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Shark Vacuum Suction Issues

Shark vacuums came in a range of different models. However, like all vacuums from time to time they can have suction issues. Luckily, it’s very easy to diagnose what’s causing the issue and get it working, here’s how to do that.

Generally, you should start by checking that the bin is empty, then clean the shroud, this is the filter that is in the bin. Then, clean the pre and post motor filters. Finally, clean the brush roll, and clear any blockages in the hoses and where they connect to the vacuum.

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This is a good overview of the 6 steps you should do in order to fix suction issues with a Shark vacuum. Below, I will explain each of these steps in detail so you know exactly what to do. Following this you should get in touch with Shark as overall this is not something that you can repair yourself unless you’re comfortable inspecting and swapping out the electric components.

Shark Vacuum Suction Issues

A Shark vacuum should provide enough suction to draw up any visible dust and debris into the bin. When it’s not performing properly you won’t get that just vacuumed look to your carpets and hard floors. These are the reasons why a Shark vacuum has suction issues:

Overall, this an issue with the filters being full, in which case they can be cleaned to fix this issue. Otherwise the brush roll has hair in it and it needs to be cleaned to get it to begin turning again. Finally, there can be something stuck in one of the hoses which needs to be cleared.

In total, there are 6 individual steps. Here is each step in the order that you should perform them in. Follow the instructions below until you’ve fixed the issue or have got the end and your Shark vacuum needs to be inspected/repaired by a Shark technician.

1. Check bin is empty – stops new dust/debris from being sucked up

The first to double check is a bit of an obvious step. But, it’s important to check it off the list as without doing so your Shark vacuum won’t work. There is a bin that collects all of the dust and debris your Shark vacuum picks up.

On virtually all Shark vacuum models it’s on the front. Visually inspect it to see if it’s full. You will able to see how much dust and debris is in there.

If it is, take it out and empty it into the trash. When it’s full your Shark vacuum will still operate. But, there will be nowhere for the dust and debris to go.

It will accumulate in the hoses and then fall out again. The suction will also be much weaker, or it will have hardly any suction at all.

2. Clean the shroud – the filter in the bin

The shroud is a circular filter shaped like an upside down cup. The shroud filters out dust and debris before it enters the bin. If it’s clogged and has anything stuck in it you want to clear it out.

You can use your hand to gently remove anything stuck in it. It can also be removed completely from the vacuum and tapped out. The main thing with the shroud is to not get it wet as it will rust.

The filter is also quite delicate so don’t use any soft or harsh brushes on it. And be careful to clean it out gently.

3. Clean the pre motor filters they are washable with water

The bin on a shark vacuum can be unclipped and detached completely from it. When you do so there is a filter that is visible that is located underneath the bin. It can either be flat and sitting horizontally, or a circular filter.

Your Shark vacuum will have 1 to 3 of these filters. These filters can be washed out under the tap. Before doing that, tap them out into a trash bin or outside to get rid of a bulk of the dust that’s trapped in them.

Generally, the owner’s manual of a Shark vacuum says to wash these out once every 3 months or sooner. Depending how dusty and dirty the areas get that you use it on, and how often you use it. If your filters are very old you can buy new ones.

You should do this if your filters have some tears in them, or are worn to the point where they no longer cover the area completely which allows dust to get around the sides. Experience vacuum technicians to get genuine parts. These are generally a bit pricier than non-branded filters but they’re a lot better.

4. Clean the post motor filter – HEPA filter

There is a grill like part of a Shark vacuum that houses the post motor filter. It’s located on the exterior and generally on the front below the bin. On some models the vacuum needs to be bent back to get at the grill-like post motor filter.

It has a clip on it that you press to open it. Opening it will expose the post motor filter that can be removed from your Shark vacuum. It’s a HEPA filter which stops all of the allergens like pollen and mold out of the air.

This should not be washed using water. However, it can be tapped out lightly to make the ultra fine particles drop out. You can also run your finger along the ridges.

This will vibrate the filter and cause dust to drop out, you can also blow it out with air, or vacuum it out. The main thing is not to wash it with water. If the filter is black, this is not a problem, it’s carbon dust.

5. Clean brush roll at the base of the vacuum – can be clogged

At the base of a Shark vacuum there is an opening that dust and debris is sucked into. There are rollers that rotate. These stir up dust and pick up debris which is then sucked up the hose and into the bin.

These rollers have bristles on them that can be full of debris. Long strands of hair can wrap around the sides of these rollers and jam them. When they’re clogged they don’t rotate as they should or don’t rotate at all which stops a Shark vacuum from having good suction.

Visually, inspect them and remove any hair, and debris that is stuck in them. To clear it, unclip the base of your vacuum – the part where the debris is sucked up. Then flip it upside down and clean out the brushes by pulling our debris with your fingers.

On newer Shark vacuums the roller can be unclipped and completely removed. This makes it a bit easier to brush out the part where the roller sits and then pull out any hair or debris that’s stuck in the roller.

6. Clear blockages in the hoses and where the hoses connect

There are 2 to 3 hoses on most Shark vacuums. These can be removed by sliding them off gently, or by pressing in the clips on the side. The main areas to check are the side of the open area at the base of the vacuum where the rollers are.

The hose that connects the base of the vacuum to the rest of the vacuum. If your vacuum is a lift-away remove the top part and look inside all the connections. Remove the handle and look through the long metallic rigid part – this is also called the wand.

After that remove the hose from the entrance to the bin. Finally, any other parts you haven’t inspected, you should inspect to see if there’s a blockage. The main thing is to check all of the hoses, and the connections that the hoses fit into.

7. If it’s still happening call Shark to see where to get it repaired

If you’ve tried all of the steps that are recommended by expert vacuum repair technicians and the suction is still very poor. Or, you’re getting no suction at all, then it’s more than likely one of the components has failed and it needs to be repaired or replaced by a Shark vacuum technician. When you speak to Shark on the phone they may help you to fix it over the phone, and if not they will be able to advise how to send it in to get repaired/replaced, if it’s under warranty, or where the nearest Shark vacuum service center is.

Shark Vacuum No Suction at All

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Under normal operation your Shark vacuum will have no issue at all with suction. If there’s an issue with the suction on your Shark vacuum it indicates a few potential problems. These are all very easy to fix, below is a summary of how to fix your Shark vacuum when it has no suction.

In general, start by checking the bin is not full, and empty it if it is. There are also 3 main filters for Shark vacuums that can be clogged and need to be cleared by tapping them out, and removing any debris that’s stuck in them. Finally, remove any debris that is clogging the brushes.

If you’re still not getting any suction after doing each of these steps then there can be something stuck in the hoses. The opening at the base of a Shark vacuum has a brush covering it which blocks large objects from getting into the hoses. But, it can happen and if something like a hair clip or a thin piece of fabric gets up the hoses it can sit partially blocking the hose, and overtime more and more debris will accumulate against it.

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The hoses are quite easy to clear. I’ve provided step by step instructions for what to try first when you’re getting no suction at all near the top of this article.

Look for the numbered steps, and start with step 1, which is to check that the bin is empty. Then work your way through each of the steps until you begin getting suction again.

Shark Vacuum Weak Suction

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Weak suction on a Shark vacuum is an indication that there’s a blockage somewhere, but there is also a switch on many Shark vacuums that can be used to make the suction stronger and weaker. It’s possible this has been turned by accident and needs to be turned up. Below, is how to turn the suction up if possible, and the other causes of this occurring.

Weak suction is caused by the filters being full and they need to be emptied, the bin being full, the roller at the base being jammed because of debris, the roller at the base of the vacuum needs to be cleared, and/or something is stuck in one of the hoses.

To see where to find the slider that turns the suction up and down – if your Shark vacuum has this feature – skip down to the heading below this one that says ‘Shark Vacuum Suction Too Strong’. Under that heading is a video that shows where the slider is to adjust the suction strength and how to use it. After doing that, I’ve provided in depth step by step instructions at the top of this article.

Go to the top of this article and start with step 1, and then work your way through each of the steps until you’ve fixed the issue. The last step is to contact Shark support which you should do if none of these fixes get it working again. This is because it indicates there is an issue with one of the internal components which will need to be repaired or replaced.

