How to Fix Lost Vacuum Suction

A woman uses a vacuum.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Various screwdrivers
Duct tape or electrical tape
What You'll Need
Various screwdrivers
Duct tape or electrical tape

When your vacuum cleaner loses suction, it can be costly to replace the entire machine. Lost or reduced suction is not uncommon, and many vacuum cleaners suffer from the same issues. Read on to learn how to fix lost suction in your vacuum rather than spending money on repairs or a new machine.

Step 1 - Diagnose the Problem

Vacuum cleaners are all built with the same principle in mind. A motor generates power which powers a vacuum which, in turn, creates suction to lift debris. The most common areas of suction loss are within the hose itself, the vacuum bag, clogged rollers, broken vacuum belt, or a faulty gasket. All of these problems will lead directly to the vacuum cleaner losing suction.

Step 2 - Check the Rollers

Examine the rollers to make sure they are completely clear. Remove any hair, paper, or large portions of other debris. Once you've removed the debris, try vacuuming again. If the problem persists, try the next step.

Step 3 - Look in the Bag or Canister

Whether or not your vacuum has a bag, a full container can cause loss of suction. Make sure that you empty the bag completely and wipe down the inside of the canister. When you have the bag or canister removed, you can also check where the hose sends the debris into the receptacle. Check for clogs and dirt around the seal, as well as any signs of wear or tear. Replace the bag and canister when clean, and operate the vacuum cleaner once again. If there is still no suction, then the problem is elsewhere.

Step 4 - Check for Breaks in the Hose

If the hose of the vacuum is broken or cracked or has a hole, the machine will definitely lose suction. Detecting a break can be difficult. If you have a vacuum that can suck up water, try washing the hose in soapy water, then reversing suction. Bubbles will begin to form at any holes or cracks. Otherwise, you can simply wrap the entire hose in a layer of either duct tape or electrical tape.

Step 5 - Replace the Belt or Gasket

If the rollers are clear, the bag is empty and the hose is sealed, your problem is most likely either the gasket or belt. To fix this, you will need to open the vacuum cleaner. A belt could simply be jammed, so look around the mechanism for any debris that could cause that to happen. If the belt is fragile or cracked, then replace it. A gasket could also be worn out and broken. Simply replace it with a new one.