Vacuum Not Sucking: Causes And Solutions

Your vacuum is not sucking up dirt and debris or performing with reduced suction because either its filter is dirty, the hose is blocked, or the vacuum bag is full. It can sometimes be because of a depleted battery too.

Do your vacuum need to swipe the same area multiple times to clean it? Wasn’t that the case when you bought your vacuum? So, why is it so? It is because the suction of your vacuum is reduced. So, why is your vacuum not sucking?

The best part is that all these problems have an easy fix. Cleaning the filter, clearing debris from the airflow channel, or removing the hair entanglements from the brush bar can be all needed to restore a strong vacuum suction. Even if your vacuum requires a new part, you can fix it yourself.

This article mentions quick tips on improving your vacuum’s suction. We also talk about the reasons behind the suction getting reduced to make you understand the logic behind the suggestions:

What determines the suction power of a vacuum cleaner?

What determines the suction power of a vacuum cleaner

As we know, a vacuum cleaner’s primary function is to draw dirt and dust particles from the floors, carpet and surroundings into a fixed container called the dust bag. 

To create the suction to draw these particles in, the vacuum cleaner’s motor must have a particular amount of power to generate a great pressure differential between the vacuum’s interior and outside. This pressure differential is called suction power. 

In simple words, suction power of the vacuum is determined by the amount of power the motor needs to suck the particles.

This suction power is measured in watts. It is commonly believed that the more watts of a vacuum, the better it will suck the dust and dirt. Is it true? While it is, the watts are not the only factor affecting a vacuum’s suction power. 

Here, you can look at a few other elements that affect and contribute to a vacuum cleaner’s suction force.

First off, a vacuum with a poor filter will have less suction. Thus, frequent cleaning that removes dirt build-up will improve suction power.

A vacuum with a full dust bag will have less suction capacity and may stop abruptly.

To prevent such unexpected pauses in the functioning of your vacuum, be sure to check the vacuum cleaner bag at regular intervals based on the size of the dust container.

In this way, the suction power depends on whether your machine is properly maintained. You must heed the variables like the kind of filters, whether they are being cleaned or not, the size of the dust container, whether it is full or not, whether the vacuum hose is blocked or not, etc., to ensure that the vacuum maintains a strong suction force.

Why does a vacuum cleaner not suck? The Causes

Why does a vacuum cleaner not suck

Now, we come to the factors causing the low suction of the vacuum. Reduced suction can result from a clogged vacuum cleaner’s filters, full dust container and empty battery.

Here are some of the common vacuum cleaner problems that leads to loss of suction:

Vacuum cleaner is full of dust

One potential explanation for the vacuum cleaner not sucking or picking up dirt and debris is that the dirtbag may be full.

If the dirt bag is full, the vacuum doesn’t work as max suction as there is no space for the collected dirt to deposit. 

In such a situation, you are supposed to empty the bag and clean the container thoroughly. 

Clogged or old filter

Your vacuum cleaner must be cleaned whether it uses bags or not because low suction can also result from dirty filters.

Clogged filters prevent the machine from drawing in enough air to provide suction. Filters of vacuum cleaners are of various types; hence their cleaning instructions differ.

Air Leakage

The problem could be brought on by a worn out or damaged vacuum hose causing air leakage.

First, make sure the vacuum hose is securely attached to the vacuum and that the rubber body of it has not split.

If the tube is damaged in any way, it must be fixed immediately or replaced since air leakage is sure to reduce the suction power of your vacuum.


The vacuum cleaner’s hose may be blocked if it lacks suction and cannot suck up dirt and debris.

Examine the intake valve for any damage, such as cracks and holes, and check them for obstructions. Shine a strong torchlight into one end, and attempt to observe light passing through it. 

If no light is seen, the hose probably has a clog or obstruction. Remove the clog by forcing anything sharp through the hose.

An empty battery

If the vacuum is not adequately powered, the suction can seem reduced. This reason is uncommon for directly powered vacuums; however, this is common with battery-powered ones.

Users have experienced this problem toward the time when their battery starts to deplete.

It often happens that instead of stopping the machine once and for all, the vacuum battery drains slowly, reducing the vacuum suction in the process.  

