How to Replace a Vacuum Cleaner Belt

Complete this simple task in 30 minutes

If the vacuum motor is running but the carpet cleaning head isn't spinning, replace the belt. It takes less than 30 minutes, plus an inexpensive new belt.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to replace the vacuum cleaner belt

Replacing broken or stretched drive belts is one of the most frequent repairs for canister vacuums. Inside the motorized carpet-cleaning head, a rubber drive belt connects a small motor to a spinning brush that beats the carpet pile and loosens dirt to be sucked up into the machine.

Jot down your vacuum’s brand and model, and buy a replacement belt at either a fully stocked hardware store or a vacuum cleaner service center (search online or look in the Yellow Pages under “Vacuum Cleaners, Service & Repair”). A belt costs about $4; buy several so you have spares. Then, take about 30 minutes to repair it yourself.

Unplug the vacuum cleaner and follow the steps shown in Photos 1 and 2. Once the new belt is on, ensure that it’s properly installed and centered on both drums by turning the motor shaft by hand. If the belt is properly sized and installed, it’ll spin the brush.

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Flat blade screwdriver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Replacement belt