Cleaning is quite a task on its own without the hassle of dealing with a faulty appliance-say, for instance, a vacuum cleaner that won’t turn on.
An efficient household appliance, like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum cleaner, must be reliable.
The vacuum cleaner has a unique lift-away canister, making the appliance more effective. However, as is the case with most appliances, challenges when operating can get quite frustrating.
The good news is most of these issues can be easily solved. Below are some of the common issues raised when troubleshooting a Shark Lift-Away.
Why your Shark Navigator vacuum is not suctioning
The reasons for your vacuum not picking up dirt can range from a full dust cup, damaged or clogged hose, to dirty filters.
Read on to see what to do when your Shark vacuum is not working.
1. Full dust cup
A common cause for the Shark Navigator vacuum not suctioning is a full dust cup.
Before you begin, make sure your vacuum is unplugged from the socket. Then, remove the dust cup to see if it is full and empty it.
If this does not solve the suction issue, it could be one of the additional options below.
2. Clogged hose
The Shark Navigator vacuum not suctioning could also mean a clog in the hose.
Most Shark vacuums are fitted with two hoses: the short hose between the base and main vacuum head and the second between the wand and the handle.
For the longer hose, feel along the side to check for blockage. Use a tool to pull out any blockages present.
If there is no blockage, check the hose’s handle for the suction release valve. The two arrows on the valve should be turned to the right to keep the valve from moving.
You can also check for blockage in the short hose attached to the base of the vacuum. To access the hose, lean the vacuum to the floor and pull the hose from the base.
Next, check the side of the hose that attaches to the vacuum’s main body for possible blockages.
3. Damaged hose
A damaged or deteriorating hose also weakens a vacuum’s suction power. A Shark vacuum may not pick up anything because aging hoses have developed small cracks over time.
The good news is that getting these replaced is relatively cheap.
4. Dirty filters
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has two filters; the foam filter and the felt filter. These filters need to be cleaned every 30 days- at least.
Not keeping up with routine cleaning for these filters could result in your Shark vacuum not working.
To get to the filters, remove the dust cup. The filters are located on the top of the motor base. Remove these and then rinse with lukewarm water until it runs clear. Let the filters dry off before reassembling them.
Blocked/ damaged filters also cause the Shark vacuum to produce a loud noise. The vacuum may have sucked in a large piece of cloth to clog the airways like a sock.
The filters get caked with dirt and dust when you use the vacuum. The more the filters are clogged, the more noise will come from the vacuum as it tries to move air through a clogged airway.
Consult the user manual to be sure how many filters are on your vacuum model. Washable filters should be taken out and washed in the sink with warm water, then left out for at least 24 hours so that they dry completely.
To fix this:
- Disconnect all the vacuum’s attachments like the hose and wand
- Inspect each attachment to locate the blockage
If the filters are not washable, remove the layers of dust on top. Keep an eye on these so that you can replace them with new ones when they get worn out.
5. Faulty/broken motor
If none of the options fixes the problem with your vacuum, the motor may be faulty. First, unclip the short hose from the vacuum to feel if the air is being sucked in.
Next, press the gray tabs to remove the dirt bin from the vacuum and place your hand at the bottom where the filter component is.
Putting your hand over the filter component, turn on the vacuum. If you do not feel any air from the filter, you may have an issue with your motor.
A new motor is costly and not easily replaceable. So a new vacuum cleaner is the best solution in this case.
6. Cyclone assembly issues
On the other hand, if you can feel the air in the component but not in the hose at the back of the vacuum, the issue is in the cyclone assembly. Open the bin and pull the component on top of it out,
Open this component and tap at the top so that dirt particles collect in the filter at the bottom. Then, blow compressed air over the top (compressed air is available at the gas station) to release the trapped particles from the filter.
7. Vacuum lifts area rugs
When cleaning, the vacuum suction is too powerful and ends up lifting rugs off the floor. This happens more often with the brush roll engaged.
Be mindful when cleaning rugs that are delicately sewn at the edges. To remedy this, open the suction release on the handle to reduce the suction power.
Move the On/Off switch to 1-Suction Only
Shark Navigator Lift-Away is overheating
The Shark vacuum needs clear airflow to create suction. The vacuum has a motor-protective thermostat fitted in the steam to regulate the temperature.
The thermostat automatically shuts off the Shark Navigator lift-away in case of overheating.
Most times, when a Shark Navigator lift-away overheats, its indicator light will flash red. This is because a vacuum is overheating, and shutting off means the motor needs time to cool down.
