Shark Vacuum Troubleshooting: Tips and Tricks for Smooth Operation


Shark Vacuum Troubleshooting - Tips to Repair Common Shark Problems

Jun 14, 2023
Keeping your floors clean is a time-consuming and boring chore. Luckily, we can always rely on high-performing Shark vacuum cleaners to help us with this task. However, these machines can sometimes leave us with frustrating issues. Don’t panic! Equipping yourself with some tips for Shark vacuum troubleshooting will help you get your cleaning tool back on track. 

Since these Shark vacuums handle most of our daily cleaning jobs, it’s normal for any floor cleaning devices, even the most well-constructed ones, to lag behind in performance. In this Shark vacuum troubleshooting guideline, I will share with you some simple yet effective instructions to fix the commonest problems. So without further ado, let’s get started!

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1. Shark vacuum suction noise

Suction noise is quite common, but it’s fixable as this is very likely the result of a full dust cup, dirty filters or tangled brush roll. Here’s a step-by-step guide to clean the dust cup:

  • Unplug your vacuum.
  • Empty the dust cup, clear up all dirt and debris.
  • Remove the filters, clean them under running water.
  • Inspect the airflow of your hose, the end of your vacuum’s handle, and the front of its wand. Clear up dust (if any).
  • Remove dust and hair from the brush roll.

Shark always recommends users clean the filters regularly, and it’s a must-have part of the maintenance process. So you’ll also need to remove the bin, then use an old toothbrush or scrub pad to clean around the metal grate. 

Most filters are washable, so you can run them under the water until it’s clear, then leave it to dry for 24 hours before putting it back in. Shark HEPA filter cleaning requires a little more attention as it depends on where it is located.

Shark vacuums’ HEPA filter is easy to detach and maintain

Shark vacuums’ HEPA filter is easy to detach and maintain Via: Amazon

For some Shark models, the HEPA filter is right in front of the canister, while for some others, it’s behind the dust chamber. Once you know where it is, remove its cover from the unit’s body, push the front tab to release the HEPA filter, and gently wash it under a faucet until the water runs clear.

If your vacuum begins to make loud noises all of a sudden, chances are the brush roll is wrapped around by fiber, like hair or strings. This tangled brush roll is one of the reasons for your Shark vacuum brush not spinning. Fixing this issue is pretty straightforward, and here’s a step-by-step guide to clean the brush roll:

  • Unplug the vacuum and look for three plastic knobs in the brush roll plate to unlock them.
  • Remove the belt and then the bar.
  • Grab a pair of scissors to cut hair and strings stuck on the brush. You can also use a razor blade, but pay extra attention when using one, as you might cut the internal wiring.
  • Clean the bar thoroughly so that hair doesn’t hamper the suction power and cause loud noises anymore.

Now, if it is still loud and doesn’t spin, then the problem might be more serious, or your brush roll could have worn out, and you’ll probably need to replace it. Shark Navigator models tend to be the most popular machines that customers use, so I’ll share with you tips for the Shark Navigator brush roll replacement. First, you’ll need to remove the old brush roll by following these steps:

  • Unplug the unit to prevent any untoward incidents like getting an electric shock.
  • Release the canister by lifting the latches located on both sides of the unit.
  • Place the unit on the floor so you can easily get your hand on the bottom part of the brush roll.
  • Remove the plastic cover of the brush roll compartment to release the screws.
  • Pull the wheels off the compartment, then separate the roller brush lower and upper part. You'll need to do this with extra care to avoid breaking the wires.

Replacing the brush roll for your Shark upright is not too difficult

Replacing the brush roll for your Shark upright is not too difficult Via: Amazon

Now, you can follow the  steps below to replace your brush roll:

  • Put the new brush roll into the cleaner head. Make sure that it is fixed properly.
  • Join the separate halves of the compartment together before putting back all of the screws.
  • Connect the wheels.
  • Re-install the dust canister.
  • Plug the unit in and check if the brush roll replacement works properly.

   ➜ RELATED: Shark Vacuum No Suction: How To Troubleshoot & Fix Your Vacuum Cleaner

2. Shark Vacuum Not Picking Up Debris

Most Shark vacuum troubleshooting guides provide Shark vacuum owners with tips on how to fix their machines when they stop working. This guide is no exception, but before going into the details, I think it’s worth noting here that sometimes your vacuum doesn’t pick up debris just because of very simple reasons like a blocked hose, dirty filters, or a full dust cup.

That being said, if your Shark vacuum stopped working or picking up debris, it might lose suction power because of blockage in the canister, brush roll, or filters. So you can follow my guidance in the above section to check and fix problems in these components.

