Dyson Vacuum Not Sucking: Understanding and Solving the Problem

Dyson Vacuum Not Sucking: A Comprehensive Checklist

Sep 05, 2023
As amazing as they are, vacuum cleaners from Dyson can still run into problems occasionally. For example, a common issue is that it no longer picks up debris.

There are plenty of reasons for a Dyson vacuum not sucking, and surprisingly, you can solve most of them with simple tools in the house. Follow this checklist to figure out what is wrong with your vacuum.

Dyson Vacuum Not Sucking: What To Check

Check the roller

The roller should be the first place you look for an explanation of your Dyson not sucking. It's the most likely culprit if the motor is still functional, but your vacuum can't pick up anything.

Like fixing any electrical appliance, make sure that your vacuum has been completely unplugged before you start the inspection.

A Dyson vacuum roller

A Dyson vacuum roller Via: Amazon

Turn the machine upside down so you can have better access to the roller. A working roller should be clear of string, cotton, and hair. After many cleaning sessions, this part usually attracts plenty of debris and gets clogged up as a result.

If a member of your family has long hair, you have rugs with edgings, or you own pets, there is a high chance of stuff wrapping tightly along the length of your vacuum cleaner's roller.

As hair and string build up, it decreases the performance of the vacuum and stops it from working properly as designed. To bring back the old suction power, you will want to clear any hair wrapped around the roller thoroughly.

Around the roller, there is a plate that will come off easily if you remove the screws. Some Dyson vacuums come with three bigger crews to hold this plate, but you still only need a quarter turn to remove it.

Brush bar

Brush bar Via: Amazon

With this plate removed, you will have better access to the brushes and roller. It's not recommended to take off the plate completely since it's held in place by a rubber belt, and it's difficult to refit it correctly. If you see a broken belt, go ahead and replace it. But if there is no damage to this rubber belt, it's better to leave it alone.

Use a pair of scissors to cut any cotton and hair stuck in the roller. You may need several minutes to pull it all out completely. Make sure that it's all clear before putting the guard back in place.

Check the filters

The filtration system is another part of the vacuum that is usually blocked with dirt, leading to your Dyson vacuum losing suction. This should be where you check next after looking at the brushes and roller. Even models with just one filter will stop sucking normally if the filter gets full of dirt and dust.

Luckily for you, most Dyson vacuums are equipped with reusable filters, so you don't need to throw them out and buy a replacement whenever the dirt has built up significantly. You can just wash and dry them before reattaching them into the machine.

Find the model number

First, you will need to figure out the actual model number of your Dyson vacuum. This information will allow you to find out which filters need to be washed and how often. Turn off and unplug the vacuum before you examine it.

Find the serial number

Find the serial number

Search for a sticker on the vacuum and jot down the serial number printed on it. You can find this sticker behind the clear bin, at the bottom between the wheels, or behind the hose. Visit this website if you have trouble finding the serial number on your machine.

Register your machine with Dyson. The website will ask for the serial number. Or you can just go to https://www.dyson.com/support and select your model so Dyson can show you the right troubleshooting page. Pick the description and image that fits your vacuum the most and select the “Cleaning the filters” topic.

The tutorial video will tell you how often you should wash the filters of your vacuum. You can also find this recommendation from the user manual on the same page.

This video will also show you step-by-step how to remove and wash the filter, depending on which model you are using. For example, vacuums such as the Dyson DC06 have two filters, one you never need to wash and one you should clean often. On the other hand, Dyson recommends users of the V11 wash the filter unit at least once a month.

   ➜ RELATED:  How To Get The Best Dyson Vacuum That's Worth The Price

Remove the filter

The tutorial video or the user manual should tell you how to take off the filter from the machine properly without damaging it. Always remember to switch it off and unplug it first. Attempting to open the vacuum when it's plugged in or turned on is very dangerous.

Open your vacuum carefully. If the filter has a plastic housing, push the release button to separate it.

Clean the filter

Some Dyson cordless and upright vacuums, such as the DC17 and DC35, require a pre-soak. On the other hand, models like the DC24 do not.

Clean the filter

Clean the filter

Find a big bowl in your kitchen and fill it with cold water. Put the filter in this bowl and submerge it completely for at least five minutes. You don't need to add any cleaning solution or detergent like soap.

Rinse the filter and squeeze it gently. Repeat this for about five more minutes until you see only clear water coming out of the filter.

Dry the filter

Drain the excess water from the filter. Tap it against the sink or your hand to remove any droplets of water.

Put it in a dry place, like near a radiator or a window. Don't put it near an open flame, in a tumble dryer, or in a microwave.

Allow it to dry completely, as long as needed. For some Dyson cordless and upright vacuums, the air-dry process could take twelve hours, while some robot and upright models should be allowed to air dry for a full day.

Check the hose

Blockages in the hose are a common reason a Dyson vacuum has no suction from the wand.

If you have a canister model, take the suction hose off the inlet and inspect the suction coming out of it. If the inlet still produces strong suction, the blockage has to be somewhere in the extension wand or the suction hose.

