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How to Maintain and Prolong the Life of Your Treadmill

shutterstock_72881356As health club owners we have a maintenance staff that is certified and trained in exercise equipment repair at our facility to fix all of our treadmill problems, but this is not an option for the home exerciser. Owning a health club has taught us a lot about maintaining treadmills over the last 30 years and we thought we would pass along to you some helpful tips for maintaining your home treadmill.

When purchasing a treadmill for home use, do you think about the importance of proper maintenance? When you purchase a treadmill, you must be willing to take the time to maintain your treadmill just as you would any other major investment like your car or house. Consider this prior to your purchase – not afterward. If you are proactive in the maintenance of your treadmill, you can add years to the life of your investment and will enjoy using it a lot more.

Proper cleaning for the exterior of the treadmill is always recommended, due to the fact that sweat is highly corrosive. This can be accomplished by merely wiping down the unit after each workout. Also, wiping down the belt with a damp cloth will clean any debris that may affect the performance of the treadmill.

The most important external component of a treadmill is the running belt followed closely by the running deck. The belt is what you run and walk on and takes most of the abuse. A malfunctioning belt can cause many problems internally that can damage the motor, control board, belt or other major operating parts. And worst of all if your belt and deck are not maintained properly your workout will suffer. The good news is there are really just a few rules to follow in maintaining your treadmill and ensuring the longest life of your running belt and deck.

1. The most important maintenance item we suggest is adding supplemental lube when recommended (see your owner’s manual). Proper Lubrication will considerably extend the life of any treadmill running/walking belt and deck. We have a lot of treadmills at our health club and we use a product made by Glide. This product really helps to prevent the belt from sticking and greatly increases the life of both the belt and deck of a treadmill. This one product has probably doubled the life of our belts and decks at our health club and greatly reduced our maintenance costs. You can get the Glide effect on your home treadmill too. Glide is health club proven to prolong the life of belts and decks and reduces amp draw on your treadmill motor which should prolong its life too. Here is a link to where you can order Glide for your home treadmill, but make sure the product will work for your type of treadmill: http://www.treadmillwax.com/home_products.htm

2. Keep the treadmill clean, and remove any debris on or around the treadmill. Make sure to vacuum under your treadmill regularly.

3. Do not place your treadmill in any extreme conditions. Treadmills should always be in a climate controlled room.

4. Keeping proper belt tension and tracking (belt should run parallel to the treadmill frame). This will maintain the belt in good working order.

5. Keep your treadmill on a level surface. Some treadmills have level adjustments on the rear supports. A treadmill will not track if not on a level surface.

When Should You Change a Walking Belt?

It is never too soon to change a walking belt, but it is often too late.
Although the exterior or walking surface of the belt may not be aesthetically pleasing, the part of the belt that is not visible is the most important.

If your treadmill belt is torn, curled up or bare you are in need of a new belt. Also, any problems with speed change when you begin walking are sure signs of belt wear. Regardless, the belt should be changed every 2 to 3 years with regular home usage.

Many times you can change a treadmill belt yourself. If you are not comfortable with this procedure, call a local treadmill repair company.

While changing the belt, you may notice that the deck of the treadmill also has major wear (bare areas, or ruts). Many times you can turn over the used deck and use the other side (again, see your owner’s manual). If this is not an option, you may need to completely replace the deck. Your belt will not run smoothly over a worn deck and you will experience “sticking” when you try to run on it if it is worn. You can go directly to the manufacturer or any well-rated treadmill replacement parts website like http://www.treadmilldoctor.com/.

All of the things listed will greatly extend the life of your treadmill, treadmill belt, and your ability to utilize and enjoy your treadmill to its fullest capacity.

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