Thread Number: 44888  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
repairing Shark vacuums
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Post# 465999   9/9/2023 at 19:17 (308 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

I know Shark vacuums are very difficult to repair but I didn't know what they did to make their vacuums so difficult to repair other than not providing parts. I came across this video that really describes it well. I know some on here use Shark cleaners and like them and that's fine. For those who work on vacuums, do you think this video is correct?


Post# 466014 , Reply# 1   9/10/2023 at 17:03 (307 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
No lies detected

He's right on the money. I'm working on my Shark Steam Mop which is held together with two different sized security screws. I know more fun awaits once I get it opened. I hope someone does start a class action suit against Shark. Their business model sucks on many levels.

Post# 466063 , Reply# 2   9/11/2023 at 11:38 (307 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        
Sounds about right

panasonicvac's profile picture
At least most of them are pretty hard to work on. But some like the Navigator Lift-Away, they're not too bad to take apart and find aftermarket parts. I had the cord and lower hose replaced on my sister's.

Post# 466088 , Reply# 3   9/11/2023 at 21:58 (306 days old) by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

This is OLD news. Everyone in the repair industry knows this. That's why most shops refuse Sharks the minute they come in the door. Shark wants you to throw it away and buy new. If there's something wrong with the unit while it's under warranty, they just send the customer another unit/assembly.

The newer units with the "self cleaning" brushroll are just AWFUL. Hair and threads get packed in the gaps and seize the brushroll. There is no way to take it apart without destroying it and they make you purchase the entire cleaner head assembly.

Post# 467393 , Reply# 4   11/7/2023 at 23:51 (249 days old) by Zinda (Peoria)        
Sharks used to be very simple to fix....

When it comes to Sharks I can say they are the only bagless vacuums made that I would recommend for anyone and any task. Well that was true up till the moment that they changed their design.

A few years back, Electrolux quit making vacuums, they had a long run of terrible ideas that they just would not let go and it cost them. You may recall a few futuristic models that had very large cases and a canister that had their innovative new self cleaning bagless feature (I read the instructions and tested it and still had no idea what they were thinking) and they also had many other really poorly thought out designs for their switching devices to divert the air flow. Those were using up a bunch of room inside to simply change air flow and they seemed to forget that the valve design was carrying dirt every single time the vacuum was ran. The valves got stuck and of course air only sucked from one source. They used a spring that was far too weak and a very poorly thought out way of utilizing the spring and the switch valve was huge and quickly bound up. They also used a style of case design that showed no screws! That goes great with the new futuristic style but when your vacuums are failing instantly fixing them became an issue.

I know I had at least 5 of them apart there were 3 models all shaped weird and all shared the same air valve design. They also used quite a bit of sliding parts as release switch parts. Relying on plastic sliding against plastic along with tiny springs to release parts and snap them back to locked state. It was a recipe for disaster! I write them a letter asking about their design and if they had any testing done to anything they sold? I found it hard to believe that any of those vacuums were able to get approval for production as they were when they were failing almost instantly.

The main problem was taking them apart, they used snap together seams and hidden screws that once you found the 1st one you had to hunt for the second one and although you could see where they were you couldn't access them out of order. Out of the 5 I worked on I was not able to get 1 apart and back together without something breaking or cracking even when I knew how to do it. It's like taking apart a huge remote control that has 50 snaps on one side but not evenly spaced and all are hidden.

Now your probably wondering why I'm telling you about Electrolux and how they quit making vacuums? If you try to find anything on their site as far as vacuums, they act as if they had never made a vacuum in all their decades of manufacturing. Even when they were the best vacuum made, it simply has no reference to that being part of Electrolux manufacturing no matter where you look it's like they're in denial.

Here's what I'm getting at, this happened right around when Shark made some huge changes to their vacuum design. Suddenly they had no screws showing, tons of sliding plastic strips with tiny springs that ran 5he length of the case. Their parts were impossible to unlock due to those new ideas, then trying to fix them became an impossible task that ended up with cracked and or broken parts. But the thing is, there are no replacements and since those models were selling very few units, you couldn't get them working ever I have 2 that are still in pieces from 5 years ago. The cases are brittle, the plastics have changed from super strong and durable to the cheapest crack And break prone type available. I have had 3 in a row that are less than 5 years old and all have failed motors, 3 different models all using their new mid sized motor.

I also have 3 that have broken motor head cases! There again finding parts isn't going to happen with so many colors and slight variations it's just far to costly to look for parts. Plus they tend to break the studs off the inner case when trying to back out screws. They are a nightmare and I immediately figured that those ex Electrolux designers had to go to work somewhere and it seems as though Shark took them on. It's the only possible way that shark has been using such terrible ideas and just like Electrolux, they don't seem to be able to stop doing it. Even after lowering their prices and making complete junk, losing their fans and their reputation has been completely shattered as a go all around vacuum that had a model that fit every need. Now it's just a terrible gimmick that they charge extra to have and each gimmick is just taking life off their vacuums.

People are generally suckers for the next big useless thing that's shown to work so well but in reality if they'd spend one minute thinking about what's really going on they'ed see that the feature is a gimmick and pass on it.

