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You’ll find that most Shark vacuum cleaners have a belt in the floorhead that keeps it operating smoothly.
While the newer models don’t really have to worry about the belt snapping, it is something that the owners of the older generation of Shark vacuums need to know about.
This is because these models don’t have a feature that stops the belt automatically if something gets stuck; meaning it will often snap as a result.
Now, this doesn’t happen frequently, but learning how to change the belt yourself just in case it does can be a real lifesaver. So, here’s my quick handyman guide.
What You Need to Know Before You Start Replacing the Belt Yourself
The good news is, this process won’t be too tricky for you, and that should come as a relief. It might feel a little daunting, but there are far more difficult forms of vacuum cleaner surgery that can be performed.
You should get out your vacuum cleaner user manual, or search it up online if you have lost it, so that you can read through any relevant instructions that are specific to your model before you get started.
When you go to buy your replacement belt, you should ensure that it is a Shark one. You can buy generic ones, but these will not always fit and could end up breaking more easily.
Always check the measurements of the new one by the old one before you buy, and consult with an expert if you feel stuck. Other than that, there’s nothing else you really need to know before you get started.
Make Sure That Your Shark Vacuum Cleaner is Ready
Before you do anything, make sure your vacuum cleaner is ready for the belt removal and replacement. The first thing you do is switch the power off and unplug it from the mains.
It is incredibly important for both your safety and the health of the vacuum cleaner that it does not get switched on by accident at any point. Take the dust canister out and empty it.
Then, clean it out completely so that no traces of dust and dirt remain once you are finished. This is so that nothing leaks out while you are working.
Once this is done, lock the Shark into its upright position, and head off to collect the tools you are going to need to get the job done.
What You Will Need
Here are the tools you are going to need in order to change the belt, just remember to get a new belt before you start!
- Flathead or Phillips screwdriver, depending on the vacuum cleaner
- An old hairbrush or comb for getting the brush bar nice and clean
- Scissors for the tangled hair on the bar
Pliers for extra cleaning help
Access the Brush Rolls and the Shark Vacuum Belt
Take the screwdriver that is appropriate for your vacuum cleaner and use it to unscrew the roller cover.
Sometimes, these can be a little tricky to find because the screws are quite small, but if you take your time, there should be no issue. You can also refer to your user manual which should give you their location.
When the screws are finished, you can unlatch and remove the roller cover. It should come off very easily, and you must be careful not to force it as this could damage it.
If it is resisting or appears to be jammed, look carefully at the cover. A lot of the time there is a little screw that has been missed.
Further Reading: How to Empty Shark Cordless Vacuum
There are some models of vacuum cleaner that have an electric connection that will hang down behind the roller cover; don’t be alarmed. You can just unplug this connection in order to access the belt and then plug it back in afterwards.
It’s a really easy connection, and you aren’t going to risk breaking the machine by unplugging it and then reconnecting it after.
Open the Unit and Displace the Roller of Your Shark Vacuum
Now that’s all finished; you can get ready to remove the brush roll. Now that the cover is removed, both this and the broken belt should be quite visible to you.
You’ll see it is very worn, maybe even with jagged teeth, but to remove it you first need to take the brush bar out.
Take the roller by the farthest end from the belt and gently lift it out of the holder. Then, slip the belt off the other end of the bar.
If it isn’t broken, the belt should be attached to the motor shaft as well. In this case, you can just slip it off this as well. It usually all comes off very easily and with minimal effort.
Clean the Roller Brush Connected to the Shark Vacuum Belt
Before you can even think about the belt, you need to take care of the brush. The thing is, this step is usually forgotten, and it shouldn’t be. In fact, a clogged-up brush is one of the most common causes of a broken belt, so it should be something you do regularly.
For this step, you are going to need the comb, scissors, and the pliers. Be very gentle as you use each of the tools to remove the hair and debris that has become wrapped around the brush.
You don’t want to end up cutting any of the bristles or damaging the bar. The pliers should only be used as a last resort if there is some really tough dirt stuck on the bar.
Place and Adjust the New Shark Vacuum Belt
Now that the brush bar is clean, you can replace the belt. This is really quick and easy because all you need to do is take the new belt and slip it onto the drive shaft and seat. After that, slide the belt back onto the roller.
When you have ensured that the belt has been placed between the plastic guides (this ensures that it won’t fall out of place when vacuuming) you can slot the roller back into place.
Getting Everything Back in Place
All you need to do now it put everything back where it belongs, and if you have unplugged the electrical connection remember to reconnect it now.
Place the roller cover back on the head and screw it back into place securely. Once this is done, you can stand your vacuum back up and use it as normal; it’s that simple.
Also Read: Fix Broken Shark Steam Mop
Hopefully, this has given you the exact information you need to be able to change your vacuum belt if it ever decides to break on you. It might not always feel like the easiest task, but it is certainly cheaper than buying a whole new head.
Just follow my steps and advice above, and you’ll be back to vacuuming like a pro in no time at all. The important thing, however, is what you thought of my guide.
Did it meet all of your expectations, or are there areas where my explanations fell short? We love hearing from you so that every guide can be improved, so feel free to drop 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.