Can You Use a Vacuum Without a Belt? (Try Doing This First)

Can You Use a Vacuum Without a Belt

Discovering that the belt on your vacuum is damaged or completely broken can be a confusing realization. You likely are curious what the belt does and if it’s even necessary for the function of a vacuum. Most importantly, can you even use a vacuum without a belt?

Most vacuum cleaners will not work without a belt. A broken or damaged belt will weaken the suction strength of your vacuum. The moment you suspect that your vacuum belt is damaged you should check and install a new one if needed.

So, how do you know when you need to replace your vacuum belt? Can you use any type of vacuum belt? How do you change the belt? All of these questions, and more, we answer in detail in this very article!

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

You definitely should not use your vacuum without a belt. The belt plays a vital role in the function of your vacuum and, without one, you’ll just be blowing around dust.

You’ll want to replace your vacuum belt as soon as possible.

Here are some of our favorites from Amazon:

1. Eureka Round Belts – Sold in a convenient pack of two so you can be worry-free for a while.

2. Hoover Non-Stretch Belt – Perfect if you have a Hoover vacuum.

3. Cogged Replacement Belt – A clogged design that prevents stretching.

A Vacuum Cleaner Without a Belt Does Not Work

Before we get into fixing a broken vacuum belt, let’s discuss why a vacuum belt is so important and why it plays a crucial part in your vacuum cleaner.

Can You Use a Vacuum Without a Belt?

You can’t use a vacuum without a belt because it’s one of the essential parts of a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum will not be able to pick up on carpeting because the brush roll is not spinning properly.

Trying to use the vacuum cleaner without a belt can cause serious damage to your vacuum. You should try to replace your vacuum belt as soon as possible when you suspect that you might need a new one.

Is It Bad To Use a Vacuum Without a Belt?

It can be pretty bad to use your vacuum without a belt. You could seriously damage your vacuum cleaner which could lead to having to replace the whole vacuum.

Replacing a whole vacuum cleaner can be expensive and unnecessary, you should try and prevent that from happening. So, refrain from trying to use your vacuum cleaner without a belt.

Will a Vacuum Work Without a Belt?

A vacuum will not work without a belt, you might hear the engine switching on and it might sound like it works but it does not. Without the belt to spin the brush roll, a vacuum won’t be able to pick up on carpeting.

When you use a vacuum cleaner without a belt (or a bag) you will notice that the vacuum is not really cleaning anything.

Most of the dirt and hair will not be sucked up, because the vacuum cleaner is not actually working.

A Vacuum Belt Has a Purpose

You know now not to use your vacuum cleaner without a working vacuum belt, but why? A vacuum belt has a very specific purpose.

Why Does a Vacuum Need a Belt?

A vacuum needs the belt to pick up debris and dust. The belt is stretched between the motor and the brush roll which allows the brush roll to rotate and pick up dirt on the floor.

The motor, belt, and brush roll all work together to be able to suck up dust and debris. All of these parts are important and your vacuum needs all three to be able to clean effectively.

When one breaks, the whole system breaks. 

Do All Vacuums Have Belts?

Most vacuum cleaners (upright and canister vacuums) need a belt to be able to suction up debris and dust. However, there are direct-drive vacuums that do not use a vacuum belt to clean. 

In these direct-drive vacuums, no belt connects the motor and the brush roll. On the contrary, the motor directly turns the brush roll to suction up debris, so there is no need for a belt.

What Is the Purpose of a Vacuum Belt?

The purpose of a vacuum belt is to stretch and connect the motor with the brush roll. The belt allows the brush roll to turn, and that suctions up the dust and debris. 

A vacuum belt’s function is vital to a proper cleaning regime. Without it, you won’t be able to do any proper cleaning, you will most likely just be making a noise around the house.

Although, this can be effective if you need to wake up your teenager at noon!

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Vaccum Ashes From a Fireplace

Reasons Why a Vacuum Belt Breaks

It happens all the time but it can be frustrating if you don’t know the signs of a broken belt or you don’t understand why it broke in the first place.

Why Does My Vacuum Belt Keep Breaking?

It’s possible your vacuum belt keeps breaking because hair or lint is caught up in the brush roller. Consistently checking your brush roller for these can prevent your belt from more damage in the future.

Using your vacuum often can cause the belt to disintegrate from age, this is a quite common cause for a vacuum belt to break.

Another cause could be that there is hair or lint stuck on the brush roll, this then causes the belt to overheat and break.

What Causes a Vacuum Belt to Break?

A vacuum belt will break typically when a foreign object enters the vacuum and disrupts the usual performance of the vacuum. Additionally, general wear and tear is a common cause of breakage. 

Possible causes for a vacuum belt to break include:

  1. Wear and tear from normal use.
  2. Too much hair, lint, or string is stuck in the brush roll.
  3. Snagging on a piece of rug or a blanket could cause the belt to overheat and break.

