Whether you have an old-fashioned bag vacuum, or a newer model, we can all agree that the vacuum is one of the most efficient home cleaning appliances today. But just like your car, after some mileage your vacuum might require a bit of maintenance. 


Let’s investigate some of the most common vacuum cleaner problems and how to fix your vacuum yourself.

Won’t Turn On

First things first, if it has a cord check to ensure it’s actually plugged in. If it wasn’t, don’t worry, this happens to the best of us. 


If it is plugged in and still won’t turn on, it could be because the outlet you're using isn’t working or the outlet itself isn’t switched on. If your vacuum is receiving power, but the motor won’t run then the problem lies with the motor itself. 


Check the motor shaft and look to see that it can turn freely without obstruction. If the motor is powered on, turning freely yet still not running you will most likely need to visit a professional. This is because you might have a deeper issue involving its battery or engine that can’t be easily fixed without the proper expertise. 

Vacuum Not Sucking

Loss of suction is the number one issue homeowners face with their vacuum cleaners. It can also be one of the most frustrating, going over the same piece of dirt over and over again only for it to not get sucked up.


If you have a vacuum model that features a large bag, check and make sure that the bag is not full or that it doesn’t have a hole in it. You can also take a look on the inside of the compartment which holds the bag to confirm that dust and debris is not collecting outside of the bag. If you do find dirt outside of the bag, this can be an indication that it has a hole in it. Otherwise, if your bag is full, empty it out and then check to see if the suction has been restored. 


If you have a bagless vacuum, then look to see that your container isn’t full. Double check the seals on your container to verify that they are not damaged or dried out which indicate they need to be replaced.


Next, check all of the filters in your vacuum. If they can be washed, remove and rinse them out with just water. Run them under water until the water runs clear. Never use any cleaners or chemicals on your filter and be sure to completely dry them out before replacing them in your vacuum.


If your vacuum runs using a HEPA filter, you will need to purchase a replacement.


You can also check your height settings on your vacuum. If your vacuum’s height setting is too high for the type of floor that you’re vacuuming on it won’t do the best job. Be sure to use the setting that matches the floor type.


If you’ve done all of the above and nothing seems to work, then the last thing you can do is check your hose for clogs. Most of the time, your hose will need to be fully removed so you can check. Be sure to check the condition of the hose as you inspect it for clogs. If you see dirt and dust buildup on the outside of the hose you have a hole and you’ll need to get it repaired. 

Dirt Trail

If you find that your vacuum is leaving an annoying dirt trail as you clean, this means that even though your vacuum is producing some suction, it’s not doing its best. Again, a full bag or canister could be the culprit in this situation.


If not, then check on your roller brush. If it’s full of lint and hair and no bristles are anywhere to be seen, it’s not going to do a great job at sweeping up the debris. If you find out that it’s not a brush problem, then the next part to check will be your vacuum belt. 


Your vacuum belt can be stretched out or broken, and they also tend to fall off once in a while. You can look up some vacuum belt resources online, or you can visit a professional to get it fixed.

Vacuum Won’t Stay On

If your vacuum is continuously shutting off during use then you might be suffering from overheating. Most vacuums have a high-temperature sensor that shuts off the motor to prevent it from burning out. This sensor can also get triggered if the intake hose becomes clogged or the vacuum height setting is too low for the surface being vacuumed. 


In any case, try unplugging your vacuum for a little while to let it cool down before attempting to use it again. If it still dies out, you might need to replace a thermal fuse. You can buy a replacement at your local vacuum store and get some help with replacing it. 

Strange Smell

If your vacuum cleaner starts to emit a bad odor everytime you turn it on, that’s probably not ideal. Once again, check the bag and if it’s full then empty it. Next, check your air and exhaust filters and give them a clean or replace them.


If your vacuum is still producing a strange smell after you’ve done these things, then take it to a professional. 

Vacuum is Very Noisy

While vacuums are known to produce some noise, there are limits. When your vacuum is making extra noise, this could indicate a deeper issue. 


Check your hose for any obstructions. Sometimes when debris or objects can’t make it all the way through it can cause some weird sounds. It can also be an issue with your belt. When your vacuum belt is not properly attached it can also make some loud, annoying noises.


If it’s neither of those things, then the next likely culprit is a failing motor. Motors usually start to make some extra noise just before they give out. If you think this is what’s happening, contact your local vacuum store. 

Battery Not Holding a Charge

Just like any other rechargeable battery, vacuum batteries can lose their ability to hold power as they age. This is mostly a problem for older vacuums that need a battery replacement. 


On the other hand, if you own a newer vacuum, the battery might lie in the charger or the outlet plug you are using.

Vacuum Cleaner Market is Your Vacuum Expert

If you can’t easily diagnose and fix your vacuum troubles, contact our team of vacuum cleaner experts here. Or, if you are looking to replace your broken vacuum, take a look at our extensive collection by need, type or brand.