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Does anybody have any experience with this particular vacuum or series and can offer me any more explicit things to check than just "is the belt on the brush cylinder" and the like.

I'm under the impression my father in law was "helping" me with this particular vacuum and I wasn't there when he did so.

It has a floor height setting, and a setting for brush control, but that's not changing it's indicator and changing the floor height doesn't make any difference (neither does lifting the vacuum off the floor.

Model# UH70085

I have tried what I know to be the basics, but feel free to go along behind me and suggest the dumb stuff, I'll respond as I am able.

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This may not actually fit here, but I figured I would try, since it is a DIY repair. –  jcolebrand Jan 12 '11 at 2:36
    
Locking because vacuums are considered small appliances that are off topic in the site scope which was defined after this question was asked. –  BMitch Nov 24 at 18:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I worked on vacuums for years, though I am not familiar with this particular model. Still, there are only a few things that can cause a roller not to spin:

  • roller bearings
  • belt
  • motor

The plate above the roller, or the housing above the roller must be able to be removed to get access to the belt/roller. You'll have to figure out which. There are usually plastic clips/tabs that are indicated (usually with an arrow or something). It may have a couple of screws. They should be very visible.

Once you have access to the roller, pull it out of the housing. You may have to flex the housing to achieve this. That is ok and expected. Flexing over about 1/8" is a problem, so don't go too far. Most of the time the roller should just slide out. It probably has a lot of gunk/dust/hair around it, so you may have to finagle it out.

The belt is usually a flat belt (though sometimes they are round). It runs from the roller to a metal post sticking out of the motor. If it is a flat belt, it will attach to the roller and motor on one side. If it is a round belt it will likely attach in the middle.

At this point the roller should be out of the housing. See if the roller spins easily by holding the end caps. If it does not, the bearings are bad. Sometimes the ends will screw off and you can see if hair has wrapped around the bearing. If so, you may be able to remove the hair and it will function again. If not, you need a new roller.

If the roller works, make sure the motor pulley spins. Locate the motor pulley/post. Spin by hand or run the vacuum and carefully determine that the motor pulley is spinning. If you can hear the motor, the pulley is almost definitely spinning, but not in all cases.

If the motor spins and the roller bearings are good, all you need is a belt. Make sure you have the right belt. They will sometimes be surprisingly small. Loop the belt around the motor pulley first and then the roller, while the roller is out of the housing. Plant the non-belt end of the roller into the housing and, while holding that end in the housing with one hand, leverage the other end into the housing while stretching the belt. This can be anywhere from moderately to very difficult. Lastly, spin the roller by hand making sure the belt is not caught in the housing somewhere. This almost always happens. If you spin by hand it will naturally center out on the pulley. If you don't do this and put the vacuum back together and start the motor, it will burn through the belt very fast.

Lastly, it sounds like you may be having some problems with the height adjustment not working correctly. I can't really tell by reading your post. If so, your father-in-law may have gotten a little overzealous with the screwdriver and taken apart part of the height adjustment linkage. Vacuums rarely need a lot taken apart to change a belt. If he went too far and you can't figure out how to get it back together, you may need to take it to a repair shop.

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no the height adjust works, and I'm not sure how to tell if the brush motor is spinning without disassembling it, so that's likely the next matter of course. My wife is likely leaving town for two weeks this weekend, so I should have the nag-free time to disassemble it completely and find out. At the very least I know that it doesn't work right now, so it can't get that much worse than it currently is, ya? –  jcolebrand Jan 14 '11 at 20:47
    
Once you take the housing off so you get the roller out, you should be able to see the motor pulley. It will be metal. Use a flashlight. You will see it. Grab it with your fingers and spin it. It will have a significant amount of resistance. This is a rather large motor after all. Alternatively, start the motor up and look at the pulley with a flashlight to see if it is spinning. Be careful! This little thing spins fast and it is hard to see, so if you touch it while it is running you could easily give yourself a friction burn. –  Nemi Jan 14 '11 at 22:14
    
should I try and get a strobe going to see the spinning better or would that be nearly pointless? I figure I'll be taking it apart in the next two or three days, so this should be fun –  jcolebrand Jan 17 '11 at 19:37
    
No, don't make it harder than it needs to be. You should be able to turn the motor by hand. Make sure it is unplugged! –  Nemi Jan 23 '11 at 0:18
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After fully redisassembling the bottom of the vacuum system, I found that it was a badly functioning lever. I reassembled everything and it's fine now. :\ Thanks again @Nemi! Sorry I forgot to come back and update this! –  jcolebrand Feb 10 '11 at 22:38

The edges of your cylinder which the brush is connected to may have hair or threads wrapped around the axle preventing it from spinning. Are you able to easily rotate the cylinder yourself with your hand while the vacuum is on? (Be careful). If you are able to rotate it easily with your hand, then there may be a mechanical problem with the part of the motor that turns the belt and you'll need to get the vacuum repaired (although it may be cost effective to just replace it with a new one).

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Indeed I can spin the brush barrel just fine with even merely one finger. Thanks anyways. –  jcolebrand Jan 12 '11 at 15:46

My daughters brush stopped working--I thought it was the belt--took the bottom plate off to fix the belt, and both belts were intact. Noticed the suction tube was totally clogged--cleaned it out(there was alot there), and the brush worked fine. I don't understand this, but that is all I did.

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Does the roller brush turn freely? If it doesn't, pull it out and check to see if the brush bearings are turning in the roller brush. Second, make sure both belts are in place and not broken. Another problem: maybe the clutch itself is bad.

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