Why is Your Shark Vacuum Brush Not Spinning?

Jeneva Aaron
Jeneva is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products. She is a cleaning enthusiast. She got inspired to build her own cleaning blog when she realized how cleaning can make an impact on our lives and how a cleaner home can affect a person's mood.
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Updated April 6, 2022

Discover troubleshooting tips to fix your Shark vacuum brush roll

Why is Your Shark Vacuum Brush Not Spinning?

When you’re cleaning your home and the brush roll stops spinning on your Shark vacuum, it’s easy to panic.

What if it’s broken? Why is the vacuum brush not spinning?

You rely on your vacuum cleaner, so you need to get it up and running again as soon as possible. Hopefully without needing to fork out for expensive repairs!

In this guide, we’ll talk you through various reasons as to why the brush roller has stopped. And what you can do to fix it in your own home. From simple maintenance to damage and breakdowns, we’ve got you covered.

Shark Vacuum Roller Brush Not Spinning: Possible Reasons and Troubleshooting Tips

Let’s take a look at some of the likely issues with your Shark brush roll not spinning and how to solve them.

This advice is for many of the Shark vacuum cleaners, including the Shark Rotator, DuoClean, Shark Apex, or Navigator LiftAway. But it’s still a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.

Reason 1: Brush Roll Isn’t Turned On

Your Shark vacuum has a switch to activate the spinning brush roll. So first of all, check it’s turned on to the right position.

The position to have the roller brush button in depends on your Shark cleaner. Some Shark models are labeled as “I” or “II”, whereas others use “Carpet” or “Hard Floor” options.

To make the Shark vacuum brush roll spin, you need to make sure the switch is set to “II” or “Carpet”. This starts the brush roller spinning, ready for you to clean carpets and area rugs. The “I” and “Hard Floor” settings just use suction on its own, which is better for cleaning bare floors.

The Solution

  • Check the brush roll switch and make sure it’s on “II” or “Carpet”.
  • If it’s not, just slide the selector to the right option. The Shark vacuum brush will automatically come on when you recline the vacuum handle.

It’s best to check this isn’t the cause of the problem before looking at other possibilities.

Reason 2: The Vacuum’s Locked in the Wrong Position

If your Shark vacuum is in the upright position, the brush roll might not spin. The brush roll indicator light still shows green, but it won’t rotate.

Thankfully, this is an easy one to sort out by changing the position of your Shark vacuum.

The Solution

Simply recline the vacuum body to unlock it. The brush roll should start spinning automatically.

Reason 3: You’ve Used the Wrong Setting

Your Shark vacuum will have different suction power settings to suit different floor types.

If you don’t get the setup right, the brush motor can stall. This turns the indicator light red and the brush roll stops spinning. This tends to happen on high-pile carpets or thick rugs.

So when you’re cleaning these surfaces, check to see if your Shark vacuum has a thick carpet mode. If so, set it to this. Otherwise, you can turn the suction power down to the lowest setting and see if this fixes the problem.

The Solution

  • When cleaning long-pile carpets, turn the suction control down to the minimum setting. Some Shark vacuum models will have a “thick carpet” setting, so you can use this instead.
  • When you’ve selected the right mode for the job, switch the power on.
  • Recline the handle to activate your Shark roller brush.

Reason 4: There’s a Blockage in Your Shark Vacuum Brush or Hose

If there’s a blockage in the brush bar or hose, your Shark vacuum may automatically cut out to prevent any damage.

And if it doesn’t shut itself off, you may find the brush is not spinning. Otherwise, it could cause a broken belt in your vacuum. And this is something you want to avoid!

If this happens, you’ll notice a red light on the indicator that warns you something isn’t right. You’ll need to use the power switch to turn your Shark vacuum off and clear the blockage straight away.

