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Vacuum Cleaner Troubleshooting How To Fix Common Issues


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Remember that time when you need a quick clean for your floors, but somehow your vacuum cleaner breaks and refuses to work? Things like that occur on the most inopportune occasions, like when your friends are coming over for a party or when you just spilled coffee all over the floor.

This article can't help you with those emergencies. But for other common problems that happen just as often, you can benefit from information laid out in it. Many issues don't require a repairman or a warranty request, as you may think. Just some observation, tools, and skill, and you will put your vacuum back into work quickly.

Read The Manual

Before you touch any parts of your vacuum and take them off with a screwdriver, always find the manual of your vacuum and go through it first. This valuable document contains important information and advice on how your vacuum works, how often you should maintain it, common issues you may encounter, and how to deal with them.

No other document can provide you with better and more accurate information about your vacuum. Different models use different designs, and blindly applying a recommendation for unrelated vacuums can do more harm than good to your machine. Failure to follow official instructions can also put you at risk of avoiding your vacuum's warranty, and most importantly, make the problem worse.

Reading everything in the manual first. It may be boring, but this information can come in handy and save you some pain later. Even advice and tips in this article are only general at best, while the documents accompanying your vacuum can offer more specific information.


Loss Of Suction

The most common culprit of your vacuum's loss of suction is a blockage in its airway, usually the hose.

If you think the hose is currently blocked, remove it from the main machine and shake it vigorously to see whether anything rattles or falls out. For any visible obstruction, look at both the ends of the hose. Use a flashlight if it's too dark, and push a small stick gently through the hose to find the blockage and push it out.

When your vacuum gets clogged often, remove all the detachable components like the wand, hose, extra tools, and cleaning head. Soak and wash them to get rid of any dirt buildup and blockages. You'll be surprised by how much dirt your vacuum has accumulated over time. Even if this doesn't solve your suction problem, a clean can still improve airflow and reduce the noise level.

Remember to follow specific instructions from the manufacturer of your vacuum, like this guide: How to clean a dyson filter - An easy step-by-step guide.

Clogged Filters

Filters are one of the parts you should keep an eye on and regularly clean to keep your vacuum in good condition and work smoothly. If you ignore it for too long, the filters can get clogged with dirt and reduce the vacuum's suction, making it less effective at picking up debris.

HEPA filters are usually an exception, and cleaning and washing may ruin them.

Refer to the manual of your vacuum, which usually says how often you should take off the filters and give them a clean. Write down this schedule into your calendar or your phone.

When you feel the suction has dropped massively, the filters should be one of the first places you should examine after the hose. Follow the instructions and take them off. Shake them to remove the dirt before you put the filters back into place.

Sometimes it's better to replace the filters altogether, particularly when they have been in use for a while. You can buy a replacement directly from the manufacturer or an authorized retailer.

Jammed Cleaning Head

It's normal for a cleaning head to get wrapped by mops of hair or lint if you have pets or carpets, especially if it has a rotating brush. Most models allow you to take this beater bar off for cleaning. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions, so you don't damage anything.

Pull out tangled threads or hair by hand if you can, or use a small knife or scissors to cut them away. Do it carefully, so you don't cut into the roller.

Clean the bristles and roller head, too, while you are at it. Use a small brush or a second vacuum to dust them off, then wash them under a tap. Let them air-dry completely before reinstalling them.

Some vacuums use a rubber belt to drive the brush roller in the cleaning head. It can slip off, break, or wear out and stop the roller from working. You can simply put it back in place or replace it with a new belt from the manufacturer - all easy tasks you can do at home without help from a professional.

If you run into troubles with hair often, consider buying the Best vacuum for long hair.

Short Battery Life

Stick vacuums usually rely on built-in batteries instead of wall outlets to operate, which leads to common issues: the vacuum runs out of power too quickly, or the suction drops significantly after just a few minutes.

In those cases, the root cause is usually the degradation of the batteries, which prevents them from holding power for a longer time. A new battery is the easiest solution. For cheap models, the cost of battery replacement might not be worth it. But if you own a high-end vacuum, a new battery can be the cheapest way to extend the lifespan of your expensive machine.

However, not all vacuums come with swappable batteries that users can easily take out. Read the manual to find out how to safely remove and replace the battery of your vacuum. Avoid third-party batteries, especially cheap knock-offs from unknown brands. They may save you some money now, but there are huge risks of using low-quality batteries that make them not worth the money.

On top of that, if your vacuum runs out of power and refuses to charge, you can have a look at our article, Dyson not charging: Common issues and fixes you can try at home.


Get Help From A Professional

Plenty of issues can be fixed all by yourself if you know how to look for the problem. But sometimes, your vacuum gets damaged beyond your knowledge and skills, or a DIY fix is simply not your thing. To save time and effort, you can always have a professional fix the issue for you, especially when it comes to complex problems like a faulty motor or unresponsive controls.


With some tools and guides, you can totally fix some issues happening to your vacuum. Remember to follow the instructions of your vacuum's manufacturer, and most importantly, carry out regular maintenance to avoid some issues in the first place.

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