What Happens When a Vacuum Belt Breaks?

You might hear a loud CRACK when your vacuum belt breaks but sometimes you can’t hear it at all. Your vacuum belt simply slips off the motor pulley and does not rotate your brush roll anymore.

Sometimes your belt simply stretched out too far from daily wear and tear and it’s not able to properly turn the brush roll.

That could be more difficult to detect than a simple broken vacuum belt.

How Do You Know if You Need a New Vacuum Belt?

A good indicator of needing a new vacuum belt includes the fact that you are not actually cleaning up any dust or debris. You may be rolling over the dust and moving it around, but the fact that it is not being sucked up may mean you need a new belt. 

Other signs that you need to replace your vacuum belt:

  1. Your vacuum is extra noisy.
  2. Your suction power has weakened.
  3. Your vacuum leaves a trail of debris leftover behind you.

These are the most obvious signs that it might be time to replace your belt.

How Often Should You Replace the Vacuum Belt?

It’s recommended that you should replace your belt 3 to 4 times a year. If your vacuum has a rubber belt, you should check it about twice a month for melting, cracks, and slippage. 

If your vacuum does not have a removable belt but a geared belt (cog belt) you should check them more regularly, about once a week. 

Check for debris on the belt once a week. Cog belts don’t usually stretch and they are more sturdy than rubber belts, you don’t need to replace them as often.

Why Is the Brush Not Spinning on My Vacuum?

The most prevalent reason for the brush on a vacuum not spinning is a broken or detached vacuum belt. You can easily check this by detaching the brush roll and locating the belt. 

Check the roll or anything snagged in it, like hair or rope. After checking the brush, check the belt for any damage, debris, or stretching.

Most times it is easy enough to order a replacement belt (make sure what type of belt your vacuum uses)  and fix your vacuum at home.

Why Isn’t the Brush Spinning on My Shark Vacuum?

A blockage somewhere in your vacuum could be the reason why the brush is not spinning on your Shark vacuum. You should check your brush roll and vacuum belt for any signs of blockage. 

If you can’t find any obvious blockage, you should clean the filters of your shark vacuum at least once a month, to make sure that the filters do not cause a blockage in the long term.

Why Is My Vacuum So Hard to Push?

Your vacuum can become hard to push in the case that you don’t clean out the filters regularly. You should remove the filters once a month and clean them thoroughly to avoid this. 

If your filters are clean you should check the height settings on your vacuum, make sure you are using the right setting for the surface that you are cleaning.

If you select the “bare floor” setting to clean your carpet it will be hard to push.

If you have checked all these things and your vacuum is still hard to push, you should remove the brush roll and check the belt of your vacuum.

Make sure that it has not been damaged or stretched out.

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put a Carpet in the Dryer

Replacing Your Vacuum Belt

So you have checked and realized that your vacuum belt does in fact need replacing, now what? Let’s discuss how to replace a vacuum belt.

What Does It Cost to Replace a Vacuum Belt?

Contrary to what you might think, the cost to replace a vacuum belt is quite reasonable. You can purchase a pack of vacuum belts for a fairly low price, mostly between $7 and $10. 

However, before purchasing a new belt you need to check which type of belt your vacuum uses.

If you purchase and install the wrong type of belt it could cause the belt just to break again, maybe even damaging your vacuum.

Do I Need a Specific Type of Vacuum Belt?

A vacuum belt is not a one-size-fits-all product. You need to check which type of vacuum belt your vacuum uses. Installing the wrong type of vacuum belt could lead to damage to your vacuum.

Different types of vacuum belts:

  1. Round belts: Tube shape belts that are stretched between a vacuum’s motor and brush roll. This belt uses tension to stay positioned in place.
  1. Flat belts: The most common type of belt in most vacuums. They are more slip-resistant and durable than round belts, flat belts also fit tightly into position. They tend to stretch with vacuum use, though.
  1. Cogged belts: (geared belts) These belts fit tightly into a sprocket on the brush roll and they are not held in place with tension thus stretching much slower.

How Do You Change the Belt on a Shark Vacuum?

To change the belt on a Shark vacuum, ensure that the vacuum is turned off and unplugged. Failing to do so can result in an unwanted electric shock. Next, remove the bottom plate of the vacuum. 

Follow these more detailed steps to change the belt on your Shark vacuum:

  1. Make sure your vacuum is switched off and disconnected from the power outlet.
  2. Turn your vacuum around and remove the bottom plate with a flat-head screwdriver.
  3. Slip off the damaged belt from the roller brush. Make sure to check for any loose pieces and remove them too!
  4. Install your new belt.
  5. Replace the bottom plate.

How Do You Put a Vacuum Belt on a Bissell Vacuum?

