Can a Vacuum Cleaner Interfere With WiFi?

A vacuum cleaner can affect WiFi and other electrical items in your home.

Interestingly, it’s not always the WiFi signal that your vacuum cleaner affects but something else that may be the reason your WiFi cuts out when the vacuum cleaner is on.

Why Your WiFi Drops When You Vacuum?

If your vacuum cleaner is near your WiFi router or even the broadband modem, it can cause some interference.

The electric motor of a vacuum cleaner is very power-hungry, and electric motors emit electromagnetic radiation (EMF) that can screw up the signals coming from your router.

Though, it’s rare the EMF coming from your vacuum cleaner’s electric motor will cause the WiFi to drop.

What is more common is that the vacuum cleaner is pulling a lot of power, so much so that it causes the WiFi router to shut off or power cycle due to surge.

It’s Not Always WiFi But A Power Surge

If you have an older home and use a power-hungry vacuum cleaner, it’s not uncommon for the vacuum to pull so much power that other things on the same circuit can shut off or act oddly.

A vacuum cleaner is one of the most power-hungry devices you own in your home.

The best thing to do is get an electrician out to your home to check your wiring. For example, if turning on a vacuum cleaner is causing things to shut off, then something is not right with your home’s electrical system.

If you’re plugging the vacuum cleaner into the same electrical outlet, you may need the electrician to check that plug. Wall outlets do wear out over time and need to be checked.

What Else Can You Do?

Another option is to get a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for your modem and WiFi router.

A UPS will supply constant power to your router, and spikes or drops in power won’t affect it.

You can get UPS battery backup units here.*

Tip: A UPS unit is great to have especially when the power goes out as the internet connection is still there. With many devices relying on wifi, like electronic door locks, baby monitors, or even phones, it’s just a smart idea to have one on your modem and router.

Something Else To Keep In Mind

A bad or going bad WiFi router could also be the reason your WiFi stops when the vacuum cleaner turns on.

The constant vacuuming and drop in power wears out WiFi routers faster than normal.

Also, WiFi routers only last 3 to 5 years anyway. So if you have a WiFi router older than 5 years, you need to get a new one.

What Other Things In Your Home Affect The WiFi Signal?

It’s not just your vacuum cleaner motor or its power draw that can affect the WiFi.

Other items in your home may draw a lot of power, like a dryer, heater, or even your computer if you have a big gaming PC. Any item in your home that uses a lot of power can suck power away from a WiFi router, causing it to act funny and disconnect. A UPS unit we talked about earlier can help in this situation.

Other items in your home can affect the WiFi in the aspect of the transmitted signal like…

  • Microwave
  • TV
  • Printer
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer

Or anything with an electric motor can affect the WiFi signal.

It’s best to keep the WiFi router away from such items, or you run the risk of having a poor WiFi signal.

I’ve even seen in rare cases a robot vacuum placed next to the WiFi router cause signal issues.

Weak Spots

If your computer is far from the WiFi router, an electric motor from a vacuum cleaner can break that connection.

The EMF coming from the electric motor can overpower the signal from the WiFi router, and that can drop the connection for sure.

What you can do is get WiFi repeaters* for your home. A repeater will extend your WiFi signal and strengthen it so things like turning on the vacuum cleaner won’t affect it too much.

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