Thread Number: 43063  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Kirby Avalir belt issues
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Post# 450587   3/7/2022 at 10:45 (636 days old) by whiteley03 (Tulsa, OK)        

whiteley03's profile picture
Hey y’all, my Avalir has been acting up and knew someone here would know what’s up.

I have a nice shag rug, and the rest of the house is hardwood. I use the kirby in canister mode mostly, and keep the floor nozzle stored with the lifter in the “on” position without the belt engaged, however I’m noticing that the belt only lasts maybe 2 rug vacuums before it acts stretched out. (Brush roll light isn’t illuminated) I buy the belts at the local distributor as well, I just don’t know what’s up. Is this normal? I’ve changed the belt every 3-4 weeks for the past few months now

Post# 450588 , Reply# 1   3/7/2022 at 11:34 (636 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
A couple of things come to mind...

human's profile picture
Are you using genuine Kirby belts and are they the right type of belt? Genuine Kirby belts will have the word "Kirby" printed on them along with the part number. The genuine Kirby (OEM) belts are of consistently good quality while the generic belts can be hit-or-miss. Some are just as good as OEM and some aren't. Some are made from inferior materials or could be slightly out of spec in some way.

Also, Kirby belts come in two styles—knurled and smooth. I believe the newer Kirbys take ones with the knurled inner surface, which provides extra traction. The ones with the smooth inner surface are for older machines and might tend to lose their grip when used on a newer machine that requires the knurled surface.

It shouldn't be a problem on a machine as new as an Avalir, but have you checked your brush roll? Do the bearings spin freely? If not, this could also contribute to premature belt failure. Make sure the ends of the brush roll don't have foreign material, such as shag carpet strands, wrapped around them. You might also check to see if the brush roll is adjusted properly. When you take it out of the floor nozzle, you will see little Roman numerals on each of the plastic ends. The idea is that as the bristles wear down, you can adjust the brush roll by removing and reinserting it with a higher number facing into the nozzle and both ends should be on the same number. The bristles should protrude about 1/8 inch. More than that will put excessive strain on the belt.

Finally (or maybe first), you might want to ease up on the height adjustment. If you've got it set too low, it could be wearing out your belts quickly. Try using it on one of the higher settings, which are intended for deep pile carpet.

Post# 450589 , Reply# 2   3/7/2022 at 11:37 (636 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
What position do you have the brushroll set at? Sounds to me like the problem is that the rug is putting too much drag on the brushroll, thus wearing out the belt prematurely. Try changing the setting the brushroll is in, and also not lowering the height adjustment as much. That should help.


Post# 450594 , Reply# 3   3/7/2022 at 15:45 (635 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Typically a Kirby belt (you want to use 301291 for the rug nozzle's brush) shouldn't wear down with normal use.

While Kirby these days suggests you turn the cleaner on with the height adjuster down all the way at position 1, I would instead suggest the older method to save your belts: turn your cleaner on when you have the height adjuster at its highest position of number 8, then take it down one step at a time until you hear the brush bristles contact the carpet, then lower it down ONE MORE NOTCH.


Post# 451668 , Reply# 4   4/15/2022 at 20:34 (596 days old) by whiteley03 (Tulsa, OK)        

whiteley03's profile picture
Thanks guys! Turned out it was me (dummy) setting it too low. Just finished all the rugs/house and no issues.

Post# 451669 , Reply# 5   4/15/2022 at 21:38 (596 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Glad you got it figured out. Kirbys do have a tiny bit of a learning curve, perhaps more than some other machines out there, but once you know, you know.

I have a friend staying at my house right now and the other day, she decided to vacuum the room she's using. I wasn't home at the time but she informed me that my Heritage II Legend was "broken" because it wouldn't pick anything up, so she'd finished the job with my Discovery II. Had I been here, that's the machine I would have recommended that she use to begin with, because it's so much more user friendly. It turned out she had left the height adjustment all the way up on the Heritage II, which is how I store my Kirbys. When I demonstrated how to adjust it, she just dismissed it, saying that was too much trouble. Oh well, Kirbys aren't for everyone.

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