Diagnosing Common Vacuum Cleaner Problems

Posted by Shannon Hanson on

Diagnosing Common Vacuum Cleaner Problems

Commercial cleaning companies that service schools or office buildings and hotel housekeeping departments use vacuum cleaners constantly. Although professional vacuum cleaners can endure heavy use, no machine functions flawlessly forever.

Diagnosing common vacuum cleaner problems can help extend machine life by addressing mechanical issues before they render a vacuum inoperable. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common issues that arise with vacuums so that you can watch out for them and act before it’s too late.

There’s a Burning Smell or the Beater Bar Doesn’t Move

All that string, hair, and thread that wraps around the brush creates friction that makes it hard for the beater/brush bar to rotate. This, in turn, puts stress on the belt that makes the brush rotate, causing it to stretch or even break.

A broken belt is usually an easy fix, depending on the complexity of your vacuum. Check your manual for the part number or name to order a replacement.

The Vacuum Keeps Shutting Off

Many vacuum motors have a built-in sensor that turns the machine off if they overheat. Overheating can happen if the hose has become clogged or the bag or bin is full. Your machine can also overheat if you’re using the wrong setting, such as the bare floor setting on the carpet. Setting the height too low on thick carpeting can also lead to problems.

There’s No Suction

When the suction on your vacuum cuts out, it’s probably because of a clogged hose. Disassemble the wand and hose, and be sure to check the nozzle for obstructions.

Suction could also weaken due to a dirty filter. Some filters are washable and need regular cleaning. Others, like HEPA filters, require you to replace them on a regular schedule.

The Vacuum Won’t Turn On

Check the cord for damage if the vacuum won’t turn on. Don’t use a vacuum with a damaged cord. If the cord is fine and the outlet you’re using is operational, your vacuum’s on-off switch may have failed. Take it to a repair shop that services your brand to have it tested and get the switch replaced, if necessary.

There Are Odd Noises

A high-pitched, whining noise indicates that the bin or bag is full. A loud noise coupled with vibration may be a sign that dirt or debris has found its way into the motor or the motor fan and is causing a blockage.

Noise could also indicate damage to the brush roller bearings or assembly. If the damage is severe where the brush attaches to the vacuum, you may need a new machine.

Diagnosing common vacuum cleaner problems requires observation and, often, a simple process of elimination. Check electrical outlets, switches, and cords for damage. Inspect the hose and nozzle for clogs. Also, check the log to see the last time you or another user cleaned or replaced the filter.

If everything checks out, but your vacuum still won’t function, take it to an expert repair shop to determine if there’s a fix or if it’s time for a new motor or entirely new machine.

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