When a Big Brute Wet & Dry Isn’t The Right Big Brute For You

July 16, 2021

When a customer firsts approaches us about a their cleaning problem, the first question we ask is “What do you want to suck up?”

Most of our customers are dealing just with dry waste – dust, grit, stones etc. Some are dealing just with liquid waste, such as oil and cutting fluids. And some are somewhere in that middle ground, wanting to suck up both dry waste and liquids.

You might think the Big Brute Wet & Dry is the obvious choice, but often it’s really not.

What? Why?

The Big Brute magic lies in its 3-motor power unit. These 3 motors provide all the airflow that gives the Big Brute its famous suction power.

Power units that can handle liquid waste have different motors from those just for dry waste. And the difference lies in the way the motors are cooled.

The Big Brute’s motors generate a lot of heat while they’re working, so it’s important to keep them cooled.

Dry waste motors suck up air and dust at the nozzle which passes up the hose, through the filters (where all the muck and rubbish is trapped) and up into the power unit. It then passes through the motors, cooling them, before exiting through the vents in the side of the power unit. This is all fine as the filters trap all the dust and stop it getting into your motors.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

Motors that suck up liquids have a different design. Water and electricity really don’t mix so it’s important to make sure that any liquids sucked up can’t ever come into contact with the motors. The air sucked up by the Wet & Dry Big Brute, which might contain water, doesn’t pass through the motors but vents out into the air. The air that cools the motors is sucked in through the vents in the side of the power unit before passing through the motors. Because this air hasn’t been sucked up through the nozzle, it won’t contain any liquids and is safe to pass through the motors.

Damp, incoming air has to be kept away from the motor windings; cool air coming in to cool the motors has to be kept separate from the hot air that’s already cooled the motors. It’s a lot of extra engineering to keep all these separate.

The more complicated design means that the Wet & Dry motors are more expensive. Which adds to the cost of your Big Brute Wet & Dry.

Coupled with the extra features of a Big Brute Wet & Dry, such as such as the drainage valve on the drum, the internal float valve that prevents overfilling, and the hose with its superior chemical resistance, the Big Brute Wet & Dry starts to become much more of an investment.

So if a customer says they want to suck up liquid waste, as well as dry waste, our next question is always: “How much liquid waste?”

To which most of our customers say “only a bit”.

In which case, step away from the Big Brute Wet & Dry. If it’s only used very occasionally for sucking up liquids, it doesn’t usually warrant the extra cost.

But I still need to suck up liquids!

What we recommend in these cases is to buy a Big Brute dry only model, such as the Big Brute Popular or Big Brute Warehouseman, for doing the bulk of the cleaning.

And for those few occasions where you absolutely have to suck up liquids, buy another small, commercial wet & dry vacuum cleaner – not a Big Brute. The combined cost of the two is usually far less than a Big Brute Wet & Dry.

Luckily, we can supply both!

So if you’re leaning towards a Big Brute Wet & Dry, think if the time it’s going to spend sucking up liquids really justifies the the extra cost.

And if you want any further help or advice, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help out.

Big Brute Wet & Dry Cleaning Up Wet Floors