Thanks for stopping by, we're sorry to see that your vacuum is broken, hopefully we can help you fix it... No vacuum will last forever (though some come pretty close). Fortunately most broken vacuums can be placed into 1 of 4 categories when it comes to vacuum cleaner repair: clogs, electrical, motor, damaged part. At the end of this page we also have a vacuum parts section where you can describe what you need and hopefully we can help you find it. We broke this vacuum repair tutorial into 9 troubleshooting sections, the best place to start is 'Most Common Problems and Solutions' (FAQ)...
Vacuum Repair Sections:
Troubleshooting Vacuum Cleaner Repair(FAQ)
Finding Clogs in Canisters
Finding Electrical Problems in Canisters
Finding Clogs in Uprights
Finding Electrical Problems in Uprights
Proper Vacuum Maintenance Vs. Vacuum Repair
Finding The Right Vacuum Part
Vacuum Cleaner Repair: Most Common Problems and Solutions (Back to the Top)
Problem - The vacuum seems to be on but nothing is picking up
Solution - There is either a clog, a broken belt or the bag needs to be replaced, first replace the bag and belt, if that doesn't work proceed to the section on 'Finding Clogs in Canisters' if you have a canister, or 'Finding Clogs in Uprights' if you have an upright...
Problem - Vacuum doesn't go on at all.
Solution - You have some sort of electrical problem. Proceed to the section on 'Finding Electrical Problems in Canisters' if you have a canister, or 'Finding Electrical Problems in Uprights' if you have an upright...
Problem - Vacuum goes on for about ten minutes then shuts off...
Solution - Vacuum either has a clog or full bag that is overheating the vacuum causing the thermal switch to shut it down. Proceed to the section on 'Finding Clogs in Canisters' if you have a canister, or 'Finding Clogs in Uprights' if you have an upright...
Problem - The Vacuum has a foul odor (not the smell of burnt rubber)
Solution - Change bag, wash out bag cavity with a multi purpose cleaner and replace filter...
Problem - Vacuum has the smell of burnt rubber.
Solution - The belt is slipping, replace the belt. If the odor continues you probably need to replace the brush roller which is causing the belt to go out of alignment.
Problem - Vacuum cleaner is hard to push
Solution - either the belt is slipping and not pushing through the rug properly or the bottom plate is dirty. If it's the belt, replace it. If it's a dirty bottom plate, clean it off and then polish with furniture polish.
Problem - The powerbrush of the vacuum is going on then off then on then off..
Solution - There is probably an electrical short somewhere along the line. Proceed to the section on 'Finding Electrical Problems in Canisters' if you have a canister, or 'Finding Electrical Problems in Uprights' if you have an upright...
Problem - Vacuum is abnormally loud and vibrates
Solution - Try to hear where the source of the noise is coming from. If it's coming from the motor area, you probably have a broken fan in the motor and need to replace the fan (very common in vacuums where dirt goes through the motor instead of bypassing). If the noise is coming from the brush area of the vacuum, you probably have a broken bearing in your brush roller and would need to replace the brush itself, or the body is worn where the brush is mounted to the vacuum, in which case you would need to buy a new vacuum.
Problem - Everything sounds OK but you are getting poor suction...
Solution - Replace filters and bags and check for clogs, Proceed to the section on 'Finding Clogs in Canisters' if you have a canister, or 'Finding Clogs in Uprights' if you have an upright...
Vacuum Cleaner Repair on Canister Vacuums, Finding a Clog or Electrical Problem (Back to the Top)
Finding a Clog in a Canister Vacuum Repair (Back to the Top)
The first thing to do always if you think there is a clog is to replace the belt, bag and filters just to be sure they are not the problem. And if your machine is bagless make sure to at least clean the filter off. The first place to look in is the hose. In most cases there will be something in there like a unraveled staple or something wedged in there with dirt and hair. First way to check would be to remove the hose from the canister and feel the suction on the opening of the canister itself. If it's strong then you know it's either in the hose or head. Take the hose and drop a quarter through it to see if it comes out the other end with ease. If it does, then do the same thing with the wand and nozzle. Once you find it, you can use a hanger (or something long and skinny) to get it out. Another option is to reverse the airflow on the vacuum (if you can) and blow it out.
