Tips and Tricks for Sweepers
A guide for commercial sweepers. Best Practices.
29 June, 2022 by
Tips and Tricks for Sweepers
Capital Equipment Hire, Emma Dimech

14 Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks for Sweepers

We have compiled some common troubleshooting tips for sweepers where our customers often reach out for help. These tricks for sweepers are generic and can be applied for any commercial sweeper operated by a user. For more specific troubleshooting guides, we always recommend seeking the advice from the manufacturer through the user manual.

See our guide for commercial sweepers below.

Issue - Poor Sweeping Performance

This issue is when the sweeping machine is not picking up debris as well as normal. The machine could be leaving rows of dust or dirt behind. This problem could be due to the following reasons:

1. Worn Front or Main Brush Bristles

Cause - The fitted brush bristles could have exceeded the recommended sweeping length. There is usually a yellow indicator on most manufacturers' brushes to help operators see when it may need replacing. Alternatively, the operator manual usually specifies the recommended bristle length for replacing. Sweeping brushes are considered consumable parts, which means the items are absorbed/worn out through the use of the equipment. The lifetime of consumable items is dependent on the amount of use and application type.

Solution - Replace worn brushes with brand new ones by ordering genuine or non-genuine replacements. Most floor sweepers have a ‘twist and pull/push’ method to change consumable brushes. This is one of the best tricks for sweepers, however it is always advised to consult the user manual to detach old brushes and install new ones. Alternatively, you can contact your cleaning equipment partner to have a field service technician install it on your behalf.

2. Brush Motor Failure

Cause - Where the motor powering the main and side broom fails. Diagnosing this issue is simple, are the brushes turning? If not there could be a couple of issues with the motor causing it. A floor sweeper brush motor can be hydraulic or electric depending on the model make, and will have varying issues depending on this configuration. Some common electrical motor issues are plastic wrapped around the motor or the belt is broken. For hydraulic, there could be a leak. Regardless of the make if the brushes are not turning, consult your field service technician who will be able to appropriately diagnose the specific problem.

Solution - Check for debris wrapped around the motor and remove obstruction if present. If there is no evidence of an issue, consult your field service technician, reporting any details you think may help the diagnosis.

3. Full Waste Hopper

Cause - One of the most common issues! Hopper tray is full of debris and needs to be disposed of. To prevent this from occurring, it is recommended to dispose of debris after every clean, even if it is not at full capacity. It is a more efficient approach.

Solution - Empty the hopper at your designated disposal station.

Issue - Excessive Dust Creation

Where the floor sweeper is causing more dust creation rather than containing it, reducing sweeping effectiveness or threatening health and safety of operators or nearby workers. Excessive dust can be due to the following reasons:

4. Dust Filter Clogged

Cause - Long-term sweeping effects can eventually lead to blockages in the filter that require cleaning or replacing.

Solution - Take the dust filter out and clean it. If required, organise a replacement filter to get your machine running to its full capacity. Contact your appointed field service technician for assistance.

5. Vacuum Hose Damage

Cause - Vacuum hose is a critical component of a floor sweeper’s functioning and any damage to the hose will cause excessive dust release.

Solution - Replace vacuum hose by referring to your model’s parts manual to order a replacement.

6. Brush Skirts or Dust Seals Out of Adjustment or Worn Out

Cause - Key components including brush skirts and dust seals can become maligned or worn out from use.

Solution - Replace parts or refer to your model’s user manual to readjust components.

Other General Tips for Sweepers

7. Scout Area Before Cleaning

Pick up any large debris before cleaning. Remove any obstructions to the sweeping path for best floor coverage.

8. Avoid Sweeping in Wet Weather

The sweeping performance is heavily reduced due to debris becoming sticky to the ground, causing mud and blockages in the dust control filter. If sweeping in wet environments is unavoidable, turn the vacuum fan off to reduce the chance of blockages occurring.

9. Overlap Your Sweeping Path

Try to maintain at least an inch overlap when completing sweeping passes to maintain a uniform  clean.

10. Use Side Broom for Edge Cleaning Then Turn Off

The side broom of any floor sweeper’s greatest advantage is its edge cleaning ability, but once the outer perimeter is cleaned, turn side broom off and use the main broom for inner rows. This is because the main broom will provide the most effective and even dust pickup possible.

11. Vibrate Filter Every 10-15 Minutes

Shake off any dust sticking to the filter every 10-15 minutes by turning the setting on for at least 10 seconds. The advantage of this is keeping the filter as clear as possible for maximum dust control during the cleaning process. Another great tip is vibrating the filter just before you dump the waste so the fallout is disposed of with the rest of the debris.

12. Undertake General Maintenance Before & After EVERY Clean

Try and get into the habit of checking brooms, cleaning filters and dumping waste after every clean to keep the sweeper working at its maximum.

13. Be Diligent with Service Schedules

Commit to the recommended service periods to ensure your equipment is getting the care it needs by a professional technician.

14. Report Any Damages or Issues When It Happens

Operators can at times put off certain machine issues with a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude, but this delay in inspecting and repairing the equipment can lead to greater problems (and more expensive solutions) in the future. Always report any machine concerns to your field tech when it happens.


We hope you find this guide for commercial sweepers useful in your basic troubleshooting needs. If you need more expert support, please log a Support Request here and our team will be happy to assist.