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Why is My Dyson Vacuum Cleaner Pulsing?

Written by James Hall |

Why is my Dyson pulsing

Does your Dyson vacuum keep cutting out or pulsing? Here’s our guide to why Dyson’s cordless vacuums pulse and how to fix the issue.

We’re huge fans of Dyson cordless vacuums at They are powerful, easy to use, and make home cleaning much more convenient. The range of options – from the Dyson V7 up to the Dyson V15 – mean there’s a model to suit almost all budgets.

That doesn’t mean they are perfect though. One of the most common issues is when Dyson cordless vacuums start pulsating on and off, which means they stop/start without providing continuous suction.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the most common reasons for pulsing. We’ll also give you tips for solving the issue, along with advice for when to contact Dyson.

1. Low Charge or Dead Battery

The most obvious reason for a Dyson vacuum to cut out is that it’s run out of charge. This will cause the vacuum to stop rather than pulse, but it’s still worth checking to see if recharging the battery solves the issue.

Sometimes it looks like the battery is charging, but it actually isn’t connected to the charger correctly. Make sure the battery is properly connected when charging.

If you’ve had your Dyson vacuum cleaner for a long time, then it may be getting to the point where a replacement battery is required. All lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifetime, after which they hold less charge.

As a general rule, Dyson batteries last from 2-6 years depending on usage, storage, and how they are maintained. A battery near the end of its life may only last a few minutes before needing to be recharged, so this is definitely something to check if your Dyson keeps cutting out.

Tip: Don’t try to use your Dyson cordless vacuum while it’s plugged in. They are not designed to run when connected to an external power supply.

2. Filters Need to be Cleaned

Blocked filters are one of the most common causes of a Dyson vacuum pulsing or cutting out.

As filters become clogged, they reduce the amount of airflow through the machine. This prevents cool air from reaching the motor, leading to overheating and the vacuum cutting out.

The good news is that cleaning your Dyson’s cordless filters is easy. Here’s an overview of the process, but check your instruction manual for model-specific explanations:

  1. Disconnect the vacuum from the mains supply. You don’t want the vacuum to be charging while cleaning the filters.
  2. Check the manual to find out how many washable filters your Dyson vacuum has. Some models only have one filter, while others have two.
  3. Rinse the filters in cold water until the water runs clear. Don’t use any soap or other detergents.
  4. Some filters can be squeezed to remove excess water, while others can be damaged by this. Check your manual to see which can be squeezed or twisted.
  5. Allow the filter to dry for at least 24 hours before putting them back into the machine. Do not use a tumble dryer to dry your filters.

Keep in mind that just because there isn’t any visible clogging on the filters doesn’t mean they are clean. A build-up of dust can occur inside the filter, which reduces suction without being easily visible.

If your vacuum’s filters look worn or damaged even after cleaning, then you may need to replace them. You can buy replacement filters directly from Dyson.

3. Blockage Inside the Vacuum

A blockage can also cause a Dyson cordless vacuum to pulse, as there isn’t enough airflow through the machine to keep the motor cool.

Blockages can happen anywhere inside the vacuum, but some of the most common locations include:

  • The entrance and exit to the dirt container. You should also avoid overfilling your Dyson vacuum cleaner, as this can reduce airflow and cause pulsing.
  • Inside the wand (or the hose if you’re using a Dyson corded vacuum cleaner). Use a torch to check inside. You can also drop a coin through the detached wand to see if there’s a complete blockage.
  • The entrance inlet to the floorhead. All dirt and other debris must pass through here, so it’s a common location for a blockage. You may need to remove the baseplate using a coin to properly check for a blockage.
  • Inside the attachments, such as the crevice tool or dusting brush.
  • Also check the brushroll for any tangles or other issues that might stop it from turning freely. If the brushroll can’t spin, the Dyson may switch off as it detects an error.

To give you an example of the issues a blockage can cause, one of our test vacuums (a Dyson V7 Animal) started pulsing during use.

After checking the vacuum’s filters, we realised that there was a blockage at the entrance to the floorhead behind the brush roll. Taking off the base plate and clearing the blockage instantly solved the issue.


Dyson produces some excellent cordless vacuum cleaners, but they can occasionally suffer from faults and other issues.

Pulsing is one of the most common. It’s a frustrating problem, as the vacuum seems to work but is unable to provide a continuous stream of suction.

Fortunately, pulsing can usually be fixed by clearing any blockages, cleaning the filters, and making sure that the vacuum is fully charged. You may also need to replace the battery if it’s getting towards the end of its life.

If none of these solutions fix the issue, then the problem may be more serious. We recommend contacting Dyson to see what they suggest – especially if the vacuum is still covered by the warranty.

Do you have any questions about why a Dyson vacuum cleaner may start pulsing? Or have you tried the solutions and want to give us some feedback? Please use the comments section below.

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