Shark Vacuum Lights Flashing? (try doing this)

There are a number of lights that have the ability to flash on a Shark vacuum and every flashing light tells a story. Some are indicative of problems and need addressing while others just indicate a normal working function. So before you rush to the repair shop, read this article for a full breakdown of the information you need to determine what each light on your Shark vacuum is for.

Blue Flashing Lights

As soon as you connect a cordless Shark vacuum to the charger and turn on the power from the wall socket, blue coloured lights flash on and off at a slow rate. These are charging lights and indicate that the vacuum is currently charging. Blue flashing lights are normal when your cordless Shark vacuum is charging. Once it’s fully charged you will see a continuous blue light.

Green Light

The green light indicates the power is on and everything is working as it should. When the green light is visible you are free to vacuum at will.

Red Flashing Light

A red light means danger or in this case a problem with your Shark vacuum. Any time you see a red flashing light it’s indicative of a problem, however, it doesn’t signify a specific problem and could mean one of the following;

  • The brush roll has jammed
    If the appliance won’t start or stops immediately after starting, it’s likely to be the brush roller that’s causing the problem. Every time you vacuum you run the risk of jamming the brush roller. The roller can get clogged with hair, string, cotton, carpet strands or just general stringy dirt and debris. You’ll need to remove all of this debris by hand (scissors will help if you’re careful not to damage the roller or vacuum in any way).
  • Brush Roll Belt Damaged
    Either the belt is stretched, damaged, broken or sometimes just has something caught in it that obstructs the correct movement of the belt. The belt drives the brush roll so any problem with the belt will result in the brush roll not operating correctly.
  • The vacuum is overheating
    If you’ve been vacuuming for a while and the red light starts to flash it almost certainly indicates the vacuum is overheating. If you suspect the problem is overheating, you should turn it off and allow at least 45 minutes before trying it again. If, after the 45 minute cool down period, the vacuum starts working again, then it was overheating and you’re now fine to proceed.

If a Shark vacuum has been operating for a long period of time the motor can overheat which is common practice and nothing to worry about as long as you allow it time to cool down before restarting it.

White Flashing Headlights 

If your Shark vacuum has headlights they’ll be located on top of the vacuum head and they’re used to light up the area in front of the vacuum so you can see the area to clean. If they start to flash it usually indicates some sort of problem. Flashing white headlights usually indicates a jam and the brush roll stops spinning also.

Check the brush roller by removing the door above the brush roller by pressing the buttons on the roller head. Once you’ve finished cleaning the brush roller, make sure the door is pushed back into place correctly. You should hear a click to indicate it’s closed properly.

Then check the floor setting is set to carpet mode. Check to see that the brush roll is spinning, if not check that you have switched the brush roll activation mode to on.

Vacuum Floor & Carpet Lights Flashing

Most Shark vacuums have specific lights for carpets and hard floors, these lights will flash to indicate a problem of some sort. If both of these lights are flashing it can mean one of two things: 

  1. If the carpet and floor lights are flashing together, there’s a problem connected to the battery. Either it’s not holding a charge or there’s a problem with the charger. You will need to allow the battery to cool down before attempting to recharge it. Once recharge is complete, test it again, if it still has problems you’ll need to contact your local Shark dealership for a replacement battery/charger unit or repair.
  2. If the floor and carpet lights are flashing alternately, there is a blockage in the vacuum somewhere which is preventing sufficient airflow. Before attempting to find and clear any blockage, you’ll need to allow the vacuum to cool down for 45 minutes first. Once you’ve cleaned the vacuum, test it and if the lights are still flashing, you’ll need to get it repaired by an expert. Contact your local Shark dealership for more details.

What Do The Lights Indicate On A Shark Vacuum?

The lights on a Shark vacuum are not there just for show. They all have a purpose although that purpose isn’t always clear. The following is intended as a guide to help you understand what specific lights indicate.

