What is a Vacuum Cleaner Belt?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Vacuums have been used for many decades to assist people with cleaning floors, furniture, and draperies. The vacuum cleaner belt and brush agitation process was invented in 1926 by Hoover vacuums. This vacuum belt design provided more cleaning power because the rotation of the brush causes the agitation of dirt particles, which are absorbed into the suction chamber of the vacuum.

An upright vacuum cleaner uses a belt to drive the bristle movement on the vacuum brush. This vacuum cleaner belt is typically attached to both the motor and the roller brush of the vacuum. When the motor turns, it causes the brush to rotate with the belt that is attached to the axle of the motor area.

Drive belts come in many shapes and sizes. Each belt is designed to operate for a specific vacuum cleaner model and they are typically not interchangeable among brands. A vacuum cleaner belt can be purchased at most retail stores and vacuum retail Internet websites.

Vacuum drive belts are normally made from rubber. These belts can deteriorate or break over time. If the vacuum roller brush becomes clotted with hair or string, it may cause the vacuum cleaner belt to snap. Periodic inspection of the roller brush can increase the longevity of the drive belt.


There are a few signs that should trigger a vacuum cleaner belt inspection. If the vacuum begins to smell like burnt rubber, or becomes less efficient at pulling dirt, it is typically due to a bad drive belt. This belt normally requires replacement on an annual basis, depending on the usage of the vacuum.

Replacing the drive belt on a vacuum is a relatively simple task. The belt is normally located under the rotator brush of the vacuum. To replace the belt, simply remove the brush guard and brush wheel. Then replace the belt on the wheel drive.

A beltless vacuum is a modern version designed to run with a separate brush motor. These vacuums do not need periodic belt replacement. The dual motor design of beltless vacuums provides for more power than belt-driven models. These motors have the life span of a typical vacuum motor and usually come with a limited production warranty.

Some canister vacuum cleaners have drive belts on the nozzle attachments. These special vacuum cleaner belts run a small nozzle brush that assists with the extraction of dirt from stairs and furniture. Replacing a nozzle brush belt is similar to a normal belt drive replacement.


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