Vacuuming carpet picks up a lot of the dust and debris and leaves your carpet looking much better but it doesn’t wash the carpet. A specialist carpet cleaning machine like Vax thoroughly washes the carpet but like all electronics and appliances they can have issues from time to time. Today, I’ll explain why a Vax carpet cleaner is not working, and how to get it working again.
The brush bar can be obstructed and needs to be cleared manually, the thermal cut off has been triggered and you need to give it 24 hours to cool down, the fuse in the power plug needs to be replaced, or the suction hose is obstructed and needs to be cleared or replaced.
There is also a thermal cut off, this is a safety feature of Vax carpet cleaners that stops them from getting damaged by overheating. This is triggered if there is an obstruction and the motor needs to work harder than normal. Below, I will give detailed instructions for how to perform each of the checks to identify what the issue is.
Vax Carpet Cleaner Not Working
A Vax carpet cleaner can not turn on at all, or it will switch on but won’t provide good suction to remove the water and detergent sitting in the carpet. There are a few reasons why this occurs, here’s a summary of what they are:
The thermal cut off can have been triggered due to overheating, this will cause it not to turn on again, and you need to allow 24 hours for it to cool down then try again. For suction issues remove the dirty water tank and hose, turn your Vax on and put your hand over the holes to check for suction.
In total there are 6 troubleshooting steps you should do to fix this issue. Below, I will provide step by step instructions for each. You can’t know ahead of time exactly what has caused the issue so you need to try each step one by one until you’ve identified the problem. Also each troubleshooting step can fix this issue so after doing each step see if it has fixed the problem unless otherwise stated.
1. The brushbar is obstructed and needs to be cleared
The brushbar is the part of a Vax carpet cleaner that agitates the carpet to ‘scrub’ it clean. It can get jammed. Here’s a video that shows how to inspect it:
Some models have two brush bars and you need to check both. If both are completely free of debris and should be able to turn properly then you should contact the Vax customer support team over email or over their live chat via their official website.
2. The thermal cut off has been triggered due to a blockage
There’s a safety feature of Vax carpet cleaners where if the temperature inside it gets too hot it will shut off. This stops the heat from damaging it. This can occur if it’s working harder than normal to create suction due to a blockage.
So this indicates there’s another issue that needs to be fixed for this to stop happening but is reassuring to know. Due to the fact that it won’t turn on because it has overheated Vax recommends leaving it for 24 hours to cool down and then try again. After 24 hours if it’s still not turning on you should do what’s explained in step 3, below.
3. Replace the 13 amp fuse with a new one
Where it won’t turn on after 24 hours it indicates that the fuse in the plug that goes into the wall outlet has blown. This is a small fuse inside the plug that is attached to your Vax carpet cleaner. It’s located in the thicker part of the plug with the pins that you plug into the wall. To access it you unscrew the screw in the plug and remove the fuse, and then put in a new one.
4. Not providing any suction from the base – what to do
It’s important to note that each Vax carpet cleaner is slightly different. And exactly what to do if you have this suction issue can vary based on the model. If you go to this page on the official Vax website, it shows you pictures of each of the different models, and you can select which one you have.
Once you select it, it will give you a broad overview of how to fix a loss of suction for your specific model. With that said, here’s generally what to do. First remove the dirty water tank.
Then you should turn your carpet cleaner on. Where the tank sits there’s a circular hole where the liquid enters the dirty water tank. Place your hand over it to feel if it’s providing any suction.
If it’s providing a weak suction or there’s no suction at all, you should contact Vax customer support via their official website of email or live chat.
5. Not providing any suction from the hose – what to do
Turn your carpet cleaner off. Then remove the hose and open the latch where the hose normally connects to. Place your hand over the hole that’s there and feel if it’s providing suction.
If the suction is weak, or you’re not getting any suction then you need to contact the Vax customer support for this issue. Go to their official website, and contact them via live chat. You can also send them an email about this issue. If it is providing good suction then you should check that the hose is connected properly.
When it isn’t, air can leak and it can’t create a good enough suction. If after checking the hose if connected correctly and it’s still not providing good suction it can mean that you need a replacement hose or the hose has a blockage somehow that needs to be cleared. Refer to the next step to see how to check for blockages with the hose.
6. Check there are no blockages in the hose
The hose can be checked for blockages using an old coat hanger. Unwind the coat hanger using some pliers or your hands then gently poke it into the hose. Don’t go all the way to the very end of the hose, as you can press into the inner workings of the carpet cleaner and damage them.
Only stay within the flexy bendable hose part. Feel around to see if there is some sort of blockage. It’s possible a piece of something has lodged on the side and hardened.
Over time, as the debris in the water flows past it, it can accumulate and can grow bigger and bigger before it’s obstructing the pipe a lot. You can either clear the blockage yourself or order a completely new replacement hose via the Vax website.
Vax Carpet Cleaner Not Turning On
Generally, you can plug in a Vax carpet cleaner, turn it on, and it just works. Provided you’ve checked it’s not the wall outlet that has an issue by plugging something else into it, here’s what causes this issue and how to fix it.
This is caused by the thermal shut off being triggered due to overheating, or the 13 amp fuse in the plug that goes into the wall outlet is blown. A Vax carpet cleaner can overheat due to a blockage causing extra strain on it. When this happens, wait 24 hours then try again.
If it’s still not working after 24 hours the 13 amp fuse in the power plug needs to be replaced. I’ve provided a video that shows exactly how to replace it above. Look for step ‘3. Replace the 13 amp fuse with a new one’ and follow the instructions in the video or have an appliance repair person do the repair for you.
Vax Carpet Cleaner Not Picking up Water
The detergent, water, and dirt sitting on the carpet after the scrubbers on your Vax carpet cleaner have done their work is sucked up from the base or a hose depending on the model of Vax carpet cleaner. If it’s not drawing up the water into the Vax carpet cleaner here’s how to troubleshoot this issue.
The hose that provides suction can be blocked or needs replacing. You can inspect the hose by disconnecting it and putting your hand over the hole. But, if it’s not providing suction from the base rather than the hose this issue generally can only be solved by Vax customer support.
I’ve included two steps for both types of Vax Carpet Cleaners above, each Vax Carpet Cleaner is slightly different, so exactly what you need to do when it isn’t sucking up water differs depending on what model of Vax Carpet Cleaner you have. There are a list of steps for fixing a Vax carpet cleaner at the top of this article.
Scroll to step ‘4. Not providing any suction from the base’ and step ‘5. Not providing any suction from the hose’, and follow the instructions in those steps.
A blockage or electrical issue can trigger the thermal cutoff safety feature. Leave it for 24 hours to cool down. For suction issues remove the hose, and dirty water tank and turn your Vax on. See if you get suction from the hole where the hose connects, and the hole where the dirty water tank fits.