Remove the extension wand and look inside it under the light. If your view is totally or partially obstructed, then the blockage lies here. If you can see the light clearly, then the blockage must be within the suction hose. Use a wire hanger to pull the obstructions out of the hose or wand.



If you have a Dyson upright, remove the clear bin. Turn it on and feel the suction coming out of the exhaust with your hand. If it's stronger than the suction coming out of the floor cleaning head, check the cleaning tool and cleaning head for blockages.

Remove any obstructions you find, including debris and hair that has clogged the cleaning head. Use a clothes hanger to get rid of the dirt that has accumulated inside the head, especially on the topmost shelf. This area tends to gather a lot of dirt while vacuuming and could lead to reduced suction as a result.

Check the bin

Make sure that you have emptied the dirt bin on your Dyson vacuum. This thought may not cross your mind, but this is a common reason why your Dyson vacuum has no suction from the base.

Empty the bin

Empty the bin

While using your Dyson vacuum to clean your house, always pay attention to the clear bin to see how dirt and debris have filled up the bin and when you should empty it.

A completely full or nearly full bin leaves little space left for more debris and this weakens the suction of the vacuum, leading to your Dyson not picking up. The air will then be directed to a small vent above the filter with a possible loud hiss.

To empty it, push the release lever on the hand and remove the clear container. You will find a red latch at the bottom of the bin. Hold it down and slide the dirt bin off the machine to empty it. Make sure you also check the seals for any damage while you're at it.

Check the nozzle

If you own a Dyson handheld, see whether there is any blockage or obstruction inside the nozzle that could cause the vacuum to lose suction. This is a very easy check that can make your unit functional again after your Dyson ball vacuum has no suction.



Check the U-bend pipe

Many Dyson vacuum models have a U-bend pipe located at the back of the machine to connect the attachment hose to the dust cup. This pipe is locked into place with a quarter-turn screw.

Some of them are transparent, and you can see right away if it's blocked without removing it. If the pipe of your model is opaque, however, take it off and check for blockages by blowing into one end.

Clean the pipe before putting it back in your vacuum cleaner to fix your Dyson Animal with no suction.

Check the side valve

There could be a valve on the side of your Dyson vacuum. Remove it from the machine by pushing a button near it. Blow into one end to see if there are any blockages.

If you can't clearly feel the air on the other end, it means the valve needs to be cleaned.

Check the bristles

While the bristles of vacuum cleaners are usually sharp at the beginning, they wear out over time, especially if your vacuum is many years old. If your Dyson animal lost suction, make sure yours looks like a new toothbrush. If not, you may need to replace the whole brush bar.

Tips On Using Dyson Vacuums

Choose the right model. Different vacuum models are designed for different home sizes and floor types. Picking the right model will make a huge difference to the speed and ease of your cleaning sessions.

Choose the right vacuum type

Choose the right vacuum type

Use the right settings. Take advantage of the multiple options Dyson has designed for your vacuum, depending on the floor type you need to clean.

Maintain your vacuum regularly. Follow the recommended routine in your user manual, such as emptying the bin and washing filters regularly, to prolong the lifespan of your vacuum.


A Dyson vacuum not sucking isn't a rare issue, but most of the time, you can figure out the culprit and fix it yourself, thanks to these Dyson vacuum troubleshooting tips. Don't forget to maintain your vacuum regularly so this kind of issue won’t occur again in the future.


  • 01. Why is my Dyson not working properly?
  • This is a very broad question that could only be resolved if you tell us exactly what doesn't work.

    Dyson is a reputable vacuum brand that makes high-end machines with an expensive price tag. Their vacuums are known for their powerful performance and impressive lifespan. However, as amazing as they are, these vacuums could still run into issues one day.

    Common problems with Dyson vacuums are lost suction, the vacuum not picking up debris, the brush bar not spinning, or the whole machine pulsating for no reason. The fix will depend on what has gone wrong with your vacuum.

    If your Dyson vacuum won't turn on, check the cable and battery. You should also check out another post of ours to learn the reason for your Dyson not charging.

  • 02. How often should you replace your Dyson vacuum filter?
  • The actual period between replacements of the filters depends on how often you vacuum your house and how dirty the floors are. The user manual will teach you how to clean Dyson vacuums and keep the filters free from blockages.

    But just to be sure, replace them every year. You can buy genuine filters for your vacuum directly from Dyson.

    Dyson filter replacements

    Dyson filter replacements Via: Amazon

  • 03. How do I unblock my Dyson?
  • Follow the steps above and check the parts that are commonly blocked by large debris.

  • 04. Check for any blockages inside the hose and extension wand. Empty the dirt bin and clean your filters as well. Finally, request support from Dyson if the motor has stopped working?
  • Many things could be reasons why your Dyson vacuum stopped having suction. Besides the Dyson vacuum suction motor not working, the drop in suction could also be explained by a dirty filter or a blocked hose.

  • 05. How do I fix the suction on my vacuum?
  • Check for any blockages inside the hose and extension wand. Empty the dirt bin and clean your filters as well. Finally, request support from Dyson if the motor has stopped working.

You Might Also Like