Here's what you'll need to replace a belt on a Kenmore canister vacuum:
- Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Flat Head Screw Driver
There are two different types of belts that are used on a Kenmore Canister. One of them is called a cogged belt, which has little teeth on the inside of the belt. The other is called a serpantine belt, which looks like a car belt, and has little grooves on the inside of the. You'll be able to tell which on yours takes after opening up the power nozzle.
This is the Cogged or Geared Belt with little teeth inside the belt:
Kenmore Canister Geared Belt for Canister Vacuums
This is the other Serpantine Belt that has little grooves on the inside of the belt:
Kenmore Canister Serpantine Belt for Canister Vacuums
Here's how you can replace the belt on your Kenmore Canister vacuum cleaner. First, before taking apart the power nozzle to change the belt, try pressing the overload protection system reset switch. This overload protection feature is designed to shut off the power nozzle if something gets stuck in the brushes, to prevent the belt from breaking. On most Kenmore models it's either a grey switch cover to the right of the neck for your power nozzle, or it could also be a little red colored pole. The reset switch will turn all power off to the power nozzle. If you turn on the vacuum, and try turning on the power nozzle and you hear absolutely no noise, then it's possible it may just need to be reset. It also could mean that your hose may have a short circuit in it (pretty common on Kenmore), and the hose is not getting power down to the power nozzle. If however you turn on the power nozzle, and you can hear the motor in the power nozzle come on when you switch it to carpets, then mostly likely your belt needs to be changed. On the model that I was fixing, the reset switch is a grey color, and I highlighted the reset switch in red:
So we'll just say for this repair that you are able to hear some noise come on in the power nozzle, but the brush is still not turning. This indicates a bad belt. Here's how you can fix it:
Step 1. If you're power nozzle is a square shaped nozzle like the nozzle that I took a picture of above, then you'll need to first remove the headlight cover before you can access the roller brush and belt. Simply squeeze both sides of the headlight housing, and while squeezing, lift upwards with your fingers exactly where my fingers are located in this picture:
Step 2. After the headlight cover has been removed, you'll see two screws underneath of the headlight cover, directly in front of the neck of the power nozzle. You'll need to remove both of these screws. I have circled these screws in red:
Step 3. After both of these screws have been removed, turn the power head upside down, so the roller brush is facing upwards. Look on the both the left and the right sides of the power nozzle. You should see writing that points to an area to put your flat head screw driver. You'll need to put the flat head screw driver down inside of the nozzle, and pry the top blue housing from the black bottom housing. Here's where the screw driver should go on the left side
Here's a picture of the screwdriver prying off the right side:
Step 4. Now turn the power nozzle back over on top, and remove the top housing of the nozzle. You may have to push the handle release pedal in order to take the top housing off.
Step 5. Once the top housing has been removed you should now either see a white semi-circle shaped housing over top of the brush, or your model may not have this part (some did and others didn't). If yours has a long white part over top of the power nozzle, look at the back corners of this white colored housing, and you'll see two clips, one on each side. You need to push these clips in, and pull backwards at the same time.
Step 6. Once this white colored housing has been removed, or if you model didn't have this housing, you'll now have full access to the roller brush and belt. You should instantly be able to see the belt if it's broken, as it won't be connected to the roller brush. Simply pull straight up on the roller brush to remove it from the vacuum cleaner:
Step 7. Wrap one end of the belt around the metal motor shaft in the back of the nozzle. Wrap the other end through the roller brush, and stretch the brush back into the housing where it belongs. Simply reassemble the parts, and test the vacuum to make sure the brush spins!
If you don't hear the power nozzle motor come on when you change the hose from Floors to Carpeting, this either means the reset switch needs to be pushed, or that you have a bad hose that needs to be replaced.
If you would like help on how to diagnosis the electric hose to see if it's bad, please just use the Clarification Request here on Fixya. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me, I'm always more then happy to answer follow up questions. If this repair was helpful to you, please be sure to rate it as helpful by clicking the thumbs up icons at the top of the repair.
Thank you very much,