Carpet Cleaner Not Picking Up Water | Why and How to Fix

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A carpet cleaner is a great assist when it comes to everyday cleaning jobs in the house. But it can get quite the opposite if it’s not doing what supposed to, like picking up water from the carpet and floor. The helpful automatic functions of carpet cleaner are not very helpful when sometimes, for random reasons, it’s not cleaning properly.

Since it’s machinery, it is possible for carpet cleaners to malfunction occasionally. This may result in poor cleaning, leaving residues, or affect the suction power for picking up water and stuff.



Whether you have a Bissell, Vax, Hoover, or any other carpet cleaner, the reasons why is the carpet cleaner not picking up water are similar. They mostly include simple irregularities and you can resolve them by yourself at home. First, let’s go over why your carpet cleaner stopped picking up water and then how to fix it.

Why is My Carpet Cleaner Not Picking Up Water

Depending on the brand, you can check and understand why is your carpet cleaner not picking up water like before. Let’s inspect some of the possibilities.

Check the Settings

If you use your carpet cleaner to pick up water and dry the area, it should have a dedicated dial. For example, it can be Floor Cleaning or Carpet Cleaning. It’s the most basic setting, so check for that before you attempt to suck water out of the carpet.

Dirty Water Tank

If your carpet cleaner has a dirty water tank, it can cause the issue. If the tank is full or filled to a certain level, the cleaner may not function properly and pick up water like it’s supposed to.

Loose or Damaged Hose

Another possible reason is the carpet cleaner hose. If you have that specified attachment, you know how easy it becomes to dry surfaces and clean hard-to-reach areas. But if your hose is not properly connected to the cleaner, it will lose suction power. The hose can also be damaged or clogged inside and affect the overall suction ability.

Check Filters

Constant use can easily stack up the filters that come with a carpet cleaner. Whether you have a filter or more on yours, you should clean it regularly. Dirty filters can reduce the suction power and therefore, your vacuum won’t pick up water effectively.


Nozzle and Brush Bar

Another common reason is clogged up nozzle and brush bar of the carpet cleaner. The nozzle is the front line where everyday dirt, hair, debris, and water meets and so it is bound to get messy at times. If it is clogged with hair and stuff, the cleaner might lose suction. The same goes for if your vacuum cleaner has a brush bar. It can get blocked with pet hair and messes, and reduce the water picking ability in the process.

How to Fix a Carpet Cleaner Not Picking Up Water

Simple tweaks are enough in most cases to fix your carpet cleaner that’s not picking up water. Let’s start trying one by one.

Clean and Seal the Tanks

The first thing you can do is check both the dirty water tank and plain water tank if they’re sealed properly. For example, if it is your Bissell carpet cleaner not picking up water, undo the tanks from the cleaner and re-install them. If the tanks are full, empty them before you put them back on. They should be properly aligned and fit to the machine as required for the suction to work.

Clean Nozzle and Brush Bar

As we’ve said already, If the nozzle is clogged with hair buildup and dust residue, your carpet cleaner may have trouble picking up water. Some of the brands’ cleaners come with their own nozzle cleanout tool, make sure to use it. Undo the nozzle from the head first, then look for any kind of blockages and remove them. The area is pretty visible so you shouldn’t face any struggle in doing so.

Additionally, if your carpet cleaner comes with a brush bar, remember to check that too. For example, if it’s your Hoover carpet cleaner not picking up water, uninstall the brush bars following the manufacturer’s guide and clean them properly. Wash the bars carefully if necessary, put them back on, and seal them as before.

Secure and Clean the Hose

Your carpet cleaner hose needs to be attached perfectly for the right suction power. Check for loose connections, remove the hose, and re-attach it. While it’s removed, check to see if it’s clogged with dirt and debris. Clean carefully so you don’t damage the accessory, then install it again and try to clean up water.


Check and Clean the Filters

When your carpet cleaner is failing to suck up water like it used to, maybe the filters need some attention. Clogged up filters can reduce suction power greatly, so check them to see if there’s any blockage. Remove the filters from the vacuum and wash them carefully. Before you install them again, do make sure they are completely dry and clean.

Read next: Vax compact power carpet cleaner review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you fix suction on a carpet cleaner?

Check your carpet cleaner’s attachments and seal them properly. Clean the dirty water tank regularly after use, clean the filters, nozzle, and install them following the user guide.

Why is my carpet cleaner not working?

Check for damaged hose, water tank, and replace if necessary. Clean your filters, tanks, and nozzle regularly for a longer lifetime.

Why won’t my Bissell pick up water?

Your Bissell carpet cleaner tanks might not be properly sealed, or the hose is loose somewhere. Check and resolve the issue, clean the tanks before re-installing them, and try again.

Why is my Shampooer not picking up water?

Check your clean water tank if it’s full and if the dirty water tank is sealed accordingly to the shampooer.

Why is my Hoover Carpet Cleaner not picking up water?

Unclog possible hair and dust buildup in the nozzle and brush bar. Check the tanks and accessories if they’re sealed perfectly for the cleaner to pick up water.

Final Words

Most of the issues regarding your carpet cleaner not picking up water can be resolved with easy adjustments. If you’re still having trouble after trying our methods, we recommend contacting your manufacturer helpline and taking your carpet cleaner to the nearby authorized service center.

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  1. […] the carpet cleaner won’t pick up water if the water tank gets misplaced. Pull it up from the machine and reinstall it again. If this […]

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