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Appliance Repair Guide

Vacuum Cleaner Repair Guide

Is it worth repairing your vacuum cleaner when it breaks down or should you replace it. Some repairs are cheap and easy to do, others may cost a fortune. This guide will give you the information you need to decide whether you should try and fix your vacuum cleaner or it’s time to buy a new one.


How long do vacuum cleaners last?

Vacuum cleaners have widely varying lifespans depending on the brand you choose. According to Consumer Reports, vacuum cleaners last a median age of 8 years.

This means that if you think your vacuum cleaner has broken and you’ve only had it for less than 2 years, it is most likely a single part that has malfunctioned and that you could probably get it repaired relatively inexpensively.

Vacuum cleaners don’t lose any energy efficiency as they age but, because they are mechanical products, they are more prone to breaking as time goes on.


Detecting and identifying faults with your vacuum cleaner

The most common faults with vacuum cleaners are:


My vacuum cleaner has stopped picking up dust and dirt

If your bag isn’t emptied regularly, you might end up with a blockage. Experts recommend that you empty the bag after every other use of the vacuum cleaner. Spare bags, and instructions on how to change the bag of a vacuum cleaner, can both often be found on the manufacturer’s website. This may be what’s wrong with your vacuum cleaner if it isn’t picking up any of the dust as you pass over it.

More simply, it may be that your brush rolls need a clean. Hairs, dirt, and dust can all get stuck in the brush rolls. This can make the vacuum cleaner less effective and they can also put additional strain on the motor. Simply picking out any of the excess dirt from the brush rolls should resolve this problem.


My vacuum is making an unusual noise and has reduced suction

These of two of the most common signs your belt needs to be replaced. The belts inside the vacuum cleaner can stretch and wear out over time. If this is happening with your vacuum, then the motor has to work harder to achieve the same effect – this can shorten the life of the machine. Belts can be purchased online and they can normally be replaced by you. Most instructional manuals will guide you through this process.


Potential repairs and costs for your vacuum cleaner

Below is a table showing some of the most common repairs that your vacuum cleaner might require, along with the time it takes to repair the faults, and any associated costs (to get a professional to fix it for you).


Problem Cost Time taken
Lead or plug repair £15-£20 1 hour
Switch replacement £10-£15 1 hour
Machine blocked £10 30 minutes
Motor replacement £40-£100 1 hour


It is not normally worth repairing and replacing the motor on your vacuum. This is because the motor becoming worn out is normally the result of another problem with your appliance. Unless that other problem (such as a blockage or worn belt) is replaced first, the motor will only break again shortly after it is repaired.


Should I repair or replace my vacuum cleaner?

Many retailers recommend that you do not spend more than half of the cost of the original purchase on repairing the vacuum. You should remember that vacuums are more prone to breaking as they get older, so you might find yourself having to repair it again shortly.

If your current vacuum is still in good working order, you should take the time to maintain it properly. This can include regularly changing the bag and checking that the filters aren’t too clogged up. This can only take 10 minutes, but it could mean the difference between having to pay for a repair or a replacement in the future.

Often, it is not worth replacing the parts on a single vacuum multiple time. However, if you only have to change the belt on your vacuum to get it back up and running again then it is certainly worth the cost.

Finally, if your vacuum has come into contact with water and it is now malfunctioning, you need to replace it. Even if the motor has just become louder, it is still a potential fire hazard. Water damage can rust the cables inside the vacuum and it can easily cause it to overheat. In this instance, it is better to be on the safe side and replace your vacuum as soon as possible – even if it is still working in the short term.


What to look out for in when replacing your vacuum cleaner?


Energy efficiency

The first thing that you should look for when you are shopping for a new vacuum cleaner is the energy efficiency of the appliance. The most energy efficient vacuum cleaners can use up to half as much electricity as their less energy efficient counterparts. It is often the case that you will make up the difference in price for a more energy efficient vacuum cleaner through electricity bill savings.


Manufactures warranty

Secondly, look for a manufacturer’s warranty on the product. If the manufacturer will pay for any replacement that is needed in the next 5 years, you might make a saving if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, most vacuums are only guaranteed for the first year which is when it is least likely that you will have any problems with your vacuum cleaner.


The Features

Have a look of the features of the vacuum. You should do this for two reasons: the vacuum will be able to do more if it has more features but also because there is more that can break if the it has too many different moving parts and inner workings. The simpler the vacuum, the less there is to replace.


Look for a sale

Finally, whenever you can, buy your vacuum cleaner in a sale. Vacuum cleaners can be expensive and if you can get a premium model during a flash sale, you can save more money. If your vacuum has broken and you need a new one immediately, you should search the internet for websites that might have offers on at the current moment in time.