Dirt Devil Vacuums

How to Identify and Fix Common Vacuum Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced Vacuum Technicians :

Introduction: Duct Tape Vaccuum Belt

Have you ever broken a belt on your vaccuum and didn`t have a chance to buy a new one? You can make your own out of duct tape for a TEMPORARY fix. This belt is for TEMPORARY USE ONLY, you might damage your vaccuum if you overuse this belt.

The major types of vacuum belts are determined by their different shapes. As vacuum designs have improved over the years, new belt shapes have been developed to increase both their durability and their ability to transfer power from the vacuum`s motor.
Essentially, how the hack works is by taking an old shoelace and stringing it through the two side belt-loops on your pants that are further toward the back (your pants need to be on first). Once the shoelace is strung though, you pull the two ends of the shoelace together and tie the ends together tightly.
(All full-sized machines, upright vacuums and canister vacuums, typically have a belt.) A vacuum will still create suction with a bum belt, but without a rotating brush roller, it won`t collect much in the way of dirt and debris, especially on carpets.
There is no one-size-fits-all belt sizing formula. Belts fit differently depending on user sizes and gear combinations. For instance, gun belts measure different standards than a regular size guide due to the flexibility of various holsters.
There are three common V belt types: Classical V-belt (classified by their dimensions from A to E), Narrow V series (ranked by their sizes 3V, 5V, and 8V), and light-duty Fractional Horsepower belt (classified by their dimensions 2L, 3L, 4L, 5L). The letter X classifies their counterpart cogged belt.
If too much hair, string, or lint is caught in the brushroll, the brushroll can get stuck. If the brushroll is stuck, it will put too much strain on the belt and may cause the belt to break. Remove the brushroll and clean out any debris from the bearings. After replacing the brushroll, make sure that it turns freely.
What`s happening with your vacuum cleaner is that a clog has built up and debris being agitated by the roller is spitting out or stirring up dust without sucking it in.
Often, a belt breaks because the machine is running over the edge of a rug or other thick items, perhaps even the vacuum cord. This causes “snagging.” When this happens, the belt becomes stuck and usually overheats. Unfortunately, this results in immediate breakage.
Most Belts are normally measured from where the belt leather folds at the buckle end to the middle hole at the tip end and are usually stamped on the back of the belt with the size example 32, 34, 36 etc.
Use a cloth measuring tape (not a steel one) and wrap it around the outside of the belt. You also use a thin string to take this measurement and place it on a steel tape to get the correct length. Next, for “A” Belts (1/2” width) subtract two-inches from the outside measurement to select the correct V-belt.
That`s right, all you need is a hammer and nail to get the job done. Even the simplest of toolboxes will have this. Simply find a nail that is similar in size to the holes on your belt, line it up with the mark for your new hole, and drive it through with the hammer.
It`s also important to remember that a belt isn`t just a fashion accessory- it`s there to help your pants fit your body better. In particular, your belt wards off the notorious “plumber`s crack” when you kneel or squat while still allowing the pants to be roomy enough that you can move in them.
Yes. The car is propelled by the engine through the transmission. The absence of drive belt won`t stop a car from moving from its stationary position but it will affect the operation of the engine which will cause it not to operate for long.
Measurements First

But unlike a pair of pants, you shouldn`t buy the width that corresponds to the wearer`s waist measurement. Be sure to buy a belt size that is at least two inches greater. For instance, if you typically wear size 32 pants, you should purchase a size 34 belt.

Belt Size = Men`s Pant Size + 2 inches

If your pants size is a 34, buy a belt size 36; if your pants size is a 36, buy a belt size 38, etc. The reason you buy a belt size up from your pants size is to give yourself a few inches of room in case your body size ever changes.