Now what's worse is they know their vacuums won't make it last their warranty and they now embraced it with motors that will fail sooner than any motor ever. How many vacuums have you seen with a bad motor in your lifetime? Up till recently I have never even considered that in a vacuum unless water was sucked into it and even then it wasn't certain death. To find 3 sharks all with shorted windings or worn out commutators but have brushes that are barely worn is the last straw.

I service vacuums for a bunch of women who are professional house keepers and they go through vacuums like I go through gasoline in my Mustang GT V8 with 4:11 gears and tons of bolt on HP parts (built in 2002 when gas wasn't an issue). I had 1 woman bring me 3 Dyson's last week. I got 2 going but the 3rd needs the brush roll drive gear part like they all do, can't get that part unless you buy the entire motor heAd now $75 ain't gonna work!

Yesterday 2 sharks that are 6 months old, clogged and various broken catches but luckily they dud break and that allowed me to extend their life by cleaning out bearings before they melt the cases or holders. Tons of oil on the sliding parts and replaced lower hoses right away. I know the motors are next but what can be done? I warned here today when she brought in another shark, an older navigator with the huge dirt cup. That's exactly what she needs to be buying. The older models last at least 8 years and I have parts for 15 of them on hand. I have 2 of the sealed professional navigators the old ones but they're like new. I can take them apart in the dark and put 5hem back together in less than an hour with all parts washed and everything polished like new. In fact I'm on a break before I go back out to put hers together. She snapped off the catch for the dirt cup release!
Good thing I had about 25 of them on hand.

Shark is still the best bagless vacuums made but they are now limited to what you can find made before 2010. I feel the same way about Dyson, the last good model was the DC17 and then I can't recommend anything.

That's the way the world works now, they burn through resources and make junk on purpose. Making sure it lasts only a few years but give it a 5 year warranty to get buyers to bite. They buy it thinking they have 5 years use ahead of them without any problems, then 6 months later they need to do a warranty replacement, they get their new vac and find out they have 30 days warranty left. Yup that 5 years turned I to 7 months and it's most likely that it will break at 6 months again and they're out shopping for another one!

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Post# 467461 , Reply# 5   11/11/2023 at 18:56 (245 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture

You can repair Shark vacuums very easily, but you need to know how and where to get the parts. They have no parts distribution network, and do not provide parts. You just have to be patient. You can't just click and ship parts within 30 seconds. Sometimes you might have to source the hardware store for various bits and bobs, other times you can find it all on various web stores.

China has been doing a fantastic job at "borrowing" old parts molds and making new brushrolls, belts, etc for the Navigator series, so those aren't a concern. The event of main body parts breaking is rare, but in case they do, there's no shortage of donor machines thanks to everyone throwing them away and wasting all those parts. There are also certain China pride vacuum brands that are making copies of Shark vacs, so with those parts available and a can of spraypaint color-matched to your vac, you can have a more than acceptable repair.

Really it boils down to is repair shops refusing to adapt. It's like mechanics going from the Ford Escort to a BMW M-Series. You just have to know the ways to dismantle and repair them in a new way. Shark vacuums are not at all cheap, so imagine someone spending 3 weeks worth of pay to afford one, then having it break, and then taking it to a repair shop, and them telling you "no we won't do it, throw it out". It's not a good customer service and not a good look for the shop. Then you go online and ask for help and just have a bunch of kids demanding that the only good vacuum is Miele or Sebo and to spend $900 - $2,500 on a new vacuum when you live on minimum wage. Can't be done.

I have a lot of Shark vacuums I buy from retail salvage sales and I don't have any issues with them. Once you learn how they design them they aren't hard at all. You just have to outsmart their anti-repair engineers. Remember: they were assembled from separate parts, they will come apart in separate parts just the same no matter what the company does to stop it.

Post# 467559 , Reply# 6   11/16/2023 at 10:09 (241 days old) by BriGuy (Wichita, Kansas)        
Electrolux History Incorrect

briguy's profile picture

The Electrolux models you refer to were not the original Electrolux everyone knows. Those are/were Euerka made Luxs. Electrolux/Aerus has never made a bagless machine. The Electrolux everyone knows & still loves is now known as Aerus & has been since the early 2000's. (Website link below) They had to quit using the Lux name. There are threads here discussing the whole story, it's a lengthy complicated one.


Post# 467627 , Reply# 7   11/19/2023 at 22:53 (237 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Shark never has been able to impress me with thier rendition of what a vacuum cleaner should be.

Fantom couldn't do it at the time either.

Post# 467628 , Reply# 8   11/19/2023 at 23:00 (237 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Sometimes it just isn't worth the time and effort to try and repair them.

I have some commercial vacuums that are over priced for what they are and just to repair the carpet head is pricey and just about a complete tear down to do it.

Years ago we had a vacuum shop that hated to see a Kirby come in the door, just as many do with the shark.

Shark vacuums were by design made to be replaced rather than repaired. Most consumers today want something new every few years.

I grew up with quality vacuums that were by design made to be repaired and or last for decades.

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