How To Fix a Shop Vac That Won’t Turn On (Stopped Working!)

Why is my Shop Vac not turning on?

The reason your shop vac won’t turn on is that your power switch is bad or the motor is faulty because of too much dust in it. Other reasons your shop vac won’t start are that your battery has been used for a long time and it has become bad, your shop vac has a torn or twisted cord, or the connection of your shop vac is bad.


shop vac not working


Bad connection

This is the first and most crucial cause you can check out. First, check to see if the shop vac is well connected and receiving power before you can try other possible causes. Your shop vac won’t turn on because of something as simple as a damaged socket or tripped circuit breaker.

If your shop vac suddenly stops working, check to see if the switch is on. If the power was turned off at the wall, turn it on again and start the vac. If it doesn’t turn on, plug it into a different socket to see if the problem is with the vac or the previous socket.

You can also check the circuit breaker if it doesn’t still turn on. It’s possible that the breaker has tripped and needs to be reset.


Bad switch

When you plug your shop vac into a good socket, and your  isn’t turning on, the switch may be broken or malfunctioning. To ensure the switch is the problem, you can use a multimeter or another continuity tester to see if the current is flowing and the motor is receiving power. If you’re doing it yourself, ensure the shop vac is disconnected from the power source and not plugged in.

Once you perform the test and notice the current is not flowing, your switch is bad, and you need to replace it for your shop vac to start working well. Also, if the current flows well, then the switch is not the problem. Check the next cause for another reason your shop vac won’t turn on!


Faulty motor

Of course! You already know how important a motor is to any machine. And your shop vac is not left out! The suction won’t start if the motor isn’t functioning properly. For the most part, a malfunctioning or damaged motor is one of the reasons your shop vac fails to turn on. However, there are so many reasons for this.

One of the important reasons is a full dust bag. If the dust bag is full, your vac’s motor could overheat, burn out, or even blow. If your motor overheats, the thermal fuse will blow, and the motor will stop working. Your shop vac won’t turn on if you try to use it at this point.

Also, a clogged filter can damage your motor. If the motor of your shop vac has a burning odor, you know something is wrong. A circuit tester can also verify that power is being supplied to the motor and that it is in working order. If you notice something is off, it’s probably because your engine is broken.

When a motor is damaged, the only solution is to buy a new one and install it. While you’re at it, double-check other parts of the motor to see if there are other problems.


Bad battery

Is the battery still good? Is it in the best condition? If you have been using a battery-powered shop vac for a long time and the original battery is still inside, the battery may be old. This prevents the shop vacuum from functioning.

So, you should probably check the battery and be sure that the battery is good and can still function well.


Damaged cord

If the cord or plug is twisted, it can cause problems with most shop vac s that use an electrical outlet. Your shop vac won’t turn on if the cord can no longer supply electricity. Check the cord and plug of your shop vac for signs of wear and tear.

In some cases, the damage is invisible even on close inspection. This happens when the wire inside the cord breaks or is cut. You can simply change the cord, but it is advisable to call an expert for proper inspection.


How to fix a Shop Vac that’s not turning on

You can fix a shop vac that won’t turn on by repairing the damaged switch or replacing your socket. Another method to fix it is by changing the motor or replacing the cord.

Repair the switch

When you use a multimeter to check the switch on your shop vac and no current is passing through, this indicates the need to replace the switch. Most people will need a technician to do this, but if you want to replace it yourself, you can follow the steps below with the guide of your owner’s manual. Here is how to fix it;

  1. Turn off and unplug your shop vac .
  2. Remove the two side clips that keep the power unit assembly from falling off the tank.
  3. Take the power unit’s assembly out of the tank’s assembly.
  4. Next, ensure that the cover plate is taken off. Use a tester to see if the electricity is off.
  5. Remove the two screws at the top and bottom of the switch.
  6. You will need to pull the switch toward you. Doing this lets, you see the wires on the sides and back.
  7. Ensure you remove the terminal screws on the switch.
  8. Use a continuity tester to check the switch.
  9. Don’t forget to attach each wire to its terminal.
  10. Start turning the switch on and off now.
  11. Now that the testing is done, you can change the switch. If any of the wires are broken, you should take them out.
  12. To get the insulation off the ends of the wires, you can use a wire stripper.
  13. Use pliers to bend the end of the wire into a half circle. So, the wire can bend around the screw-on end.
  14. It is crucial to attach the wires to the terminals and tighten them.
  15. You have to screw the switch into the terminal box.
  16. Now, put the cover plate back on and turn the electricity on.

Note: Always consult your owner’s manual for each step.


