Common mistakes when using a canister vacuum

Canister vacuums are without any doubt one of the most versatile cleaning tools available and they are super simple to use. However they are not designed to swallow up everything lying on your floor and are not a maintenance-free tool. They surely are known for durability and reliability but canister vacuums also need proper maintenance and care to be taken off like all other appliances. These easy-to-use tools can make your home look and feel cleaner and more beautiful however you need to make sure that you use this machine in the best possible manner. There exist some common spots that people usually neglect and these mistakes result in causing damage to your canister.

Some Common Problems

Some basic questions related to the problem need to be answered before starting to repair:

  • Is the canister not turning on?
  • Is the canister turning on but not staying on?
  • Is your machine leaving dust and debris back on the floor?
  • Is the vacuum not working evenly?
  • Is the suction power not appropriate?
  • Is the machine producing different noises?
  • Is the machine returning a bad odor?
  • Is it tripping the room’s circuit breaker?

Once the problem is identified, then it becomes easier to repair!

Steps for repairing

1. If the canister vacuum is not starting:

  • Check if the canister vacuum is plugged in properly and switched on. Also, check if the outlet you are using has a proper flow of power according to the requirements of your machine. You can try checking with a circuit tester or can plug any other appliance (like a lamp) to check if the outlet is working fine. If it is not offering power flow properly, then your vacuum will obviously not work. Repair the outlet or use another outlet with an extension cord.
  • If the canister vacuum is not turning on at all, make sure that the circuits have continual power flowing through them. You can use a multi-meter for that purpose. Check for circuits that may be open and if you find any place where the continuity is missing; replace that area. Make use of the correct fuse. For a canister to start on properly, it is required that the flow of electricity must be in full circuit with complete continuity.

2. If the vacuum stops working:

  • Check if the canister is overheated. Many of the high-end canister vacuums feature a function that immediately stops the appliance from working if it reaches an above-average temperature. This is done in order to protect the motor and machine.
  • If the canister stops in the middle of functioning, switch it off and unplug the machine. Wait for 25-30 minutes or refer to your user manual to check for similar instructions. After waiting carefully turn it on.

3. If the vacuum has a low-powered suction:

  • If you are witnessing a bad suction power or if the canister is leaving a bad odor of any sort or if it is leaving behind dust and debris on your floor. The problem may be lying in the cleaning and maintenance of your canister machine. Check if the machine is properly clean. Give special attention to dust bags and filters. They must be clean and in proper condition.
  • Check all other parts like hose, roller etc. for any clogging that you might notice, clear these parts carefully and your cleaner may begin to work properly again. All the airways must be clear and clean.

4. Dust leakage or bad odor:

  • If you find that any part of your hose has a leakage, you can easily repair it with the use of electrical tape or silicone sealant. If it is badly worn, it is better to be replaced.
  • Check the belts. Your canister belt must be properly engaging the drive shaft, brush roll, and other moving components of your appliance. Any belt that is slipped may result in a bad distinctive odor of burning plastic or rubber.

5. If some parts are not working properly:

  • The brush roll must be spinning properly when it is required to spin. If needed clean the roll and lubricate all the movable bearings. If you wind any of these having a need for replacement, get a new one and replace it. You will find wooden brush rolls in old models while many new machines now have plastic ones. The proper functioning of the brush roll can be checked by looking underneath the cleaner. Do not touch it and prevent your hair, clothes, and other parts of your body from getting in contact with the brush roll. When you are using a vacuum over carpets, make sure that the switch is set for carpeting so that the brush roll is properly engaged for deep cleaning.
  • Check if there are any breakers or fuses that may have worn out and you may need to replace them for proper working.
  • Check the motor of your canister. If the motor is the problem area, see if replacing the motor is economical or whether it would be better to invest in getting a new cheap vacuum cleaner. Although there are some parts of the motor that can be serviced in case of damage you may be left with the option to replace the entire motor only.
  • Inspect the brushes. Open the housing of the brushes and connect the wires again properly and then close the brush housing. If the brushes are worn out, you can replace them.
  • The bearings or blower can be a problem area for any canister’s reduced performance. The motor includes bearings and a blower is often connected to them. Your machine may also have bearings in the powered drive wheels and for the drive shaft. Check and lubricate the bearings. You can also replace these bearings if needed. Inspect proper spinning of these bearings. Some uneven and weak operation of your canister may be because of broken or bent fins of the blower. These must be replaced and if not replaced they may cause damage to the motor.
  • Check for broken or uneven wheels. Broken wheels may often slow down the movement of your canister machine and replacing these parts is not an issue at all. Just remove the caps from the attachment points of the wheels and fix new ones.


These simple guidelines for repairing your canister vacuum would result in the proper functioning of your vacuum cleaner without being a burden on your pocket and without giving you the hassle of contacting someone for repair or servicing.

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