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How to Check for Blockages in a Dyson Handheld Stick Vacuum

If your Dyson handheld stick vacuum cleaner is pulsating or has stopped picking up dust and dirt, the issue is likely a blockage. Read on to find out how to check for blockages so you can get your vacuum cleaner back up and running again.

Safety first!

Before you begin, make sure your vacuum cleaner is fully switched off and disconnected from the mains.

How to check for blockages in a Dyson handheld stick vacuum step by step

Let's get stuck in. To learn how to check your Dyson handheld stick vacuum cleaner for any potential blockages, simply watch the how-to video or follow the step-by-step guide below.

Emptying a full bin

If your vacuum cleaner's bin is too full, the cyclone can become blocked which will stop your vacuum from working properly. Here's how to check if your bin is too full, and how to empty it if it is.

Step 1: Check if the bin is over capacity

Make sure the bin of your vacuum is not too full. If the dust inside has reached above the 'MAX' mark, it means the bin needs emptying.

Step 2: Empty the bin

To empty the bin, simply hold it over a rubbish bin to avoid any mess then press down the red catch. This will open the bottom of the bin up and all of the contents should fall out. You can remove any stuck-on debris with your fingers.

Checking the filter

If your vacuum bin is empty but the vacuum still isn't working properly, the issue might be with the filter. The filter needs to be checked and washed once a month and even more regularly with heavy usage.

Step 1: Check the filter

To check the filter, simply place your fingers on top of the small bump and pull upwards out of the cyclone. Check the filter for any signs of dirt or damage. The filter will need to be cleaned if it is dirty or replaced with a new filter if there is noticeable damage.

Step 2: Wash the filter

To wash the filter, simply run it under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Do not put the filter in a washing machine or dishwasher to clean it as this can cause damage.

Step 3: Wring out the filter

Begin drying the filter by wringing out any excess water with your hands.

Step 4: Leave the filter to dry

Then leave the filter to air dry in a warm environment for twenty-four hours or until the filter is completely dry. Do not use a microwave, tumble dryer, oven or hairdryer to dry the filter or hold it over a naked flame as this could cause damage.

Step 5: Refit the filter

To replace the filter, simply push it back into the top of the cyclone.

Checking a pulsing brushbar

If the brushbar of your vacuum cleaner is pulsing every few seconds when you switch it on, it means there is a blockage in the motorhead neck or possibly the wand or bin inlet. You'll need to remove any of these blockages to get your vacuum cleaner working as normal again.

Step 1: Check the motorhead neck

Simply remove the motorhead then check the interior of the neck. If there is a blockage inside, you can just remove it with your fingers.

Step 2: Check the wand interior

Then, simply disconnect the wand from the other end too and take a look inside the wand itself. Again, if there is a visible blockage you will simply need to remove it manually.

Step 3: Check the bin inlet

With the wand already disconnected, it's worth looking inside the bin inlet too. Check the bin inlet where the wand meets the vacuum and, if you see a blockage, remove it manually.

Step 4: Test the vacuum

Once you have checked the motorhead neck, wand and bin inlet, reassemble your vacuum and give it another try. If the issue was down to a blockage in one of these areas, it should now run as normal.

Checking the brushbar

The last place to check for a blockage is the brushbar. If the brushbar is blocked, it will likely be due to hair or string wrapped around it which will stop it from turning. This debris will need removing to allow the brushbar to spin properly again.

Step 1: Check the brushbar

As some of the motorhead casing is transparent, you will be able to see if there is a blockage trapped in or around the brushbar.

Step 2: Remove the cap

Disconnect the motorhead and, using a coin or a flathead screwdriver, twist and remove the cap that keeps the brushbar inside the motorhead.

Step 3: Remove the brushbar

After you have removed the cap, slide the brushbar out of the motorhead.

Step 4: Remove the blockage

Manually remove or unravel any string, hair or debris that is causing the blockage. You can use scissors or seam rippers to help you.

Step 5: Refit the brushbar

Refit the brushbar by sliding it back into the motorhead and refitting the cap.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to check for blockages in a Dyson handheld stick vacuum. Hopefully, your vacuum cleaner is now completely blockage-free and working better than ever.

Caring for your Dyson handheld stick vacuum

As mentioned earlier in this guide, you will want to make sure your filter is regularly cleaned to achieve the best possible performance out of your vacuum. Sometimes, a vacuum that is performing poorly can be brought back up to scratch by simply cleaning the filter once a month. How to do this is outlined in the article above, but we recommend making a mental note to keep up with this so that your Dyson vacuum cleaner receives the TLC it needs to work to its full capacity!

If your vacuum cleaner is suffering from greater faults than blockages, such as damage or general wear and tear, you can take a look at our Vacuum Advice Centre where you'll find articles to help you diagnose and fix your appliance. You'll also find all the Dyson spare parts and accessories you need for your repairs and maintenance on our online shop.

While you're here, don't forget to join our mailing list below to receive exclusive offers and discounts on household appliance spare parts and accessories, as well as tips and advice on fixing and maintaining.

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