Change Your Kirby Vacuum Belt in 6 Steps
Kirby vacuum cleaners have been around for over 100 years and it is their power, long life and overall quality that keep sales going, despite the higher price tag on these machines. While Kirby has many devotees, many of them have one small complaint: the belt appears to be somewhat tricky to replace! However, with a few helpful hints, you can bypass a repair shop's high hourly rate and fix it yourself in 30 minutes or less, depending on your handyman skills.
Newer Kirby models have a green indicator light on top of the base of the vacuum which houses the brush roller. Most of the time, this green light will go off when it is time to replace the belt, either due to age or when it breaks. Sometimes, the belt may become brittle and snap in pieces if you put off replacement for too long or they stretch out, preventing the brush roller from turning efficiently.
No tools are needed to replace your Kirby vacuum belt, except the replacement belt itself and a little patience! Remember to unplug the vacuum cleaner first to avoid possible injury such as electrical shock. Facing the front of the Kirby vacuum cleaner, you will see a lever for height adjustment on the right hand side that you will need to push all the way down to work on replacing your belt.
Lift up the hood on the front of the base, you will see a handle underneath it which engages and disengages the Kirby vacuum belt. There are usually color codes to guide you on which way to turn the handle. During this step, turn this handle counter-clockwise toward the red color. This unlocks the belt in the base from the motor shaft's spindle. After disengagement, remove the front of this base which houses the brush roller and belt from the rest of the vacuum by lifting up slightly.
Turning the vacuum cleaner base over, you will see the brush roller held in place by the roller plate. Remove this roller plate by unlocking the two latches holding it in place, using a twisting motion. You should now be able to see the exposed brush roller with the Kirby vacuum belt in place within a groove in the middle of the roller.
Remove the brush roller by gently prying it out of the roller bracket. With certain Kirby models, you may have to turn the handle on the front of the base (the same one you turned in Step Two) clockwise to the green color to release the brush roller and disengage the belt.
Release the brush roller and slide off the old belt. This is a good time to remove any debris such as clumps of hair, string and tangled carpet fibers from the brush roller for optimum performance. After taking the opportunity to clean the roller, slide on the new vacuum belt. It is important when putting the brush roller back that it is returned to its original position. Older models may have numbered roller ends to help keep track, but newer models will have a magnet on one end that must be installed on the same side as the green indicator light in the base. Put the roller plate back on and lock into place with the latches.
Once you have locked the roller plate in place, turn the handle on the front of the base counter-clockwise back to the red color to re-engage the Kirby belt. Test the belt with your finger to ensure it is not loose and is indeed engaged and tight. Re-install the brush roller base onto the vacuum cleaner and turn the handle on the front clockwise. This will re-engage the belt onto the spindle on the motor shaft of the vacuum.
The true test of success comes when plugging in the vacuum cleaner. The newer models will display a green light when the Kirby vacuum belt is working but with the older ones, will have to vacuum up some debris to see if the machine is operating properly. In comparison with other vacuum brands, replacing the belt may seem a bit involved with the Kirby. However, as long as you take your time, you will find that replacing the Kirby vacuum belt is a snap.
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