how to fix common shark vacuum problems

Shark Vacuum Brush Roll Indicator Light Not On

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Thanks to the rapid development of modern technological appliances, such as household chores as cleaning become effortlessly easy.

One major cleaning appliance that is loved by many users is none other than the Shark vacuum cleaner, which has successfully relieved its users of the cleaning burden and totally revolutionized the way we perform our cleaning chores.

As effective as it proves to be, the Shark vacuum cleaner still poses some challenges for its users, and one of the most frustrating issues of the shark vacuum cleaner is the error experienced by quite a few users: the shark vacuum brush roll indicator light not on.

If you are new to the shark vacuum cleaner and happen to be annoyed by this issue, we have some good news for you: this issue can easily be solved and avoided altogether using our method and tips below.

How does the brush roll indicator light work?

vacuum parts

The Shark line of vacuum cleaners is among the most high-powered vacuums out there with formidable cleaning capacity.

And the key weapon of the Shark vacuum in its combat against dirt is its efficient brush roll, which is also called an agitator.

As a plastic or metal cylinders with bristles, a brush roll is activated through the rotation at high speed to pick up dirt from the surface.

The Shark’s spinning brush roll is specifically made with the higher capacity to invade the carpet deeper. The brush roll will be activated by a separate belt upon the release of the roll while the handle is pulled down.

As a safety measure for the brush roll, the manufacturer installed the indicator light to let users know whether the brush roll is working correctly.

If all is well and the brush roll is working properly, the indicator light will be green while the red light on the shark vacuum means the roll is jammed or indicates the shark vacuum overheating.

Some users also observed the shark vacuum lights blinking, which can be unnerving. However, the blinking light is usually not an issue as it either means that the battery charge is running low or that the vacuum is being charged.

What should also be noted is that all of the shark vacuum models out there come with their operational manual.

For instance, if you are using a Shark rotator vacuum model, you can easily refer to the Shark Rotator Vacuum Manual, which covers all ranges of information regarding the vacuum including light meanings and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Why is the shark vacuum brush roll indicator light not on and how to fix it?

To effectively tackle this issue, we have to trace back to the root of the problem to find out “Why is the shark vacuum brush roll indicator light not on?”.

You’ve already known what it means when the brush roll light turns red. But what if the brush roll indicator light is not even on?

There are a couple of possible scenarios, and each situation will call for a different approach and solution. You can follow our steps below to decode the cause, fix the issue and enjoy your Shark cleaning again.

Scenario #1. The vacuum is not turned on properly

vacuum turned on

This may sound too simple to be true, but in fact, many users experience this issue and jump to the conclusion that the shark vacuum is malfunctioning.

Sometimes the problem can be as simple as the vacuum cleaner is not turned on properly, i.e., not plugged in properly. Make sure that your Shark vacuum is completely plugged into the outlet and the On Switch is on.

For each shark vacuum cleaner, there are two power switch modes that allow two respective cleaning modes: the suction mode and the brush roll mode.

To activate the brush roll mode, you need to make sure that the switch is in the right mode. If not the brush roll won’t be turned on and as a result, the indicator light won’t flash.

How to fix: Double check if the vacuum is plugged in correctly and see the vacuum switch settings. If you have issues with starting or restarting the shark vacuum, consider a shark vacuum motor reset. Below are the steps to reset the shark vacuum:

  • Put the Power button to the On-Off position and keep the vacuum unplugged
  • Clear the hose and filter if needed
  • Wait for the vacuum to cool completely then plug it in again
  • Turn on the power switch

That sounds easy enough. However, you’d need to pay attention to the second step, which is cleaning the filters.

To clean the filter on the Shark Lift-away or the filter on a Shark Navigator, keep in mind the following:

  • Take away the HEPA filters and tap them against a trash bin to get rid of dust
  • Wash the filters with lukewarm water by hand
  • Air-dry the filters
  • Once the filters dry completely, put the filters back into the vacuum

Scenario #2. Loosely attached nozzle

vacuum nozzle

Another possible reason for the shark vacuum brush roll indicator light not on is the nozzle.

You may wonder what the nozzle has to do with the brush roll indicator light but in fact, the nozzle needs to be properly attached to the brush roll to function. If loosely attached, the nozzle won’t be able to deliver the power to the brush roll.

For example, if you are using a Shark Rocket Vacuum model, a poorly attached nozzle can lead to the shark rocket powerhead brush not spinning.

This is a usually overlooked problem which most users often resort to a Shark rocket disassembly without realizing it can easily be fixed.

How to fix: Check if the nozzle is adequately attached and clear out any blockage to maintain the connection if needed.

Scenario #3: The brush roll is blocked

Sometimes when the vacuum brush roll is jammed or clogged, the indicator light won’t turn red. Instead, it will not turn on at all.

How to fix: You need to clear the blockage and clean the brush roll regularly to get rid of built-up dirt and debris.

To clear the blockage, first, you need to unplug the vacuum, access the roll and remove anything that blocks the movement of the brush roll. To get an idea how to clean Shark rotator brush roll, check out the video below.

Scenario #4: The belt is damaged

If you have ruled out all of the above reasons, then the last possible explanation for your shark vacuum brush roll indicator light not on is that the driving belt of the brush roll is broken.

In case of a broken belt, you should contact the manufacturer to have a repair service or replacement.


A Shark vacuum cleaner is a fantastic cleaning appliance that deserves all of the praise for its powerful cleaning capacity.

Even though it does have a few problems here and there which are unavoidable for every product, its problems can be effectively solved once you understand the way it works.