Why Does My Hoover Upright Vacuum Suddenly Sound Like it Is Going to Explode?

Updated February 21, 2017

Hoover vacuum cleaners have been sold in the United States since 1908. However, even the iconic Hoover vacuum cleaner must be routinely maintained to remain in working order. If your vacuum cleaner begins making odd sounds, simple steps may be taken to possibly remedy the situation and return your vacuum to smooth operation.

Full Vacuum Cleaner Bag

A sudden revving motor may be a sign that the upright vacuum bag is full. When bags are full, air cannot circulate and the cleaner's suction is reduced or eliminated. It is important to unplug your vacuum and replace the full bag immediately to reduce the wear on the motor. Bags should be changed more frequently if you have vacuumed fine particles such as from construction projects involving drywall installation, sand or cat litter. Change bags as soon as they reach the full mark to avoid strain on the motor and the accompanying sounds that demonstrate stress on the vacuum.

Belt is Jammed or Broke

Stuck or broken vacuum cleaner belts can make whirling, revving, buzzing or clunking sounds. These loud sounds may be accompanied by the smell of burning rubber or even smoke. Hoover cites the sucking up of rug corners as a cause for broken belts. Belts can break if large objects are vacuumed into the brush roller and wind around the belt or roller. Some belts may be installed incorrectly, causing the belt to rotate too tightly or loosely. A loose belt can catch on carpet and items on the floor; and a belt that is too tight puts strain on the motor of the cleaner. Hoover recommends adjusting the height of your vacuum cleaner if the belt breaks often or becomes jammed on throw rugs or other flooring.

Clogged Filter

Filters are meant to retain fine particles that can interfere with the vacuum cleaner motor. Filters also reduce the likelihood of allergens in the air being circulated through the vacuum. The Hoover upright's owner's manual details the frequency of filter replacement necessary for your vacuum cleaner model. Count on replacing standard filters at least once a year and HEPA filters at least every six months.

Dirty Brush Roller

The brush roller is beneath the upright vacuum cleaner near the belts and wheels of the cleaner. The brush accumulates thread, strings, fuzz, lint and dust as the cleaner is rolled over floors. When hair and other material gathers around the roller, the roller can become jammed. A stuck roller can lead to broken belts. Hoover recommends the removal and cleaning of the brush frequently to eliminate the potential for more serious problems such as broken belts or a stressed motor. Use your fingers or scissors to cut lint and other materials away from the roller. The brush roller must rotate unobstructed in order to keep the vacuum from making loud noises and continue to operate.


Hoover uprights, like all upright vacuum cleaners, have multiple places where obstructions can occur: within the bag, within the nozzles and hose attachments, or in out-of-sight places. Lint and dust are common culprits in obstruction situations, but large items such as a child's toy or sock can also be blocking the air flow within the vacuum cleaner. An obstruction will stress the motor, creating whirling or revving sounds and usually the suction of the cleaner will be reduced or eliminated. Unplug the vacuum cleaner and take apart the hose attachments, check around and in the bag, and within screwed on panels that protect moving parts to ensure that dust or lint has not accumulated to the point of cutting off air circulation. Remove the debris with your fingers or tweezers, and blow out any dust.

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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.