Having a vacuum cleaner with a powerhead can be a big help, especially if you have a lot of deep carpeting in your home or if you have a pet that tends to shed a lot. However, if your powerhead stops working, your vacuum won’t be able to do its job nearly as effectively as it might be able to otherwise.
If your Miele vacuum’s powerhead stopped working, it could simply be that the brush roll is clogged with debris, but it could also be an issue with the drive belt connected to the brush roll, an issue with the motor that powers the brush, a power connector problem, or a broken or worn-out brush roll.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the problems that can cause your Miele vacuum’s powerhead to stop working, and we’ll show you how you can fix these problems yourself.
Related: Dyson Vacuum Troubleshooting Guide
Jammed Brush Roll/Motor
If your vacuum’s powerhead stops working all of a sudden, the most likely explanation for this is that the brush roll in the powerhead has become jammed. Since the brush roll spins at high speed, it’s pretty common for a bunch of debris (usually hair) to get tangled up in the brush roll and completely jam it.
It’s also sometimes possible for hair to get drawn even further into the powerhead and end up wrapping around the shaft of the motor that powers the brush roll. In any case, the end result is the same; the accumulation of debris inside the powerhead will eventually get to the point where it can’t run.
How to Fix:
Fortunately, while this is one of the more common reasons that vacuum powerheads tend to fail, it’s also one of the easiest problems to fix. All you need to do is remove the debris that is jamming the powerhead and you should be good.
- First, though, you should try hitting the “Reset” button on your vacuum cleaner and see if that does anything. The “Reset” button should be under the canister handle, on the left side of the vacuum cleaner. If the blockage in the powerhead isn’t too severe, the “Reset” button may do the trick.
If not, it’s time to open up the powerhead and remove any blockages inside. Make sure the vacuum cleaner is unplugged before you do this; you may be interacting with some of the vacuum’s electrical components during this fix, so to avoid the possibility of electrocution you don’t want the vacuum to be receiving any power during this time.
- Once you’ve unplugged your vacuum, you can start disassembling the powerhead by removing the screws that keep the plastic cover in place. These screws are also plastic and can be removed with whatever suitable tool you have on hand.
- Next, you’ll need to remove four screws from the bottom housing of the powerhead in order to fully access the brush roll. You may need a Torx screwdriver for this part, as Miele powerheads are often held together with Torx screws.
When this is done, you should be able to remove the bottom housing and subsequently be able to remove the brush roll. The brush roll should be held in place by two clips.
- With the brush roll out, it’s time to remove the hair that is making it jam. Use a pair of scissors to cut the hair away from the brush roll, but try not to cut off any of the bristles on the brush roll.
The motor can be accessed by removing two more Torx screws to reach the inner housing of the powerhead. With the motor exposed, use your scissors to cut away any hair wrapped around the shaft of the motor.
With all the hair removed, reassemble the powerhead and see if your problem has been solved.
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Faulty Drive Belt
As you know by now, the brush roll in a Miele vacuum powerhead is powered by an electric motor that is also inside the powerhead. The brush roll is connected to a motor via a rubber drive belt. Over time, this drive belt can get stretched out, and it may even break if it wears out enough. When this happens, the motor will obviously fail to turn the brush roll.
The vacuum’s regular suction should still work, but without the brush roll, it’ll be a lot less effective at picking up dirt than it otherwise would be.
How to Fix:
To fix this issue, you’ll have to replace the drive belt. Luckily, drive belts are both easy and inexpensive to replace, so this is definitely a repair you can do on your own even if you don’t have a ton of experience in this area.
Once again, you’ll want to remove anything covering the brush roll and the motor, using the same steps listed in the “Jammed Brush Roll/Motor” section. This will expose the brush roll, the motor, and the belt that connects the two.
- You can remove the belt by pulling it off the brush roll and the motor (although if the belt has already broken it will already be separate from these parts).
- Next, all you need to do is take your replacement belt and reattach it to the brush roll and motor.
Keep in mind that not all brush roll drive belts are the same size or the same design (depending on the model of vacuum cleaner you have, your drive belt may be a ribbed belt or a cogged belt). When shopping for a replacement belt, make sure you buy one that actually fits the vacuum cleaner you have.
Broken/Worn-Out Brush Roll
If the brush roll breaks or wears out, your vacuum’s powerhead will fail to do its job properly even if everything else is working fine.
There are a few ways the brush roll can break or wear out;
- The bearings that allow the brush roll to spin may have seized up, the bristles on the brush roll may have lost their stiffness
- The brush roll itself may end up breaking through some means.
How to Fix:
First, open up your powerhead to access the brush roll by following the same steps listed above. Once the brush roll is exposed, you can examine it to determine where exactly the problem lies.
- Start by testing the bristles to see how much stiffness is left in them.
- The bristles should normally feel pretty stiff, but if they instead feel relatively soft, it’s probably time to have the brush roll replaced.
- You should also test how freely the brush roll spins on its own by disconnecting the drive belt and giving the brush roll a spin with your hand.
- If it doesn’t want to spin on its own, it could be that the bearings on the ends of the brush roll have seized, in which case you will once again need to replace the brush roll.
In truth, pretty much any issue with the brush roll will necessitate its replacement, so be prepared for this if your brush roll breaks.
Broken/Overheating Brush Roll Motor
Vacuum cleaners with powerheads have two electric motors inside them. One is the main motor that powers the fan that generates the vacuum’s suction, while the other motor is located in the powerhead and serves to turn the brush roll.
The brush roll motor may eventually wear out, which will stop it from working entirely, or it may be suffering from overheating issues, which will cause it to work intermittently.
How to Fix:
If your motor is completely dead, you’ll have to replace it. You can determine if your motor has died by testing it for continuity with a multimeter if you have experience doing that sort of thing. If your motor is just overheating, you can fix this by figuring out what is causing the motor to overheat.
- Overheating can happen if the brush roll gets jammed, which puts extra stress on the motor, but it can also happen if the drive belt is disconnected from the motor. Without the resistance of the brush roll to slow it down, the motor will over-rev.
- After removing the blockage from the brush roll or reconnecting the drive belt to the motor, allow the vacuum to sit for about half an hour to ensure it is fully cooled off. Once it has, run your vacuum for a bit to see if the issue has been resolved.
There’s obviously a fair amount of wiring inside your vacuum, and if a wire breaks somewhere or an electrical connector becomes disconnected, it could leave your vacuum’s powerhead totally unable to run.
How to Fix:
It can be pretty difficult to determine where exactly the power connection has broken inside your vacuum, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with a vacuum repair specialist for something like this.
If you have experience working with electronics, though, you can use a multimeter to check the continuity across the various contact points within the vacuum.
- Aside from checking the continuity, be on the lookout for any wires that appear frayed or melted, or any contact points that appear damaged in some way. If you find anything along these lines, you may have found the source of your problem. Replacing any damaged wiring you find may fix the issue for you.