The Solution

  • Switch off and unplug your Shark vacuum cleaner.
  • Check the hose and brush roll for any blockages, like tangled hair or clumps of large debris. Remove anything you find.
  • It’s a good idea to clean the Shark vacuum brush and hose to minimize the risk of a broken belt. You might be able to remove the roller brush for a more thorough clean or to cut hairs and fibers off it.
  • And you can clean the hose using cold water and a wire hanger to remove clumps.
  • Wait 24 hours for any washable parts to dry, and then simply reconnect the pieces before turning your vacuum back on.

Reason 5: There’s Damage to the Belt

In a worst-case scenario, the belt might have broken to the point that it needs replacing.

The roller belt keeps the brush roll spinning in your Shark vacuum. So if it’s damaged or worn, it makes sense that it could be the reason why the brush bar isn’t rotating.

If your vacuum sounds different from normal, then this is a sign that the belt is wearing down. It’s a good idea to check it regularly so you don’t get caught out when the brush roll stops spinning all of a sudden.

But if this happens, a replacement belt should fix the issue.

The Solution

  • Replace the roller belt in your Shark vacuum cleaner.
  • To do this, remove the brush roll plate, slide the old belt off, and replace it with a new one.
  • Reassemble everything, and you’re good to go.
  • But make sure you turn your vacuum off and disconnect it from the mains before carrying out maintenance.

Reason 6: There’s a Connection Issue

A telltale sign of a connection issue on your Shark vacuum is flashing LED headlights or no indicator light at all.

If there isn’t a red or green light showing, you might have a connection issue between the different parts of your Shark vacuum. Check that the main unit, wand, and nozzle head are all properly connected.

If the LED lights are flashing, then the roller brush compartment might not be properly shut. So check to see if it’s still open. If it’s not closed tight, then the Shark vacuum brush roll won’t spin due to safety concerns.

The Solution

For both scenarios, check your Shark vacuum to make sure everything is properly attached. This includes all the separate components as well as ensuring the roller brush compartment is closed.

Reason 7: A Full Dust Cup or Clogged Lint Screen

When the dust cup hits the max level, the brush roll will stop spinning to prevent your Shark vacuum from overfilling.

The same applies to the lint screen. If it gets clogged, then the roller brush won’t rotate in order to protect the motor. It simply means that your vacuum is too full and needs some basic maintenance to get it running again.

It’s easy to access the dust bin and lint screen to clear them out.

The Solution

  • Remove the dust cup from your Shark vacuum and use the release button to empty it into your trash can.
  • Gently brush the lint screen to remove any debris from it.
  • Replace both parts before using your vacuum.
Remember to turn off and unplug any Shark vacuum cleaners before carrying out maintenance.

Reason 8: The Motor Has Overheated

Shark vacuums use a motor-protective thermostat, which means it will cut out if the motor starts to overheat.

If the roller brush gets jammed, say there’s a tangled hair build-up or blockage, then it’s most likely to cause issues with overheating. And this is when the motor will cut out to prevent serious damage.

If this happens, the indicator light will flash red and your Shark vacuum will turn itself off.

The Solution

There are a few steps you need to follow in this case:

  • Turn the vacuum off and unplug it
  • Empty the dust cup as you would normally
  • With the dust cup still off, clean the felt and foam filter with water.
  • If your Shark uses a HEPA filter, remove the floor nozzle to access this for cleaning
  • Inspect the vacuum roller brush for any blockages. Remove any pet hair or carpet fibers you find in there. A clean roller brush helps to prevent overheating.
  • Leave your Shark vacuum to cool for at least 45 minutes
  • Replace all the components and hose connection before turning your Shark vacuum back on

Brush Up Your Shark Skills

Whether you use a Shark Duo, Shark Rocket, or Shark Navigator, it’s frustrating when the brush roll stops spinning. You lose time fixing it, and it could end up costing you money in repairs.

But with our troubleshooting tips, we’ll help you to press the brush bar reset button and have you cleaning again in no time.

It’s important to keep on top of basic maintenance on your Shark vacuum cleaner, paying particular attention to the vacuum brush bar. Regular emptying and cleaning will also help to prevent any damage.

Have you managed to fix your Shark vacuum brush roll using our handy guide? Let us know in the comments below. And remember to tag your friends if they need a helping hand too!

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