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How To Repair Small Appliances -- II

Apr 21, 2015

Servicing a Beater Bar: The beater bar in an upright vacuum cleaner is the first contact your upright vacuum has with dirt. It's also one of the first components to need servicing.

The beater bar is a round roller with an offset row of brush fibers. The brushes can wear down, the roller can be damaged, the end cap can come off and be lost, or the drive belt can come loose. To remove and replace the beater bar:

Step 1: To inspect the beater bar, turn the vacuum upside down. The beater bar will be at the front edge of the housing.

Step 2: Remove the clips at each end, remove the drive belt, and lift the beater bar from the housing.

Step 3: To disassemble the beater bar, remove the end cap and flange; pull the brush from the casing.

Step 4: If worn, replace the brush. If broken, replace the cap, flange, or case. If necessary, replace the entire beater bar.

Servicing a Drive Belt: The drive belt in an upright vacuum cleaner passes power from the motor to the beater bar. The drive belt should be checked once a month to ensure that it is in good condition. Some beater bars have an adjustment that allows the drive belt to be tightened or loosened. To replace the drive belt:

Step 1: Remove one end of the beater bar (see "Servicing a Beater Bar") from the vacuum housing.

Step 2: Loosen the drive belt from the motor pulley and remove it from around the beater bar.

Step 3: Slip the replacement drive belt over the beater bar and around the motor pulley.

Step 4: Reinstall the beater bar and adjust the drive belt as necessary.

Servicing a Dirt Fan: The dirt fan in an upright vacuum cleaner is located underneath the motor. It pulls dirt swept back by the beater bar up into the vacuum bag. In most cases, the dirt fan doesn't need replacement, only periodic maintenance. Here's what you need to do:

Step 1: Remove the motor cover and dismount the motor from the vacuum frame. The fan will be on the underside of the motor.

Step 2: Clean the fan's blades and base with a moist cloth. Inspect the blades for damage caused by vacuuming solid objects.

Step 3: Unscrew or unbolt the dirt fan from the motor shaft to inspect and clean the back side.

Step 4: Check whether the motor shaft needs lubrication.

Step 5: If the dirt fan needs replacement, make sure the new part is an identical replacement.

Take the old unit to an appliance-parts store to verify the replacement.

Servicing a Motor: Most upright vacuum cleaners are designed for reasonably long life. However, some will last longer than others. Much depends on the quality of the motor. If a vacuum's motor stops working unexpectedly, check the power cord, the fan (for jams), and the on/off switch. It's also possible that you have a defective motor. Here's how to find out:

Step 1: If you suspect that the motor is defective, first test the motor's brushes with a continuity tester or multitester.

Step 2: Turn the motor shaft or beater bar by hand. The motor should maintain continuity.

Step 3: If not, replace the brushes or take the vacuum to an appliance-repair shop to have it done. If the motor is unrepairable, consider replacing the entireupright vacuum, as the cost of a new motor is a major investment.