Monday 14 November 2016

How to lubricate a treadmill running belt

Hi, I’m John. I’m an engineer by trade and also an expert in fitness machines.
We’ve got here a treadmill and I’m going to show you how to lubricate the running belt. In my opinion, lubricating the running belt is the number one thing that you can do to look after your treadmill. You have to do this, and it’s that easy to do and I’m going to show you how to do it.
So, lubricating the treadmill belt involves putting a lubricant underneath the running belt (better: on the platform). I am using my screwdriver to get under there, so underneath this area where my hand has just gone. That’s where the loop is going to go.
You might be tempted to use the grease or wd-40, please DON’T. These are not lubricants for treadmill running belts, so get rid of those. What you need to be using is silicon oil, as a couple of examples there, or wax. The wax in my opinion is not quite as good, but there are some treadmills manufacturers that insist you use wax, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, if you’re not sure. Generally speaking, the silicon oil is the most popular and it’s the best so we’ll put the wax to one side and I’ll show you how to use the silicon oil.
With your machine you’ll usually get a little bottle or a little tube of silicon oil and my recommendation is to put all of that oil on that comes with the machine especially when it’s new.
You notice I’m using the screwdriver just to allow me to get the good access. I’ll open up the screw cap and slide the bottle underneath, give it a squirt, move it around a little bit and withdraw it. What we’re trying to do is to get all of the silicon oil into this area or the running belt. This is where your feet go so this is the part of the belt in the system that gets all the work and takes all the pounding, so this is the area where you need to get your lubricant.
So, when you first get your machine, put all of the lubricant on, primarily put into this area here. As soon as you’ve put it on, walk the belt in. So stand on the machine, switch it on at three or four kilometres an hour and then with your feet just walk, so that lubricant will naturally spread around the belt, so you don’t need to worry about getting the lubricant everywhere because just the process of walk-in it in with your feet spread it around for you.
All this will take care of the system for the first three to four months. It depends on how much you use the machine and how thick the belt is, but periodically you need to redo this. The way to check what you need to do it is again lift the side of the belt (if you can’t get it open with your fingers) insert a little screwdriver, get the edge up pop that under, nice good access, feel under there. You should feel the residue of the oil, it should feel slippery on your fingers and greasy under there and if it is then it’s just a case topping it up, so for example you could use this kit here, this is the 500 millilitre of lube that comes with the syringe and I’ll show you how this works. It’s nice and easy to do. The tube goes on the end of the syringe and then the advantage of the syringes is that you can put a measured amount on so, if you’ve already lubricated the belt when it was new, then when you go to reapply the lubricant all you need to do is to put three or four of these syringes on. We have to equate to around 15 to 20 millilitres and you put it in the same place in the center of the belt. You put 5 millilitres 10 millilitres and finally 15. And then again I walk it in. So I’ll stand on the machine, set go into three or four kilometres an hour, and with my feet I spread that lubricant around and maybe walk it in for two or three minutes and then check it again. To check it again, you feel under there and you should feel the greasy slippery residue of the silicon oil.
If you think it’s a little bit dry, it is because sometimes the running belts absorb all the oil straightaway, in that case just pop another two or three squirts and that should do the trick.
If you’ve decided to invest in new running belt and fit it on, for example, a five or six year old machine, the chances are that the belt will be dry, in that case you might need to put another six or eight squirts on using the five millilitres syringe in order to get the right dosage. Put enough on it until you can feel that residue and as long as it’s there you know it is good to go and the reason is that it keeps the friction between the underside of the belt and the platform which reduces the amount of wear on your motor and your controller and those are really expensive parts. If you have a motor or controller fail, than can be four five six hundred pounds easily even on a domestic machine and it’s much more expensive on a commercial machine. So it’s a little thing you can do, the silicon oil is cheap, you only need to do it every three to four months but if you don’t , you could be in for a big bill, so top tip: use it, do it.

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