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Shark Vacuum Troubleshooting & Tips to Repair


With vacuums come various problems. No matter how much money you decide to invest, even the most expensive vacuum unit will need to be fixed at some point. If you encounter suction problems, power problems or any other potential issues, oftentimes you will be able to resolve them. But to do that, you need a good troubleshooting guide. In this article, we bring you all the steps and tips you need to fix the most common issues with your Shark vacuum – suction power and overheating.

If your choice of vacuum manufacturer is Shark, you are lucky since Shark is a great company with a good reputation for producing high-quality vacuum units. This guide will bring you different steps you can take to repair your vacuum if it has different types of problems. So let us begin.

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Shark Vacuum Suction Problems

When it comes to suction, you can have several problems. Either the suction is weak or you hear a weird noise suddenly. These two problems can be solved by following similar steps.

Empty the Dirt Cup

shark vacuum flashing lights
empty the dirt cup

First, always unplug your vacuum before troubleshooting or maintenance. We do not want any power source while we are disassembling the vacuum. Better safe than sorry. The next step is to empty the dust cup of your bagless vacuum and clean all the debris there is. It can happen that the dust cup gets completely full and influence the suction power and noise.

Check the Hose

shark vacuum hose blocked
check the hose

If this does not help, the next step is checking the airflow to determine if there is debris build-up somewhere. if there are clogs, you will be able to see where it is. So here is what you need to do. First, take off the hose, or the wand, depending on what you have, and put your hand on the inlet. If you feel that the suction is strong, then there are clogs in the hose/wand. Take any metal wire or long, slim stick and try to pick out the dirt from the hose/wand.

Wash the Filters

shark hoover not picking up
wash the Filters

If you determine that the suction is not satisfactory when you put your hand on the inlet, then the problem lies somewhere in the vacuum. You will get to the filter by removing the bin and the metal grate. You should also clean this grate with water and an old toothbrush. Take out the filter and wash it under warm water until the water you squeeze from it is clear. It is important to let it air dry for at least 24h so you would be sure it is dry enough to put it back in place.

If you have a HEPA filter that looks dirty, you can clean it by picking out the dirt, but you should not wash it since it is not washable. Alternately, you can replace it if you cannot clean it well with a dry cloth and your fingers.

Clean the Brush Roll

shark lift away brush not spinning
cleaning the brush rolle

Another potential cause of weak suction is a dirty brush roll. This is also a part of regular maintenance so if you had not done it in a long time, it is possible getting in the way of the suction. In any case, to take off the brush roll, there are several knobs you need to unlock and it will give you access to the brush roll. If it is really entangled and dirty, take scissors or a razor to cut the hair and pull it out.  This is important to do regularly, especially if you use your Shark vacuum for pet hair.

Here is a video guide for cleaning and restoring suction to your Shark. This may help you if you follow it:

YouTube video


Shark Vacuum Is Overheating

Another problem you can often encounter with your upright vacuum, or any type of unit actually, is that it overheats. Here are the possible causes and what you can do about it.

When the vacuum is overheating, it usually means that there is not enough flow of air for the suction and to cool the motor. Shark vacuums have a protective thermostat which should turn off your vacuum when it gets to the point of overheating.

When this happens, unplug the vacuum and let it cool for at least two hours. In the meantime, determine what is the cause of the problem

Clogged Filters

shark vacuum lights blinking
checking the filter

If the airflow is not good enough, the filters may be clogged. The vacuum still tries to suck well and in doing that, it overheats. If you notice that your filters are dirty, you should clean them as we described above. If you use your vacuum for pet hair you should check the filters more frequently.

Dust Cup is Full

shark vacuum brush not spinning
cleaning dirt cup

If the dust cup is full, you should always empty it and clean it before doing anything else. A full dirt container is a source of many problems for a vacuum, so make sure you empty it regularly and do not wait the last moment.

Problem with Electricity

shark vacuum suction problems
checking the cord

If you are experiencing overheating, there may be an underlying electrical issue. You should check the cord for any damages. If there is, you should replace it before plugging the unit back in and start vacuuming

Another problem could be the motor itself. If you try everything we recommended and it does not work, the only option you have left is to contact Shark’s customer support and see if they can figure out the solution. Shark employees will ask you a series of questions and help you troubleshoot your vacuum, but if it fails, you will need to send it to be repaired. If your unit is still under warranty, you may get a spare part or a new unit.

Final Thoughts

Suction problems and overheating are the most common issues you can encounter with any vacuum, including a Shark. There are of course other issues you can encounter, but almost everything comes down to disassembling your vacuum and cleaning the build-up debris. Luckily, you can often troubleshoot yourself, but when that is not possible, you have the option of contacting customer support. Give it a shot and good luck!

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