Why Are My Shark Vacuum Lights Flashing? 5 Basic Reasons

Are your Shark vacuum lights flashing? That typically means that there’s a problem and it’s trying to tell you so. Shark vacuums have very few indicator lights, so it makes it a little challenging to know what they mean when they start flashing.

The meaning of flashing lights on your Shark vacuum largely depends on their color. BLUE flashing lights indicate that the battery is charging on cordless models. However, blinking RED indicators point to overheating, a burnt motor, or a jammed brush roll. If the headlights flash on and off as you use the unit, it could be a wiring problem in the unit’s swivel.

This troubleshooting guide will help you understand what the flashing lights on your Shark vacuum are trying to tell you. Keep reading!

For other troubleshooting tips, read: Shark Vacuum Troubleshooting

Which Shark Vacuum Lights Are Flashing?

Unfortunately, Shark vacuums come with very few indicator lights. As a result, those lights flashing could mean several different things.

You can troubleshoot and find the root cause by considering other symptoms accompanying those blinking lights.

Here are 6 of the most likely reasons your Shark vacuum lights are flashing.

#1 Vacuum is Charging

shark vacuum plugged in

Symptoms: Blue-colored lights that flash slowly on cordless Shark vacuums.

Why it’s happening: When you connect a cordless Shark vacuum to its charger, you’ll notice blue-colored lights flashing on and off slowly. That means the unit is currently charging.

These lights do not indicate any problems. Instead, they show that your vacuum’s battery is charging normally.

Shark vacuum lights flashing

Once the charging is complete, the light will stop blinking and stay on, albeit slightly dimmer than before.

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Read: Why Shark Vacuum Brush Roll Indicator Light Is Not On

#2 Overheating

When you see a red-colored light flashing on any Shark vacuum, that’s a clear sign that there’s a problem. But, unfortunately, the indicator doesn’t provide any specifics about what that problem might be.

Symptoms: Red-colored indicator light flashing, as the vacuum stops working and the body feels hot around the motor.

Why it’s happening: An overheating Shark vacuum cleaner can cause the red indicator light to flash. The appliance will also stop working as a protective measure, thanks to a protective device inside called a thermal cutout.

There’s a thermostat inside your Shark vacuum that protects it from overheating. When it senses that the vacuum is running too hot, it’ll cut the electrical circuit and force the appliance to turn off.

By doing that, the thermostat prevents the vacuum from damaging itself and protects you from more expensive repairs.

Shark vacuum motor and wiring

So, when you see the red indicator light blinking, and your vacuum won’t run, it’s likely that there’s a blockage inside that causes it to run too hot. A blockage prevents airflow from passing through the vacuum and reducing the heat inside, particularly around the motor.

To solve this problem, you must first unplug your vacuum cleaner. Then, inspect all of its components for blockages that you must remove

Don’t forget to empty the canister, as too much dust in there will also restrict airflow.

Read: Garage Vacuum Troubleshooting Guide

#3 Burnt Brush roll Motor

Symptoms: Red-colored indicator light flashing as the vacuum stops working.

Shark vacuum brush roll light red and green

Why it’s happening: The motor inside has possibly overheated and burned out. Check the floor attachment that holds the brush roll to begin the troubleshooting process. If you sense any burnt smells coming from the attachment, you’ll know that’s where to look.

You can confirm the root cause by opening the floor attachment and inspecting the motor up-close. When you see burnt parts on the motor, that means you’ll have to replace it with a new one.

Repairing a burnt motor is an advanced project and usually is not worth the time or expense for a DIYer. Replacement is recommended in most cases. In fact, sometimes it’s more cost-effective to just replace the entire brush roll attachment.

Read: Shark Vacuum Won’t Turn On

#4 Jammed Brush roll

Symptoms: Red-colored indicator light flashing while the brush roll fails to turn.

Shark vacuum brush roll underside

Why it’s happening: Another likely trigger behind the red flashing indicator on your Shark vacuum is that its brush roll is jammed. 

When that happens, the red light will flash to get your attention so you can free the brush roll and allow it to resume normal operations.

The brush roll is cylindrical in shape with bristles along its sides. Its purpose is to help lift dirt off the ground, making it much easier for the vacuum to suck it in.

Unfortunately, hair strands and long pieces of lint and dirt can wrap around the brush roll over an extended period. At some point, the same will wrap around the brush roll’s bearings and cause it to jam.

