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How to Fix a Hoover Vacuum When the Brushes Are Not Moving

By Timothy Burns

The rotating brushes under a Hoover vacuum are notorious for picking up threads, shoe laces and other debris. When this foreign material becomes wrapped around the brush rather than sucked into the vacuum's dirt bag, the brushes often become lodged and will no longer rotate. This condition diminishes the effectiveness of the vacuum and can lead to a broken drive belt.

Unplug the vacuum. Never work on an electrical appliance when it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Turn the vacuum over and locate the plastic or metal plate that covers the rotating brush. Remove this plate.

Note: This plate is typically attached by a small number of Phillips head screws or by levers that turn and lock the plate in place. In either case, removing this plate is a simple task.

Identify the vacuum's rotating brush. This brush should have a black rubber belt wrapped around it, and stretched around the metal shaft of an electrical motor mounted somewhere toward the back of the vacuum.

Verify that the brush will rotate freely. Examine both ends of the brush to ensure that no threads, string, yarn, etc. have become wrapped around the ends and thus inhibited a free rotation.

If there is foreign debris, remove the brush by sliding it up, away from the bottom of the vacuum. Remove the debris.

Lubricate both ends of the rotating brush with the spray lubricant.
Replace the brush into the grooves which hold it in place.

Replace the existing belt on the brush assembly, or replace a broken belt with a new vacuum belt.

Verify that the brushes now turn freely when back in place and that the motor shaft turns as the brush rotor turns.

Reinstall the cover plate.


Things You Will Need

  • Phillips head #2 screwdriver
  • Replacement belt for your vacuum model
  • Spray lubricant, such as silicone spray or teflon lube.

About the Author


Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.