What is V-Belt? “V-belts” as it sounds, was coined from the letter V looks of this particular belt. We can also say its name is gotten from its trapezoidal shape. The V-Belt helps to transmit force out from the engine straight to the ancillary elements, which also includes the alternator.
V-belts are used because of their ability to wedge tightly into the grooves of the pulley. This breaks higher surface friction, reducing slip and power loss.
Fine particles. Fine particles are no match for even the strongest vacuums. Construction dust, makeup, used coffee grounds, fireplace ash, and other fine particles can burn out the motor and be released back into the air. It`s best to sweep these items up to keep your vacuum – and yourself – safe.
Loose connections will cause your vacuum cleaner to lose suction. Make sure that the dust container, the hose, the tube and the brush are all attached properly. If the problem continues, your vacuum cleaner might have a technical problem. If you suspect this to be the case, contact an authorised service agent.
Over time and extended use, a very fine layer of particles will start to line the inside of a vacuum bag, remaining in place even after the bag is emptied. This means that the bag will lose the proper airflow required to let the incoming air escape. As the airflow is restricted, the suction dies down too.
A component that the belt drive has failed (ie: power steering pump, alternator, a/c compressor, etc.), some kind of foreign material has gotten into the belt and caused damage, or a idler/tensioner has failed and allowed the pulley to either lock up, or will allow the pulley to wobble.
You should replace the belts on your vacuum at least every three to six months if the vacuum is regularly used. This is very important for proper cleaning.
The gray stuff is allergens and dust. Most of the time you can`t see them because these are tiny particles, and only see it once it accumulates inside the vacuum.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

I’m using (or WAS using) a Eureka ”the boss” model 8803. The belt broke, no biggie, so I replaced it with a Eureka model U belt, the problem is when I put the new belt on and turn on the vaccuum, the belt breaks again. I am also having trouble getting the brush roller to fit right when the belt is in place. I can’t find any sharp edges that would cut the belt,nor can I find where any small bits may have broken. Anyone have a solution for me?
ANSWER : First, make sure you have the right belt, second, i am thinking that you are not lineing the roller up right, it will only fit one way. look at the ends of the roller and the grooves where it slides in, you should be able to see clearly how it goes.

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Windtunnel belt I have a new Hoover Windtunnel canister. The belt keeps coming off. It happened a couple weeks ago (several times after putting the belt back on) so I assumed I might need a new belt as it might have dried out at the store. I ordered new belts and today I used it for about an hour and the belt came off again, twice. There doesn’t seem to be anything to hold the belt on the stem as it seems to slip off. I have tried it centered, to the left and to the right….can you help. I am v
ANSWER : I’ve successfully used a compatible belt – Royal 104425001 .It’s still new, but for the time being at least – it works.

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I replaced the belt in our Eureka Boss Smart Vac, it still seems loose, it uses a type R belt. The beater belt still doesn’t seem to turn properly and seems that it doesn’t pick up very well when I use it on my berber carpet. We have 2 dogs and I like to use it frequently. I have changed the bags and belt……
ANSWER : Check to see that the beater brush is not frozen up. Pull the brush and clean it, spraying some WD40 on each end piece that holds the brush in place..Also be sure the belt is properly installed so that the brush turns in the correct direction..If the brush is not turning or not turning in the correct direction, it will not beat the dirt from the carpet so that it can be picked up by the vacuum’s suction.

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Hoover WindTunnel Self-Propelled V Belt
ANSWER : I had this same problem with the V belt on my Hoover Vaccuum..
.There are three (3) basic things that will cause the brush roll not to spin..
.1. When handle is upright, brush roll is OFF..2. When switch is set for HARD surface, brush roll is OFF..3. Broken/worn FLAT belt or V Belt, brush roll will not spin.
.
.I noticed that the brush roll was not spinning when my vacuum was set for CARPET. After removing the cover I noticed that the V belt was loose, I thought the belt was worn so I purchased a correct replacement belt and installed it, but the new belt was also loose and when I turned the large flat belt pulley it did not turn the V belt pulley at the same time..
.I double checked the surface setting and I had the vacuum switch set for carpet, but still when I released the handle out of the upright position the brush roll would still not spin..
.My aggravation finally led me to this posting on FixYa’s website..
.The first thing I did was checked the screw to the left of the V belt as suggested by ejmjr5 and this did nothing to solve the problem or create more tension on the V belt, even when the upright handle was not in the upright position..
.After playing around with the surface setting control switch/nob I notice that when I moved the switch out of the HARD surface setting and over to CARPET, I had thought that the switch was set for CARPET as it visually appeared, but I was not pushing the switch over hard enough to click it into the CARPET setting mode..
.VOILA, the brush roll now spins correctly even though the V belt seams to be too loose for the pulley..
.You really have to force the switch into the CARPET setting. Be sure that you hear the switch/nob click into place..
.Now you can effectively clean up after that hangover of a party!.
.Burp!

