How to Fix a Broken Vacuum Brush Roller

upright vacuum cleaner
  • 30 minutes
  • Intermediate
  • 25
What You'll Need
New vacuum brush belt
Garbage Bag
Carpet sweeper

When a vacuum cleaner and the vacuum brush attached to it are working properly, the vacuum cleaner is arguably the most effective way to clean a carpet. Since it is such a hard-working machine, there is always required maintenance and room for malfunctions. The fact is, the most common reason for vacuum cleaner failure is a roller brush in the vacuum that is not turning properly. To fix your vacuum brush roller, follow these five steps.

Step 1 - Find an Appropriate Work Space

If you don't want to risk losing screws when you dismantle your vacuum cleaner, you should find a flat, hard surface where you can work. Be sure the vacuum cleaner power cord is disconnected, then lay the vacuum cleaner flat on your working surface. Keep a bowl nearby to hold the screws and other small parts.

Step 2 - Test the Brush Roller

Find the brush belt where it is attached to the brush roller and check to be sure the belt is in place on the roller at one end and on a metal spindle on the other end. Check to see if the belt is loose, cracked, or stretched out. This will cause the roller to not spin as it should.

Step 3 - Fix broken or Unattached Belt


If the belt is broken, you will need to replace it. If you don't have a spare belt, take the broken belt with you to a hardware store or vacuum cleaner shop and buy several new belts, using the old belt from your vacuum cleaner to guide you in buying one that is the right size. In connecting the new belt, you will need to remove the roller from the vacuum cleaner. (refer to step 4 below)

Step 4 - Fix a Jammed Brush Roller

Another common roller issue is that it gets hair, yarn, or other debris wrapped around it, jamming it up. To get your jammed brush roller working again, locate the flat plate on the bottom of your vacuum cleaner. Remove the screws that secure the plate to the vacuum cleaner, then remove the screws and the plate. Pull one end of the roller upward, away from the vacuum cleaner, and slip the belt off the roller. The roller should snap out of its position when you give it a tug. Check the channel in which the roller was positioned. Remove all debris, slip the belt in place on the roller, then replace the roller and give it a few turns to make sure it is now free.

Step 5 - Reassemble Your Belt and Brush Roller

Snap the roller into place, connect the belt to the spindle that turns the belt, and plug the power cord in. With the vacuum cleaner still lying in a position where you will be able to see the roller brush, turn on the vacuum cleaner to be sure the belt is now operating as it should. The brush roller should be turning. Finally, unplug the vacuum cleaner again, replace the plate and the screws that hold the plate in place, and you are ready to operate your vacuum cleaner.