Knoxville Market Square is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

4 Reasons Why Your Shark Vacuum Overheating


If you are having some issues with your Shark vacuum, you came to the right place. Shark’s units are great, pretty powerful and come with some interesting tools. You definitely made a good choice when you have chosen to add a Shark to your cleaning arsenal, but as any vacuum, some problems can appear.

We are going to cover one of the most frequent problems you can encounter with an upright vacuum, or any other type – overheating. This is not something out of the ordinary. Every vacuum, no matter how high-quality and high-priced it is, can overheat, among other things. Luckily, you can do several things to troubleshoot your vacuum by yourself. This guide will help you in doing that. So, let us get started.

Why Does My Shark Vacuum Overheat?

This is an important question to ask since figuring out the cause will always lead you to the solution. Overheating can happen for different reasons, some of which are simple like clogging. But you can also have a much larger problem, which includes electricity issues. No matter what the cause is, most of the time there is something you can do.

In any case, overheating happens when there is not enough airflow to cool down the motor. This is in the essence of the problem, but our question is why there is not enough airflow.

1. Full Dirt Container

empty dirt container

The first thing you should check is how full the dirt cup is. If there are debris and hair filling the whole container, chances are that this is the source of the problem. Typically, the suction will also become weaker when there is not enough airflow, so you can easily spot when the time is to empty it. If you have a vacuum for hardwood floors, you will spot that it is not sealing the suction to the floor and that there is still dirt left after a couple of passes.

In general, this is a part of the daily maintenance of your vacuum. By regularly emptying the dust cup, you are prolonging the life of the unit, making sure the performance is top-notch and your user experience will remain great.

YouTube video


2. Clogged Filters

checking filter

Another reason why there may be not enough airflow is that the filters are clogged. Over time, vacuuming dust, debris, pet hair, human hair, and other types of dirt, filters suffer a lot. By that, we mean that they capture the tiny dirt particles, and you can end up with debris build-up. Since there is a lot of dirt on them, the air cannot flow through the filter and the vacuum struggles to suck, which leads to the overheating of the motor. But if this is the cause, you should just wash the filters and you are ready to go.

If you are using your Shark vacuum for pet hair, you should definitely keep up with the maintenance process and check the filters often.  First, unplug the vacuum before any maintenance. To get access to the filter, you need to remove the dirt container and the metal grate, if there is one. After that, take out the filter, or filters, and wash them under cool water. You should squeeze them underwater repeatedly until the water runs clear. Then, airdry them for at least 24 hours, just to be sure, and put them back to place.

It is important to check the user manual and see whether the filters can be washed or not. If there are any non-washable filters, you will need to replace them.

Here is a video guide showing how to wash filters. It may help you more if you are a visual type, so check it out:

YouTube video


3. Check for Clogs in the Hose

Check for Clogs in the Hose

If the dirt cup and filters are not the problem, they may be clogs in the hose, wand or other attachments. This happens frequently, especially with a vacuum for pet hair, since the hair forms balls that can get stuck. To check this, you should detach the hose/wand and any tools, and put your hand on the inlet. If the suction is good there, chances are that there is some kind of build-up in the attachments you use.

To clean the hose/wand, take any thin, metal wire or a stick and try to pick out the accumulated dirt. You can also take a long squeegee and try to run in through the hose/wand to make sure that the entire thing is clean. But this is of course not really possible if the hose is extremely long. For cleaning tools that come with your vacuum, try to pick out as much dirt as possible with your fingers, and cut any hair that got entangled.

4. Electricity Issues

If you followed all the steps above, and your vacuum is steal overheating, there may be an underlying electrical issue. The first step is to check the cord. Unwind it completely and check every inch of it for damage. If you see breakage, indents or even wires, you should change the cord. It is dangerous to use a vacuum like this, so do not use it until you replace the damaged cord.

If you do not see any external damage with the cord, and the power outlet works well with other appliances, you may have a bigger problem. The parts of the motor can break and influence its performance. If you think this is the problem, you cannot solve it on your own, unfortunately.

You should contact the Shark customer support team and figure out a solution with them. If your unit is under warranty, you may fix the problem without any additional costs.

check the cord


As you have seen, the steps to troubleshoot the overheating problem are pretty simple. Shark vacuums are still not perfect, and they have their issues as any other vacuum, but you should not get frustrated. Just follow the recommended process, and you may be able to continue vacuuming much sooner than you think. Good luck!

Scroll to Top