How to Replace a Vacuum Belt

Many vacuum cleaner belts can be replaced at home and save you from the hassle of taking your vacuum to a repair center. Even better, the procedure is one of the easiest things you can do to maintain your vacuum cleaner.Replacing Central Vacuum Belts

How to tell if your vacuum belt needs to be replaced:

  • You smell burning rubber.
  • The agitator (brush bar) is not spinning.
  • The vacuum or central vacuum isn't picking up on carpeting.
  • The vacuum doesn't pull itself along like it used to
  • It's been more than 18 months since the belt has been replaced.

If your vacuum uses a flat belt, it should be changed every 12-18 months, or more regularly if it is broken.

Replacing the belt ensures the agitator is spinning fast enough to clean the carpeting efficiently. When the belt stretches out, there isn't enough tension between the agitator and motor shaft, making the belt slip.

This means the agitator does not spin at the proper speed and cannot efficiently separate the carpet fibers or help lift the dirt, which is crucial for a clean carpet.

Cogged and serpentine belts only need to be changed if damaged or broken, as they will not stretch as flat vacuum belts do. It is advisable to check cogged and serpentine belts yearly.

Procedure for Replacing a Vacuum Cleaner Belt

  1. Flip the powerhead (or vacuum) over, if possible, on a flat surface with the top down
  2. Use a screwdriver to get out the screws on the bottom of the powerhead.
  3. Flip the powerhead back over and eliminate the top cover of the powerhead. Apply the cloth and wipe down the clear belt cover on the top cover of the powerhead.
  4. If necessary, turn the powerhead so that the agitator is closest to your body.
  5. Eliminate the agitator by lifting straight up. In the case of dirt and build-up, the agitator can seem stuck. Sometimes you require to wiggle the agitator or wedge the screwdriver under the agitator and use it to help pry it out.
  6. Getthe old belt off the motor shaft or pinion. If the belt is broken, you can pull it out.
  7. Put one end of the agitator on the table and place one hand on the top end holding it in place. Spin the agitator, ensuring it moves freely, and it is not seized. If the agitator will not spin, it is recommended to change it also.
  8. Using the utility knife, remove any hair or strings that may be wrapped around the agitator and brushes. Remove the end caps and clean them carefully. If the end caps cannot be removed, do your best to clean around them and remove any build-up. This is vital as if it's left un-cleaned, it can cause the bearings in the end cap to seize, preventing the agitator from spinning. Once the bearings are captured, the entire agitator requires replacement. This can be expensive and is easily prevented. In homes with animals or persons with long hair, this is an essential step in your routine vacuum cleaner maintenance, which should be done every few months.
  9. Using the cloth wipe down the agitator and agitator housing of the powerhead eliminating any dirt or debris.
  10. Twist one end of the new belt on the motor shaft.
  11. Place the agitator through the belt, lining up the belt on the belt rest.
  12. Connect the end of the agitator that is far away from the belt first. Here, one end has a hole, and not just a slot, meaning it needs to go in first. With one hand, hold the already connected end in place, and use the other hand to pull back on the agitator. This will stretch the belt, allowing you to align the slots and slide the agitator into place. Once in place, press down on the agitator to ensure it's in the correct spot.
  13. With your hands manually spinning the agitator, see to it that the belt is not pinched between the base plate's housing. This will make sure the belt does not break when the powerhead is first turned on.
  14. Place the cover back on top of the base plate. Holding the two together, flip the powerhead back over with the lid facing down. Make sure the tabs of the cover are behind the tab on the base plate.
  15. Using the screwdriver, fasten the screws back into the base plate. Ensure they are tight but do not overtighten.
  16. Use an all-purpose cleaner to eliminate any dirt or grime build-up on the bottom of the base plate. If there is an accumulation, it can make the vacuum hard to push on the carpeting.

References and Resources