Reason Why Vacuum Cleaner Keeps Shutting Off

If your Vacuum Cleaner keeps shutting off when you’re vacuuming, then it’s most likely 2 things. Either your motor is overheating, or you have an electrical issue.

The biggest and most common reason why a vacuum cleaner keeps shutting off is due to overheating – which can be easy to solve.

The electrical issue can be more involved and may require a repair shop.

Here is a helpful video for an upright vacuum that keeps shutting off…


A vacuum cleaner is a powerful thing that needs to be cooled to run properly.  If you have a clog in the tubing or restricted airflow the motor can overheat causing the vacuum to stop.

Tip: One way to know if a clog is causing the vacuum to turn off is that it will happen at the same time every time. If you start to vacuum and it always shuts off after 2 minutes then it’s a clog slowly overheating the motor. If it’s random shut offs then it’s a good chance its an electrical issue instead.

A vacuum cleaner has a built-in thermal shut-off that will turn the motor off if it gets too hot. This is to protect the electric motor from melting away.

What you want to do is check all tubing, intakes, filters, and bags to make sure nothing is blocking them. Most of the time you will hear the vacuum change tone when you get something clogged in it.

You can also remove the tubing to clean it out. Most of the time it’s a little clog that allows enough air through but slowly overheats the motor or a big furball blocking the air completely.

Tip: Once you have removed the tubing from the vacuum cleaner use a broom handle to push any debris out of the tube. I’ve seen big items like wine bottle corks get stuck in the tubes of a vacuum cleaner hose before.

If the Filter is over 6 months old then go ahead and replace it. The filter getting clogged is a significant cause for a vacuum to overheat and turn off. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your vacuum’s filter then it is time for a new one. Here is where you can buy Vacuum Cleaner Filters Here*.


If you can’t find any clogs in your vacuum cleaner, then it might be an electrical issue. I’ve seen many times that an electrical socket has gone bad. Try plugging the vacuum cleaner into a new outlet, make sure the socket is nice and firm and not a loose feeling. A loose feeling plug is dangerous and can lead to fires if this is the case, please call an electrician.

If it’s not an outlet, then the next thing would have to be the power switch. Another thing could be the electric motor. If you don’t know how to check the items, then it would be best to take them to a vacuum repair shop. One good way to tell if the outlet is bad is when you touch the vacuum cleaner’s cord, and it’s very hot. The cords may get warm, but excess heat could be a bad outlet.

If the vacuum is a cheap “Super Store” vacuum cleaner, then it would not be worth it to fix. They don’t build those vacuums to last, here is a post I did on how long a vacuum cleaner is built to last.

Another Option

One more option could be that you’re using the Vacuum Cleaner for too long. The Vacuum Cleaners you buy at those “Super Stores” are not meant to run for hours.

For these types of vacuums, I would recommend only vacuuming for 30 minutes and waiting for 15 minutes to let it cool down.

If All Else Fails

If you have cleaned, unclogged, and done everything you could possibly do then it might be time for a New Vacuum Cleaner.

If you constantly have Vacuum Cleaners die on you then I would recommend getting a Shop Vacuum like this one here*. Shop Vacuums can suck up just about anything, even water, and hold up a lot better than regular vacuum cleaners. The real kicker is that many Shop Vacuums are more powerful and cheaper than the standard vacuum cleaners that most people get.

If you have kids or pets then a Shop Vacuum is a must-have! You never know what messes you’ll come across! There is so much you can do with a Shop Vacuum for use in your home that I have written a great post on it here.

Leave a Comment