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Help! My Vacuum Cleaner Won’t Switch On!

What do you do if you’re vacuuming your home and without notice, your machine switches off and won’t switch back on? Nightmare! Luckily, we know all about why this happens and exactly what steps you can take to get it working again quickly and prevent it recurring.

Vax expert says…


“So, you’re vacuuming away and then, without notice, your machine switches off! After a few choice words you need to find out what has happened. There are a number of reasons why a vacuum cleaner will switch itself off but the main one is because it has overheated. Before you check this it is worth checking some of the other reasons first, they take less time and may get your machine up and running again.“

First things to try


The first thing to try is the fuse. The best way to do this is swap the machine’s fuse with that in your kettle’s plug – this should also be 13 amps as on your machine. Also, it is possible that there has been a power cut; even though these are rare they can happen, so do not dismiss this possibility.

There may be a problem with the electrics in your house, or the socket that you are using – try another one – or a trip switch may have activated. These should generally only be checked by a suitably qualified person!

The final thing to try is to move the cable and see if the machine will come on. If the machine comes on then you will need to contact the manufacturer for further advice as this indicates a fault.

Thermal cut-out

You’ve tried all the above checks but still no power. This is where it becomes likely that the thermal cut-out safety feature has activated. To protect the motor, most vacuum cleaners contain a system that switches the unit off if it becomes too hot. This system won’t allow the machine to be switched back on again until the motor has cooled down.

Most thermal cut-out systems need you to leave the machine unplugged for about 2 hours. To check this for your cleaner, review the user guide supplied with it. Once you have found out how long your machine has to be left for, it is time to consider why your machine has overheated and the steps to prevent this recurring.

Vacuum cleaners essentially draw air in, through a series of tubes and a dirt container or bag and then expel clean air through their exhaust. If this flow of air is interrupted then the motor will have to work harder to try and pull the same amount of air through the system, to maintain the suction performance. This is usually accompanied by an increase in the sound that the machine makes. After a while, the cleaner will reach a certain temperature and will switch off – the thermal cut-out has activated. Think of it like someone putting a hand over your mouth and asking you to breathe normally!

The main things you need to check are blockages in the hose, the passages leading to the dirt container and, most importantly, the cleanliness of the filters. For most modern vacuums, there will be at least one washable filter and perhaps others to ‘tap’ dirt free from. Allow the machine to cool a little then use the rest of the enforced break from cleaning to carry out this maintenance, and perhaps then have a well-deserved cup of tea!

After the recommended amount of cooling time has passed, try your machine. If it switches on then remember you do need to maintain your machine regularly to ensure this does not happen again.

Vax Vacuum Cleaner Range

How well do you look after your vacuum cleaner? Do you know how to and want to share your steps? Let us know your tips!

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  • jennifer fenney

    tried all that its bin playing up a bit and had keep pressing an jigling but nothing now

  • jennifer fenney

    my hoova switch wont turn on an iv tried all wot u say

  • cmcdaid

    HI Jennifer. I’m sorry to hear this. Have you tried contacting Vax’s customer support team? They’re can help you further if you found this article wasn’t useful in your particular situation. Thanks, Christina

  • Jason Charles

    my vax mach air is not that old but does not switch on,at all its been 4 weeks and it does not switch on ?

  • Anna Monro

    waiting for it to cool down, but the strange thing is the pipes are all clear and i cleaned the filters only a few hoovers ago. Cleaned as instructed on stickers. Any thoughts?

  • cmcdaid

    Hi Anna. I would contact our support team as there could be a fault with the machine. Thanks for taking the time to follow the instructions. You can contact us here: Thanks, Christina

  • cmcdaid

    Hi Jason. I’m sorry to hear this about your vacuum cleaner and I do apologise for the late response. Have you tried contacting our customer service team? you can find all the contact information here:

  • cmcdaid

    Hi Rajvir. Have you tried contacting our support team here: Thanks, Christina

  • Nigel Waring

    My machinw turns on occasionally and when it does it smells of electrical burning?

  • Rebecca Joyce

    My vax hoover won’t switch on tried everything n still doesn’t switch back on.. please help 😐

  • Hi Rebecca. The best thing to do in this instance is to get in touch with our support team –


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