A brush roll that can’t move freely will place added stress on its motor, which is why you must clear it as soon as you notice a problem.

You can start by disconnecting the floor attachment and turning it over. Then, use a pair of scissors to cut through the buildup of hair and dirt around the brush roll. Do this very carefully, so you don’t accidentally cut the bristles from the brush bar.

You can remove the rest with your fingers after you’ve cut most of the buildup. That will free the brush roll, allowing it to turn normal again.

Read: Shark Vacuum Suction Problems

#5 Wiring Problems

Which light is flashing: Floor attachment headlights flash intermittently.

Why it’s happening: Several Shark vacuum models come with headlights on their floor attachment. Those lights receive power through the floor attachment as it connects to the vacuum’s main body.

Shark vacuum headlights

As you push the vacuum around, you might find that the headlights flash intermittently. That problem tends to happen more often when you’re turning the vacuum on its swivel, causing the lights to flash on and off repeatedly.

This indicates a wiring problem inside your vacuum. As we saw above, the headlights receive power through the floor attachment. However, that power comes through wires that run through the swivel and up to the vacuum’s main body.

If the wires are pinched or otherwise damaged, turning the swivel can disrupt the flow of power to the headlights, causing them to flash on and off repeatedly.

This will take some close examining, and require some amount of disassembly in order to access the wires. Depending on your skill level and know-how, you may be able to repair the wire insulation.

However, if the damage is too severe, purchasing a new attachment may be inevitable.

How Do I Clear A Blockage In My Shark Vacuum?

Several of the causes listed above happen because of blockages in or around its parts. For example, when dust and debris restrict airflow, motors overheat, and parts like the brush roll fail to move.

One way to prevent these problems from happening is by clearing blockages from your Shark vacuum regularly.

You can do that by:

  • Removing all vacuum attachments for closer inspection.
  • Emptying the dust canister regularly.
  • Keeping the brush roll free by picking out long pieces of dirt or hair before they jam the roll severely.
  • Washing all filters regularly and letting them air dry for at least 24 hours.

When you perform these maintenance tasks regularly, you’ll prevent most of the causes that trigger the red indicator light to flash. And as an added bonus, these habits will extend the life of your vacuum!

Read: How To Clean A Shark Vacuum

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Shark Vacuum Lights Flashing

Here are some other frequently asked questions about your Shark vacuum lights blinking:

Why are My Shark Vacuum Lights Blinking While Charging?

The blue light on your Shark vacuum flashes to let you know that the charging process is ongoing. However, it’s not a sign of a problem, so you have nothing to worry about. The light will dim slightly but stay on instead of flashing when the battery is full.

What Do I Do If My Shark Vacuum Overheats?

When your Shark vacuum overheats, shut it off and unplug it immediately. Then, remove all of its attachments to look for any blockages. Next, clean any blockages you find and let the vacuum cool down naturally for at least 45 minutes before attempting to use it again.

Read: Shark Robot Vacuum Making A Loud Noise

How Do I Reset My Shark Vacuum?

There is no reset button on your Shark vacuum, so you’ll have to do it by cycling its power. First, remove its power source, whether that’s a battery or a power plug. Then, leave the vacuum alone for 45 minutes. Once that time passes, the reset is complete, and you can use the vacuum again.

What Do The Lights On My Shark Vacuum Mean?

The light colors on your Shark vacuum will differ between models. However, a red flashing light generally indicates that there’s a problem. Cordless models will have blue lights related to their battery, and they’ll flash while the appliance is charging. Some models have a green light that generally means everything is working as it should.

Why Did My Shark Vacuum Suddenly Stop?

If your Shark vacuum suddenly stops, the thermostat likely sensed the appliance was overheating. You’ll have to let the vacuum cool down completely for at least 45 minutes before you can try to use it again. During that time, check the appliance thoroughly for any clogs.

Read: Shark Self-Propelled Vacuum Not Working

Read: Shark Vacuum Making Noise

Reader Comments (3)

  1. My Shark cordless hoover stopped working and now won’t charge.When plugged into charger 2 white flashing lights beside each other come on. Regularly cleaned and no blockages.
    6 months old, please advise.

  2. The lights on my anti hair Wrap & duoClean cordless vacuum are flashing white when I turn it on but it doesn’t come up. I’ve tried charging it and still the same.

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