To replace the vacuum belt on a Bissell vacuum, start by turning off and unplugging the vacuum. Next, get the vacuum in a comfortable position so you don’t have to bend over too much. On its side is usually a good position. 

Follow these more detailed steps to replace the belt on a Bissel vacuum:

  1. Unplug your vacuum from the wall socket.
  2. Turn the vacuum bottom side up and remove the brush plate with a screwdriver.
  3. Take the brush roll out and inspect the belt for damage.
  4. Clear away hair, strings, and any other debris from the belt.
  5. Remove the belt from the motor and if you see any damage you should discard the belt.
  6. Purchase the correct belt type for your Bissel and replace it over the brush roll.
  7. Reposition the brush plate and fix the screws.

How Do You Put a Vacuum Belt on a Eureka Vacuum?

To put a vacuum belt on a Eureka vacuum, start by turning off and unplugging your vacuum. This is important to avoid any complications such as an electrical shock. 

Continued steps to replace the belt on your Eureka vacuum:

  1. Purchase the correct type of belt for your Eureka vacuum cleaner (check your manual).
  2. Turn your vacuum cleaner bottom side up and remove the cover plate with a screwdriver.
  3. Find the belt pulley rod near the back of the vacuum base.
  4. Slide the brush roller out and remove the old belt.
  5. Remove any strings or hair caught on the brush roller.
  6. Install the new belt by putting it over the pulley rod. Slide the brush roller back into the vacuum
  7. Replace the base with screws.

Vacuum Belt Hacks and Quick Fixes

What do you do when you need to vacuum right now, only to realize you need a new vacuum belt. We have a temporary solution for you!

Are There Any Vacuum Belt Hacks?

If you need your vacuum cleaner to work within the next ten minutes and you don’t have time to purchase a new vacuum belt, you could use duct tape as a make-shift vacuum belt.

Remember, this is only a temporary solution and it will not work long-term. The duct tape will not last very long, only for one or two cleaning sessions.

Using duct tape as a vacuum belt is only for emergencies!

Can I Fix a Vacuum Belt Myself?

It is quite easy to fix a vacuum belt by yourself. All that you need to do is follow the easy steps that we gave you in this article. It shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Alternatively, you can search on youtube “how to fix a vacuum belt”. There are a lot of videos with very helpful visual guides on how to fix a vacuum belt.

If you have correctly replaced your vacuum belt but you are still experiencing some issues, you should contact the vacuum manufacturer to have a professional look at your vacuum.

How Do You Make a Homemade Vacuum Cleaner Belt?

Making a homemade vacuum cleaner belt is easier than it sounds. All that you need is duct tape, scissors, and your broken vacuum belt.

How to make a homemade vacuum cleaner belt:

  1. Remove your broken belt from the vacuum cleaner and get some duct tape. 
  2. Measure the belt and cut one inch more duct tape.
  3. Fold the duct tape to match the width of the belt.
  4. Install the duct tape belt over the brush roll and the motor shaft and tape the ends together.
  5. Make sure it’s tight enough to replicate the tension of a proper vacuum belt.

What Can I Use for a Temporary Vacuum Belt?

You can use duct tape as a temporary vacuum belt, this won’t work long term because the duct tape would not be able to hold the strain of the motor long term. It is the perfect temporary fix!

You can purchase a roll of duct tape, remove your broken vacuum belt and replace it with a section of duct tape (the same length more or less).

This will work for a short while and allow you to suction up any dirt and debris for a while.

What Can I Use Instead of a Vacuum Belt?

A vacuum belt is essential to a vacuum cleaner and it will not be able to work properly without one, but you can use duct tape as a temporary fix.

Duct tape can be used to make a temporary vacuum belt, although it is not as sturdy as a proper vacuum belt and not as durable. However, It is perfect for urgent vacuuming.

Related Questions

Do Beltless Vacuums Exist?

Most vacuums do have belts, but there are a few beltless vacuum cleaners. These vacuums do not need a belt to turn the brush roll, the brush roll is connected to the motor directly.

These vacuums have been tested by consumers and it seems that they can handle the same amount of dirt, sand, and debris on bare floors.

These vacuums are not as popular but they are available at a wide selection of stores.

Are Dyson Vacuums Worth It?

Dyson vacuums are absolutely worth it! Dyson has taken the cleaning world by storm with its vacuum cleaners. They promise top-of-the-range and efficient cleaning and they are regarded as one of the most powerful vacuums on the market.

Although we can’t talk about Dyson without mentioning their price point. Dyson vacuums can sell from $400 up to $1000.

For some, that price might be too high for a vacuum cleaner but for others, the price seems reasonable for the quality product. 

Final Thoughts

Now you’re a pro regarding all things regarding a vacuum belt.

We discussed how to know if your vacuum belt is broken, how to replace your vacuum belt and we even gave you a hack to temporarily fix your vacuum belt. 

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