Tips for Treadmill Maintenance
A treadmill is an expensive piece of equipment, and it requires regular maintenance to lessen the likelihood of expensive repairs. Anyone who owns a treadmill should read the manual that is packaged with their machine. This manual lists important information like where all parts and switches are located and may also provide a maintenance schedule. It’s a good idea to keep the manual in an easy accessible place, so you’ll know where it is located, making it easy to refer back to.
Anyone who is looking to buy a treadmill should carefully consider where they will put the machine in their home. It is important that the machine is placed on a level surface and that there is enough room to walk all the way around it. Many treadmills have adjustments on the feet to make up for an uneven surface and users should make sure that the machine is completely level before using it because motor damage and uneven wear can occur.
Treadmills are vulnerable to damaging electrical surges because of the power they draw. They should always be plugged in to a grounded outlet or surge protector to minimize damage from electrical currents. Connecting the treadmill to a dedicated circuit is another way to make sure its computer system is protected.
Treadmills should not be placed near an exterior door, because dirt and other debris are more likely to collect there. Placing the machine on a floor mat is a good idea because it lessens the likelihood of dirt and pet hair getting sucked up by the motor, as it produces a static charge. Cleaning the machine at least once a week helps to keep out dirt and dust that can cause the belt to wear prematurely. The deck areas on each side of the belt should also be cleaned. Vacuuming under the machine at least once a week is great for keeping dust out of the motor. The motor itself should be cleaned a couple of times each year. The treadmill’s manual will likely contain instructions for removing the motor’s cover and cleaning the inside area.
Care should also be taken to keep children and pets away from the treadmill. Pet hair is a common cause of premature motor failure because it gets sucked into the motor and can cause overheating and reduced movement. Children are often curious about machines and can easily injure themselves if they are around a treadmill unattended. The Philadelphia Children’s Hospital reported that children commonly receive injuries to their hands and arms from the treadmill’s moving belt. Children may also push buttons or put things onto a treadmill that can harm the machine’s ability to function properly.
Everything that has moving parts requires lubrication to function properly, and most treadmills are no exception. There are a few models that should not be lubricated manually, so it’s a good idea to refer to the owner’s manual. Treadmills may need to be oiled or waxed and the sporting goods section of many stores sells these lubricants. Over lubricating can cause even more friction, so be sure to use the amount suggested by the manufacturer. Checking the lubrication levels every one to two months is a good idea to avoid damage caused by excessive friction.
Belt Alignment and Tightening
Each treadmill should be checked about once per month to ensure that they belt is sufficiently tightened. Loose belts can cause excess wear to both the deck and belt, but the belt should also not be too tight because an overly tight belt can cause damage to the motor and rollers. The belt needs to be tight enough that it doesn’t slip.
Belt alignment is easy to check because a treadmill’s belt should always be in the middle of the deck. A belt that has moved to one side should be aligned by adjusting the bolts that hold the belt in place. Small adjustments should be made until the belt is in the proper place. The specific location of these bolts will be listed in the manual.
Maintaining a treadmill only takes a few hours each month and can save many repair bills and hours of downtime. Keeping up with routine maintenance will also help ensure that the warranty on each treadmill will be valid. Contact information for the manufacturer is usually listed in the manual and most manufacturers are happy to help customers with any questions or concerns they have.