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How To Fix A Kirby Vacuum

Heather Burdo

Just like any other household item, issues are going to arise with a vacuum. Before tossing your Kirby vacuum out, it's beneficial to learn about the common issues owners encounter and how to troubleshoot the problems. There may be a quick fix, returning your Kirby vacuum to a fully-functioning machine. Some problems that typically arise are with the cleaner motor, the brush roll and the brush roll carpet height.

How To Fix A Kirby Vacuum

Faulty Cleaner Motor

There are three factors that lead to a malfunction with the cleaner motor on a Kirby vacuum. The first cause is with the on and off switch. You will need to add a new tool to your collection: a multimeter. This is an electronic tool that measures amps, resistance and voltage through circuits. Use the multimeter to test the power switch for continuity. Power switches are usually the most common culprit for this issue and should be replaced if it doesn't turn off and on properly.

If your power switch is indeed generating electricity, then the source of the problem may be the drive motor,. This is the second most common cause of motor failure. Check to make sure the blow wheel turns with ease and doesn't have any obstructions. If the motor seems to turn with no issue and power is going through the motor but the motor still lacks in performance, replacement of the motor is necessary.

The third potential cause of a malfunctioning vacuum that doesn't clean well or won't turn on altogether is the fan motor. If your Kirby is still under warranty, contact your local Kirby home office and let them know you need the part.

How to Install a New Belt

If you notice your vacuum emits a smell like burning rubber, it's usually a clog in your brush roll. Installing a new belt and removing any debris from the end caps should clear the issue. To install the new belt, first turn the front of the handle until the red marks match. Next, remove the head of the vacuum. Turn the front handle to ensure the green marks match. Now find the two unlocking handles for the brush and unlock. Take off the metal cover and the brush, then put the new belt in. To put the unit back together, follow these steps in reverse.

Adjust Brush Roll Carpet Height

Make sure you adjust the brush roll nozzle to match the height of the top of the carpet. To find the best height for your vacuum, begin with the brush roll nozzle set all the way up. Next, turn on your vacuum and adjust the ratchet down one notch each time. As you hear the pitch of the motor noise change, stop immediately as this is usually the height most people find works best. It's important to note that if you adjust your vacuum nozzle the entire way down, the air flow will be cut off and will prevent dirt from being collected.