Finding an Electrical Problem in a Canister Vacuum Repair (Back to the Top)
Usually the nozzle on the vacuum won't work if there is an electrical problem. First thing to do is see if your powernozzle has a wire that can fit into the female connecter on the canister, this way you can bypass the hose to test it. If the vacuum works like that, you know the problem is in your hose. If there are no visible connecters and the the electricity for the nozzle runs internally through the hose/wand (direct connect), you will need a wire and plug with alligator clips at the end to test it(Home Depot). At this point, if you don't have alligator plug or are not to comfortable testing the electricity you should bring it into a shop. If you do have alligator clips, carefully attach them to the male connecters on the nozzle. If the motor runs and the brush doesn't turn, you need to replace the belt. If the Motor and the brush both run, you electrical short is most likely in the hose or in the female receptacle. Now test the female receptacle, to do that you will need an electrical test light (Home Depot). If all the tests on the female receptacle are positive then you need to replace you hose, which can run from 49$-$100... If the female receptacle doesn't work, then you need to either bring it to a repair shop or contact us for the replacement part (see our vacuum parts section) and we'll see if we can track it down for you...
Vacuum Cleaner Repair on Upright Vacuums (Back to the Top)
Finding a Clog in an Upright Vacuum Repair: (Back to the Top)
The first thing to do is determine if the air in your vacuum flows through the motor or if it's a bypass motor (flows around the motor).. If it flows through, you should probably just save yourself a lot of headache and money and get a quality upright vacuum. With vacuums where the dirt flows through, every time you pick up something with some weight to it(like a coin), it will blow right through the fans in your motor. On these flow-through vacuums, make sure to see if your vacuum bags is filling up with air. If it is you then want to check the brush roller to see if it's spinning, if it isn't, the belt is probably broken. If the belt is fine, then most likely something that was vacuumed up like a coin must have broken through the motor fan. In that case we strongly suggest getting a new vacuum.. You never really want to start pumping money into a flow-through style upright vacuum.
All the bypass models, where dirt flows around the motor, should be treated just like a canister. Check your belt, make sure the roller is turning, check your bags and filters. Remember on HEPA filtered machines and bagless machines, those filters need to be changed regularly about every 6 months to a year. It's very rare, but fans can also break on bypass machines. Usually you will hear some noise when the machine is on. With most uprights you won't have to go too deep into the machine before you can see if the fan is broken. Just start unscrewing from the bottom plate in all the appropriate spots. Sometimes you can use a screwdriver and turn the fan blades to see if one is chipped or broken. If that's the case you can use our vacuum parts form to let us know what type of fan blade your in need of. Fan blades are usually anywhere from 8$-20$...
Finding Electric Problems in an Upright Vacuum Repair (Back to the Top)
Electric problems on upright vacuums are generally limited to the cord, the switch or the motor. If your vacuum doesn't work and you have a bypass upright, you may also have a thermal switch with the option to reset. Check for a red switch near the motor cavity. Sometimes the thermal switch resets itself after the vacuum cools off. If your vacuum shuts off while vacuuming, wait a half an hour for it to cool down and try again. If the vacuum still doesn't work and you are capable of changing the plug you might need to do so. Check the prongs to see if they are loose. If they are loose it's best to change the plug. If changing the plug doesn't work and you can get to the switch on the inside, try bypassing the switch with alligator clips to test.. If the vacuum turns on you need to replace the switch. At that point, if it still doesn't work, chances are that the problem is in the motor. To test, take two alligator clips and attach to the motor leads. If the motor doesn't go on you should probably get a new vacuum. See our recommendations based on both price and living needs.
Vacuum Repair on Vacuum Cleaners w/ Electronic Features: (Back to the Top)
We do not suggest trying to fix these yourself. Most of them have circuit boards that can be problematic and should be taken to a vacuum repair professional..
Vacuum Repair Vs. Vacuum Maintenance: (Back to the Top)
The best way to avoid vacuum repair is to properly maintain your vacuum. Vacuums get kicked around all the time, all the while sucking up all these foreign objects. Very few vacuums can last over 10 years without some type of maintenance. If you are interested in those give us a call (1 800 479 VACS) Most maintenace can be done once a year or so.
Proper Vacuum Maintenance
-Cut hairs, strings and other debris off the brush roller with a utility knife.
-Replace bags when they are 3/4 full, letting them go all the way is bad for your vacuum.
-Clean out the bag cavity every once in a while when you are replacing your bag to keep the inside of the vacuum clean.
-Replace filters annually, and replace HEPA filters every 6-8 months.
-Flat rubber belts should be replaced every 6 months.
-cog belts only need to be replaced when broken, avg. life is 3 years. Sebo guarantees them for life.
-pet owners, keep bottom plate free from pet dander.