Shop Vac Stopped Working – Top 5 Reasons & Best Solutions


Shop Vac Stopped Working

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Vacuums revolutionized the cleaning industry, making it one of the most lucrative industries. Americans buy between 40 and 50 million vacuums each year, and among this is a famous vacuum type, the shop vac.

Shop vacs get their name from their incredible ability to work on wet and dry dirt in shops. They are almost a permanent cleaning fixture in some shops. So, what happens when you see that your shop vac stopped working?

This article will explain several ways you can troubleshoot the issues. Keep reading.

Why Is Your Shop Vac Not Working?

Why Is Your Shop Vac Not Working?

Shop vacs are also prone to the occasional problem for all their excellent performance. Suffice it to say; they are just like any other electrical appliance.

There are a few potential reasons why a Shop-Vac might stop working. The most common reason is that the motor has burned out and needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that there is something blocking the airflow, such as a clog in the hose or the filter. If the vacuum cleaner is not picking up dirt or dust, it might be because the bag is full or the belt has broken.

There Are Many Reasons a Shop Vac Would Stop Working.

There Are Many Reasons a Shop Vac Would Stop Working.

1. A Faulty Power Outlet

What does a faulty power outlet do with a shop vac not working? Because it prevents you from turning on the vacuum. A problematic power outlet could be because of a faulty circuit breaker or power issues.

The best way to know if the power outlets have an issue is to use a different appliance. If you have an electric radio, try plugging it into the power outlet and turning on the switch.

If it works, it means it is the power outlet that has an issue.

2. A Defective Motor

The motor has an integral role in the proper functioning of the shop vac. It converts electrical into mechanical power that enables the vacuum to work when you turn it on. Therefore, any fault with the motor will make the shop vac not work.

Overheating is the most common of the things that could cause a motor to malfunction. How do you overheat a shop vac’s motor? By keeping on cleaning even after the shop vacs dust bag is full.

A clogged filter could also cause the motor to overheat. The filter will force the motor to work too hard, generating a lot of heat in the process. Too much heat will, of course, make the motor overheat.

Most shop vacs have a thermal fuse that blows up whenever the motor overheats. While this blowing saves you from a bigger problem, it will stop the motor from working. You will then end up with a vacuum that can’t work.

3. An Old Battery for Battery Power Shop Vacs

When was the last time you checked your battery-powered shop vac’s battery? Granted, battery-powered shop vacs come with a pretty powerful battery. It still needs changing after using it for some time.

The time might vary with the intensity of your use. Like any other appliance that works with a battery, old batteries just can’t cut it. You need to get new ones, especially if all you have used are the original batteries that came with the vacuum.

4. A Twisted, Faulty, or Damaged Power Cord

Electric shop vacs come with a cord to connect them to the power. The chord passes the electric power to the vacuum whenever you use it. That means if this cord has any issue, then electric power can’t get to the vacuum, and it won’t work.

Sometimes the issue might be as simple as a twist with the cord. It could also be some slight malfunction with the wires inside the cable. And it could also be because the chord itself is faulty.

Whatever the issue might be, your shop vac will stop working.

5. A Defective Vacuum Power Switch

To get your vacuum working, you need to turn on the switch. Now, this switch might at times become problematic and thus not start the vacuum. If you have power and an equally effective power outlet and the vacuum is still not working, it only means one thing.

The shop vac’s power switch could have a problem.

Why Is My Shop Vac Not Vacuuming?

One of the most common problems with shop vacuums is that they stop working properly. There can be a variety of reasons for this, but some of the most common are as follows:

The first thing you should do when your shop vacuum stops working is to check the filter. If the filter is dirty, it will not be able to suck up dust and debris properly. Make sure to clean or replace the filter as needed.

Another common problem is that the hose is clogged. If there is too much debris built up in the hose, it will not be able to suction properly. Make sure to clean out the hose regularly to prevent this from happening.

If neither of those solutions solves the problem, then it may be time to take your shop vacuum in for repairs.

How Do You Solve These Issues?

How do You Solve These Issues?

Knowing what’s causing your shop vac to stop working is like being halfway to solving it. Having seen the potential issues of your shop vac not working, what could the solutions be?

Here is what you can do if your shop vac stops working because of the problems above.

