Why Vacuum Cleaner Loses Suction and How to Fix Lost Vacuum Suction

The vacuum cleaner was invented in the early 20th century. Before the invention of vacuums, the only way to clean your house was to dust, sweep and mop it by hand. This was a rather laborious and time-intensive task. Since its invention vacuum cleaners have come very far in terms of suction power and the overall number and types of functions it can now perform. In this article, we will discuss why the vacuum cleaner loses suction.

Some vacuum cleaners not only collect solid dust and debris particles but can also suck up and collect liquid. Companies like Shark, Dyson, and Hoover are a few companies that are top producers of some of the top-rated vacuum cleaners around the world.

Why Vacuum Cleaner Loses Suction

A typical vacuum cleaners’ primary job is to suck up dust and debris particles from various surfaces. It follows a simple principle where the motor causes the fan to rotate and creates a suction motion that helps collect dust from the floor, carpet, upholstery and other surfaces and deposits it to a collection bag.

The Most Common Reasons of Why Vacuum Cleaner Loses Suction & How to Resolve it

So, why do vacuum cleaners sometimes lose suction?

  • The hose
  • The vacuum bag
  • Clogged rollers
  • Broken vacuum belt
  • Faulty gasket, and
  • Damaged motor

These are the most common reasons why a vacuum cleaner loses suction.

The Bag

Another answer as to why do vacuum cleaners lose suction is rather simple. The collecting bag is either full and cannot hold any more dust and debris, or it has some form of a tear or leak. This has a simple solution too. Just change the bag.

Change the bag anyways when checking for why the vacuum has lost its suction- to be sure.

Also, wipe down the canister to clean it up in case of dirt buildup.

The Hose

The hose collects the dust and debris from the surface and deposits it into the collection bag. It may get clogged, causing the vacuum cleaner to lose its suction. Detach the hose and check the hole where the hose connects to the actual machine. It may be clogged with hair and other forms of rubbish. Using a pair of tweezers or scissors, try and detangle the hair and debris clogging the area.

How to Fix Loss Suction

Then check the hose for cracks. Cracks lead to the system becoming not airtight and thus resulting in loss of suction for your vacuum cleaner. Once you have located any possible crack in the hose, use silicon putty to cover it up and make the hose airtight again.

If your vacuum still hasn’t returned to its original suction capability, then change the hose next.

The Rollers

The rollers can also get clogged. Turn your vacuum upside down and check the rollers to see if anything is tangled in it, causing it to become clogged. Rollers help the flow of air so it becoming tangled can cause your vacuum cleaner to lose its suction too. Using a pair of scissors snip away and hair or particles tangled with the rollers so that they become unclogged and normal airflow can resume.

Vacuum Belt or Gasket

It is recommended by the users and the makers themselves that you change your vacuum belt every three months. The motor pulley turns the belt, which creates enough friction leading to a deep cleansing for your surface. As a result, vacuum belts stretch out with use causing wear and tear leading to loss of suction in a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum belt may become tangled and lead to the same problem.

A gasket could be worn out, or it might be broken. Replace it with a new one.

The Motor

The electric motor causes the fan to rotate, which creates the suction that enables the vacuum to collect dust particles from different surfaces. A faulty motor may not just lead to the eventual loss of suction for a vacuum cleaner, but the machine might not turn on.

A simple way of detecting faulty motor is by listening to your machine. If the vacuum cleaner is louder than usual or makes any odd ‘clank- clank’ and isn’t functioning like it usually does, the motor may be faulty.

Some Other Areas to Look Into

These are a few key areas damage to which can be why vacuum cleaner loses suction. However, there are some other causes also for which the vacuum cleaner loses its suction.

Check the filters. This is mainly applicable for the vacuum cleaners without any collection bag (e.g. Dyson). It is recommended to change the filters every few weeks. This is not only because they may lead to loss of suction, but dirt build up in the filters may also cause allergies for the people in the household.

The fan blades may break, which means that they will not be able to rotate and collect dust from the surface you are cleaning. If you find that a fan blade has broken replace the fan with a new one to get a fully functioning vacuum cleaner again.


Vacuum cleaners use a simple mechanism to suck up dust and debris from various surfaces. If there is any form of leakage that prevents the system from being airtight, then the vacuum will lose its suction. Similarly, any obstruction to the airflow throughout the system may also lead to cleaning power loss.

Sometimes vacuum cleaners are unable to suck up to various particles from the floor, carpet or upholstery because of the machine’s height settings. The height of the device may have been set at a higher level than what is suitable for the surface you are cleaning. Most vacuum cleaners have a knob or a dial that allows you to adjust the height. Lower the height by turning the dial.

These are some of the common causes which work as an answer to the question- why vacuum cleaner loses suction.

Even after checking all the parts mentioned above and performing all the consequent fixes stated for each faulty part your vacuum still doesn’t have full capacity suction- it may be time to send it to the repair shop. Vacuum cleaner repairs are comparatively inexpensive.

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