Review of the Shark Vacuum
Typically, I'm not a huge fan of dedicating an entire article to one product. I prefer to include a couple of products that I personally would use. There are some products, though, that definitely deserve a shout-out.
I used to go through vacuums pretty quickly. I bought a very nice vacuum, and it was still a pain with having to change the bag, the belt breaking, etc. Then it broke seven months later anyway. I suppose I'm hard on vacuums. Or it's because I vacuum almost every day. Either way, it was a bit frustrating. Until three years ago, when I bought the vacuum I currently own.
I was originally interested in the Shark vacuum because of the statement claiming it would never lose suction. After some research, I found some great reviews and figured I'd give it a shot. I don't like spending a lot of money if I don't have to, but wound up with it anyway, and I'm glad I did!
In this article, I'm going to tell you about the features of this product, the pros and cons, and give you a brief tour of the vacuum, such as how to clean and change the filters, the different attachments, and what it means if that red light comes on on your Shark vacuum.
The Shark vacuum is a reliable vacuum that comes with excellent features and attachments. According to the advertisements, it never loses suction. I originally doubted this or thought it would be extremely high maintenance. After three years, my vacuum has not lost any suction, and all I do is basic maintenance such as cleaning the filters, emptying the dust cup, and cleaning the gobs of hair out of the brush.
The vacuum is also very lightweight. Since I bought this vacuum, I have developed severe problems with my back. I am not supposed to sit on the floor, consistently bend over, lift heavy objects, or push or pull heavy objects. This vacuum has been more than accommodating of all of the above.
With the longer vacuum tube and attachments, I rarely have to consistently bend over to vacuum those harder to reach spots (like the little corner behind my entertainment center) and I don't spend hours sitting on the floor changing belts, changing the vacuum bag, and attempting to figure out what else is wrong with it.
Some pros of the Shark vacuum that make it convenient and easy to use are that this vacuum is durable, has reusable filters, is bagless, and works wonders on bare floors. (The on/off switch is designed so that you also have a bare floor option.)
Durable. This vacuum has survived for three years in my household. Just trust me, that says a lot. The stretchy part isn't long enough to reach all the way down the stairs, so it has accidentally fallen down them a few times. I have accidentally vacuumed up rubber bands, screws, barbie shoes, and Squinkies. I'm truly amazed this thing still works!
Reusable filters. All of the filters that are in the vacuum are reusable foam filters. They sell replacements, but you don't even need to buy them unless something happens to the ones you have at first. The vacuum comes with an additional two foam filters, ensuring you can still use your vacuum while two of the foam filters are airdrying. These filters are also pretty simple to clean and last for quite a long time. I clean them, let them dry, put them back in the vacuum, and it's as good as new.
Bagless. Changing vacuum bags can be a hassle. With the Shark vacuum, you simply release the front of the vacuum with a button, and release the compartment containing dirt with another button (while holding it over a trashcan) and then put it all together again. It takes less than a minute to empty this vacuum.
Bare floors. Back to my bad back real quick. I was strongly discouraged from things such as sweeping, mopping, scrubbing the floor, and things of that nature. My chiropractor cringed a bit when I mentioned vacuuming, but said I should be fine due to me not bending over as much when I vacuum as opposed to sweeping and mopping.
As a single mother with two children, it is simply not an option to just stop sweeping and mopping. This vacuum was wonderful. It has a bare floor setting and works just as well as sweeping, if not better. The attachments make getting into other areas (such as that spot in between the stove and fridge) a breeze. With using the vacuum to sweep, my back was still well enough to mop when I needed to.
The Shark vacuum comes with convenient, easy-to-use attachments. You simply pull out the hose and then attach the attachment, and it is ready for use. The angled attachment is excellent for use in corners and cracks. An attachment with a brush is great for areas such as stairs.
The pet attachment is astounding. I have one cat that sheds a surprisingly large amount for a short-haired cat. In addition to that, I currently have hair down to my butt, so I seem to shed as much as my cat, if not more. I use the pet attachment on my furniture and other areas where pet hair seems to accumulate, and you would never even know.
The Dreaded Red Light
This is the one thing I am not thrilled about with this vacuum. If the filters need to be cleaned, etc., the vacuum seems to automatically lose a small amount of suction, the brush in the front stops turning, the little light on the front goes from green to red. While it is wonderful, as this is more than likely what prevents the vacuum from ever losing suction, I'm not a fan of trying to figure out which filter it is, etc.
The brush indicator light is a sign that there is a blockage somewhere, but it's up to you to find out where. Sometimes it's because it needs to be emptied. Sometimes it's because the filter you didn't even know existed needs cleaned. Other times, it's because there is too much of my hair wrapped around the brush. An individual has to go through them one by one and see which one it is.
