iVac contacted me a few months ago about automating my blast gates and dust collector. I gave it some thought and there were two reasons I jumped in. First, I’m kind of an IOT (Internet of Things) geek. My house has well-automated for security, safety, and convenience. I even have my mom enjoying a wifi-enabled coffee maker! So the idea of bringing some level of automation to my shop was quite appealing. The second reason is one of safety. After running a ducted system in my shop for over 11 years, I know that I don’t always open/close the blast gates optimally. Of course I open the blast gate of any tool I’m using but I rarely run around and close all of the other blast gates in the system. This can decrease the air flow at the current tool and sacrifice collection. A dust collection system that not only turns on and off automatically but also opens and closes my blast gates automatically is pretty much a dream come true.
This video serves as a quick overview of how I installed the iVac system in my shop and is not intended as a replacement for the instructions provided by the company. Below are some links to the products shown in the video.
Plain English Disclosure: iVac provided the materials for the installation and paid for this video feature. They did not pay for my opinion. So if you have a question or concern about the sytsem, please feel free to ask.
This video was filmed over a month ago and I’ve had some additional time to get to know the system in my shop. So far, so good. I’ve had one instance of a blast gate not opening when it was supposed to and it was just a matter of pushing on the movable metal plate to get it working again. Also, my “heads up” in the video about the cords and power requirements still stands. If you cluster your tools like I do, you’ll need to plan for the additional receptacles and cord management. Overall, I’m happy with the system and it’s great not having to hunt around for a remote anymore! The biggest challenge with this system is the price. If you’re looking for basic automation, the simple iVac Automated Vacuum Switch is probably a good bet. But if you’re planning on outfitting a full ducted shop, it’s going to be a sizable investment.