How To Fix A Vacuum Cleaner with no Suction?: Reasons With Complete Solution

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Have you ever experienced the loss of suction in your vacuum cleaner when doing chores? Vacuum cleaning needs effort, and something like losing the suction can lengthen the process. Ever wonder why this happens?

Not to mention, the primary reason many users dispose of their vacuum cleaners is when the suction fails to work correctly.

However, before throwing away your vacuum, why not check for the causes of it losing suction? To help you out, we will walk you through the reasons and the process of how to fix a vacuum cleaner with no suction in this article.

So, without further ado, let’s move on!

Reasons Why A Vacuum Cleaner Lose Suction

1. Problem With The Airflow

This is one of the most common factors as to why vacuum cleaners lose suction. Airflow is essential for picking up dirt, and if an obstruction is stuck in the hose, it will disrupt the airflow, lessening the suction. The airflow works up from the hose’s tip in a canister vacuum cleaner and from the hole in the bottom of an upright cleaner.

If hairs or strings get attached to the tube, it can interfere with the airflow, and these types of obstacles can be hard to find. The disturbance in the airflow will cause a drop in suction power. As a result, the suction will not operate at its maximum capacity.

However, hindrances leading to the bag or canister are not the only airflow issue. Any hole, crack, or breakage can lower the suction. Even a small hole will let the air out, stopping the suction from running at its highest power.  

2. Dirty Pre-Motor And Exhaust Filters

The latest vacuums have two filters to ensure better performance. One keeps dirt from getting into the motor (Pre-motor filter) and another (exhaust filter) prevents them from getting out when air passes through the filter.

The filter comprises a cluster of small holes in a cloth, paper, or soft plastic surface which enables air to be strained through, and at the same time prevent the dust scraps from passing. If dust particles clog either of these two filters, it will impede air from flowing, causing the suction to decline.

3. Holes In The Bag

Suction is primarily produced by a fan motor on the machine that causes a pressure drop. This pressure drop generates the suction that we sense when putting a hand to the back of the vacuum cleaner or on the hose extensions. If the vacuum isn’t picking up dirt, you can check fora suction loss by touching the back of your vacuum cleaner.

If you are using a bagged vacuum cleaner, the most likely reason for the suction loss is ripping in the bag. The bag is used to store all of the dirt collected after pulling them in. If there is a tear, it will affect the air that propels the dust into the bag, and the suction won’t be as powerful as it is supposed to be.

4. The Rotating Brush Stopped Spinning.

The vacuum tube has a rotating brush fixed to it. This brush is made of a plastic tube with bristles around it to pull dirt efficiently. The dust particles are broken into tiny pieces and propelled directly from the brush to the vacuum canister or bag. If the vacuum is switched on but not picking anything up, it could be due to the brush roller rotating poorly.

Moreover, things like hair, strings, etc. can get trapped around the roller and prevent it from turning. For some model, a belt that helps to rotate the brush can be broken. If the roller is not working correctly, it will result in a significant loss of suction.

5. Floor Setting

The height of the vacuum cleaner can be adjusted to a higher and lower setting. This eases the process of grabbing the dirt up from different types of the floor. There are various settings for bare floors, short or medium carpet, and the highest setting for plush carpets.

Carpets can cause significant difficulty as there is no fixed thickness for them. Even if it is not directly associated with a substantial loss of suction, it does relate to a drop of it.

6. Bag or Canister is Overflowing

If the vacuum cleaner is not sticking up dirt or frequently stopping, there might be excess dirt deposited in the canister. If the storage area where the trash is collected gets full, there will be a drop in the machine’s maximum capacity, and the suction will not be strong enough either.

If the vacuum cleaners and other household devices are adequately maintained, it will undoubtedly help secure their functioning to the best of ability.

7. Motor Power is Lessened

The suction motor’s power is one of the essential features for a vacuum cleaner’s cleaning process. This motor uses the electrical power from the power source and transforms it into mechanical energy of suction adding the airflow. If the power is lessened or the motor stopped working, the vacuum will lose this capacity.

A faulty motor can cause a clicking sound. It could generate exhaust fumes. Apart from this, you may have to switch on the machine several times to start the motor as well.  All of this might mean that the motor is linked to the problem. Needless to say, a damaged motor ends up damaging the suction of your vacuum cleaner significantly.

Additionally, focus should be given on the rotating fan blades set attached to the motor axle. The motor uses these fans to gain more suction. When dirt is sucked into the bag or canister, they pass through the blades.