It is vital to remember that before doing anything on your Shark Navigator NV22L, unplug the vacuum. I know it seems like common sense, but we do live in a world today where not everyone has that, so I wanted to make sure no one was injured.
We're going to go over the different things that can cause the brush indicator light to turn red, which is typically a sign that there is a blockage somewhere.
- Empty the dust cup
- Clean the filters
- The cyclone chamber
- The brush itself
- Check for any blockages
Empty the Dust Cup
This is so easy and hassle-free, it's another thing I adore about this vacuum. You simply detach the front part with the dust cup on it, hold it over a trashcan, and press the button to release the bottom of the dust cup. The dirt falls right out into the trashcan so you don't even have to touch it!
The only exception to this is if you have exceptionally long hair. Every once in a while one of mine gets wrapped around in there and I have to get it out. Other than that, it's pretty quick and mess-free!
Clean the Filters
Underneath the dust cup, you will find your foam filters. To clean them, you simply run them under water and rinse them out until the water runs clear. After this, allow the filters to air dry for approximately 24 hours. Do not put wet filters in the vacuum. The filter located at the front of your vacuum does not need to be cleaned. I know it can get pretty dirty looking, but you really don't have to clean it. Mine has lasted three years and I have not touched it (it says not to in the manual.)
If you are interested in purchasing a new one, sets of additional filters are available through Amazon and the Shark website. I doubt cleaning that front filter would cause any damage, but I would not like the thought of ruining a $150 vacuum because I didn't want to purchase additional filters for less than $20.
The Cyclone Chamber
If you open the top part, you will see the cyclone chamber and its nifty metal screen filter. Occasionally, this will need to be wiped off. There is also a spot to open the top, where you will see several little holes that look like little tubes. These can get dirt in them as well, which can cause the brush indicator light to come on.
According to the manual, you "gently tap" on this while holding it over the trashcan. You can gently tap if you want to, but it doesn't get a single thing to come out of mine. I usually wind up laying an old towel on the floor, and then I "gently slam" the cyclone chamber on the old towel. It gets a majority of the dirt out of those little tubes.
Clean Out the Brush
The brush on the bottom of the vacuum can sometimes get an excessive amount of hair wrapped around it, along with things such as stay threads. To remove these, simply use a sharp pair of scissors, and cut them. Then, take your fingers, and pull them out. It's pretty simple. If you keep up on it, it never gets too bad.
Check for Other Blockages
This part sounds a bit more time consuming, but it's actually pretty simple. Detach the hose from the vacuum. You should be able to hold the hose up and see light or the floor on the other end. If you can't, there is more than likely something clogging up the hose. To remove this blockage, use a broom and run the broom handle through the hose.
If there is no blockage found in that hose, examine the small opening that runs from the head of the vacuum to the hose, and the small portion of the vacuum that the hose attaches to for any foreign objects that may be clogging your vacuum, and remove any blockages that are found.
Reset the Vacuum
After removing any blockages, the red light may not go back to green. It is necessary to unplug the vacuum, leave it unplugged for approximately an hour, and then test the vacuum again. This allows the vacuum to reset itself, which is required if there was a blockage in the vacuum.
If Nothing Else Works
If nothing else works, simply review your manual to double-check. If there is still an issue, call Customer Care at 1-800-798-7398.
They can walk you through other steps to get your vacuum back to working properly. If you need a replacement part, they can send it to you with you only paying the cost of shipping if your vacuum is still under warranty.
I personally have called them, never had rude customer service, have needed a replacement part, and they were extremely helpful. I do not have the receipt to prove my vacuum is still under warranty, and they worked with me. I was still only required to pay the cost of shipping.
The Shark Navigator NV22L
This is a vacuum with a magnitude of positive things ensuring that it will last you beyond its warranty with minimal problems. It's easy to use, great for everyday household cleaning and doesn't lose suction. Even with the red light on, it'll still work well enough for you to vacuum the living room while you wait on your replacement part.
It also has a five-year warranty, just in case you have any issues with it. I wish I had bought this vacuum before three years ago instead of going through cheap vacuums every six months to a year. It is well worth the money!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Patti kutch on April 21, 2016:
I got my shark 3-4 years ago. Just moved from Ca. To Colo. The vacuum lost all suction
so I came to your web/ site for support. You showed me how and where to unclog hoses and
found the problem and fixed my Shark
Thank you for the help now I don't need to replace it
I love this vacuum
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 30, 2014:
Id love to have a vac that needs no bags; that is such a hassle. My Bissel messed up and I bought one, Eureka I think it was and it worked great but it made such a noise and after checking online that was a big complaint so I took it back. Actually after taking my old one apart and removing a comb in the hose it works fine but I still would like one like this. Thanks for all the info.