around checking everything I could think of, from the water pipes to the dehumidifier, before I finally realized what actually caused the flood. I pulled the offending socks from the drain, but because they were wet, I did not remove them from the wash basin completely. Instead just left them sitting in a corner to dry. Make a note of that little fact because it will become an important detail in a moment.
Anyway, to clean up the water, I first tried using a mop with very limited success. I then remembered the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vacuum so I decided to give that a try. It worked great, and allowed me to suck up the majority of the water with relative ease. I used the wide nozzle to suck up the bulk of the water, and then I switched to the squeegee attachment to get the rest.
Once I had picked up as much water as I could with the Wet/Dry Vacuum, I set up some fans to dry the floor the rest of the way and then decided to start a second load of laundry. I loaded up the washing machine, started the wash cycle, then decided to take family out to lunch to celebrate my victory over the flood waters.
OK... Here's where that important little detail comes back into play. Remember those socks that I pulled from the drain but left inside the wash basin? Well, while we were out enjoying our lunch, the exact same thing happened when the spin cycle was reached on that second load of laundry. Those same socks floated into the drain again, and caused a SECOND flood of water to overflow onto the floor.
When we arrived home from lunch I made some silly comment to the family, bragging about how wonderful I was for cleaning up all of that water, and then I ran directly to the basement to see how well the fans were drying the floor. I was blissfully unaware of the second flood up to that point. When I opened the door instead of the dry floors I hoped to see, I saw floor completely covered in water for a second time.
What followed can best be described as one of those moments in the movies, when a character thrusts his hands to the heavens, tips his head back, and shouts the word "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!". Only in my case, instead of the word "No" I think I may have shouted something a little more "colorful".
I was incredibly... umm... "upset"... to say the least. After a few minutes of stomping around and swearing, I regained my composure, reached for the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac and went back to work once again. For the second time that day, it performed great sucking all of the water up from the floor.
So essentially, we had two floods in our basement on the same day, for the exact same reason, all within the very first week of living in our new house! Needless to say, I learned my lesson and removed those socks from the basin after that. (I should have burnt them for all of the trouble they caused).
Anyway, that's my flood story... now let's get back to the vacuum.
The original owner purchased the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vacuum mainly because of its blower attachment, which he used to clear out the pool lines when he closed his pool for the winter. In the year-and-a-half that we've lived in that house, we've used the blower attachment for the same purpose on two occasions. We've also used it to clean up leaves in our back yard, and to blow dust and debris from the garage and driveway. It works very well, and with it's claimed 200MPH air velocity, it has plenty of power.
Besides cleaning up water and blowing leaves, we've also used the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vacuum to clean the interior of our cars, and it worked great for that as well. It's much more convenient and cost effective to use our own vacuum, rather than paying to use the ones at the local car wash.
All in all, I'm very pleased with the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vacuum, and considering the great deal we received on ours, I'm even happier with it than normal. If you have the space required to keep such a large vacuum, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of these.