What does the vacuum belt do?
The vacuum belt is a key component of an upright vacuum cleaner. Its primary function is to turn the agitator brush bar which is used to beat dirt and dust out of the carpets. Vacuum belts are made of rubber and they are stretched between the motor pulley which powers the belt and the brush bar/agitator.
Is a faulty belt causing the problem?
The following faults typically indicate a problem with the vacuum belt:
o The vacuum is on but it doesn't seem to pick up
o The vacuum has the smell of burnt rubber
o The vacuum cleaner has become harder to push
o The brush roll/agitator has stopped spinning
*Remember that a snapped or loose vacuum belt is the most likely cause but this may not be the only fault that can cause these issues to arise.
When should you replace a vacuum belt?
Vacuum belts need to be replaced as soon as they become damaged. They are designed to snap if the brush roll becomes blocked in order to protect the motor. To ensure that your vacuum cleaner maintains effective performance it is usually suggested that you replace the belt around every 4 – 6 months as they can easily become stretched. It is also recommended that you keep a spare vacuum belt in the cupboard so you are prepared.
You can check for signs of a damaged belt by turning on the vacuum cleaner and laying it on its side. Simply look underneath the vacuum cleaner to identify if the brush bar is spinning. If the brush bar doesn't move then the belt needs to be replaced. Also when you remove a suspected worn belt it may have become mis-shaped or have visible signs of wear such as burn marks.
What causes vacuum belts to fail?
A key cause of vacuum belt failure is a blockage that stops the agitator brush bar from being able to rotate. This can be caused be numerous things but hair and thread from the carpet becoming tangled around the brush bar is a common cause. In order to prevent future problems you should take the time to cut away and remove any obstructions as part of your regular vacuum cleaner maintenance.
How to replace a vacuum belt:
1. Unplug the vacuum cleaner from the mains power supply. Then locate the plate or housing that retains the agitator brush.
2. Remove the plate or housing in order to gain access to the belt. There may be screws on some models. Discard the old belt.
3. Fit the replacement belt by stretching it from the brush roll to the motor drive shaft. You may need to use a screwdriver to stretch the belt across.
4. Check the brush bar turns freely with the new belt attached and then simply refit the housing.
*This is a general guide to replacing a faulty belt on an upright vacuum cleaner. The process may vary slightly depending on the model and brand of vacuum you own.
Help and tips from the appliance repair experts
1. New vacuum belts can be tight to fit. If you are struggling to fit the new belt you may find that warming it slightly with a hairdryer may make it more pliable.
2. When your new belt arrives it may appear to be considerably shorter than the faulty one. Don't worry as the old one will just have become stretched during constant use.
While you're replacing the belt why not…
Replace the filters in the vacuum cleaner. These can easily become clogged and this can impede the airflow which can cause the vacuum to lose suction and become less effective. It is also the ideal time to check you haven't lost any of the vacuum tools such as the crevice nozzle or upholstery tool.