Shark Vacuum Overheating? (4 Possible Causes & Fixes)

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen

We need vacuums to keep our homes free of the dust and debris they naturally collect over time. It’s why so many of us invest in high-quality vacuums that make maintaining our homes easier. Shark is one of these brands.

However, that isn’t to say that shark vacuums are perfect. Sometimes, this company’s vacuums can overheat, which can make it difficult or even impossible for you to use your vacuum as you want. When this happens, there are several steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Turn off the Shark vacuum when it overheats, remove the dust cap, and clean the filters. Inspect your attachments like the hose and wand and clear the debris out of them. Replace your power cord if the problem is electrical and cleaning doesn’t work.

Why Does Overheating Matter?

You may be wondering why you even need to worry about your overheating motor at all. However, you shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring the issue entirely. When your Shark vacuum overheats, it’s important that you take steps to solve the issue as soon as possible. This is true for a few key reasons.

First, overheating vacuums usually produce a strange, unpleasant odor. This can impact your home’s air quality, making it an unpleasant place to be. This odor can have a burning quality to it due to the way the overheating engine affects the vacuum’s cleaning belt.

More importantly, most Shark vacuums stop working when they overheat. You may still be able to turn the vacuum on but much, if not all, of its suction power will be gone. This makes it even more important that you find a solution to your overheating problem. Keep reading to find those solutions.

Why is my Shark Vacuum Overheating?

Understanding why your Shark vacuum is overheating is the first step towards fixing your problem. In most cases, the overheating can be traced back to one of four common issues. These are discussed in more detail below.

Full Dirt Container

This is the first thing that you should check. When your vacuum’s dirt container gets full, it can restrict the airflow that the appliance receives. This will cause the vacuum to lose suction power and potentially overheat.

One trick you can use to identify whether this is your problem is to run the vacuum over your hardwood floors. If the vacuum leaves dirt behind after a couple passes over the same spot, chances are you have a full dirt container and that’s why your vacuum is overheating.

Filter Clogs

Filters perform an important role in vacuum cleaners. They’re responsible for collecting much of the dust, debris, and hair that you collect while operating your vacuum. When filters are working properly, they facilitate optimal airflow, allowing your vacuum to work the way it’s supposed to.

However, filters can end up with debris build-up after extended use. This restricts the airflow that your vacuum receives and can cause it to overheat. If you haven’t cleaned or replaced your vacuum filters recently, then this may be your issue.

Clogs in Hose, Wand, or Other Attachments

It’s also possible that your vacuum is clogged in one of these places. This is especially common for people who vacuum lots of pet hair. Thankfully, there’s a fairly easy way to check whether this is the case.

You can start by detaching the hose or wand and placing your hand on the inlet. If, when you do, the suction power feels normal, then you’ll have a clear indication that the clog is located in one of your attachments.

Electricity Issues

This is the problem that you should check for last since it’s the most serious. If you’ve looked for all of the other causes of your overheating issue and still haven’t found it, then chances are you have an underlying electrical issue.

This could be coming from either your cord, power plug, or from within your vacuum. If you don’t see any issues with the cord or plug, then chances are the culprit is internal.

How to Fix an Overheating Shark Vacuum

It’s normal for your vacuum to get a little hotter after extended use. Overheating goes a step further than that. If you think that your vacuum is overheating, you can try the following DIY fixes before reaching out to a repair person.

1. Start by Emptying the Vacuum’s Dust Cup

Most users do this fairly often anyway. However, it’s worth at least attempting to empty the vacuum’s dust cup to see if that’s the cause of your problem. If you try this solution and fail to fix the issue, then you can move on to the next step.

2. Try Cleaning Your Air Filters

In order to do this, you’ll first have to remove your vacuum’s dirt container and metal grate. Make sure that you unplug the vacuum before starting to keep yourself safe.

Once you’ve removed these components, you’ll have direct access to the vacuum’s air filters. You can simply take these out by hand.

Next, wash the filters under cool water. Continue squeezing them out under the water until the water consistently runs clear. Finally, air-dry the filters for at least 24 hours before putting them back into your vacuum.

One important thing to note here is that some vacuum filters cannot be washed. That’s why you should check with your Shark owner’s manual before attempting this step. If your unit uses non-cleanable air filters, then you’re going to have to purchase new ones.

3. Try Cleaning Your Hose or Wand

You’re going to need a thin metal wire or stick to accomplish this. Essentially, all you need to do is stick the thin wire into the hose or wand and attempt to poke out the dirt and debris that you find.

You may even want to run a long squeegee through the hose or wand to make sure that it’s clean. However, this may be challenging to do depending on the length of the attachment that you’re cleaning.

4. Try Replacing Your Power Cord

This step is only worth taking if you’re able to identify a noticeable flaw in the cord. You can look for one by unwinding the cord completely and going over every inch of it. Signs of damage include breakage, indents, or even loose wires.

If your power cord is damaged, you shouldn’t use your vacuum again until you’ve solved the problem. In order to do that, you’ll need to purchase a new power cord from the manufacturer and either install it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

Shark Vacuum Overheat Reset

Some Shark vacuum owners have been able to work around their overheating problems by performing a reset of the motor’s thermostat. This is super easy to do and could be all that it takes for you to be able to start using your vacuum again. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Move the power button position to “O-Off”.
  • Unplug your vacuum from the wall.
  • Give the vacuum at least 45 minutes to cool.
  • Move the power switch back into the “I-On” position.

Hopefully, your vacuum cleaner starts after you complete this process. If it doesn’t and you’ve already tried all of the other solutions, then it may be time for you to call either a repair person or Shark’s customer service line.

Is it Worth Repairing an Overheating Shark Vacuum?

Generally speaking, yes, it is worth it to repair an overheating Shark vacuum. This is because most of the solutions to the problem are very straightforward. You will likely be able to complete these repairs for yourself and at little or even no cost.

However, that calculus changes if you’re dealing with an internal motor issue. Hiring a professional to fix your motor could cost you $100 or more.

Compare that price to the cost of brand new Shark vacuums, which can be purchased for as little as $129. In this scenario, you’re clearly better off with replacing your old Shark vacuum with a newer model.

Related Questions

How long do Shark vacuums last?

Generally speaking, Shark vacuums are expected to last for around five to seven years. However, your vacuum may last longer or shorter than that based on how often you use it and how demanding your applications are.

Why is my Shark vacuum spitting stuff back out?

When this happens, it’s because the vacuum’s airflow has either reversed or ceased to exist. This problem can be caused by clogs, dirty air filters, or overflowing dust cups. Make sure to check each of these issues when trying to get your vacuum back to its normal functionality.

Will Shark replace my vacuum?

You may have this question if you’ve recently purchased a Shark vacuum and already have an internal issue. Your answer will depend on whether your vacuum is still under warranty. Shark provides an automatic 12-month warranty on every product it sells. If you purchased your vacuum within that time frame and the machine has stopped working completely, they may send you a replacement vacuum. Get in touch with the company to start this process.

Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

More by Kellan Jansen