After trying these tips and cleaning your vacuum thoroughly, you still have a problem with poor suction performance, it sounds like your vacuum’s motor is not working. While most Shark vacuum professionals would recommend you to purchase a new vacuum instead of replacing the motor, you probably need a Shark vacuum motor reset with a few simple steps:

  • Move the power button to the Off position.
  • Unplug the vacuum from its outlet.
  • Check for a clogged hose or filter, then unclog the hose and replace the filter.
  • Leave the vacuum aside for about one hour to let it cool down.
  • Plug the vacuum back in.
  • Turn the power button to the I-On position to restart it.

When your Shark vacuum won’t turn on, you can follow the above steps to reset your machine. Besides, Shark vacuum owners might want to check the power plug and the vacuum switch. Obvious as it may seem, sometimes the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced, or the plug falls off from its outlet without your noticing.

Shark vacuum overheating can be another result of underlying electrical issues. So you’ll need to check every inch of the cord to find out if there is any damage.

Another possible reason for an overheated Shark vacuum is a full dust container. Your machine’s suction becomes weaker if there is not enough airflow. So, if you vacuum hard floors and spot dirt left after several passes, it’s about time to empty the dust cup.

Clogged filters can also cause your vacuum to overheat. Vacuuming dust, debris, hair over time means that debris will build up - this will make your machine struggle to pick up debris. Wash the filters, and you’re good to go.

Pet owners should keep up with regular maintenance and periodically check their vacuum filters to ensure optimal performance.

 ➜ RELATED: How To Change And Empty The Vacuum Bag: 5 Essential Steps To Remember

3. Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator Troubleshooting

Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator are the two most popular upright vacuum lines of this manufacturer. While the Navigator models have a bigger dirt compartment and lighter construction, the Rotator models are usually better-built and have a longer power cord.

When you need to roll up your sleeves and fix common problems with these two product lines, it all comes down to some of the most regular checkups that I have mentioned above. The Shark Rotator Professional troubleshooting is no different from other Shark models.

Troubleshooting the Shark Navigator and Rotator models is not difficult 

Troubleshooting the Shark Navigator and Rotator models is not difficult Via: Amazon

So emptying the dust cup, washing the filters, checking the wires and electrical outlets, replacing the brush rolls are what you usually need to do. That said, if you’re searching for tips on how to clean Shark Navigator dust cup, simply follow the guidelines that I’ve shared with you above.

Besides, if you’re asking how to clean Shark vacuum hose, you’ve come to the right place. The hose is where dirt and debris pass through, so your vacuum hose can easily get clogged, but fixing these obstructions to restore your machine’s cleaning abilities is a no brainer. Simply follow the steps below:

  • Unplug the vacuum from the power source.
  • Detach the hose from the vacuum by pressing the tabs on each side of the nozzle.
  • Remove any clogs along the hose’s length. You might need to use a reliable tool like a broom handle to gently insert through one side and push and clogs out from the other side.
  • Wash the hose with warm water and mild detergent, then hang it over a rod for two days so the inner parts will dry completely. Don’t use a hairdryer to avoid damaging the hose.

For hygiene purposes, I would recommend you wash it in the basement, bathroom, or in an outside sink instead of using the kitchen sink. If you are pet owners of heavy-shedding four-legged friends like an Afghan Hound, an American Eskimo, or an Airedale Terrier, you will probably need to clean your vacuum hose regularly.

4. Shark Vacuum Brush Roll Indicator Light Not On

While other Shark vacuum troubleshooting guides only focus on tips to fix other more common problems like inconsistent suction or vacuums suddenly stop. I think it’s worth noting here that the brush roll indicator light is no less important than other features of your Shark vacuum.

Fixing the Shark’s brush roll indicator light is a no brainer 

Fixing the Shark’s brush roll indicator light is a no brainer Via: Amazon

Shark vacuums’ brush roll is designed to dig deep into the carpet fiber to gobble up ground-in dirt. To help prevent damage to this brush roll, Shark has included an indicator light. When the brush roll functions properly, the light is green, and when it’s blocked, it is red.

When the light is not on, you’d better check the power switch. Shark vacuums’ power switch has two modes: mode “I” only activates the suction while mode “II” activates the brush roll. So if the switch is in the incorrect position, the brush roll will not activate, and neither will the indicator light.

Now, if you’ve got the power mode in the correct position and the light indicator is still not on, make sure the nozzle is fully attached. If it’s not fully engaged, the unit’s power will not reach the roller brush, causing the light to disappear.

You can also check the brush roll to make sure it’s not blocked. The blockage can prevent the system from activating, which can be another cause for your light indicator. Also, check to see if the belt that drives the brush roll is intact. If it’s damaged, the light indicator won’t glow, and fixing this belt is not an easy task, so you’ll need to send your machine to Shark maintenance and repair services.

5. Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum Troubleshooting

Aside from some of the best upright vacuums with lift-away canisters, Shark also makes several handhelds that have stood the test of time. However, regardless of how solidly built they are, they can still leave us with issues here and there.

These machines are handy cleaning tools to help us with our daily cleaning tasks, and sometimes they don’t pick up dirt and debris or get clogged, but these problems are all fixable.

Most Shark vacuum troubleshooting guides are written for full-sized machines since cordless handhelds are cheaper to purchase. So when users face any problems with these handy tools, they don’t even bother to figure out how to fix them. However, knowing a few quick and easy tips can help you recover these lightweight yet helpful tools in no time.

Follow these below tips to ensure its smooth performance and extended lifespan:

Check the Battery Regularly 

Unlike corded vacuums, cord-free machines operate on batteries, so you need to pay attention to their battery. Make sure the battery is always fully charged before inserting it into the vacuum. The flashing indicator light goes off if the battery runs down, and most Shark handheld machines will notify their users when it's about time for a recharge.

Clean up the Dust up

I would say it’s best to empty the dust cup after each use if you’re a pet owner. Otherwise, clean the dirt chamber every two or three days. Over time you clean the dust cup, ensuring that all the debris is removed from the bin’s inlet because only a thorough cleanup will ensure proper airflow.

Clear up the Filters

The filters of Shark cordless vacuums trap dust and dirt, protecting the motor from this debris. That said, regular maintenance of your filters is important. Follow these below few quick steps:

  • Switch off the machine, then remove the filters.
  • Run them underwater and leave them to dry for one day, completely.
  • Once it’s dry, install it back in and start the vacuum up again.

Clean the Brush Roll

Just like the brush roll of a full-sized upright, the brush roll of a Shark handheld can also easily get clogged. So, detach and remove any trapped debris to ensure it will perform flawlessly.

6. Shark Ion Robot Troubleshooting

Robots are replacing traditional vacuums, and they have proven to be perfect cleaning assistants for many homeowners. However, just like any other machine, these smart tools also sometimes face issues that need to be fixed. Given below are a few quick tips to follow when your little robot doesn’t seem to work: 

 ➜ RELATED: What Are Irobots And How Do You Reset A Roomba Robot Vacuum For Your New Home?

Your Robot Doesn’t Collect dirt and debris

If your robot moves around the room but doesn’t pick up debris, then chances are its side brushes or main brush are dirty. This problem takes an easy fix as you only need to remove the brushes from the base of your robot and clear the bristles of any hair or obstructions. If the brushes are worn out, you’ll need to consider a replacement.

Robot vacuums with faulty brush motors also fail to collect debris. So after cleaning side brushes and main brush from obstructions or buildups, and your robots still do not pick up debris, it’s time to consider a motor replacement.

Shark ion robots are easy to use and troubleshoot 

Shark ion robots are easy to use and troubleshoot Via: Amazon

Light Indicators Do Not Display properly

If all LED lights are off, the problem might come from a low battery, so you will need to place it on the charging dock.

If the ‘i’ and Clean Red buttons flash simultaneously, your suction motor has probably failed. Also, robot vacuum filters work just like other full-sized and handheld machines, so you’ll need to clean the filters and ensure no blockage or obstruction.

If the Clean Read or Max light flashes, your robot might be stuck on an obstacle, or its front bumper and wheels are jammed or dirty. You only need to bring it to another location and clear up any debris from the bumper or wheels.

Robot Movement is Irregular

If your robot does not move around properly, its sensors or wheels might be dirty. You can quickly fix it by using compressed air or a dry microfiber cloth to clean the sensors and then make sure the wheels are free of hair or dirt.

The Robot Does Not charge the robot does not charge

If it doesn’t charge when docked, you’ll need to make sure that the charging dock is fully plugged into a wall outlet. Besides, the robot needs to be fully docked without being obstructed from any debris.

Reset Your Robot

For most Shark robot vacuum users, getting started with the device is always exciting and easy, but tackling the question of how to reset shark ion robot seems to be a challenge.

However, when your robot has messed up the cleaning schedule, resetting it shouldn’t be an uphill task, as you only need to follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure your WiFi connection is working correctly.
  • Shut the robot off and wait for at least 10 seconds, then turn the power on again.
  • Reboot your phone after restarting your robot.
  • If you have more than one WiFi connection in your home, pick the 2.4 GHz network.
  • Clear the existing schedule on your app.
  • Check the clock to see if it’s showing the right time. If it doesn’t,  press the reset button to set your preferred schedule.

The Bottom Line

I hope you’ve got some useful tips for Shark vacuum troubleshooting from this article. Regardless of what Shark machine you’re using, regular maintenance is always of great importance.

So, emptying the dust canister after use, cleaning the filters regularly, and checking the hose to ensure no blockages are a few easy tasks to do. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I’ll be in touch shortly.

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