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How to Fix a Vacuum Cleaner with No Suction

Published by: Katherine Frame

How to Fix a Vacuum Cleaner with No Suction

If the vacuum cleaner in your home has lost its suction capacity, has stopped sucking all the dirt, or has stopped working, then we are here with a few easy things that can be done by you at home to revive it. 

Whether it is overflowing dustbin, clogged filters, a tangled brush bar, clogged filters, or blocked airways are the most common causes when vacuum cleaners lose suction.

Fixing these issues will significantly increase the cleaning capacity of your vacuum. If your vacuum cleaner has lost suction, this guide will show you how you can fix a vacuum cleaner with no suction power.

What causes a vacuum cleaner to lose suction? 

A vacuum cleaner uses suction provided by a fan motor to pull dirt through a chamber or hose and deposit it in a bag or a cup. A revolving brush or a beater bar at the end of a nozzle on certain vacuum cleaners helps agitate and sweep debris into the suction chamber. 

Vacuum cleaner filtration system (Source)

For a vacuum cleaner to stay 100 per cent usable, all of these areas must be free of obstructions and functioning properly, or you will eventually lose suction.

How to Fix a Vacuum Cleaner with No Suction Capacity 

Here are some of the ways you can apply to fix your vacuum cleaner…

1. Replace the Bag 

The vacuum cleaner bag is the first place to look. There may be a lack of suction when a bag is complete or if it has been ripped or torn. Even if the bag appears to be in good condition, if there is still a suction failure, replace it with a new one. This way, you’ll be certain that the bag isn’t the issue.

Bagless vacuums

Empty it after each use, especially if it has a dust capacity of less than a litre (common on wireless vacuums). 

Check the canister for the max fill line; you’ll most likely be shocked to find it just a third of the way up. So, if your vacuum’s dust container appears to be nearly complete, it’s almost definitely time to empty it. 

Bagged vacuums

Since the cost of replacement bags will add up quickly, you’ll want to make the most of each dust bag on a bagged model. However, if your suction is diminishing, check the bag. If it’s complete, replacing it with a new one will help quickly restore suction.

2. Rectify the height setting

It’s possible that your height setting is incorrect. If the height level on your vacuum is too high for the floor you’re trying to vacuum, it won’t do a good job.

For tile or wood, use the bare floor setting and change upwards as required. With a hardwood floor, a deep carpet setting won’t help much.

3. Clear the filters 

The majority of modern vacuum cleaners have two filters. There might be a dust filter and a motor filter. The motor filter is normally located near the back of the machine, near where the vacuum exhaust is released, while the allergen filter is normally located near the dust container or bag.


They could have a plastic frame around a sheet of material or a box-like container containing a sponge-type high-efficiency particulate air filter. Many filters are washable and can be reinserted after they have dried. They must be replaced if they are affected.

Since the location and the cleaning process of the filters varies by model, you may need to consult your manual for instructions. 

The following are examples of different types of vacuum cleaner filters:

  • Self-cleaning: These filters usually require only a simple twist of a dial to shake the dirt out. 
  • Washable: Remove the filters and wash them under the tap, or the machine washes them if the manufacturer allows it. Before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner, let it air dry for at least 24 hours or until fully dry.
  • Replaceable: Some filters are required to be replaced regularly to keep your machine running smoothly.

4. Airflow Obstructions in the Vacuum

In a canister vacuum cleaner, the vacuum airflow starts at the hose’s top, while in an upright vacuum cleaner, it starts at the opening in the base. A hose can be stretched to its maximum length and a broom handle can be inserted into it. Any obstacle would be driven all the way through by the handle. 

Examine the hose from beginning to end. A vacuum can lose suction if it has a crack, void, or kink in it. The hose must be replaced if it has been compromised in this way. Turn an upright vacuum cleaner upside down to examine the opening that leads up into the vacuum’s frame. 

Check for paper or hair jams that may be obstructing the suction. Remove the spinning brush from the upright to gain more access to the opening. Check the links between the vacuum and the hose as well. The vacuum airflow would be affected by a poor or loose link, resulting in a lack of suction.

5. The motor 

The vacuum will lose suction if the motor fails. A bad motor can make odd noises, smoke, or run in fits and starts. Motors are usually not DIY projects, and if the motor fails, the vacuum must be replaced. The motor of some bag vacuums, on the other hand, achieves suction by spinning a plastic fan blade. 

The motor axle is directly connected to the fan blade. Dirt and debris are forced into the bag as they move through the blades. The motor can vibrate or run off-key if any of these blades are damaged, resulting in a loss of suction. If this is the case, replace the fan blade.

6. Clogged roller

If the bag and hoses seem to be in good working order, the final move is to turn the vacuum over to inspect the roller. If your carpet’s yarn or hair is wrapped around the roller, then it will not be possible for it to brush or turn through it, and it will struggle badly in terms of picking the dirt. 

In case you notice that the roller on your carpet is clogged and furry-looking, a sharp pair of scissors will easily repair it. Snip through the hair and gunk a little at a time, beginning at one end of the roller.

Since you’ll get rid of all of the mess in the form of tiny bits, start taking it away from you and throwing it right into the dustbin as you go. When you’re done, turn the vacuum over and see if it works better.


These basic maintenance tips could save you a lot of bucks on a repair, as well as the cost of a new vacuum cleaner. Follow these above-mentioned instructions and watch your vacuum become clean and effective like it’s brand new again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How often should I clean the filters?

It is advised to clean the two filters (dust filter and motor filter) regularly. Once a month would do just fine.

What to do if none of the steps work for me?

If your vacuum is still not working at this point, you might want to consider taking it to a vacuum repair shop. Check with local repair shops to see if they service your vehicle’s make and model.

What are some basic tips to maintain the life of my vacuum cleaner?

You must regularly replace the bag and make sure that the bags are properly attached. Moreover, clean the filters and brushes regularly.

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Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

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