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The Belt on my Dirt Devil broke…so I purchased another belt and as soon as i put it on and started to vacuum it also broke, i noticed that the metal piece the belt goes on was extremely hot and was melting the belt. Whats wrong with it?
ANSWER : It may be that the beater brush is bound up . This will cause slipping, of the belt. Take out the brush and clean out the bushing . Hair gets wound up in side. once you have it cleand out. Put a few drops of cooking oil in side the bushing on both ends. This will make a big diffrents on how it spins. Good luck DFD

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I have a Dirt Devil Swivel Glide Vac with a broken belt. I have purchased the correct belt(#4).The bottom is off and I cannot tell where the belt connects to. Please help. Jann
ANSWER : It connects to the left side with the little metal rod sticking out.then connect to the wooden roller. in the space without the brush on it. roll the wooden piece to check if everything moves. then put back together.

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Hi my proheat bissell 7901 stopped pumping water to the floor, but it pumps water from the hand hose. I read the manual and followed how to check belt and the flat belt on right side of shampooer is fine and I turned on and it turns and so do the brushes at the bottom of the machine. I was reading online and I guess there’s two belts on this machine? where can I find the other belt to see if it needs replacing. I guess it’s a ribbed belt? that is the water pump belt?
ANSWER : Just taken ours apart with the same problem… found it was caused by the 2 halves of the main casing coming apart in the area where the upright pedal release is. I found this to be due to the upper casing having broken in 2 places – the bottom of the screw wells..This means that the water tank cannot exert sufficient pressure on the valve to release the water..Only solution is a new top cover assembly

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Got Dirt Devil Featherlite,keeps burning the belt out immediately and there is only one way to put the belt on…have put on 4 new belts…..what up?
ANSWER : Hi There,

When a belt breaks immediately after installing it, this can ONLY mean one of two things. The first is that the belt was put back on incorrectly, and it may be pinched underneath of the beater bar. This would cause it to break immediately, but I seriously doubt after 4 belts that you put the belt on wrong all 4 times.

The second, and more probable cause is that your roller brush has gone bad. This could be why the belt broke in the first place. In order to test to make sure the brush is bad, unscrew the bottom plate, and remove the brush like you were changing the belt.

Hold the brush at the very end on both sides, using only your finger tips. While holding just the bearing caps, try spinning the bar with your thumbs. Does the brush spin freely in your hands? It should spin completely around 4-5 times on each spin. If the brush will not spin, or if you feel any resistance to it spinning, this is the reason why your belt continues to break.

If the brush can not spin, the motor shaft will continue to try and spin the belt, but since the brush doesn’t spin, and the belt doesn’t move, the motor shaft will just burn right through the back end of the belt.

If your machine is actually the model that’s listed on this Fixya repair page, the Dirt Devil Featherlite model M085845, then your machine uses the following roller brush:
Dirt Devil Plastic Brush Roll for Model 085845 Part # 2-881020-000

The next time that change the belt, install the brush back into the machine, but this time pull up on the belt towards the brush to make sure that the belt spins freely, and spins the brush as well. If the belt doesn’t spin the brush, there’s some issue, and the belt will break as soon as you turn the machine on.

I hope this helped you. If you find out that you don’t need a new brush, feel free to use the comment section here on the repair page and let me know, I’d be happy to walk you through some more advanced diagnosing. If you found this helpful, please be so kind and rate my repair and / or leave feedback for me.

Thanks so much,

Chris Jones
GoVacuum.com

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