Vacuum Cleaner: Won't turn on

Lack of power, a bad power cord, failed drive motor or broken wires in the vacuum hose can prevent the vacuum cleaner from starting.

Make sure the electrical outlet that you're using for the vacuum cleaner works. Try using a different outlet if you suspect that the outlet you're using is dead. If the vacuum cleaner still won't start, make sure the outlet has power by plugging a lamp or small appliance into the outlet. If the outlet is dead, reset the house circuit breaker for the outlet. If the outlet still won't work, have an electrician repair the outlet.

If the vacuum cleaner won't turn on and you know the electrical outlet is okay, check the power cord and replace it if damaged.

If the suction motor won't run when activated, replace the suction motor.

In a canister vacuum cleaner, check the vacuum hose for damage because the hose has integrated wires that carry current from the power switch to the suction motor relay. A torn hose can cause a break in the wires-interrupting current traveling through the hose to the suction motor relay and preventing the suction motor from starting. Replace the vacuum hose if it's torn or damaged because wires inside the hose are could be broken.

vacuum cleaner

These repairs may help solve your vacuum cleaner problem

Replace the vacuum suction motor

Replace the vacuum suction motor

The suction motor rotates the fan that creates suction by moving air from the intake at the cleaning head to the dirt collection chamber. If the motor doesn't create suction or doesn't run at all, replace it.

July 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a vacuum suction motor

If your vacuum loses suction and the hose and nozzle aren't clogged, the vacuum cleaner might need a new suction motor. The suction motor could also be the problem if the vacuum won't run at all. This easy-to-follow repair guide explains how to replace a canister vacuum suction motor in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the vacuum hose

Replace the vacuum hose

The vacuum cleaner hose is constructed of reinforced vinyl. It sometimes has wires integrated into the hose. If the hose is torn or the integrated wires are broken, replace the hose.

Symptoms common to all vacuum cleaners

Choose a symptom to see related vacuum cleaner repairs.

Main causes: weak suction motor, vacuum bag is full, clog in suction air path, dirty exhaust filter, leaky vacuum hose
Main causes: broken drive belt, damaged brush roll, tripped brush roll motor overload, bad brush roll motor, wiring failure
Main causes: lack of power, bad power cord, drive motor failure, wiring failure
Main causes: damaged vacuum hose, clogged motor air filter, bad suction motor
Articles and videos common to all vacuum cleaners

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your vacuum.

March 9, 2015
How to troubleshoot loss of suction in a vacuum video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

See what to check if you experience a loss of suction in your vacuum cleaner.

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Deciding between a canister or upright vacuum
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