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Vacuum Cleaner is not Working

Vacuum cleaning - the chore nobody wants, but once completed leaves you feeling proud of how much cleaner your floors can look. So imagine coming to use your cleaner only to find that your vacuum won’t turn on or refuses to activate. No suction, no noise - simply nothing happens; you could pretty much presume that the machine is dead!

However, the current situation could be down to a minor fault which is no more than a slight inconvenience. Following our article below we may be able to assist you in identifying the issue at hand. Once diagnosed you may be able to repair the vacuum cleaner and get back to cleaning your floors once again.

Cause 1

Motor Brushes

Most motors in vacuum cleaners have carbon brushes, over time they wear and once there is little to nothing left the motor will stop working completely. Normally the main way of identifying faulty carbon brushes is that the motor will sputter before cutting out. If this has happened then you can guarantee that the motor brushes are no more.

To check your motor and brushes:

Safety First! Prior to beginning any repair, please disconnect your appliance from the mains.

  • Open the vacuum and remove the brushes.
  • There should be between 3 and 10mm of carbon tip.

These are what are being pushed against the motor commutator to pass a current to the armature. If the carbon brushes are worn down to the point that they only just reach the commutator they will need replacing or more severe damage could occur resulting in a new motor or cleaner altogether.

If new motor brushes are needed, you can check through our extensive catalogue of carbon brushes here.

To replace the brushes check our guide which shows you how.

How To >

Cause 2


The power cable - without it, the cleaner would not be able to run (unless it is of course wireless). There are only a few offending variables which could cause a fault to the cable and we have detailed them here:
  • If the cable has been pulled.
  • When the cable becomes trapped.
When either of the above happens the cleaner may cut out during use or it can start and stop when the cable moves. This is most likely that the copper wire which resides inside the insulating rubber has become fractured - when this transpires a replacement will be required.

Safety First! Please make sure that you have disconnected the appliance from the mains before beginning any repair.

To be certain, the easiest way of confirming damage to the vacuum cleaner power cord can be done using a multimeter. See our guide on how to use a multimeter here.

  • Open the vacuum and using the multimeter check for a low resistance reading.
  • You need to check the plug connector to where the cable connects inside the machine.
If you have continuity; then carefully flex the wire at the suspected damaged area to check if the connection is broken. If the cable proves to be faulty or has visible damage exhibiting the internal wires then a replacement will be required which can be found here

Cause 3


If you’ve checked the carbon brushes and power cable and all seems fine then it would be worth taking a look at the motor. The motor plays a crucial role in operating the vacuum cleaner and is important to be kept well maintained for optimum performance.

Safety First! Please make sure that you have disconnected the appliance from the mains before beginning any repair.

Dismantle the vacuum cleaner to access the motor.

  • Check the resistance across its connections using a multimeter. (See here for instruction on how to use a multimeter)

A working motor will have a typical resistance reading between 20 and 60 ohms depending on its power. If there is no resistance check the motor brushes for worn out carbon tips and if required replace the motor or brushes accordingly.

If a new motor is required then take a look through our online catalogue for the replacement vacuum cleaner motor you need.

You can see us replacing a vacuum cleaner motor below:

How To >