To fix an overheating vacuum:
- Switch off and unplug your vacuum
- Check the dust cup for dirt or blockage
- Check the vacuum filters
- Allow the vacuum to cool for at least one hour
Additional possible reasons for Shark Navigator lift-away overheating:
- Clogged filters
- Clogged hoses/ full dust cup
- Electrical hitch
We’ve created a detailed guide for fixing the overheating problem in a Shark Vacuum.
Vacuum won’t turn on
Below are possible reasons why a vacuum is not working:
- Unplugged vacuum cord– check to see if the vacuum cord is plugged in correctly into the outlet.
- Tripped fuse/ Circuit breaker -when you first turn on the vacuum, check to see that the breaker on the outlet has not been tripped. This can be done by pressing the reset button.
- Motor Thermostat needs a reset.
For a motor reset:
- Move the power button to “O-Off.”
- Unplug the vacuum
- Check the filters and hose for any possible clogging
- Unplug the vacuum after 45 minutes
- Turn on the vacuum
A vacuum may not turn on when upright, sometimes due to possible damage to the cord. In addition, the wire insulation may be broken. This is usually because too much twisting/rolling or even stepping on the wires.
If this is the case, disconnect the vacuum and keep it off to avoid cases of electrocution, which can happen, especially if the wires are exposed.
Again, a qualified technician best replaces a damaged cord.
The Roller brush is not spinning
Sometimes the vacuum is ON, but the brushes are not spinning. A lot of things cause this.
First, check to ensure the vacuum is on the correct setting; Brush Roll On. The brush will not turn unless the vacuum is on this setting.
Blockage on the roller is another possible reason for the brush not spinning. Check the roller to see if there is any debris wrapped around the roller. Before you proceed, make sure the vacuum is unplugged. You can use scissors to go through the bottom of the vacuum and cut off the debris carefully.
Use your hands to pull out what you can of the debris, then turn the brush to get to the debris on the other side. Repeat, if necessary, until all the debris is cleared.
A nozzle that is not fully attached can prevent the roller from working. First, check to see that the nozzle is completely attached. Then, push down the brush with the vacuum head on the floor to secure the connection.
Your Shark vacuum produces a loud noise
It is not uncommon for vacuum appliances to make noise when being used. It is thus very easy to notice when there is a loud noise.
Possible reasons for this:
1. Vacuum height
Check the height of the vacuum and adjust it according to the levels of the surfaces that require vacuuming.
A vacuum produces a loud noise when set too high for the vacuumed surface.
2. Clogged brush roller
Clogged brush rollers will struggle to work. Make sure to remove any hair strands trapped under the roller.
The Shark Navigator vacuum can pop up to remove the brush roller, making the process much easier.
3. Full dust bin
A full dustbin will affect airflow into the vacuum. The vacuum will make a noise when the bin is full and cannot take in more dirt.
Take the dust container out and empty it. While at it, it is best to clean the filters as well.
4. Blocked hose
To remove a blocked hose that may be causing the vacuum to produce a loud noise, detach the hose and then turn on the vacuum. If the noise stops, then the hose may have some blockage. These blockages can be pushed out manually.
5. Possible cracks
A vacuum cleaner that has developed cracks can have suction issues as well. The cracks are usually small and quite hard to spot easily.
The damages may be in the form of lines or gaps. If you spot any, a replacement is the best option.
6. Fading motor
If you have an old vacuum cleaner, you may have to consider replacing it.
This is because aging vacuum parts like the motor will change the noise a vacuum cleaner produces over time.
Power cord caught in nozzle/ roller
Always avoid running the vacuum over the power cord when cleaning. However, accidents happen, and as soon as this does, turn off the vacuum and remove the cord from the nozzle/ roller.
Turn off all the vacuum controls before plugging or unplugging the vacuum. Check to see if the cord is damaged.
Store your vacuum with the cord secured around the hooks to prevent a repeat occurrence.
The vacuum handle won’t lock
A vacuum handle that won’t lock makes it hard to operate the appliance. If you have extension wand issues preventing you from pulling out the handle, start by unwinding the cord.
A faulty handle won’t go all the way down, affecting both the handle and extension wand. Before you start, make sure the vacuum is not plugged in.
To fix this:
- Remove the extension wand and the handle from the top
- Check if the black circle surrounding the handle tube is visible and free from debris and vacuum gunk.
- If there is a gunk, use a butter knife to scrape out the gunk until the black circle is visible.
The vacuum can’t stand upright
A broken latch will prevent the Shark Navigator lift-away vacuum cleaner from standing independently. Luckily, the Shark offers a 5-year warranty which should cover the replacement of a broken latch.
Cleaning the brush roll, the dirt container, and filters regularly will keep the Shark Navigator lift-away vacuum working optimally for a long time.