Why is My Vacuum Smoking? Plus 4 WAYS To FIX This!

Your Vacuum is smoking due to worn out belt, burn out motor or clogged brush roller.

Most of us rely on vacuum cleaner to clean our house more efficiently and quickly. I have seen several people replacing their old vacuums with new and modern vacuums equipped with HEPA filters to reduce indoor pollution. But what would you do if the same vacuum cleaner regularly starts smoking?

A vacuum may also emit smoke, when the natural discharge of oil comes out as vapor from an Oil-Sealed Mechanical Pump.

Many of our website readers sent us thanks mail and asked how to fix when vacuum is smoking. This made me believe that this vacuum problem is huge and a lot of people are facing this issue and therefore I wrote this article for all of you.

Let’s get started!

Why is My Vacuum Smoking?

why is my vacuum smoking

We know that there are 3 primary reasons why a vacuum starts smoking. It can be caused by damaged or worn out belt that might be causing the motor to overheat and finally smoke.

Here’s a table of all the problems that leads to smoking in a vacuum and how you can fix them.

Damaged or Worn Out Belt Inspect the belt and replace it with a new one.
Motor is Burnt OutReplace the Motor or you can get this replaced
at an authorized service center.
Clogged Brush Roller or Hose Make a habit to clean vacuum brush and hose
every week.
Functioning Of Oil-Sealed Mechanical PumpChange the oil mist separator components.

What Should You Do When You See a Smoking Vacuum?

Most people panic when they see a smoking vacuum. Instead, you should ensure your safety and then investigate the cause.

I have already listed the causes for this problem but there could be other factors too and understanding the cause would better help us implementing the best solution.

Overheating: Smoke production in vacuums is frequently caused by overheating. When filters become clogged and the vacuum is used excessively, airflow is restricted, leading to increased strain on the motor and higher heat generation.

Electrical Issues: Smoke can also be caused by faulty wiring or a short circuit within the vacuum. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to mitigate the risk of potential fire hazards.

Mechanical Malfunction: When components like belts, bearings, or even the motor itself experience malfunctions, it can lead to the production of heavy smoke. Resolving mechanical issues can be intricate and you might have to use a professional help.

How To Fix A Smoking Vacuum Cleaner? The 4 Ways We Recommend

fixing smoke coming from vacuum

Damaged or Worn Out Belt

If a vacuum’s belt is damaged, it can result in the production of smoke. This occurs because the belt plays a crucial role in cleaning surfaces by continuously rotating the roller brush whenever the vacuum is in use.

Hence, any harm on the belt will cause mechanical damage to the vacuum itself.

It is normal for the vacuum belt to experience wear and tear with long-term usage. This can result in the belt becoming misaligned, stretched, burned, or cracked. Such issues with the belt are typically the main cause of smoke in a vacuum.

If you are experiencing smoke in a new vacuum cleaner, it could be attributed to a manufacturing defect.

How To Fix

  1. If the belt is out of place but remains intact, realign it to its proper position.
  2. Buy a Replacement Belt if it is damaged.

If you notice a burning smell, it’s likely that the belt has been damaged. Don’t worry, this video will help you fix it!

Burnt Out Motor

Motors play a vital role in the mechanics of vacuum cleaners, serving as the source of suction power. However, over time, they are prone to damage due to prolonged usage.

Additionally, after using your cleaner continuously for 3-4 hours, the motor may not be able to generate the necessary power for further cleaning.

It is important to be aware of these factors to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your vacuum cleaner.

Over time, with prolonged use (often spanning years), the power output of a motor tends to decrease. Consequently, it may eventually cease to function or even experience burnout

How To Fix

  1. Contact your vacuum manufacturer and check if they can fix the issue.
  2. If the damage is severe, change the motor.

Here’s a quick video on how to change vacuum cleaner motor.

Clogged or Faulty Brush Roller or Hose

Most people think that smoke in a vacuum is only due to a broken mechanical part and a broken brush roller, and hose has nothing to do with this. But, it’s not true!

When a roller brush or hose is clogged, it puts a lot of pressure on the other mechanical parts such as motor.

The more the load on the motor, the higher the chances of damage to the belt and motor.

How To Fix:

  1. Ensure the roller is completely free from any debris, allowing it to move smoothly without any obstruction.
  2. If the roller is broken or faulty, it may be necessary to replace it.
  3. Inspect the belt for any signs of wear and tear, and promptly replace it if needed.

