Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Won’t Turn On? How To Fix It

Are you having trouble with your Kirby vacuum cleaner? Kirby vacuum cleaner won’t turn on? Today we will go over a few common problems that keep your Kirby vacuum cleaner from working the way it should.

But first…

Important Safety Tips To Consider

  • Always make sure that the Kirby vacuum cleaner is unplugged and that the power button is turned off before doing servicing or maintenance jobs.
  • Make sure that your hands are free of moisture and dry before servicing or doing maintenance.
  • Consider wearing gloved when servicing the machine in order to prevent scrapes, cuts, and other injuries.
  • If you are uncomfortable in servicing your vacuum cleaner, do not hesitate to consult Kirby customer service or send it to professional technicians.

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Troubleshooting 101: Kirby Vacuum cleaner won’t turn on

Kirby vacuum cleaner won’t turn on

1) Check The Safety Switches

Safety switches in Kirby vacuum cleaners are the number one reason why a Kirby Vacuum cleaner won’t turn on. The switch has 2 safety features that won’t allow the vacuum to start. It prevents dust or dirt in the air from raising and causing mess if the bag is not installed or stop the risk of injuries if someone is trying to turn the vacuum cleaner on with an exposed motor shaft or fan. Read Here: Kirby vs. Rainbow – which is the better option?

Take note that both switches should be pressed. Otherwise, the Kirby Vacuum cleaner won’t turn on.

  • Bag Safety

Removing the bag, you will notice a tiny switch on the vacuum cleaner. There’s a tab on the bag, pushing the switch forward when properly attached.

This feature won’t allow you to operate the Kirby vacuum if you don’t have a bag installed or the bag is not completely locked onto the vacuum exhaust.

To ensure that the bag is properly locked, it will need to be properly aligned on the 3 brass tabs, so you need to press it to the vacuum as far as it can go. Now, if the exhaust gasket isn’t well-lubricated and/or the plastic bottom is a bit tight, you can use oil to lubricate this part and give it a strong push.

Set the bag on the 3 tabs and turn it clockwise until you feel it lock into place. Now, if any of these tabs are broken, then the bag may not engage the safety switch. In addition, if you notice that the bag is popping back out of place easily, then it could be a sign that it’s already worn out and requires replacement.  

  • Front Safety Switch

On the front of the Kirby vacuum cleaner, there’s a switch divided into 2 sections— lower and upper.

We’ll start with the switch behind the power nozzle. Releasing the belt, the latch, and the powerhead off, you will be able to see a safety switch.

When putting the head-on, the small tab should press on the safety switch. It needs to be sticking out at least half an inch or so. However, if it looks short or has broken, jagged edge, then the tab is probably broken and is not engaging the safety switch. The solution here now is replacing the powerhead.

If the tab looks intact, then you want to make sure that you are properly attaching the head. There’s a bar on the vacuum cleaner and 2 hooks on the powerhead. The hooks will need to be hooked over the bar.

Raise the height of the vacuum to make it easier and attach the head. When the nozzle is properly installed, it presses on the lower part and the Kirby vacuum cleaner will operate at a lower speed.

Don’t confuse it with the speed switch on the Diamond models of Kirby vacuum cleaners which would allow even lower speeds. Read Here: 10 Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Carpet

When a hose is installed, the Kirby vacuum cleaner will move to high speed and generates maximum airflow or suction that allows you to vacuum hard surfaces such as upholstery and floors. The hose will press on the top switch portion; however, it’ll make the lower switch lever go as well.

If there are no nozzle or hose installed, these switches won’t be pressed and the Kirby Vacuum cleaner won’t turn on.

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2) Check The Power Cord

If you have checked the safety switches and the vacuum cleaner still won’t turn on, then you should check its power cord.

First, unwind the cord and plug it in a socket. Try wiggling it around as you try to turn it on. If your vacuum turns on at some point, then you might have a short in the power cord.

If that the case, consider going to a qualified technician to replace the cord of your Kirby vacuum cleaner. 

3) Faulty Motor

There are 3 factors that lead to a malfunctioning of the cleaner motor on a Kirby vacuum cleaner.

The first is with the on and off switch of the machine. To test it, you will need a multimeter— an electronic tool measuring amps, voltage, and resistance through circuits. You can use this multimeter to test the vacuum cleaner’s power switch for continuity. The power switches are typically the main culprit and should be replaced if it does not turn on and off properly.

Now, if the power switch is intact and is generating electricity, then the next probable source of the problem could be the drive motor. To check for motor failure, see If the blow wheel turns with ease and does not have any obstructions.

However, if the motor looks good and turning without an issue and the power is going through the motor but the machine still won’t turn on, then the replacement of the motor might be necessary. Make sure to visit a qualified technician to do the replacement.

The third and last potential cause of a malfunctioning Kirby vacuum cleaner that does not clean well or will not turn on altogether is its fan motor. The fan motor generates the suction power, so if it is malfunctioning or damaged, then there could be a loss of suction or a dead vacuum cleaner.

If your Kirby vacuum cleaner is still under warranty, then consider contacting your local Kirby office and let them know that you need replacement parts and servicing.

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