Treadmill Maintenance Guidelines For Your Home Gym
Having a treadmill in the convenience of your own home can be a great luxury—no longer do you need to venture out to your local gym to get a great cardio workout. Furthermore, having your own treadmill can negate many of the “typical” excuses you may have otherwise used to get out of daily exercise.
Still, there’s a lot of wear and tear that your treadmill is subjected to with regular use, so you’ll want to make sure you’re properly maintaining your machine.
The Importance of Treadmill Maintenance
Treadmills are large and complex cardio machines, so it’s not unheard of to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a good one to set up in your own home. With that cost in mind, it only makes sense that you want to prolong the life of your treadmill and avoid any costly repairs. Properly caring for your treadmill with routine maintenance is the best way to go about this.
By maintaining your treadmill, you’ll reduce the chances of a machine break-down. And because a poorly maintained treadmill can be dangerous to use, you’ll also reduce your chances of being injured while using the machine.
Maintaining Your Treadmill
A little routine maintenance goes a long way in preventing issues with your machine.
Maintenance such as making sure the safety clip included with your treadmill is properly attached and in working condition is also important. You should be using this clip every time you walk or run on your treadmill, as it allows the machine to come to an emergency stop if needed. Contact your manufacturer for a replacement clip if this important safety feature isn’t working.
Finally, if the power plug for your treadmill creates a potential tripping hazard while plugged in, either unplug it after each use (this will also save on electricity) or secure the cord to the ground.
Cleaning Your Machine
After each use, be sure to wipe down the console of your treadmill with a cleanser specifically designed for gym equipment. Otherwise, you could end up with bacteria and other gross build-up on your machine.
Every couple of weeks, it’s also a good idea to vacuum around your treadmill deck (the part that you run/walk on) as well as dusting the deck itself. Otherwise, dust and debris can eventually make its way into small crevices and could eventually reach the motor of the treadmill, causing expensive damage.
If possible, you should also take the time to clean and carefully dust the motor area of your treadmill about once a year. Just be sure to follow the instructions for this provided in your owner’s manual to avoid damage to the motor itself.
Lubricating Your Treadmill
Unless you purchased a self-lubricating treadmill, you’ll also need to take the time to manually lubricate the many moving parts on your machine ever so often. Check your owner’s manual to determine exactly what type of lubricant you should use and how often the machine needs lubrication based on use.
Because a treadmill has so many moving parts, keeping it well lubricated is a must. Otherwise, parts could end up prematurely needing to be replaced or becoming damaged. At the same time, you must be careful not to over-lubricate your treadmill, as this could cause damage to the machine.
Adjusting and/or Replacing the Walking Belt
Over time, it is likely that the walking belt on your treadmill will fall out of alignment. You’ll be able to tell this has happened if the belt is noticeably skewed or positioned off-center from the deck itself. Unfortunately, if your belt is out of alignment, you should stop using your machine until this can be fixed. Otherwise, you could end up causing more expensive damage.
Fortunately, adjusting alignment on your walking belt should be pretty simple. In most cases, all you need to do is to adjust a couple of bolts on either side of the machine, making small adjustments to the belt’s positioning as you go. These bolts can also be tightened to increase tension on the belt if it becomes too loose.
Eventually, you may also need to completely replace the belt on your treadmill. Replacing the belt when it becomes worn is important in preventing damage and premature wear to the deck itself. If your belt needs to be replaced, you should be able to easily order a new one from the manufacturer directly. You may then choose to install the new belt yourself or consider hiring a professional to handle this for you—depending on how comfortable you are with the project.
Checking the Treadmill’s Screws
One of the most basic yet important maintenance steps you can take with your treadmill is to check the screws before each use of the machine. All of the screws that were used to assemble your treadmill can be prone to gradual loosening over time, especially with heavy use. If you do need to replace any screws, be sure to order them directly from the manufacturer—using the wrong screws could cause damage to your machine.
Consider Making a Maintenance Checklist
It may seem like there are a lot of maintenance tasks to remember, so it may be useful for you to follow a checklist that will remind you which maintenance tasks need done when.
- Each day (or before each use of the machine), you should:
- Listen for loose screws
- Clean console and grips with a gentle cleaner
- Check belt tension and alignment
- Check power cord for damage
- Clean/dust/vacuum around the deck
- Lubricate parts as needed
- Check belt for wear and tear
- Vacuum/clean around motor components
- Replace belt as needed
- Clean rollers
Knowing how to properly maintain your treadmill will keep it in safe operating condition, and will save you money on unnecessary repairs down the road. Be sure to follow these guidelines, as well as the owner’s manual that came with your machine, to keep it in tip-top shape!
For more information on maintenance, assembly, or repair, please refer to ProForm Treadmill Support.