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Will my vacuum cleaner explode?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by coosbaycreep, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    I recently sold my reloading stuff and now the carpet where I've been spilling powder and have dropped numerous live primers over the past few months will have to be cleaned soon. There's no way to sweep all the potentially flammable stuff off the carpet, as a lot of it is buried pretty good. Is there any danger of fire/detonation vacuuming up powder and primers with a regular house vac?

    thanks
     
  2. bearingman

    bearingman Tualatin Member

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    Depends on the vac, if it's one with a hose, you're probably good, but if its one that the dirt goes through the fan , the primers could blow.
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    If primers pop no biggie, it happens.

    If you suck up lots of powder (smokeless) and it finds an ignition source you may end up with a fire worst case. Really hard to make something explode with a substance that is not an explosive.
     
  4. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    My advice is wear a cup.





    :laugh:
     
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  5. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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  6. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Shop vac with a wet foam filter and a little water in the bottom of the barrel
     
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  7. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    Doesn't seem right somehow to use a limp hose in a reloading room.
     
  8. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This is perfect.
     
  9. Sheldon

    Sheldon California Member

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    Small traces of powder should not be an issue. Now a big pile with live primers mixed in it would be an issue. Depending on the type of vacuum you have, the primers may or may not hit the impeller blade or something else hard enough and get set off. I have an old Kirby that will set them off, but never caught fire or anything like that. A shop vac usually doesn't have any moving parts impacting the stuff being vacuumed up so if you have one of those, it would be good to use. If it's a wet/dry vac you could also put some water in the trap area.
     
  10. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Steam Cleaner instead? get primers or powder wet and its a non issue. You could also spray the area with a spray bottle until its a bit damp and use the shop vac - It is probably overkill but better safe than sorry.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    My reloading area vac is a mini Shop Vac with a paper filter in it. The filter makes sure that no powder particles get anywhere near the motor or pass through to the exhaust to be blown around the room. I try not to spill powder as a rule but it does happen. I vacuum it up right away and make it a habit of changing the bag out frequently. This vac is small, not much larger than a 50 cal. Ammo can and it's always at the ready. I also use it to suck up the chips from my Dillon Rapid Trim.

    The worst form of vacuum cleaner is the one with a "beater bar". These not only pop the primer, they do so right next to the carpet and leave a nice black burn mark. Bigger marks if you've also spilled powder in this area.

    Just a quick question, HOW MANY HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER IN THEIR RELOADING ROOM or nearby? If so, it won't extinguish the powder fire but it will keep it from spreading if something else catches fire. A good reason to keep powder and primer stock in a cupboard at least, with the door closed while loading.
     
  12. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    I went ahead and vacuumed up everything, and nothing blew up or caught on fire.
     
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  13. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    Did you use a shop vac or regular house vacuum? More importantly, did you wear a cup? :D
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I only wear one of those when I'm getting ready to tell my wife I spent more money on my reloading equipment or a new scope for my rifle.


    a4154678-37-32126-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Expressive-Yellow-Smiley-Face-Emoticon-With-One-Big.jpg

    a4154678-37-32126-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Expressive-Yellow-Smiley-Face-Emoticon-With-One-Big.jpg
     
  15. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    And just another reiteration - Smokeless powder does not explode. It burns, creating gases which propel the bullet from the case because of the pressure build up in the case and the restricted area of the chamber/barrel when it burns thanks to the primer. The powder at most should cause a FIRE and I've seen what a pile of it will do. It just burns like a 4th of July sparkler. In sufficient quantities it could start a fire, but it won't explode. And as mentioned, a primer may go off but if the powder is not in a cartridge where the powder can create the pressure needed for expelling the bullet, it is not a problem.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    But what do you do with that vacuum cleaner that's now spitting fire fueled by the powder you vac'd up and ignited by the primer. As for me, if that happened I'd be calling the "Glass Man" to replace the window I just threw the vacuum out of :)

    Does it really matter if it explodes or not. Fire can be just as bad, and just as hard to explain to the wife;)
     
  17. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    house vac
    no cup...but I kept a fire extinguisher close by
     
  18. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    That would be the ticket.