The vacuum cleaner belt is a key component in the overall function of your machine, but the main downside is that it’s made of rubber. This material is nice and stretchy so that it can rotate smoothly, but the rubber wears out over time and this will lead to it breaking eventually.
If your vacuum cleaner belt breaks, there is no need to panic about hiring a professional repairman for the job. The good news is that it’s really easy to do yourself from the comfort of your home. A few simple steps, and your vacuum cleaner will be good to go again.
- Symptoms of a Faulty Belt
- How to Replace the Belt
- Final Thoughts
Symptoms of a Faulty Belt
This is the first question you should be asking yourself, how do you know it’s time for you to change the belt on your vacuum cleaner? Here are some of the important symptoms that you should be looking out for.
If your belt is worn out, it can slow down the brush rolls. This makes it harder to move the vacuum head over carpets and also reduces its ability to pick up hair.
Leading on from this, you may also notice a reduction in cleaning power and suction, as well as the amount of hair that is collected from your carpets and hard floors.
A broken belt will cause the vacuum cleaner to become louder, especially towards the floorhead. You will also notice that the brush stops rolling completely.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to switch off your vacuum cleaner and act immediately. Picking up a belt will only cost you a couple of pounds – just make sure you pick up one that is compatible with your brand of vacuum.
How to Replace the Belt
Now that you have the symptoms memorised and you realise that your vacuum belt is in need of replacement, you can move onto the process of actually replacing the belt. Below, you will find detailed instructions on how to do so, and you’ll also see how quick and easy it is.
What You Will Need:
- New vacuum belt
Time: 5-10 minutes
1 Step One: Get a new belt
Gather your tools and make sure you purchase a new belt from a reputable supplier that is compatible with your make and model of vacuum cleaner. This will very rarely cost more than £5, and it’s a good idea to buy a few of them so that you are prepared for future incidents.
2 Step Two: Find the old belt
The good news is that the vacuum cleaner belt is in the same place on every upright vacuum cleaner, regardless of the brand that you use. The belt holds the brush roll, and so it is located in the main floorhead and is very easy to access.
Flip the vacuum head over so that the brush roll is facing the ceiling. Then, use the screwdriver to unscrew the bottom plate that is holding it all together. The location of the screws may vary according to the brand of vacuum, but they should be easy to find.
Once you have removed the screws, lift the plate off and put it to the side. You can then slide your finger over the brush roll until you find the belt and where it is attached to the motor.
There will be a pulley spindle here, and it is important that you remember the location for when you attach the new belt later on.
3 Step Three: Take out the brush roller and clean it
Pop the brush roll out, and then slide the old belt out as well. You can use this opportunity to give the brush roll a really good clean – removing any hair and dust from it to keep it functioning at its very best.
4 Step Four: Installing the new belt
Take the new vacuum belt and slide it over the end of the roller. Then, find the pulley spindle and attach the new belt to it.
You should ensure that it is secure and stretched, but not to the point that it is strained or you will face the same problem again in the near future. Pop the brush roll back in as well.
5 Step Five: Check everything has been installed correctly
Use this moment to manually spin the brush roll to see how smoothly it turns. This will help you to assess how secure the belt is in its new place as well as whether or not it is restricting the brush roll. If it seems a little off, you can make adjustments to the positioning of the belt.
6 Step Six: Put it back together
Now that you have checked that everything has been installed correctly, you can replace the plate and screw it back in so that the floorhead is back together. At this point, you are done and your new belt has been installed.
Our key piece of advice is to replace the belt every 6-12months for optimal results – depending on how often you use your vacuum cleaner. Once you have been through the process once, it’s a cinch every time after.
Can You Use a Vacuum Without a Belt?
No, you cannot use a vacuum without a belt. The belt is one of the most important parts of your vacuum cleaner, and without it, you will experience minimum pickup and suction. If your belt is broken or damaged you need to replace it before you can use the machine again.
Are Vacuum Belts Interchangeable?
No, vacuum belts are not interchangeable. There are different belts for different brands and models of vacuum cleaner, and it is important that you buy the right one for your model.
The wrong one may not fit correctly, or it may not run smoothly with the brush roll – each of which can cause major issues.
What Causes a Vacuum Cleaner Belt to Break?
There are several things that can cause a vacuum cleaner belt to break, including natural wear and tear.
However, it can also be caused by excessive hair and lint getting caught in the brush roll and being pushed towards the belt where it gets caught and ends up damaging the belt due to increased levels of strain.
Can You Tape a Vacuum Belt?
Yes, you can tape a vacuum belt but it is not recommended. It doesn’t really fix the issue, and it will likely break through the tape quite quickly. Additionally, it may not allow the brush bar to run smoothly. Overall, it is just not a great solution to the issue.
How to Stop My Vacuum Belt from Breaking
You can’t always stop your vacuum belt from breaking, but there are some things you can do to help. Things like not letting your vacuum cleaner overheat, replacing the belt regularly, keeping the brush roll clean, and installing the belt correctly in the first place all help keep the belt healthy and avoid it snapping in the machine.
Repairing your vacuum cleaner and replacing the belt has never been easier, and we hope this guide has helped take some of the stress away and given you strong guidance through the process.
It only takes a few minutes, and there is minimum deconstruction required. Simple task? Absolutely.
It’s good to ensure that you give your vacuum cleaner a good maintenance check, so while you are replacing the belt why not check for clogs or the start of one in your machine? We have a fantastic guide on how to unclog your vacuum cleaner that you could benefit from.
We’d love to hear how you got on with replacing your vacuum cleaner belt, and what you thought of our guide, so make sure you leave us a message in the comment section below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.