Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn and Hard Surface Vacuum

LB352 “Little Billy” Lawn VacuumHaving problems with your Billy Goat vacuum? Want to learn some ways to make it easier to use? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Billy Goat’s lawn and debris vacuums.

What’s the Difference Between a Lawn Vacuum and a Hard Surface Vacuum?

Most of the difference comes down to nozzle height. A lawn vacuum keeps the nozzle high to pass over grass while vacuuming leaves. A hard surface vacuum can get close to the ground to collect fine dust. The MV multi-surface vacuum can do both thanks to its wide nozzle height range.

Lawn vacs are designed primarily for maximum flow rate and large debris, while hard-surface vacuums focus on removing fine particles. At the extreme end of the spectrum, the QV Quietvac’s dual-stage filtration system traps microscopic dust, just like your home vacuum.

How Much Can My Vacuum Bag Hold?

If you’ve used your vacuum a few times, you probably know that it slows down if you try to fill the bag completely. The bag has small pores that let out the air drawn in by the impeller, while capturing dust and debris. Covering these pores restricts airflow, reducing suction power and putting a strain on the engine. For the best performance, you should empty the bag when it’s about half full.

Moisture is also a factor. Wet leaves weigh 35-40% more than dry leaves, so you’ll need to empty the bag more frequently to keep from overloading it.

How Do I Clean the Bag?

Give the bag a quick rinse with a hose after each day of use to remove heavy dirt build-up. Let the bag dry completely before using it.

Eventually, fine dirt will build up in the fabric, reducing airflow. When this happens, wash the bag with water and a mild detergent, then rinse it off. Using a pressure washer may seem faster, but it will damage the fabric.

If you’re using a felt bag to capture fine dust, you will need to clean the fabric more frequently.

Commercial users should have a couple of spare bags on hand. That way you’ll always have a fresh bag on hand while the other bags are drying.

Why Does My Vacuum Run Worse with a New Bag?

The new fabric is stiff, and the pores haven’t opened up yet. When you get a new bag for your vacuum, you should break it in. Attach the bag, start the engine, and open the throttle half-way. Let the vacuum run for a half hour. The air pressure will stretch the fabric, helping it breathe better.

Billy Goat recommends using the same break-in procedure after washing a bag with detergent.

Why is the Performance Bad Despite having a Clean Bag?

Check the nozzle height. It should be about an inch above the surface being cleaned. This helps the impeller draw in air with the dust and debris. Be sure you’re doing the same if you’re using the hose: keeping the nozzle above debris will clear them faster.

Why is Concrete Dust Dangerous? How Can I Remove it Safely?

Breathing in concrete dust causes silica poisoning. The fine silica powder left over from drilling concrete has microscopic edges that cut through lung tissue. When the body repairs these cuts, it leaves behind scar tissue, reducing lung capacity. Over time, this can have a major impact on cardiovascular health. Workers who experience heavy exposure can be disabled in as little as two years.

Used correctly, the QV Quietvac removes concrete dust safely. The vortex chamber and bag captures most of the dust. From there, the dust sock removes particles as small as 0.1 microns. However, it’s only effective when removing dry material.

The dust sock is delicate, so extra care needs to be taken during use and cleaning. If you need to vacuum wet material, remove the sock. When you need to clean the sock, shake it gently, then use compressed air to flush out any trapped particles. Keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the sock to prevent the air pressure from tearing the fabric.

Where Can I Get Bags and Other Parts for My Billy Goat Vacuum?

You can get everything you need for your lawn or hard surface vacuum at We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat, Honda Engines and Briggs & Stratton, so we carry replacements for everything on your equipment. Our site has a section just for vacuum bags, and you can use our search system to see parts diagrams and descriptions for your model. We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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