How to Repair a Vacuum Cleaner

One of the things we use every week to clean our home is a vacuum cleaner. This useful tool comes in many shapes, but all of them are equally useful when you need to pick up dirt and grime from various surfaces. If you like to use a canister vacuum, almost all manufacturers will have their best model to offer you. Same goes for other vacuum types. But what to do when it stops working as it should? In this article, we are tackling how to repair a vacuum cleaner.

Repairing Vacuum Suction

When it comes to fixing your vacuum suction, there are several steps you can follow. These steps work whether you have a Shark vacuum or a Dyson vacuum, so you can try them before you contact customer service. Ultimately, almost every brand out there has a number you can dial when you have a problem and they will help with troubleshooting. But try to do it yourself first.

Locating the Problem

When the suction weakens, the first thing you need to do is find out where and what the problem is. By taking off the hose, extension wand and other tools, you will be able to do this. Take them off and put your hand on the inlet. If the suction is still weak, then the problem is internal, somewhere inside the vacuum. If it is strong like it should be, then the problem lies within the hose and the tools.

Clogged Hose and Tools

If the suction on the inlet is strong, that usually means there is first build-up inside of the hose or other tools you use. So, take a long thin stick or a metal wire and try picking out all the dirt there is left inside. Spread out the entire hose and put one end towards the light. At the other end, you should try and see whether there is a visible clog in the hose, so you know where to “hunt” for it. Same goes with the extension wand and tools. If you have any tools that are visibly entangled in hair and there is dust accumulated on them, chances are this is the issue you need to fix.

Dirt Build-Up Inside the Vacuum

If you put your hand on the inlet and the suction is still weak, then there are few things you can do. First, you need to check the bag or the dirt container. If they are almost full, this can prevent the air from flowing, thus making the suction power weak. Simply changing the bag, or emptying the dirt container should fix the issue.

Next, if this does not work, you need to start disassembling the vacuum. You need to clean it thoroughly inside and free it from all the dust and dirt that will inevitably accumulate. If your upright vacuum is fully sealed, then chances are less that this will happen. Still, make sure there is no dirt inside the vacuum.

Finally, you need to check the filters. One of the most frequent issues with suction stem from dirty filters. If you see dust and dirt clogging them, you need to check the instruction manual to see whether you have washable filters, or you need to buy a replacement. If the former is the case, take out the filters, put them under water until it runs clear and leave them for 24 hours to air dry.

The user manual will instruct you on how to properly take out, wash and put the filters back into your vacuum. If you use a handheld vacuum, this process may look a bit different, so here is a video illustrating that:

Repairing Vacuum That Won’t Turn On

Sometimes, it can happen that the vacuum will not turn on. Most of the times you can easily fix the issue, but rarely, you will need to get your vacuum professionally taken care of. But we will look at these times when you can do the troubleshooting.

You should follow all the steps we recommended above when the suction is weak. Why? Well, there is a possibility that a clog or accumulated dirt are in the way of the airflow, and the vacuum is overheating. If you used your vacuum in the last two hours, and now it does not work, chances are it overheated. Most vacuums have a built-in protection system which does not allow the motor to turn on when it is too hot. So, make sure there are no clogs and leave the vacuum to cool for at least two hours.

However, if you have not used the vacuum, and it still does not want to turn on, maybe there is a different problem. First, check the cord for damage. A damaged cord may not want to conduct electricity to the vacuum. If this is the case, you need to replace the cord so the vacuum would work. Another problem could be in the power outlet you are using. Check whether other home appliances work when plugged into that specific power outlet. A loose outlet also may not provide enough electricity to power a vacuum motor, so make sure it works perfectly.

Finally, there may be a problem with a motor. If you try everything else we recommended, you need to assume the motor is the cause of the issue. The best thing to do is call customer service so they would provide you with assistance.

Final Thoughts

When an issue with your vacuum arises, it usually has to do with suction, or the vacuum not wanting to turn on at all. As you can see, these problems may not be as serious as you would think. By following these troubleshooting steps, you will be able to fix these issues in most cases. However, do not push it. If you see that nothing is working, maybe it is time to call the brand’s customer service. They will surely be able to help you solve any problem.