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Vacuum Motor Repair

Christen da Costa Profile image

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Updated July 15, 2022

When it comes to vacuum cleaner motor repair, there is a ton of information to digest. Anybody can benefit from learning a little more about what makes their vacuum motor tick, however. Want to maintain your top-rated vacuum cleaner without spending a lot of time or money? Being able to perform a simple appliance-repair service on your own saves a ton of money in the long run.


  • While Most common repair solutions are easy enough, some problems are better left to the experts, and you should never be afraid to ask for expert help.
  • Make sure that you look into any warranties on your vacuum cleaner since self-service can void any protections you have.
  • Attempting motor repairs on your own can be dangerous so take every precaution you can use in PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).

Explaining Vacuum Cleaner Motor Repair

Figuring out vacuum cleaner motor repair can be tricky. There are a few things you should know before you jump in head-first. Also, servicing a vacuum regularly can prevent some problems from cropping up.

Insider Tip

The biggest question you should ask yourself is whether it’s time to replace or repair your vacuum.

Common Signs of a Problem

There are a bunch of problems you might run into with a motor. Here are some common ones:

  • Hearing a “click” when you turn on your vacuum
  • Strong smells coming from the copper wire burning out
  • The vacuum turns on, but the motor doesn’t seem to run

Should You Replace or Repair?

The biggest question you should ask yourself is whether it’s time to replace or repair your vacuum. Some problems can be fixed by you pretty quickly. Broken wire connections, for example, can be solved with a soldering iron. Others, like a burnt-out copper commutator, will need the eyes and hands of a professional. You should also figure out whether the problem is related to the motor through troubleshooting.

When to Replace Your Vacuum

A few scenarios are sure bets for replacement. As mentioned, problems with a commutator block need the hands of a professional. Hearing that “clicking” noise when your vacuum turns on is another sign of a blown motor that must be replaced entirely. Sometimes it’s better just to get a new vacuum cleaner rather than spend money on replacement parts. This is often the case with some vacuums. For instance, while you can repair a robot vacuum, you might be better off replacing it.

When to Repair Your Motor

Of course, there are times when you can try to do minor repairs yourself. Make sure that you engage in safe practices, however. Using PPE (personal protective equipment) is essential. Have gloves, goggles, and an extinguisher at the ready. It’s always better to be overly safe when working with electronics of any type. Soldering broken wires can be done with relative ease and safety. Fixing a motor fan is another you can probably do yourself, along with replacing a simple failure in an electrical connection.


It’s always better to be overly safe when working with electronics of any type.


How a Canister Vacuum Cleaner Works?

Canister vacuums work by keeping all of the motors and internal components in a tank-like housing unit. The powerhead is attached to the housing by a hose, keeping it separate. This allows for more power since an extra motor can be added to the powerhead.

How Upright Vacuum Cleaners Work?

Upright vacuum cleaners are what you probably think of when you imagine a typical vacuum cleaner. Unlike canister vacuum cleaners, they do not house their motor separately from the powerhead. Similarly, they use the power of negative pressure to suck in pet hair and other debris.

What Do I Need for Vacuum Cleaner Repair?

What you need for a vacuum cleaner repair job will naturally vary depending on what you’re repairing. Generally, you’re going to want a set of simple tools, including a screwdriver. Make sure you keep PPE (personal protective equipment), as well.

What Does it Mean When You Hear a Click When You Try to Turn on the Vacuum?

Unfortunately, this most likely means that your vacuum motor is most likely dead. This is a sign to replace the entire thing.

STAT: It is estimated that a quality (thick) HEPA filter can decrease the CFM by up to 30%. (source)

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