If you feel a vibration when cleaning, this may signal that the fan blades are broken or cannot spin. A broken fan is also responsible to reduce the suction and can make you feel irritated working with the machine.

Fixing A Vacuum Cleaner That Has Lost Its Suction

1. Ensuring Good Airflow

If your vacuum cleaner has lost suction or stopped working entirely, several things can be done at home. Have a thorough inspection of the vacuum cleaner hose for any possible obstructions.

Pieces of torn clothes, bundles of hair, fur, or debris such as bottle lids may have been involuntarily sucked up and got stuck somewhere in the path reaching the canister or bag.

Use a flashlight and examine the inside of the tube. Separate it from the floor head and vacuum body to help you analyze the hose easily. You can also use a broom/stick to put into the hose and then push the obstructions into the bag or the canister.

If the vacuum’s hose is cracked, damaged, or has a hole, the machine will surely lose suction. Detecting a tear can be tricky. If your hose can suck water, use it to absorb soapy water, and then reverse the suction. This way, bubbles will form at the point of the holes. Alternatively, you can simply cover the entire hose in a layer of duct tape.

2. Clean The Filters

Make a habit of cleaning the motor filter and allergen/HEPA filter frequently, at least once a month. The filters are generally washable. For recommended washing methods, and to locate these two filters make sure to check your manufactures manual.

In terms of filters that can be cleaned, there are three common types. The self-cleaning filters do not need to be washed with water. You can simply twist the dial and it will automatically shake the dirt off the filter.

Then there are washable filters. You can remove these filters and put them under a faucet. Alternatively, you can machine wash if allowed by the manufacturer. After cleaning, the filters must be dried entirely for at least twenty-four hours before inserted into the machine.

Replaceable filter sare those that can’t be washed and need to be replaced regularly to keep your cleaner’s performance at the highest.

3. Replace Your Bag

Finding holes or crack in the bag can be challenging. As said before, if air gets out of the bag, it will reduce the suction. You can fill the bag with water and check if there is a hole in it. Even if you cannot find tears in your container, it will be wise to replace it at least once in a year for your machine’s better performance. If replacing your bag does not help to improve the suction, the problem could be elsewhere.

4. Clean The Rotating Brush or Floor Head of The Vacuum Cleaner

The main reason for the brush stops spinning is the pieces of debris stuck in it. Your hairs, strings, scraps of cloths, etc. may get tangled up and prevent it from rotating. If you have pets or long-haired people in your house, clean the roller regularly.

Cleaning the brush frequently will limit damages to its bristles. Carefully tug the hair out of the strands. If you have a removable brush, take it out and remove the hair with clippers; make sure you aren’t damaging the bristles.

Sometimes, vacuum cleaners do not have a brush roller; you can examine your floor head for trapped hair, fluff, and dust in this case.

If the floor head gets covered, the air path may get blocked and this will lessen the suction. Therefore check and extract the debris from the head to clear the airflow. You can wear latex gloves if you do not want to get your hand dirty.

It is worth checking if the vacuum has a detachable brush before purchasing it. If your belt is damaged, you can restore it. The good thing is replacing the vacuum belt is relatively easy. Order a replaceable belt from your supplier, and you can install it yourself. 

5. Adjust Your Floor Setting

Adjust the floor setting on the machine according to the surface you are vacuuming. For example, when cleaning a moderately thick carpet keeps the setting at a medium level.

The vacuum must secure good contact with the floor for airflow. The correct floor setting will help you improve the suction to some extent.

6. Regularly Take The Trash Out of The Bag or Canister.

Empty the bag or canister after using the vacuum cleaner, specifically when the container capacity is small. According to a study, it is found that a full bag or canister can lower your suction by 30%.

Even when you are cleaning, keep an eye on the maximum fill level of the canister. It will help you remove the dust before it is fully loaded. To avoid continually emptying your bag, choose a vacuum cleaner with the highest capacity of trash storage. This will surely enhance your suction power.

7. Replacing Suction Motors

You can easily replace the motor if it shows a sign of damage. However, if the motor gives out smoke, it means it is completely damaged, and in this case, buying a new vacuum cleaner will be necessary.

Final Words

Like any other machine, it is reasonable to have some issues throughout the use of a vacuum cleaner. Be mindful of the maintenance of the machine and you can ensure a longer life out of it.

A loss of suction is a repairable problem, and hopefully, by reading this article you can now figure out what is wrong with your vacuum cleaner. I also believe the above steps have helped you understand how to fix a vacuum cleaner with no suction.

However, in case you aren’t confident, don’t hesitate to contact the service centers to diagnose your problem.


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