This is my second Hoover steamvac with problems. When the brushes wouldn't turn, my son found the drive brush shaft broken.
Suction and dispensing worked fine until then... now they don't work since the brush problem was solved.
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Re: Not dispensing soap; won't pick up moisture.
Check the filter on the bottom of the lid for the dirty water tank, make sure it isn't pushed all of the way up, needs at least a gap of 1/4 inch or so. Also make sure that the lid for the tank is locked down and not loose on one end.
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The brushes are powered by air suction from the motor. At the heart of this complicated system are roller bearings. When one fails the system fails. This is not one of the parts that Hoover thinks is needed on it's parts site so I've haven't found a way to repair this.
There is probably not a belt. The brushes on the carpet cleaner head and attachments work from air and there is a roller bearing deep inside that will wear out and the brushes won't turn. I've found no way to fix this. I consider it a design defect.
Here's a link to a Fixya repair solution that I recently did on this exact problem. It's actually a fairly common problem. The second link is to another solution that will walk you through step by step how to replace the turbine assembly if you find out this is what the problem is.
The brush system on this model has a poor engineering design in that the brushes are running off an air turbine, which uses a steel bushing to spin the turbine which gets rusty from the moisture when the machine is being used. No long term solver. I would replace the machine with a Dirt Devil Platinum Force model
You are on the right track! Place a screwdriver (flatbladed) into the white drive square and try to turn it. If it is locked up the drive assembly is your problem. It is very common for these parts to lock up because of the moisture involved with these machines. The only way to fix this is by replacing the drive unit, simply remove the hood of the machine and you will find 4 screws and one hose hold this drive in place.
If the gear assembly turns just fine you have a problem elsewhere. More than likely it has something to do with the dirty water tank. All the drives and pumps on these run off the suction created in the recovery tank. I would remove the tank take the lid off and then place it all back again. Then attempt to run the machine.
If the tank is on fine, the white gear turns ok and the brushes still will not turn: Time to go back and inspect that brush block. The drive tab may be brolken off too short, or something else to do with that particular part.
In the case you can find nothing wrong with any of this, i would contact the local hoover warranty service center. A locator is on the hoover website. Hoover picks out the best vacuum dealers to service their product, for a small fee they would probably be able to tell you just what is wrong with it.
Hoover steamvacs don't use belts. If the brushes are not turning, pull the brush block out, turn the machine on and see if the square hole where the brush block was, is turning. If not then the turbine is bad. Sometimes you can take the turbine apart and clean it out. most times I have found , replace it.