Light ActivityIndicates
Green Light OnThe vacuum is working normally and is ready to go
Blue Light FlashingBattery is charging (or problems on some units)
Constant Blue LightBattery is fully charged
Red LightFault warning either overheating, blockage or some other problem
No LightsNo power or vacuum switched off
Flashing Carpet and Floor LightsBattery problem or blockage

Regular Maintenance Can Prevent Many Problems

To keep your Shark vacuum working in tip top condition we have a few tips to help prevent any problems from occurring. These include;

Wash Or Replace The Filter

Most filters can be washed with water and left to dry in the air. Never put a wet or damp filter back into your vacuum and never use any form of heat to accelerate the drying process. The filter needs to dry naturally in the air before being placed back into the vacuum.

It’s important to keep the filters clean because a blocked filter can result in the vacuum’s motor overheating or failing completely.

Clean The Hoses

To remove all dirt and debris that could potentially cause a blockage from the hoses, use a broom handle or gently tap the hose. Take care not to damage the hose in any way.

Empty The Dust Cup (Dust Collector)

To empty the clear bin dust collector or what Shark calls the dust cup simply release it from the vacuum then hold it over a waste bin and press the lower release clip. Once the bottom is empty, close the bottom and press the top clip to release the top and empty the dust from the top section. Once empty, clean all areas with a soft dry cloth and replace onto vacuum.

Clean The Brush Roll

Remove the brush roll and clean it thoroughly, be sure to remove all hairs, cotton, carpet strands, dirt and debris. Also check the condition and position of the drive belt, if it appears to be damaged it will need replacing.

Check The Floor Nozzle

Inspect the floor nozzle for any blockages and remove as necessary. Then be sure the nozzle is connected to the brush roll correctly.

Check The Connection Between The Wand And Hand Vac

Be sure the connection is pushed home correctly between the wand and the hand vac and wipe away any dust or debris.

Fully Charge The Battery

Wipe all around the connectors on both the charging unit and the battery pack with a soft dry cloth to remove any dust. Plug the charger unit into the socket, turn on the power and connect your Shark vacuum to the charger unit. Once the flashing blue lights become constant, the vacuum is fully charged and ready to use. If your Shark vacuum is corded be sure the cord is plugged in fully and the power is on.

What To Do If The Lights Are Still Flashing On Your Shark Vacuum

If, after following all of the advice in this article, your Shark vacuum still displays flashing lights, it’s time to consult your handbook. If there is no further advice available in your handbook or you don’t have a handbook, it’s time to consult Shark[1] about repairs or replacements.

Shark have a good name due to their reliability and longevity. Shark vacuums come with a 12 months warranty which can be extended by a further 4 years. This means you can get a full 5 years warranty on a Shark vacuum.

SEE ALSO: Shark Robot Error Codes (troubleshooting guide: ION, IQ, EZ & AI)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Shark not lighting up?

If your Shark vacuum isn’t lighting up it could be one of a number of things including; no power, either the battery is dead or you haven’t plugged or turned on the main supply, the motor has overheated or there is a blockage preventing the brush roll from operating.

Is there a reset button on a Shark vacuum cleaner?

There is no reset button on a Shark vacuum cleaner. To reset just unplug, switch off and allow to cool down for 45 minutes at least.

Can you overcharge a Shark vacuum?

You cannot overcharge your Shark cordless as it’s designed to be used in that way. There is no problem leaving your Shark cordless on charge continuously. Once you have finished using it just replace it on the charging unit to ensure it is fully charged for the next time you use it.

How long does it take for a Shark battery to charge?

It takes around 2 ½ hours to fully charge a Shark battery.

Why does my Shark vacuum turn off?

If your Shark vacuum turns off whilst in use it’s probably because it has overheated. Shark vacuums have a protective thermostat to prevent damage to the motor, if you have been operating your vacuum for too long it will shut off to prevent damage. Allow 45 minutes for the vacuum to fully cool down before reusing.

How long should Shark vacuums last?

Shark vacuums should last anywhere between 5 to 7 years. They are well known for their reliability and come with a 12 months warranty that can be extended for an extra 4 years. That gives you 5 years of warranty from the manufacturer.

Why has my Shark vacuum shut down?

If your Shark vacuum has shut down during normal operating conditions it indicates that the motor has overheated. This is a standard safety precaution and your vacuum should be fully operational once it has cooled down sufficiently (allow 45 minutes for a full cool down).

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