Vacuum Cleaner: Brush roll not spinning

A broken drive belt, damaged brush roll, jammed brush roll bearings, tripped brush roll motor overload, failed brush roll motor or a wiring failure in the wand or nozzle can prevent the brush roll from spinning.

Check the condition of the drive belt and replace the belt if it's worn or broken. If the drive belt is okay, but the brush roll won't spin, check the bearings on the sides of the brush roll for debris such as hair that may be tangled in the bearings and preventing the brush roll from turning. Remove hair and other debris that you find in the bearings. Check the brush roll for damage and replace if it's damaged or broken.

For a canister vacuum, the brush roll motor often has an overload reset button. The brush roll motor may have tripped if the brush roll overheated. Let the brush roll motor cool down and then reset the overload by pressing the reset button. If the brush roll motor overload keeps tripping, you may need to replace the brush roll motor because windings in the brush roll motor are damaged, causing the brush roll motor to overheat and trip the overload.

Check the wire harness connections in the wand and nozzle if you have a canister vacuum. Reconnect any loose wires and repair any broken wires. Look for melted or broken wiring contacts in the wand wiring connections. Melted or broken wiring contacts in the wand won't allow current to flow to the brush roll motor so replace the wand if wiring contacts are melted or broken.

vacuum cleaner

These repairs may help solve your vacuum cleaner problem

Replace the vacuum ribbed drive belt

Replace the vacuum ribbed drive belt

The drive belt connects the drive motor pulley to the brush roll in the power brush assembly. It spins the brush roll when the drive motor is running. If the belt is worn or broken, replace it.

How to replace a vacuum power head ribbed drive belt

When your vacuum's beater bar won't spin, it might be because the belt is broken. This step-by-step repair guide explains how to replace a ribbed drive belt on a vacuum power head—such as a Kenmore PowerMate—in about 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the vacuum cogged drive belt

Replace the vacuum cogged drive belt

The cogged drive belt is made of reinforced rubber. It has cogs or teeth that fit into geared sprockets on the end of the drive motor shaft and the agitator. Replace the belt if it's worn or broken.

How to replace a vacuum power head cogged drive belt

If your vacuum beater bar won't turn on a vacuum with a power head—such as the Kenmore PowerMate—the belt could be broken. This DIY repair guide shows how to replace a beater bar cogged drive belt on a vacuum in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the vacuum brush roll for ribbed belt

Replace the vacuum brush roll for ribbed belt

The brush roll is part of the power brush assembly; this style of brush roll is for use with a ribbed drive belt. The brush roll is a cylinder covered with rows of bristles that lift dirt from between carpet fibers when the cylinder rotates. If the bristles are worn or the cylinder is damaged, replace the brush roll.

July 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a vacuum beater bar

Worn beater bar brushes on a vacuum cleaner can't clean carpet well. The solution is to install in new beater bar—this DIY repair guide shows how to replace a vacuum beater bar in just 5 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the vacuum brush roll for cogged belt

Replace the vacuum brush roll for cogged belt

The brush roll is part of the power brush assembly; this style of brush roll has a sprocket at the end that meshes with cogs that line the drive belt. The brush roll is a cylinder covered with rows of bristles that lift dirt from between carpet fibers when the cylinder rotates. Replace the brush roll when the bristles are worn or if the cylinder is damaged.

July 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a vacuum beater bar

Worn beater bar brushes on a vacuum cleaner can't clean carpet well. The solution is to install in new beater bar—this DIY repair guide shows how to replace a vacuum beater bar in just 5 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the vacuum adjustable wand

Replace the vacuum adjustable wand

An adjustable wand telescopes to different lengths. If the wand no longer locks in place when adjusted or no longer telescopes, replace the wand.

Replace the vacuum stationary wand

Replace the vacuum stationary wand

A stationary vacuum wand has internal wires that supply voltage to the power brush. If the wires are broken or the connections are damaged, replace the wand.

Symptoms common to all vacuum cleaners

Choose a symptom to see related vacuum cleaner repairs.

Main causes: weak suction motor, vacuum bag is full, clog in suction air path, dirty exhaust filter, leaky vacuum hose
Main causes: broken drive belt, damaged brush roll, tripped brush roll motor overload, bad brush roll motor, wiring failure
Main causes: lack of power, bad power cord, drive motor failure, wiring failure
Main causes: damaged vacuum hose, clogged motor air filter, bad suction motor
Articles and videos common to all vacuum cleaners

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your vacuum.

March 9, 2015
How to troubleshoot loss of suction in a vacuum video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

See what to check if you experience a loss of suction in your vacuum cleaner.

January 5, 2015
10 must-have tools for appliance repair
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Come see which tools made our top 10 must-haves for DIY appliance repair.

December 18, 2014
Deciding between a canister or upright vacuum
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Undecided about canister or upright? We compare them.