The most common dust collector maintenance area missed by dental labs is the replacement of filter bags on a routine basis. The dust collector filter bags in the Vaniman Vanguard series and the SandVac collect the material sucked up at the workstation. They also allow sufficient cooling of the motor.
There are three compelling reasons for establishing a routine filter bag maintenance schedule.
The first reason is the obvious one: overflow of dust. When your machine extracts dust, that dust has to go somewhere. If you’re not responsible with filter replacement, you can get into a lot of trouble…
The second reason is when a filter bag is full, there will be a reduction of suction at the workstation, resulting in an increasingly dusty work area. It’s important to keep in mind that fine dust material such as die stone and porcelain will accelerate the need for inspection—and replacement.
The third and least-understood reason for setting up a routine maintenance schedule is the detrimental effect that the lack of adequate airflow has on the life of the motor.
If the filter is full of dust and debris, the airflow through the filter and the motor decreases. This causes the motor to run hotter than normal, which can shorten motor life…significantly.
Vaniman’s filter bags (Part Number VMC–A400) are made with a synthetic fiber that captures 95% of all dust down to 1 micron. The unique design traps the particles, filling the bag from the bottom up. The bag is considered “full” when the collected material fills about half of the bag. The bags were designed this way to ensure there will be enough air-flow through the motor at all times.
It’s important to use genuine Vaniman filter bags in your Vaniman dust collector. Our bags use superior filter materials and fitment, keeping units running strong for many years. Non-Vaniman filter bags may not be designed for these units, and may potentially fail. (Note: failure caused by non-Vaniman filter bags does void the warranty, so watch out!)
So take a look at your filter bags if you’ve got a Vanguard model or a SandVac. If those bags need to be replaced, then go ahead and replace them! Contact your dealer if you need more bags, or find them on the Vaniman website.
General filter replacement schedule information can be found here: Filter Replacement Information
How to replace a Vaniman filter bag
Removing the bag
Remove the two thumb nuts on the side of the dust collector (Figure 1) and remove the cover which will expose the filter (Figure 2). Remove the old filter bag.
Important: after removing the old filter bag, inspect the filter cavity. If dust is present, the filter bag may have been torn when installed, or the seal around the inlet tube was not tight. Vacuum out any dust before inserting the new filter bag.
Installing the new filter bag
While facing the exposed filter housing, slip the cardboard reinforcement with the rubber seal over the end of the inlet tube.
Tilt the edge of the cardboard closest to you downward (Figure 3) and slip the back edge up past the end of the tube. Then rotate the front edge upward over the tube end (Figure 4).
Look into the top of the inlet tube to make sure that the black rubber seal is completely seated (Figure 5). You should not be able to see any part of the seal from this view; if you do, continue to tilt and rotate the cardboard until the seal surrounds the tube fully and is no longer visible.
Carefully tuck the edges of the filter bag into the filter cavity (Figure 6) and replace the cover, gently tightening the thumb nuts.
Looking for the old video? The process is the same. See the video here: How to Replace a Dust Collector’s Filter Bag
Using an Accumulator
One more thing: we almost always recommend a pre-filter cyclone Accumulator to go with whatever dust collector you have (if your model doesn’t come with one by default). Depending on your material, these accessories separate between 95-99% of fine particulates from the air before they get to your unit’s filters. They can save you tons of money in the long run, both by reducing the number of filter bags you’ll go through, but also by extending your unit’s motor life.