Cleaning your carpet with a vacuum cleaner can be very effective, but to gain the full potential from the unit’s beater bar you have to have an operational vacuum cleaner belt. Without one that is operation and designed for your machine, the beater bar will not turn and the unit will not work very well.
The way a vacuum cleaner works is that a powerful electric motor, typically 12 amp for most residential models, turns a fan to draw air into the unit, creating suction on the head touching the floor. At the same time a vacuum cleaner belt connects the other end of the motor’s shaft to a beater bar with a brush. As the bar turns it beats the carpet, loosening deep driven dirt and the brushes pull it into the mouth of the vacuum head, which then draws it into the air being sucked in by the vacuum.
When the vacuum cleaner belt slips or breaks, the beater bar and brushes no longer turn, leaving it the suction alone to pull dirt into the sweeper. While it may be successful in picking up some of the dirt it will leave the majority of it on the floor, working a little like a shop-vac and only getting the loose dirt and the smallest, lightest particles as the others are not swept in by the brushes on the bar.
Slipping Loosens Belt’s Effectiveness
As the vacuum cleaner is being used, there are times when the beater bar and brushes may become more difficult to turn, for example a clump of pet hair or other items can slow down the bars rotation. When that happens the motor keeps turning at its normal speed and can cause the belt to slip slightly. The more this occurs the weaker the vacuum cleaner belt becomes until it either quits driving the beater bar because it has stretched out of shape or it breaks.
There have been some recent innovations with the vacuum cleaner belt, which has holes in the middle and the pulley on the motor has gears on it, effectively eliminating the belt from slipping. While this may mean the belt may never skip, if the beater bar gets jammed to where it cannot move at all, it is likely the belt will break.
Chances are this type of belt will last longer because the normal slipping of a belt is slight and it will take a complete jam of the beater bar to stop ot long enough to damage the vacuum cleaner belt.