Shark Vacuum Suction Too Strong

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The suction on a Shark vacuum can be released using the suction release button. But, if you find the suction is so strong that your Shark vacuum is too hard to use, then it’s on the wrong setting. Here’s what settings you need to change to turn the suction down on a Shark vacuum.

There are floor modes which increase and decrease the suction on some Shark vacuum models. Some Shark vacuum models also have a suction strength selector that you can adjust to change the suction strength. Either, change the floor mode, or turn the suction down to reduce the suction.

Yours should be quite similar, if you’re unable to locate how to adjust the suction strength on your Shark vacuum refer to your owner’s manual.

Shark Vacuum Runs but No Suction

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A Shark vacuum can turn on but won’t suck anything up. There are a few reasons why this can happen. Here’s the most likely causes and the first few checks you should do:

As a general rule, this indicates that the filters are clogged, the bin is full, or something is stuck in one of the hoses. First, check that the bin is empty. Then inspect the shroud, this is the circular filter on the inside of the bin. After that, detach the hoses and inspect them for a blockage.

Each of these steps can be a bit tricky, especially if you’ve never done them before. So, at the top of this article I’ve put each of the steps in detail.

Start with the first step which is to make sure the bin is empty. Then work your way through each step after that until you’ve got the suction working again.

Shark Vacuum Making a Loud Suction Noise

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After using your Shark vacuum for a while you will be used to how it sounds when it’s operating normally. All of a sudden, you can get a loud suction noise which indicates an issue with your Shark vacuum. Below, is what causes this to happen and how to get it back to normal again.

This indicates there is a blockage somewhere in your Shark vacuum, or the filters are clogged. Turn off your Shark vacuum, and ensure the bin is empty. This is the part of the vacuum where all of the dust and debris that is sucked up is stored. After that, below are the additional steps to take.

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These are to:

  • Clean the shroud
  • Clear the pre motor filters
  • Clear the post motor filter
  • Remove any blockages in the hoses

I’ve outlined exactly how to do each of these steps near the start of this article. Look for step 1, which is to make sure the bin is empty. Perform each step and then see if it has fixed the loud suction noise.

Shark Vacuum No Suction When Upright

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There are a few different types of Shark vacuums. Some can lay completely flat to get under things like chairs and coffee tables. If you notice that your Shark vacuum doesn’t work when it’s upright, here’s how to troubleshoot it and get it working again.

There is a clip for lift away Shark vacuums that needs to be clicked into place when it’s connected correctly. Also, the connection where the part that’s lifted away connects to the rest of the vacuum, or the joint where the shark vacuum bends to make it flat can have something clogging it.

Lift-away vacuums have a release button that you press when you detach it from the rest of the vacuum. When you replace the lifted away part of the vacuum to the rest of your Shark vacuum you should get a reassuring click to indicate that it’s in place. This creates a seal which maintains the suction.

The part that it clicks into can have something blocking it. This will cause the lifted away vacuum to work fine but will give you no suction when you put it onto the other part of your vacuum to turn it into an upright vacuum. Details for how to check this are outlined at the top of this article.

There are also a range of other causes for a loss of suction on a Shark vacuum, that can be causing the issue. I’ve explained step by step instructions for the troubleshooting steps to take at the start of this article.

Which include checking the base of your Shark vacuum for a blockage, which can be causing the issue with it having no suction when upright. Start with step 1, and do each of the steps.

Shark Vacuum Suction Release

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A Shark vacuum can be set to a very strong suction and you can accidentally suck up a sock, pillow or blanket. When this happens you can turn your entire Shark vacuum off and then take it off what it was stuck on. But, a more convenient option is to use the suction release, here’s how it works.

Generally, it’s a button that’s located on the main stem of your Shark vacuum and you slide it down to use it. Some models have a sticker next to the button with instructions about how to use it. Once, what was blocking it has been released, slide the button back up to resume suction.

Generally, this is because the suction is turned down too low, it’s on the wrong mode, or one or more of the components is clogged. Parts that can be clogged are the 3 sets of filters, the hoses, the opening at the base, and the brush roll. Check each and clear/clean them where necessary.

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