How to Empty a 16 Gallon Shop Vac

Shop Vac manufactures a 16-gallon model capable of cleaning wet and dry messes.

Shop Vac Without Tank Drain

Depending on the model you have, the process of emptying it may vary. For dry contents, you should always remove the tank lid to empty it. For wet contents, your 16-gallon Shop Vac may have a drain cap that you can remove for easier dumping.

Turn off the 16-gallon Shop Vac and unplug it from the outlet. Pull the unit's latches outward and remove the tank cover.

Lift the Shop Vac's tank and pour the contents into a bathtub drain or other appropriate area. For example, if the contents of the tank contain plain water, you can dump them on your lawn.

Replace the tank cover and push the latches inward to lock the lid. Proceed with cleaning.

Vac With Tank Drain

Turn the 16-gallon Shop Vac off and unplug it from the wall. Position the Shop Vac next to a drain or in an appropriate draining area.

Loosen the drain cap, located at on the lower side of the machine, by twisting it to the left with your hand. Remove the drain cap and set aside.

Tilt the Shop Vac slightly toward the direction it is draining to completely rid it of all of its liquid contents.

Replace the drain cap by twisting it to the right and continue using the unit.

Tip

  • Clean the inside of the Shop Vac's tank before storing.

Warning

  • Exercise caution when pouring the 16-gallon Shop Vac's contents into a drain. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes if necessary.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.