Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum: Tear Apart and Inspection

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

Thrown to the curb, this was, with its tail cut off. So sad, I had to take it home, give it a try and possibly a second life. This unit pleaded underdog, discarded and forlorn. Unremarkable in appearance, ’tis a vacuum, for sure, but where is the bottom? The Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum is meant to couple and sit on top of the standard inexpensive Home Depot 19L 5G bucket, sold separately. It just clips onto the top of the bucket, hence the name “Bucket Head”. The vac head even has slots for the bucket’s wire handle!

The Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum is advertised as 1.75 peak hp. It comes with a filter bag that goes over the bottom, but mine was missing. $40CAD new, Made in Mexico. Filter bags are supposedly available for sale.

Since the electrical cord was cut off, I had to open up the unit and add one before I could test if it worked.

Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum. Note the additional contour lines on the front input port. The black part on the bottom has a styrofoam ball. There’s no handle, just clip it on the bucket and use the bucket’s wire handle.

Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum. Note the additional contour lines on the front input port. The black part on the bottom has a styrofoam ball. There’s no handle, just clip it on the bucket and use the bucket’s wire handle.

Open the Unit
There are 4 Philips screws on top, holding down the two sides of a clamshell. On each side, under the labels, there are an additional 2 screws. This makes a total of 8 screws. There’s no need to remove the fancy stickers, just punch through the decal and down to the screws. All screws are, conveniently, the same size. Good engineering and cost saving.

On each side of the vac there is the input and the exhaust ports. The top is a two piece clamshell, both parts which wedge underneath both ports. Thus you will need to grab the middle sections, between the two ports, near the black handles, to open it up. The sides sort of hinge upward. The power switch is in the middle.

The sides are not difficult to open up. Putting them back in is more of a challenge The perimeter of both sides each have 4 plastic slots that need to come together. You will need to fiddle with these slots to ensure the clamshell will reseat properly. On reaseembly, look from the bottom to see if the slots have engaged properly. If not, then push the clamshell perimeter in slightly to reseat.

Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum. Note the additional contour lines on the front input port. The black part on the bottom has a styrofoam ball. There's no handle, just clip it on the bucket and use the bucket's wire handle.

Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum. Note the additional contour lines on the front input port. The black part on the bottom has a styrofoam ball. There’s no handle, just clip it on the bucket and use the bucket’s wire handle.

One clamshell part fits nicely into the contour of the motor. This side also houses the power cord and switch, so I had to take this apart. The other side of the clamshell has no extra features.

Within the Unit
The unit is a wet/dry vac, so the motor is completely separate and away from the dust collection area. There is a styrofoam ball that might float and not allow water to get into the unit. The input and output ports are not really marked. There is sort of an extra outline on the top of the clamshell for the input port.

There’s nothing remarkable about this vacuum motor. It is small, it easily spins. The windings seem to be coated with epoxy. Air is sucked in from the top and pushed out the exhaust port. Though the outside of the unit was pretty dirty from drywall gypsum dust, the unit was near spotlessly clean. I was surprised. Most vacuums you open up are a health hazard.

Inside the unit is made of high quality but flexible plastic, something like ABS. The quality is pretty good. The motor, though small, seems sturdy enough. I saw nothing within the unit that looked weak or cheap. This unit should last, and is built to take apart and reassemble. All this for $40CAD, Made in Mexico.

How Well Does it Work?
I don’t have a Home Depot bucket yet, so cannot attest to its sucking power, but it blows quite hard on the output port. The unit is pretty noisy, so I’d recommend ear protection. You could use the unit as a blower by plugging the hose into the output port.

The hose is also quite short, 1.2m / 4ft, 1 1/4″ diameter. This can be extended if you wish. I guess the design is that you carry the unit using the bucket’s wire handle, so you only need an arms’ length length of hose.

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

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