How to Fix a Vacuum That Lost Suction

Does your vacuum suck at sucking? Before you throw out your machine and spend a ton of money on a new one, check out these 5 tips from Domestic CEO to diagnose and effectively fix your sickly vacuum.

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #80

We’ve all seen the commercials for vacuums that lose suction. It’s true, a vacuum that doesn’t have suction is not very useful housekeeping tool. The solution presented in the commercials is to buy a better, more expensive vacuum.

I would argue that it does not take a $500 vacuum to get your floors clean. In fact, for the past 5 years I have been using the same $40 vacuum in my house and it works great. Keeping your vacuum working simply takes a little knowledge of why a vacuum would lose suction.

If your vacuum sucks (and not in a good way), you’ve come to the right place. Today, I have the top 5 reasons a vacuum loses suction and what you can do about it.

Reason #1: The Height Is Wrong

The first and most basic reason a vacuum isn’t picking things up off the floor is if the height setting for the vacuum is too high for the type of floor you are vacuuming. There is usually a little dial or lever on a vacuum to raise or lower it. It may say “Bare floor,” then have numbers 1 through 5 on it. Bare floor is the lowest your vacuum can go and should be used for any tile, wood, or other hard flooring because it will seal the vacuum to your floor to allow for the most suction power. The lower your carpet, the closer the dial or lever should be to the bare floor setting. If your vacuum isn’t working, first try and lower the vacuum to the lowest setting and see if that fixes the problem.

Reason #2: The Bag Is Full

If the vacuum still isn’t picking up on a lower setting, the next thing to check is if a full vacuum bag or collection canister is to blame for your vacuum’s loss of suction. Luckily, this is really easy to determine as the cause of your vacuum’s poor performance. There will be a fill line on the front of a bagless vacuum, and on the vacuum bag of both upright and canister vacuums. If the dirt and hair is over the fill line of either collection spot, there’s no more room for the stuff to collect. The vacuum will continue to sound like it’s working, but won’t have any suction power to pick up the stuff on your floor. Most often, simply emptying the collection canister or changing the vacuum bag will solve a vacuum’s suction problems.

If that doesn't work, it's time to check out the hose. Here's how...


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