How to Troubleshoot a Bissell Upright Vacuum That Won't Suck

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Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight

  • Dowel rod

  • Phillipsscrewdriver

  • Vacuum cleaner bag

  • Vacuum cleaner belt

Troubleshooting a Bissell upright vacuum cleaner that loses its suction only takes a few minutes and can save you money on repair bills. A loss of suction often occurs due to a clog. Filters can become clogged with dust while hair and other objects can get lodged in the hose. A worn-out belt and debris wrapped around the brush can prevent the brush from rotating properly, which may also result in a loss of suction.


Step 1

Verify the airflow switch is on the vacuum setting and not in hose mode.

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Step 2

Unplug the vacuum cleaner and lay it down.

Step 3

Unzip the vacuum cleaner bag or remove the canister. Replace the bag with a new one or empty the canister. Check to see if the vacuum is working again.

Step 4

Remove the filter according to the printed diagram on the vacuum cleaner. Take the filter outside and shake it free of dust. Clean the filter with warm, soapy water and allow to dry thoroughly before reinstalling it. After reinstallation, see if the vacuum is working properly.

Step 5

Disassemble the vacuum cleaner hose by twisting it off at the connection point. Use a flashlight to inspect the hose for dirt, hair and debris. Insert a wooden dowel rod to push any clogs out of the hose. If you removed a clog, put the vacuum back together and see if it is now working properly.


Step 6

Remove the brush panel cover. Use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the cover.

Step 7

Gently pull the brush and vacuum cleaner belt out. Discard the belt.

Step 8

Clear any hair and debris from the intake valve.


Step 9

Remove any hair debris that has wrapped around the brush.

Step 10

Reinstall the brush with a new belt. Slide the belt over the appropriate end of the brush. Press the brush into place and pull the opposite end of the belt around the belt piston.

Step 11

Reinstall the brush panel cover.


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