How to Restore Suction to Your Vacuum Published 11/11/2009
Q: ‘My vacuum cleaner has lost suction power. The motor is working fine; it just won’t pick up any dust or debris from the carpet.’ – John from Chatham
A: One of the most common queries that we get through our ‘Ask a Question’ feature is the one featured above. It seems a sudden loss of suction is befalling a lot of your vacuum cleaners, and that’s no good if you want to maintain your carpets and keep dust levels in your home low. Rather than running out to purchase a new cleaner when you lose suction; here’s four simple steps to restoring your vacuum to full working order.
Step 1: Change the dust bag/empty the dust container
It may sound annoyingly obvious, but the first thing you should do when your vacuum’s lost suction is to empty or change the bag or empty the dustbin. A bag that is even a third full can reduce the efficiency of your vacuum - the motor in your cleaner will be working harder as it struggles to push the air through the build up of dust in the bag or bin . A full bag or bin will dramatically reduce your vacuum’s suction power. If you need more vacuum bags eSpares has got them and we’ve even got a universal vacuum bag if the bags for your machine is no longer being manufactured.
Step 2: Follow the airflow path and check for blockages
You may have accidently vacuumed something up that’s got caught in your cleaner and it’s now blocking the suction. Take your vacuum apart and remove excess dust build-up or small objects that have become lodged inside these parts. Make sure to pay particular attention to the cleaner head, especially the brushroll, the hoses and tubes, and the hose connection point on the body. If you’ve found a blockage in the hose you can dislodge it by straightening a wire coat hanger and popping a cork on the end. This high tech cleaning tool will be sure to impress your mates when they next borrow your tool box.
Step 3: Check your vacuum filters
If dirt and debris have built up on your vacuum filters than that’s going to block the airflow and impact your suction. Vacuum cleaners generally have 2 filters in them, a pre motor filter to protect the motor from dust and a post motor filter to keep any dust particles that do pass through from being kicked back into the air. You should change or clean your filters as recommended by the manufacturer of your vacuum cleaner. Check out the brushroll in your vacuum too – some models have filters right at the dust’s entry point. If your filter has never been changed, or looks particularly worn out, it’s time to replace them. If you’d like some tips on where to look for your filters and how to change them we’ve got ‘how-to’ videos in our advice centre for the Dyson DC04, Dyson DC07 and the Vax VEC04 cleaners.
Step 4: Check for tears and cracks on your vacuum
After following all the steps above if you’ve still not got as much suction as you’d like it could be that there is a compromised part on your cleaner. The biggest culprit of this is the vacuum cleaner hose, which over time has been known to become brittle and crack. To test if you need to replace the hose first remove it from the body of the machine and then turn your vacuum on. Holding your hand to where the hose should fit gauge the suction, is it stronger than when you’re running the same test with the hose attached and you’ve got your hand at the end of the hose? If it is then it’s most likely that there is a hole somewhere along the hose and it will need to be replaced. Remember that cracked cleaning tools can also impact your suction so test these too. Replace any broken parts with the correct vacuum spare.
By following these 4 steps we’re confident that your vacuum will return to full suction power, and you’ll be able to keep your carpets dust free and clean once more.