Replace the socket

The socket could be damaged or burnt, and it will cause your shop vac not to turn on. Try to plug other appliances into the socket you are using. If the appliance does not turn on, then the socket is faulty, and you need to change it. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Switch off the fuse box or consumer unit.
  2. Loosen the covers’ screws.
  3. Pull the socket outlet away from the box to access the terminals.
  4. Unscrew the top terminals of the socket outlet to liberate the conductors.
  5. Loosen the plug’s terminals (live, neutral, and earth).
  6. Live wires go in the “L”-marked terminal. Brown or red cable.
  7. Check for protruding wires and avoid twisting them.
  8. Tighten the wires’ holding screw.
  9. Plug the neutral wire into the ‘N’-marked connector. Black or blue.
  10. Make sure all connections are neat, and there are no loose wires.
  11. Bring the front plate to the back box. Ensure the cables aren’t twisted and sit straight within the box before screwing on the face plate.
  12. Align and screw in the face plate. Ensure the face plate is level before tightening the screws.
  13. Attach the new socket
  14. Tighten the screws one at a time.
  15. Plug your shop vac into your new outlet to test it.


Change the motor

If the motor in your shop vac isn’t turning on because of a bag full, clean the filter and empty the bag. Pay special attention to the motor and other tight spots when cleaning the shop vac . However, if you clean the filter and empty the bag, you should replace the motor if your vac won’t still turn on. Here is how to replace it;

  1. For safety, ensure the shop vac is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Remove the two side clips that keep the power unit assembly from falling off the tank.
  3. Remove the power unit assembly’s four screws.
  4. Take the cover off the power unit assembly.
  5. Pull the four spade connectors off the switch module to disconnect them.
  6. Take the motor bracket out.
  7. Make sure to reattach the green ground wire clip to the bracket when putting everything back together.
  8. Take the clip off the green wire and put it on the new motor.
  9. Take off the motor mount.
  10. Flip it over so that the other side will be seen.
  11. Use the socket wrench to take off the bolt that is holding the aluminum plate in place.
  12. Remove the two screws that hold the cover to the motor.
  13. After taking off the motor’s cover, you can change the motor.
  14. Once put in the new motor, reassemble the vac and test run it.


Replace the cord

If your cord shows signs of wear, you should get a new one to replace it. Even if your shop vac worked before with a worn-out or twisted cord, you should still get a new one because the wires inside may have broken. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Unplug the vacuum.
  2. Expose the brush roller on the bottom of the vacuum.
  3. Remove the roller housing screws.
  4. Pull out the brush’s belt.
  5. Remove the filter screws behind the brush.
  6. Remove the motor’s screws.
  7. To release the wire nuts, turn them counterclockwise. Separate the wires. If the white wire has a terminal connection in the motor, pinch it using needle-nose pliers and pull it out.
  8. Measure the cord end to strain release.
  9. Remove the cord’s strain relief and cord retainer screws.
  10. Remove the old vacuum cord, strain relief, and retainer.
  11. Attach the New Cord
  12. Insert the power cord retainer and strain relief.
  13. Put them where the old cord was.
  14. Reconnect the white wires to the terminal.
  15. Reconnect the motor’s terminal.
  16. Twist the motor and cord’s-colored wires. Secure their ends with a wire nut you removed earlier.
  17. Attach the cord retainer and strain relief with screws. Keep the new cord in place.
  18. Attach motor housing.
  19. Reattach the filter.
  20. Reattach the brush belt.


Why has my Shop Vac stopped working?

The reason your shop vac has stopped working is that there is a problem with the power  that is coming inside the shop vac or the filter  is damaged. Another reason your shop vac stopped working is that the breaker is tripped or the wall socket is faulty.

When your shop vac stops working, repairing it will depend on the particular cause. If the electricity in your home suddenly stops working, for instance, you should contact your local utility provider.

Also, you can check if a breaker has tripped in your home’s main electrical box and reset the tripped breaker. However, fixing a damaged wall socket is more demanding. For the time being, you can use another socket to keep your Shop-Vac functioning. However, after that, you will need to either purchase a new socket or contact an electrician.


Why has my Shop Vac lost suction?

The reason your shop vac lost suction is that the filter is dirty or there is a clog in the hose. Another reason your shop vac lost suction is because of a bad compressor. Air entering the vacuum cleaner is designed to be compressed by the compressor.

However, if the compressor is malfunctioning, the shop vac may no longer suction. If you feel suction at the inlet, the problem is with your hose. Check to see if your hose and other parts are clogged.

If there are no clogs, look for holes or cracks in the hose. Even a small crack can cause the vacuum to lose suction. If the hose has a crack or a hole, it should be replaced.


Why is the pressure low on my Shop Vac?

The reason there is low pressure on your shop vac is that there is a hole in the hose or your shop vac is covered with debris or dirt. If debris or dirt is in your shop, it will later clog, which can cause low pressure on your shop vac. Another reason your shop vac has low pressure because the hose is blocked.

When the hose is blocked, air won’t get through and cause the shop vac to have low pressure. Repairing the hose and cleaning your shop vac will help you restore normal pressure.