My Kirby Won't Turn On! Safety Switches and Other Common Problems

Nov 22, 2019

My Kirby Won't Turn On! Safety Switches and Other Common Problems

My Kirby Won't Turn On! Safety Switches and Other Common Problems 

Are you having trouble getting your Kirby vacuum to turn on? Today we go over a few common problems that may keep your Kirby from working the way it should.


Important Safety Tips

  • Always make sure your machine is unplugged and the power button is turned off, before servicing your vacuum.
  • Always make sure your hands are dry and free from moisture before servicing your machine.
  • Be sure to wear gloves when servicing your machine to prevent any cuts or scrapes.
  • If you are uncomfortable working on your vacuum, please don’t hesitate to contact us at and we can help you through the process or you can send it into us to fix it for you. 




If your Kirby vacuum isn’t turning on, the first thing you’ll want to do is check the safety switches. We’ll start with the one behind the power nozzle.

Start by releasing the belt.

Now release the latch.

When you take the powerhead off, you’ll be able to see the safety switch.

When you put the head on, a small tab will press this safety switch. It should be sticking out about half an inch or so. If it looks short or has a jagged, broken edge, then you tab is probably broken and isn’t engaging the safety switch. The solution is to replace the power head and we can help you with that! Just email us at with more details.

If your tab looks good, you’ll want to be sure you’re attaching the head properly. There is a bar on the vacuum and two hooks on the power head. These hooks will need to hook over the bar.

Raise the height of the vacuum all the way to make it easier, then attach the head.

Secure the latch and engage the belt. The power head should only have a slight, 1-2 mm gap. If yours looks like the one pictured above you should be good!

The next safety switch is by the bag. If you remove the bag, you’ll notice this tiny switch on the vacuum.

There is a tab on the bag that pushed the switch forward when attached properly.

For the bag to be attached properly it will need to be aligned on the three brass tabs.

Set the bag on the tabs and turn clockwise until you feel it lock into place.

 If any of these tabs are broken the bag may not engage the switch. Also, if you notice the bag is popping back out of place too easily that could be a sign something is worn out and needs replaced.

If you’ve checked your safety switches and those all work and it’s STILL not turning on you should check the power cord. Unwind the cord and try wiggling it around as you attempt the turn the vacuum on. If the vacuum turns on at some point you likely have a short in the power cord. If that happens send us an email at and we can help replace the cord.


Which model of Kirby vacuum is the best? Here’s what we think!


Looking for more info? Check out our Education Center!


Need your Kirby repaired? Send us an email at


We sell Kirby vacuums! We buy Kirby vacuums! And we sell bags, belts, cords, or anything else you need!


Here at Great Vacs we’ve serviced and rebuilt nearly 100,000 Kirby vacuum cleaners, so if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave us a comment! You can also head on over to our YouTube channel to see more education videos.