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Why is Your Shark Vacuum Brush Not Spinning?


If you have a shark, you probably already encountered the “shark-vacuum-brush-not-spinning” issue.

As a happy owner of a Shark Navigator Lift Away, I’m well aware of this problem.

And if you don’t have a second vacuum cleaner (no judgment here) on hand, you’ll need to get it fixed quickly.

To be honest, I haven’t experienced all the possible reasons for this problem with my Shark Navigator since it may vary depending on Shark vacuums model.

However, to make things easier for you, I’ve done some research and listed all the possible issues and solutions.

Whether you own a Shark Rotator, DuoClean, Shark Apex, or Navigator LiftAway, this guide will surely be of help. If not, I suggest contacting Shark company directly as there may be a problem with your specific model.

Possible Reasons and Troubleshooting Tips

Reason 1: Brush Roll Switch Not Turned On

If your Shark vacuum has a floor selector switch to activate the brush roll, check if it’s turned on in the right position.

The right position depends on Shark vacuum models:

  • Some models have an “I” of “II”,
  • Others have a “carpet” or “hard floors” setting.

It’s usually located at the base of the top handle located or directly on the top handle as you can see from the visuals below:


Courtesy Shark Clean Company


To make the Shark vacuum brush roll spin, set the switch to “II” or “Carpet”. This starts the brush roller spinning, ready for cleaning carpets and area rugs.

The “I” and “Hard Floor” settings just use suction on its own, which is suitable for cleaning bare floors.

The Solution
  • Slide the selector to the right option: “II” or “Carpet”.
  • Recline the vacuum handle
  • The Shark vacuum brush will automatically come on.

Reason 2: Vacuum Locked in the Wrong Position

The upright position locks the brush roll. So if your Shark vacuum is in the upright position, the brush roll won’t spin.


Courtesy Shark Clean Company

What’s a bit misleading is that the brush roll indicator light still shows green. This indicates that your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have any technical issues. That’s good news but it won’t rotate.

The Solution

To resolve this, simply recline the vacuum body to unlock it. The brush roll should start spinning automatically.

Reason 3: High Pile or Thick Carpets Vacuumed With the Wrong Setting

If you vacuum high pile or thick carpets and you notice that the brush roll is not rotating, you probably used the wrong setting: either too much suction or hard floor/carpet low pile setting.

In such a case, you may have stalled the brush motor and the brush roll indicator repeatedly turns red.

These settings are usually located at the front of the top handle:


Courtesy Shark Clean Company


Courtesy Shark Clean Company

The Solution
  • If the vacuum has a thick carpet setting, use it. If not, turn the suction control down to the minimum setting.
  • Switch the power on.
  • Recline the handle to activate your Shark roller brush.

You may like also to check our review on the best vacuums for plush carpet

Reason 4: Blockage in The Brush or Hose

Another reason for the brush not to spin is if there’s a blockage in the brush bar or hose.

When this happens, the vacuum cleaner automatically shuts down to prevent damage on the belt. Then the indicator light of the brush illuminates red.


Courtesy Shark Clean Company


Courtesy Shark Clean Company

The Solution
  • Switch off and unplug the vacuum cleaner.
  • Check the hose and brush roll for any blockages, like tangled hair or clumps of large debris. Remove anything you find.
  • If necessary, clean the Shark vacuum brush and hose to avoid damage to the belt.
  • You can also 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 the vacuum back on.

Reason 5: Damage to the Belt

In the worst scenarios, the belt may be worn or broken.

And since vacuum belts work to spin the vacuum’s brush roller, a broken or damaged belt will make the brush stop spinning.

If your vacuum sounds different from normal, then this is a sign that the belt is wearing down.

The Solution

Replace the belt following this guide on how to change belt on shark vacuum.

Reason 6: Connection Issue

Sometimes the red lights won’t be illuminated. Instead, there will be no light at all.

If this happens, you probably have a connection issue between the main unit, the wand and the nozzle head.

Alternatively, the lights may be flashing. This means that the brush roll garage is not completely closed.


Courtesy Shark Clean Company

The Solution

For both scenarios, check the Shark vacuum cleaner 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: Full Dust Cup or Clogged Lint Screen

When the dust cup hits the max level or the lint screen is clogged, the brush roll will stop spinning.

The vacuum cleaner can’t vacuum more than its capacity. So to prevent it from overfilling, it simply stops rotating.


Courtesy Shark Clean Company

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.

Reason 8: Overheated Motor

Since Shark vacuum cleaners are equipped with a motor-protective thermostat, the vacuum will cut out if the motor starts to overheat.

This is most likely to happen when the brush is jammed.

As a measure of security and to prevent serious damage, the vacuum will turn off or the brush roll indicator light will flash red.

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
  • With the dust cup still off, clean the filters according to the user guide.
  • Inspect the vacuum roller brush for any blockages. Remove any pet hair or carpet fibers
  • Leave the vacuum to cool for at least 45 minutes
  • Plug in the vacuum and turn it on.

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