1. Problematic Power Outlet

A problematic power outlet isn’t something you should attempt to fix yourself. That’s unless you have the requisite experience and are sure of your ability. Call an electrician or your electricity provider to examine the issue.

An electrician might diagnose the problem and ensure the power outlet is working fine. A problematic power outlet could also be because of a circuit breaker that’s tripped. Check that as well and ensure it is in perfect working condition.

Sometimes, your house could not get any power from the primary grid. That’s reasonably easy to check by looking at any other appliances in the home that work with electricity. Power outlets such as wall sockets could be the problem if you notice that everything else is working.

2. A Defective Motor

There is only one way to fix a defective motor: replacing it. If the shop vac still has its warranty intact, you can call the manufacturer for a free motor replacement after their examination.

Alternatively, you can get a new motor and replace it yourself since it isn’t that difficult. All you’ll have to do is check the wires and mirror their connection to the old motor, then fit in the new motor in the exact location the old motor was.

3. Old Batteries

Fixing this problem isn’t that hard. After getting the new batteries locate the old batteries and replace them. Simple! The shop vac will typically have the instructions in the manual to help you do it.

4. A Twisted, Damaged Power Cord

There is no hiding from this one if it’s the issue. If you find that the power cord has a problem, you will need to replace it if you want your vacuum to work again. Get a new replacement cord and affix it to the shop vac.

It will serve you well if you replace the defective cord with a new one. A second-hand part might work, but it won’t take long before you face the same issue again.

5. A Defective Vacuum Switch

Sometimes, the vacuum’s power switch has an actual problem. It might be dirt that’s obstructing it from working. That’s why you should check if dirt has accumulated around the switch. Dirt and debris from using the shop vac can often obstruct the switch’s functioning.

If that’s not the problem, then that means the switch itself has a problem. That will mean getting a new power switch and connecting it to the shop vac. If you can’t do it, call a specialist to help.

Important Point to Remember

  • Proper maintenance of your shop vac will help you avoid most of the problems outlined here. That’s not to say these problems won’t crop up again. Proper maintenance is only one way of keeping them at bay for as long as possible.

Last update on 2024-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQ About Shop Vac Stopped Working

FAQ About Shop Vac Stopped Working


How Do You Test a Shop Vac Switch?

Testing a shop vac switch is simple. First, make sure the shop vac is unplugged. Next, remove the switch cover and locate the terminals. There are usually three terminals: one for the power cord, one for the on/off switch, and one for the outlet. The outlet terminal is usually larger than the other two. To test the switch, use a jumper wire to connect the power cord and on/off switch terminals.

How Long Does a Shop Vac Last?

The lifespan of a shop vac can vary depending on the model, but most will last for around 10 years with regular use. Some factors that may shorten the life of a shop vac include leaving it plugged in when not in use, running it without any filters, or using it to clean up hazardous materials.

What Is the Best Way to Clean the Filter in My Shop-Vac?

The best way to clean the filter in a Shop-Vac is to use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any large debris, and then to rinse the filter off with water.

How Do You Unclog a Shop Vac Hose?

One way to unclog a shop vac hose is by using a plunger. First, try to unclog the hose by using your hands. If that doesn’t work, then use a plunger. Put the plunger over the opening of the hose and push and pull the plunger until the clog is dislodged.

How Long Can a Shop Vac Run Continuously?

It is possible for a shop vac to run continuously for a number of hours, depending on the model. However, most shop vacs are not designed to run for an extended period of time and will eventually overheat if used in this way. It is important to read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that the shop vac is being used safely and effectively.

Can a Shop Vac Overheat?

A shop vac can overheat if it is used for an extended period of time. This is because the motor will generate a great deal of heat, and if there is no way for it to escape, the shop vac can overheat.

Read Also: 5 Best Shop Vac for Drywall Dust

Final Thoughts

If your shop vac stop working, we hope you now know what to do with it. It might only be an innocuous problem you can fix yourself. If it is a more elaborate issue, call a technician and have them sort it out for you.

In conclusion, it is evident that the shop vac stopped working due to a clog in the hose. This clog can be cleared by using a plunger or a wire hanger. It is also important to keep the shop vac clean in order to avoid future clogs.

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