Normal functioning of Oil-Sealed Mechanical Pump

If the vacuum is operating properly, but you notice smoke from the vacuum pump, it is likely due to the natural release of oil vapors. As more air enters the pump, it generates an increased amount of oil vapors escaping as mist.

An oil-sealed mechanical vacuum pump naturally emits oil vapor during its functioning.

How To Fix:

  1. You can relax knowing that there is nothing that needs to be fixed.
  2. If you notice dense smoke coming out of the vacuum, I would recommend cleaning the components of the oil mist separator, and replace them if necessary. 

How To Prevent the Vacuum from Smoking and Burning Smell?

Here are some helpful tips to prevent smoking, unpleasant odor or burning smell in your vacuum:

  1. Establish the practice of consistently cleaning the brush roller, vacuum, dust bag, or tank. This routine maintenance ensures optimal performance while enhancing the longevity of your cleaning equipment.
  2. Ensure that the roller is free from any debris that could potentially cause a blockage. If you observe the roller moving with difficulty, examine it for any hair or strands that might obstruct its smooth movement.
  3. Monitor the usage of the vacuum cleaner. Rather than cleaning the entire room in one go, divide it into phases and take 10-15 minute breaks in between. This approach will prevent the motor from overheating due to excessive workload.
  4. Regularly inspect your vacuum belt every few weeks. Identifying a displaced belt before it leads to additional damage is crucial.
  5. If you experience a significant decrease in power over time (years), it is advisable to have your motor repaired.
  6. It is important to regularly replace the air filter of your vacuum cleaner. For devices equipped with a HEPA filter, it is recommended to replace it every 6 to 8 months.

Why Do Vacuums Burn Out?

Generally, when vacuums are overused and have clogged filters, the motor inside the vacuum gets overheated. This leads to suction loss as well shorter motor life, finally leading to motor burn out.

You can easily prevent this by cleaning the vacuum filters on a regular basis and using your vacuum only when its necessary.

Is it Normal For A Vacuum to Smoke?

While it is normal for a vacuum cleaner to heat up during use, it is not normal for it to produce smoke. If your vacuum cleaner starts producing smoke, then you should immediately unplug the device and inspect the vacuum.

Smoke can indicate that there may be an underlying problem in the vacuum’s motor or one of its components. This could potentially lead to accidents or further damage to the vacuum itself if it is not properly addressed.

If you find that your vacuum cleaner has started smoking due to improper use, then you should adjust your cleaning habits and take extra caution when using the device in the future.

Make sure to read over instructions included with the vacuum before using it, as incorrect or improper usage can lead to damage or malfunctions.

How Do I Stop My Vacuum From Overheating?

You can prevent overheating in your vacuums by using it for 2-3 hours in one go and maintaining it in a good condition.

If you are using a robot vacuum, such as those from iRobot or Neato, you should be aware of the potential for them to overheat.

As these vacuums move around your home they can quickly build up heat and this can damage the motor and other parts inside the device.

Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent your vacuum from overheating.

  1. Ensure that the vacuum is set up properly and that the air vents are not blocked by any furniture or other objects.
  2. Avoid leaving the vacuum running for long periods of time and ensure that all dirt and dust have been removed from its dustbin before running it again.

Should I Repair or Replace My Smoking Vacuum?

Have you recently noticed smoke escaping from your vacuum? It may be time to consider whether it’s best to repair or replace the machine.

Vacuum repair can be a cost-effective way to save money if the problem is relatively minor, such as needing a new belt or filter. If there are more serious issues with motor failure or electrical wiring, then a new vacuum may be the better option.

When deciding whether to repair or replace your smoking vacuum, it’s important to weigh all of the factors involved.

  1. Consider how often you use the machine and if your current model is meeting the cleaning needs of your home.
  2. Research both the cost of repairs and what you might expect to pay for a new model.
  3. If you opt to repair your vacuum, evaluate whether the cost of parts and labor is worth it in comparison to investing in a new machine.
  4. Look into extended warranties or other services that can guarantee any repairs are covered should problems arise again soon after the service has been completed.
  5. If the cost of fixing your current vacuum exceeds what you’d pay for a new one, then it may be time to replace the model.

New vacuums offer users the latest in vacuum technology – allowing them to keep their homes cleaner and more efficient than ever before.

The newest models can even detect when a room is dirty or musty and provide targeted cleaning programs designed specifically for each room.

With such options, replacing your smoking vacuum can be a great way to upgrade your home’s cleaning capabilities while also saving time.

Ultimately, the decision between repairing or replacing your vacuum comes down to budget and convenience. When weighing both of these factors carefully, you can make the best choice for getting your home clean once again.

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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