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Flow Performance
LLC
High performance, low cost air flow metering products
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Shop Vacuums for Flow Performance Basic 2.0 System
Powerful
The Flow Performance Basic 2.0 System flow bench kit is a great way to get started with a professional precision computerized flow bench, and a good shop vacuum is an inexpensive and simple way to power it.

While a high powered air source can be built for flow testing at sustained regulated test pressures, a shop vacuum can provide very effective flow testing data which can be surprisingly comparable. Many of our customers, even professionals, find a powerful shop vacuum is adequate for their work and are very pleased with their results. The sensitivity and accuracy of the Flow Performance FP1 electronic processor and the patented FE2.0 flow element, along with the ability of the FP1 to effectively estimate flow rates to a higher test pressure in real time, make this possible. Click here fro more info on flow data scaling

When looking for a shop vacuum for your flow bench, make sure it will include:
  • Ports for 2" (60mm) hose for higher power shop vacuums
  • Blower port
Automotive engine parts are usually flow tested at 28"wc test pressure. Even though the Flow Performance FP1 can estimate flow rates from a lower test pressure to flow rates at 28"wc or higher, you want to flow test as close to 28"wc as possible. More powerful shop vacuums will allow you to test at higher test pressures than a lower power shop vacuum. This is why you want a powerful shop vacuum, so that you will be able to test as close to 28"wc test pressure as possible.

Many higher priced shop vacuums will offer features that are not required for flow bench duty, such as stainless steel canister, extra quiet, or built-in water pumps for draining water from canister.
If your higher power shop vacuum is packaged with 1.5" hose (32mm) , try to see that you will be able to buy 2" (60mm) hose from your shop vacuum dealer. Larger size hoses may not improve performance of lower power shop vacuums.

These two models feature a detachable blower which is quite powerful. The detached blower can provide even more power when detached from the vacuum. The blower unit is the same on each brand of shop vacuum.

Ridgid model WD1665 sold by Home Depot
Craftsman model 17066 sold by Sears, Orchard Supply Hardware and KMart
On a special fixture made to hold a detached blower connected to a Flow Performance Basic 2.0 System flow bench we were able to pull the following flow rates at standard air conditions (your results may vary)

145 real cfm at 28"wc
210 real cfm at 10"wc
Convenient
These two wall-mount models are very convenient for powering a Flow Performance Basic 2.0 System flow bench because of their size and the locations of the inlet and blower ports. Their small compact size makes them easy to fit into space-limited areas, and the inlet/blower ports being located close to each other on the front of the vacuum make it easy to change air flow direction. Rated a 5 HP each, they also have enough power to do a good job powering a Basic 2.0 flow bench.
Ridgid model WD-5500 sold by Home Depot
Craftsman model 17925 sold by Sears, Orchard Supply Hardware and KMart.
These models have 2" ports, but are packaged with 1.5" hose. You will need to buy a 2" hose for these models for best performance for your flow bench.
Both models above show a muffler attached to the blower port. You simply pull the muffler off to insert your hose into the blower port.
International services for Shop-Vac brand
Shop-Vac International
Low Cost
Capable of testing items that typically flow less than 200 CFM @ 28"wc
At 2.5 HP, this little model often sells for less than $40.00 USD. Packaged with smaller size hose, using larger diameter hose on this model does not increase air flow on a Basic 2.0 flow bench.
Craftsman model 17965
Sold by Sears, Orchard Supply Hardware and KMart

International
Karcher Vacuums

Comes with small 32mm diameter hose, but larger diameter hose is available.
Shop Vac Ultra 45
Comes with smaller 32mm diameter hose, but larger diameter hose available. Another model, the Ultra Pump Vac 45 comes with 60mm hose.
Comes with smaller 32mm diameter hose, but larger diameter hose available.
Flow Performance cannot export shop vacuums.
We have not tested these models, but their specs look good for a Flow Performance Basic 2.0 flow bench. They include blower ports, and large diameter hose is available.
Shop-Vac Hang On
Much smaller, quieter and our testing on a Basic 2.0 flow bench showed more air flow than the Craftsman counterpart despite the smaller diameter hose. Larger hose not available for this model. Rated at 2.5 HP and sells for $29.00 at Lowe's