Why Your Vacuum Is Not Spinning (& How to Fix)

2023-09-11

DEEBOT robot vacuum returning to the Omni station

Inside a vacuum cleaner, there are components serving different functions. One of them is the brush, which is designed to agitate and loosen dirt and dust from surfaces such as hardwood and upholstery. It is also used to gather and collect debris by sweeping them towards the suction area of the vacuum cleaner, making them easier to be picked up. Furthermore, vacuum brushes can help in straightening and aligning the carpet fibre, giving the carpets and rugs a more uniform and groomed look.
 

Common Reasons for a Vacuum Brush Not Spinning and how to fix

 

Wonder why your vacuum brush is not spinning properly? Let's investigate the potential reasons and find the appropriate remedy.

Hard floor mode

Vacuums have hard floor mode to protect the delicate surface of hard floors.  This setting will adjust the suction power to a lower setting and disable the brush roll in order to prevent it from scratching and damaging the floor. When it is on, the brush will not spin even if there are no obstacles around.

Inappropriate pile height

Vacuum cleaners can adjust pile height in order to climb over obstacles like door steps. If the brush is set at an incorrect pile height, i.e. being too low for high-pile carpets or too high for low-pile carpets, it can hinder from rotating properly.

Clogged brush roll

Accumulated debris, hair and string-like fibres can wrap around the brush, making it stuck and not able to spin freely. This often happen in high-traffic areas like kitchen and living room, or households with pets and children.

Broken belt

Over time, the constant movement between the belt and the brush roll can cause it to wear down and eventually break. The belts connect the brush roll to the motor, powering the brush rotation. A worn-out, detached or broken belt will stop the brush roll from spinning.

Motor problems

The motor in a vacuum cleaner powers the brush roll to rotate. A faulty motor, usually due to worn-out components, or electrical issues such as loose or damaged wiring and a tripped circuit breaker, can cause the brush roll to stop spinning. In most cases, electrical malfunctions are caused by overheating, moisture damage and normal wear and tear.

Overstuffed Dust Bins

Dust bins, or bags, are the container that holds the dust and debris collected. It needs to be regularly emptied to avoid overstuffing. Overflown dust bins can block the air circulation and even lead to vacuum spitting stuff back out. It will also cause the vacuum to lose suction power and hinder the brush roll’s movement.

Loose seals and connections

While it is a good practice to clean the detachable parts from time to time for a thorough clean, it is important to ensure that they are put back properly without gaps. Loose seals and connections can disrupt the power transfer to the brush, resulting in poor connections and  affecting the rotation of the brush.
 

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide


DEEBOT robot vacuum identifies carpet and hardwood floors
 

After identifying the root cause, here is what you can do to fix them.

Turn hard floor mode off

If your vacuum has a hard floor setting, switch it off to activate the brush when you’re cleaning surfaces other than hard floor where brush agitation is necessary.

Adjust the brush roll height

Check the brush roll height settings and adjust it accordingly based on the carpet or floor type. This allows proper brush rotation and appropriate contact with the surface without causing damage.

Clogged brush roll

Untangling the brush roll and remove any debris or fibres that wrap around it. Simply use scissors or a blade to cut through it, then pull out the obstacles so that the brush roll can spin freely again.

Broken belt

Inspect the belt for signs of damage or breakage. If it needs replacement, always refer to the manual for specific instructions, or bring it to the manufacturer for assistance.

Empty the dustbin

Emptying the dust bin regularly, preferably after each use, to avoid obstructing the brush rotation and causing the vacuum to spitting things back out. Make sure the dust bin or bag is securely reattached before next use.

Tighten loose and detached components

Check and tighten any loose and detached components, such as seals, connections and the brush roll. Inspect if there is any loose gap between the parts and if so, take them out and install them back securely to ensure solid connection and powering.

Motor problems

If the brush still doesn't spin, inspect the vacuum's motor for any visible signs of malfunction. If you suspect this is the root cause, it is recommended to seek professional help such as an electrical technician and the manufacturer for further assessment and repair.
 

Key Features of Robot Vacuums To Prevent This Issue


DEEBOT robot vacuum recognises virtual barriers
 

Robotic vacuum cleaners not only are the smarter way of cleaning, but they also have advanced features that can prevent the vacuum brush from stopping.

Navigation

Auto vacuums are equipped with advanced mapping technology like ECOVACS’s Truemapping system, allowing them to identify different surfaces, including hard floors and carpets, then switch to appropriate settings accordingly. Say goodbye to hindered rotation caused by accidentally activated hard floor mode.

Obstacle detection

The sensors of smart vacuum cleaners are designed to avoid obstacles. They can also adjust pile heights to climb over barriers, for instance, our DEEBOT series can climb up to 20mm1, allowing it to go over high-pile and low-pile carpets without getting stuck.

Virtual barriers

If certain area in your house may easily cause the brush spinning issues, such as high-pile carpets with fringe, you can simply set virtual barriers via the app. Thanks to the mapping technology, robotic vacuum cleaners create virtual maps and allow users to set boundaries to avoid risky areas.

Self-emptying:

Top-tier smart vacuums came with self-emptying docking stations. Take our OMNI All-in-one station as an example, it charges the self-cleaning vacuum, automatically empties the dust bins, clean the mop heads with hot water and dry them with hot air, making them ready for the next clean and prevent overstuffing the dust containers.

Smart reminders:

Automatic vacuums allow remote control via apps. Other than setting virtual boundaries and cleaning schedules, robot floor cleaners send alerts to the app when it is time to clean or replace dated components. You can easily know the cause of the problem and fix them promptly.
 

FAQ

 

How do you fix a vacuum brush that doesn't spin?

To fix the brush spinning issue, first you will have to identify the root cause. Inspect for blockages behind the brush roll, filter and dust bins, check the height adjustment and then inspect the belt and motor for any signs of damage or breakage.

Why is the brush not spinning on my vacuum cleaner?

Clogged brush roll, broken belt, incorrect height adjustment, motor problems, or electrical issues are potential reasons why your vacuum brush is not spinning.

How do you unclog a vacuum brush?

To unclog a vacuum brush, try switching off the vacuum, then proceed to remove the brush roll, clean out any debris or tangles with scissors or a blade, and reassemble the brush roll back into the vacuum. Wear protective gloves to protect yourselves.

Disclaimer(s):

  1. 20mm high: This data comes from ECOVACS laboratory.

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