How To Increase The Suction Power of a Vacuum Cleaner?

Trying simple and easy cleaning techniques can help you improve your vacuum cleaner’s suction power.

These are tried-and-tested methods for regaining your vacuum power to its full force. Get acquainted with these:

Emptying the dust container

First, cleaning your vacuum properly is the only true method to maintain and restore its functionality. Always be sure to check the dust canisters; if it is full, immediately empty it, or it will impact the suction negatively.

The ideal frequency for cleaning is once per month, but depending on whether your dust container is big or small, you can decide the frequency yourself.

Doing so will keep wear and tear to a minimum and remove any filth accumulation on the dust canister contributing to power loss.

Checking for blockages

Inspecting your vacuum, particularly the hose, for potential obstructions should be your second step. You can hold a flashlight through the tube to search the hose for any dark clusters of debris or hair clumps.

Clearing up blockages is a simple technique that doesn’t take much work, wield a little thing such as a broomstick and push the debris out of the blocked hose.

You’ll avoid plenty of headaches if you can learn how to unclog a vacuum line.

Check possible air leaks

Air leaks in the vacuum hose are equally as problematic as blockages. You must carefully clean and disconnect your hose to inspect for cracks or wear.

Once it has been cleaned, reconnect it and check the hose for leaks by running your hands along it. If the hose leaks, you have two options: repair the leak or replace the vacuum tube entirely.

Wash Vacuum filters

Suction power may be significantly increased by ensuring your filters are clean and well-maintained. One of the main causes of inadequate suction is a dusty and grimy filter.

Since most filters are detachable and can be replaced, you must buy and install a new one. Be sure to find the right filter for your device if you plan to replace it.

You may also consult your vacuum manufacturer for the same.

What to do if your vacuum still doesn’t work?

We discussed how maintaining the cleanliness of the vacuum will ensure that the suction is working properly at an optimum force and the machine is performing appropriately.

The steps mentioned above have helped many users in getting rid of the problem of lose suction with their vacuums. You should also resolve your vacuum’s suction problem with the suggestions above.

Your vacuum cleaner might have a technical flaw if the issue persists. Please get in touch with a licenced service representative if you have further questions.

But before approaching a service agent, please check the warranty of your device. If your vacuum is still under warranty, you can use the repair service for free.

You have to find the contact number of the support team in the user manual given by your manufacturer.

Most companies have an in-house team of technicians to cater to customers’ grievances.

What if the problem is not with the suction?

Reduced suction isn’t always because of the poor maintenance of the vacuum. A few other reasons that contribute to the low or lost suction of the vacuum are as follows:

  • Suction can also be impacted by problems other than a full bag or canister, clogged filters, stopped hoses, and hair- or string-entangled brush rolls. Your belt is probably broken if you don’t notice any issues there. In this situation, the way to fix the suction is to remove the vacuum belt and replace it with a new one. You can also get it replaced by an authorized repair agent. 
  • There is a brush attached to the suction nozzle of your vacuum; this is called the agitator brush. Since this brush comes directly in contact with all kinds of trash, it is more likely to get dirty and entangled in a mess. When it does, it blocks the nozzle and impacts the suction power, reducing it significantly. 
  • We haven’t talked about the motor yet. The motor is the powerhouse of the vacuum that keeps it running, but at the same time, it is the part that is most susceptible to damage and collapse. Users often need to take care while vacuuming. Since the vacuum can’t sweep liquid material, liquid making its way into the vacuum corrupts the motor and reduces the suction.


Your vacuum does not necessarily need to be changed if it loses suction. You should be able to get your vacuum cleaner back to its previous strength by cleaning the filter, emptying the dust bag, removing the debris from the vacuum cleaner hose, and maintaining the device’s cleanliness.

If none addresses the loss of suction issue, you should look further to find the problem. Look for a belt stuck, broken belt or worn-out gasket that might let air out. Otherwise, consider bringing the vacuum to the closest repair facility for comprehensive maintenance.

Robbert Randy

Robbert is an expert in vacuums. He graduated from the University of Applied Science with a degree in Commercial Economics in 2019. He tests and provide troubleshooting tips to vacuum users on his website. He don’t do this for profit–he simply want to research the best models out there and share his findings.

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