Struggling To Push Your Vacuum On The Carpet? 4 Tips

Featured Vacuum On The Carpet

If you’ve been having trouble trying to get your vacuum to even move on your carpet, we have some great tips for you. Most homeowners who get carpet for the first time have trouble with their vacuums.

vacuum the carpet
If you struggle to push your vacuum on a carpet, you’re not alone.

Knowing how to fix a vacuum that won’t push easily will save you a ton of cleaning time. It will also keep you from feeling drained after a long session.

Ready to get a vacuum that seems like it’s floating around your home? Then let’s dive straight in.

Tips For Struggling To Push Your Vacuum

There could be a few different reasons why your vacuum is having a hard time moving around your carpet. Check all the items on the list below before shelling out some money to get your vacuum fixed.

#1 Your Height Settings Are Off

The height of your floor can greatly affect the vacuum’s ability to successfully deep clean. This is because if the vacuum is at a low height but you have tall carpet in the home, it will struggle to move.

If the stairs are carpeted or there are thick throw rugs anywhere in the home, then you may need a vacuum with an adjustable handle. The handle rises and lowers to be able to operate your device without problems.

So, if you have a mix of hard floors and carpet, then you’ll need to constantly adjust the height of your vacuum to properly clean everything.

You could also tackle all the rooms with hard floors first. Then move on to the rooms with the tall carpets. This should keep you from having to adjust the heights constantly.

Usually, there is a range of settings for the height of your vacuum. You will want to experiment with what works best for your home.

Sometimes, the height will be too tall for the carpet and your vacuum will run smoothly but won’t pick everything up.

Try out the different settings over time and see which one actually cleans the best while moving efficiently across your floors.

#2 Your Rotator Brush Is Stuck

A rotator brush is a type of vacuum brush that will turn in order to continue cleaning without having the vacuum fall back. This will help when you have carpets piled high and your device can’t quite make it to the top.

If it’s driving you crazy that your vacuum is constantly getting caught up in things, then you may need a vacuum with a rotating brush. This will turn the brush and continue cleaning without pulling back.

Rotating brushes are usually found on higher-end models of vacuums. They help with troublesome floor coverings that have items sticking out more than three inches. 

If this is true for your home, try removing any chairs or bedding from the flooring that could cause it to get stuck before purchasing expensive fixes for your device.

Vacuums that don’t have an automatic rotating brush will need to be pulled backwards in order to try and untangle what’s causing it to be stuck.

If pulling back doesn’t fix the problem, then you have to look underneath the vacuum. Pull out anything that’s causing the rotator brush to get stuck and you should be able to move it more easily.

#3 Your Wheels Are Having Trouble

Just like with the rotator brush, something could be jammed in the wheels and cause them not to move so well.

If you’ve had the vacuum for a while, then chances are you’ve picked up some hair that has wrapped itself around the wheels and has kept them from moving easily.

check the wheels for jammed objects
Checking the vacuum wheels for any obstruction

As hair wraps around the wheel it tightens more and more till it eventually prevents any movement at all.

You want to try and fix this problem as soon as you notice your vacuum’s mobility getting worse. This is because the more time that elapses before you fix the issue, the tighter and harder it will be to get the hair off.

This could be true if there was a rubber band or other string that got wrapped up in your wheels.

The other reason the wheels could be causing some issues is that they have been covered in some kind of sticky liquid and need to be cleaned.

If you accidentally spill some soda or other sticky substance on the wheels, then the bearing could stick as well. The bearing is what helps the wheel to go in 360 degrees, so if it gets stuck then your vacuum won’t move well.

Take some alcohol cleaner or general all-purpose cleaner and dampen a q-tip with the liquid. Then rub the q-tip all over the wheels till any remaining substances are gone.

Example #4 The Brush Belt Needs Fixing

The other reason your vacuum is having a hard time running is that the brush belt is broken and it isn’t helping the rotator brush to rotate.

The only way to really see if this is the issue is by looking underneath the vacuum while it’s turned on.

This isn’t the safest method so make sure that when you do this you stand to the side of the vacuum in case any debris or dirt shoots from the bottom.

While the vacuum is turned on, tilt the vacuum till it is resting on the flow at a 90 degree angle.

Take a look at the bottom of the vacuum and see if your rotator brush is spinning. You should have already tried to clean it before getting to this step.

If the brush still isn’t spinning, then you have an issue with your brush belt. Chances are it’s broken and isn’t making the rotator brush spin anymore.

The good news is that you should be able to fix your belt yourself. Just check the owner’s manual for the exact model number and type and then buy a belt online.

You’ll need to follow the owner’s manual again on how to replace the belt or watch some videos online.

If you want to get any replacement part – or see how much one would cost – click to enter your model number in the search bar below. Our partners at AppliancePartsPros stock almost every part with free guides on how to install them.


Could My Vacuum Suction be Causing Mobility Issues?

It’s unlikely that a vacuum with a strong suction could cause mobility issues with your carpet. The problem is more likely related to the height of your vacuum on the carpet itself. The closer the vacuum is to the carpet, the more suction you will get.

How Fast Should My Vacuum Be Moving Across Carpet?

If your vacuum is moving very fast across your carpet, then you probably don’t have it close enough to the carpet itself. Some vacuums have multiple height settings while others only have one or two.

Your vacuum should move smoothly across your carpet, but it should take a little bit of effort to move the vacuum back and forth. This effort lets you know it is sucking up the dirt from the carpet instead of having a small amount of space between.

What If My Carpet Is Too Big For My Vacuum?

A carpet that is too high for your vacuum means you either need to purchase a new vacuum or replace your carpet.

replace your carpet
Consider changing your carpet or vacuum as a last resort.

This is, of course, assuming that you have the vacuum at the highest height setting and are still experiencing issues.

Since there wouldn’t be any higher settings to use, you would need to return your current vacuum and see if there are any models with even higher settings.

The only other option would be to replace your current carpet with one that isn’t as high. Considering this problem isn’t very common, you should be able to find a vacuum with higher settings.

Moving Your Vacuum Easily

You can fix a vacuum that won’t move easily by adjusting the height setting on your vacuum or by fixing your rotator brush, wheels, or brush belt. Now that you know how to fix your problem, you should clean a lot faster and be much less tired.

Thanks for reading and if you still need more help, read some of the articles below!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more