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Why Does My Shark Vacuum Keep Cutting Out? [Quick Guide]

Written by James Hall |

Why does my Shark keep cutting out

Does your Shark keep cutting out during use? Here’s an overview of the most common reasons for this issue, along with tips for solving the problem.

Shark vacuum cleaners are usually reliable machines, but they can still suffer from the occasional technical issue.

A common problem is a Shark vacuum that keeps cutting out. This usually happens after the vacuum has been running for a while, although the length of time varies.

In this article, we’re going to discuss why a Shark vacuum cleaner might cut out during cleaning. We’ll also show you some potential solutions.

Why Do Shark Vacuums Cut Out During Use?

There are two common reasons for a Shark to cut out during use:

  1. An electrical fault or other electrical issue.
  2. The thermal cut-out has been activated.

The thermal cut-out is a protective system that’s common to most vacuums. If the motor starts to overheat, the vacuum cuts out to prevent permanent damage or an electrical fire.

In most cases, the thermal cut-out is activated when there’s reduced airflow through the machine. A constant stream of cool air is essential for cooling down the motor, so any blockage or clog could cause the thermal cut-out to be activated.

The good news is that restoring airflow is usually a matter of finding the problem and fixing it – and this can often be achieved at home. Electrical issues, on the other hand, need professional repair.

Electrical Issues

The first thing to check is that the vacuum is actually plugged in. It’s easy to accidentally pull the plug slightly out of the socket when cleaning at the end of the vacuum’s range, so double-check that this hasn’t happened.

On a related note, pulling on the cord like this can damage it over time, so it’s definitely something that should be avoided.

It’s also worth trying another plug socket to see whether this fixes the issue. Sometimes there may be a fault with a plug socket, rather than the Shark vacuum itself.

Damage to the cord may also cause your vacuum to cut off. Turn off the Shark vacuum and unplug it from the mains supply, then inspect the entire length for any cuts or other signs of damage.

A damaged power cord isn’t something you can fix at home. If you notice any damage, or just suspect that it’s the power cord causing the issue, then stop using the vacuum and contact Shark’s support team. Do not use the vacuum again until it’s been fixed.

Overheating Issues

Overheating is probably the most common cause of a Shark vacuum cutting out. The protective thermostat inside the vacuum does this automatically to protect the motor, so restoring the vacuum’s airflow should solve the issue.

Here are the steps to take to fix an overheating issue:

  1. Turn off the vacuum cleaner and unplug it from the power socket.
  2. Let the vacuum cool down for at least an hour (preferably longer). It’s important that the motor is allowed to fully cool down before you try using it again.
  3. If the vacuum works from now on without cutting out, then you may have been vacuuming for too long and the motor needed time to cool. But if the vacuum works for a while but cuts out again, then there is likely to be a blockage somewhere in the vacuum that’s restricting airflow.
  4. Unplug the vacuum again.
  5. Start by removing the dust cup and emptying it. You can also clean inside the dust cup, but make sure you only use cold water for this (no soap or detergents.)
  6. Clean all the washable Shark filters in the vacuum and allow them to completely dry (this takes at least 24 hours).
  7. Remove any tangles so that the brush bar can turn freely. You might need to remove the roller for this.
  8. Check the hose, wand, entrance to the floorhead, entrance to the dust cup, and all accessories for blockages.

If the vacuum is still cutting out after you’ve cleaned the filters, cleaned the dust cup, checked for blockages, and made sure that the vacuum is plugged in, then there is likely to be a more serious fault.

In this situation, we recommend contacting Shark and asking them to diagnose the issue. If the vacuum cleaner is out of warranty, then you may prefer to use a local vacuum repair shop.

Tip: Make sure you avoid overfilling your Shark vacuum cleaner. While Shark vacuums are designed to not lose suction as they fill up, this is only true below the “Max” fill line. Going above this line could reduce airflow and lead to overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should I Clean My Shark Vacuum Cleaner?

It’s important to clean your Shark on a regular basis. This includes the filters, dust cup, brush roll, tools, and checking for blockages. We’ve written a complete guide to cleaning a Shark cordless vacuum cleaner to help you learn more.

Why Is My Shark’s Brush Roll Not Turning?

The most common reason for this is a blockage in the brush roll area that’s preventing the brush from turning freely. This is often accompanied by a solid red indicator light.

Switch off the machine and unplug it from the mains supply. Then tilt it back to see whether you can find any tangles or blockages in the floorhead.


There are two common reasons why a Shark vacuum might cut out during use.

The first is electrical. A loose connection, a plug that’s been pulled out of the socket, and a faulty socket could all cause the vacuum to cut out. Damage to the power cord may also cause this issue, but it’s important that electrical problems are only fixed by a professional.

A more common reason for cutting out is that the Shark vacuum motor is overheating. This triggers the thermal cut-out to protect the motor and prevent fires. In this situation, leave the vacuum for around 60 minutes so that it can cool down, then try again.

If the problem persists, you may be able to fix it by cleaning the filters, checking for blockages, and avoiding overfilling your Shark. This may restore airflow and allow the motor to stay cool.

Do you have any questions about why Shark vacuum cleaners cut out during use? Please use the comments section below to contact us.

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