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Replace a Vacuum Belt

Give vacuum performance a big boost with a new agitator belt

FH03MAY_VACBEL_01-2Family Handyman
If it's taking more work to vacuum your house, it's probably time to replace the vacuum agitator belt. The good news is you can do it yourself in about fifteen minutes with two screwdrivers.

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Take out the old belt

Photo 1: Remove cover screws

Unplug the vacuum and turn it over, exposing the underside. Back out the casing screws that secure the bottom cover. Release the attachment clips with a flat-blade screwdriver and lift off the cover.

Photo 2: Remove the belt

Pry out the agitator with a flat-blade screwdriver. Slide the old belt off the agitator pulley and motor drive shaft and slide the new belt on the motor drive shaft.

Photo 3: Seat the agitator

Slide the new belt onto the agitator. Replace the agitator, making sure the end caps are properly seated. Spin it with your hand to make sure it doesn't bind, and then replace the cover.

When your vacuum starts to lose cleaning power, requiring multiple passes to get an area clean, or the self-propulsion loses its zip, chances are you need to change the vacuum agitator belt. After only a few months of use, most vacuum belts stretch out enough to slip, causing the agitator to spin more slowly.

Replacing the belt is quick and inexpensive. New belts are available from a vacuum parts supplier (check online for a store in your area). Belts come in numerous brands and sizes, so bring the old one to the store for a guaranteed match.

Fifteen minutes, two screwdrivers and a new belt are all you'll typically need to complete the job. Photo 1 shows how to access the old belt. The cover on your vacuum may be held on by other arrangements of clips and screws.

After removing the cover, install the new belt as shown in Photos 2 and 3. Once the new belt's on and the agitator's back in place, turn the agitator by hand to make sure the belt spins smoothly, without rubbing or binding. Reassemble the bottom cover and test-run the machine.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver