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What do you do when your vacuum cleaner doesn’t turn on? Did you know that it is a common problem and is often fixed easily? In fact, some of the solutions may surprise you.

It is extremely frustrating when you are trying to do something, like vacuum your floors, but cannot due to something outside of your control, such as your vacuum cleaner not turning on. The solution may be in your control. Come with us as we look at some of the solutions when your vacuum cleaner does not turn on.

Why Won’t My Vacuum Turn On?

There are a few reasons why your vacuum cleaner will not turn on. Some are obvious, and some are not. Let’s start with the most simple.

Are you sure that there is power going to your vacuum?

The best place to start is at the wall. Check to see if you actually plugged the vacuum in. This may sound silly, but you may be in such a routine that you forgot to plug the vacuum into the wall.

If you did not, then it is easy to fix. Simply plug your vacuum in, and you are ready to go. Do not worry; we have all kicked out cords out of the wall by mistake and then spent time trying to find the problem.

Vacuum cleaner won't turn on - electrical checks

Check the power is routing from your wall socket to the vacuum

Talking of power at the wall, are you sure that there is power there? It may be that the breaker has tripped and you have to reset it. Is there a switch connected to that power source? Could someone have turned it off by mistake?

The best way to check is to plug something else into that wall. Perhaps a phone charger or radio. When you plug those in, is there power? If there is not, then the problem is not your vacuum cleaner.

You should also check that the plug is all the way into the wall. It may sound silly, but if the plug is slightly out you might not be getting the full connection. Try pushing the plug fully in and see if that makes a difference.

What about the route to the vacuum?

If you have found that the wall has power, then check from the plug to the vacuum. Check every part of your cord to make sure that it is not damaged (of course, unplug it from the wall first). If you have any pets, then there is a chance that they could have chewed through the cable. Check that there are no broken connections at each end too, where the cable meets the plug or the vacuum.

The other thing to check is the switch. Sometimes the switch on the vacuum is not fully pressed. If this is the case, make sure to press it in fully. You should also do a visual examination to ensure that the switch is not damaged in any way. Does it look and feel the same?

Check The bag

In some models of a vacuum cleaner, the vacuum will not turn on if the bag or canister is full. Even if your bag is not full, it may be worth emptying or replacing it and trying to turn on the vacuum again. If there is any blockage in airflow, the vacuum may not work. The reason for this is to prevent the motor from being strained and causing any internal damage.

Check the Instruction Manual

Check your instruction manual too. Some modern vacuums come with a safety shutoff which will disable the motor if it becomes too hot. If you have been recently using your vacuum cleaner for a long time, then that could be the problem. Place your hand on the casing near the motor.

Overheating Shut Off

Does it feel hot? The vacuum may have automatically shut itself off. Wait ten minutes and try turning the vacuum on again. Of course, if you have not recently been using the vacuum, this cannot be the problem.

Brush Roll Issues

Vacuum won't turn on - brush roll check

A clogged brush roll could be the reason your vacuum won't turn on

Check the brush roll at the suction head too. If that roller is tangled and will not spin, that could be a reason why the vacuum cleaner will not turn on. If you can hear power going into the motor but the vacuum is still not working, then turn the vacuum off and clean or untangle the brush head. Once you have done so, turn the vacuum back on and see if the problem is fixed.


Are there any blockages? If the air cannot flow, the vacuum may not switch on. Check the suction head, filters, and any tubes. If you find a blockage, then you may just have solved your problem.

The electrical path

The other thing which you can do is to follow the electrical path of your vacuum. You will need to have a multimeter and a little bit of expertise for this, but it can save you a lot of money in diagnostics. You will need to open up your vacuum and check for any open circuits.

Start with the circuits which are closest to the plug. Work your way from there to the motor. If you find a broken circuit, then you can replace that part of the circuit by yourself or take it somewhere to be replaced.

Are there any fuses in your vacuum? Those are something to check too. If there are fuses, then perform a visual check and use your multimeter to check if the fused connection has been broken. Fuses are easy to replace and inexpensive.

If you have the skills, you can also do a visual check of the motor and replace any broken parts. If the problem is the motor, then it is often easier and more affordable to buy a new vacuum than to try to fix it or take it to a professional to be fixed.

The most common fixes for your vacuum are common sense. If you cannot fix the vacuum by yourself in a few minutes, then there is a good chance that you are going to need to replace some of the electrics or a motor part.