How to Repair Sewing Machine Foot Pedal – (at Home)

Last Updated on December 18, 2023

Breakage of an electric foot pedal for a sewing machine or overlocker leads to the difficulty of using the machine. It may happen that the electric motor does not respond by pressing the starter with your foot, and the sewing machine does not sew. And in that case, it becomes clear that the further use of such a pedal is not possible.

How to Repair Sewing Machine Foot Pedal at Home?

Obvious malfunctions of an electric foot pedal are easy to fix on your own, with your own hands. There is nothing to lose when trying to repair an electric pedal. If all else fails, you can always buy a new pedal, or an electric drive, even for an overlock. But before starting the repair, ensure that only the sewing machine’s foot pedal is defective and then try to fix it.

How Do I Know if My Sewing Machine Needs Repair?

The pedal’s design allows you to determine some problems without using special equipment, but this only applies to simple faults – such as broken wiring or oxidation of contacts. 

Others damage is not so easy to detect. Special diagnostics will be required to resolve this issue, and the equipment necessary for its implementation is usually only available from specialized masters.

Repair Sewing Machine Foot Peda

However, it is possible to determine the presence of a malfunction without a close inspection of the pedal. Repairing the sewing machine is necessary even at the slightest functional failure of any parts. 

For example, in situations where, when pressed, the pedal only works after a while and immediately begins to work at high speeds. The absence of slow speed is an alarming sign, implying the need to repair a sewing machine. The master will quickly adjust the pedal, returning it to normal functionality, or (in the worst case) will replace the mechanism.

Sewing Pedal Repair, Where to Start?

There are some sewing machine foot pedal problems in repairing an electric foot pedal of a sewing machine or overlocker.

Sewing Pedal
  • First, make sure that the sewing machine electric pedal is faulty, that only it is broken, and nothing else. Check the sewing machine motor separately by connecting the wire from the socket directly to it.
  • Next, check the integrity of the power cord of the sewing machine electric drive, check it for a break, for damage to the insulation, and repair if necessary. Carefully inspect the foot pedal connector where it connects to the electrical cord connector. Also, check the connection of the terminal block of the electrical cord with the sewing machine/overlocker. Contacts should be free of oxidation and green rust. The plastic around the contacts must not be melted.
  • The electrical cord connecting the foot pedal to the sewing machine, which has visible melting around the electrical contacts, must be completely replaced with a new one. And only after consistently following our recommendations and eliminating the faults found you can once again try to sew on a sewing machine with a foot pedal that you considered faulty.

Maybe everything will work, but if not, then you will make sure that the electric foot pedal for the sewing machine is malfunctioning and that the foot pedal needs repair or replacement with a new one.

Why Can the Pedal of the Sewing Machine Get a Break?

There are two types of sewing machine pedals:

It is easy to distinguish between them: the electronic pedal is much lighter than the rheostat pedal.

The first ones are very light and thin. The latter, on the contrary, are quite heavy and massive. But often for both, problems in work appear after the contacts are oxidized, for example, due to operation in a room with humid air.

You should also check if there is a violation of the integrity of the wiring. The wire can break due to a violation of the rules of operation, after careless handling, or because animals have gnawed it.

Rheostat Sewing Pedal

Sewing Pedal

A rheostat pedal is often “famous” for its body’s not very durable plastic. If you press too hard on it, the case may simply crack. It is especially often observed if the machine is operated under fairly intense loads, for example, in a studio. In principle, repairing or gluing something, in this case, is useless. It’s easier just to buy a new pedal.

Electronic Foot Pedal

Sewing Pedal

The electronic itself may also fail. The electronic pedal breaks in most cases because the main microcircuit has failed. It is easier and cheaper to replace it or buy a new pedal.

Is It Possible to Repair the Pedal Yourself?

Everything here will depend on the user’s skill level and the breakdown’s nature. For example, you can sand oxidized contacts with fine sandpaper if you have skills in handling electrical devices. And changing the wire or plug is also very simple.

Sewing Pedal

Yes! You can try to glue some parts in rheostat pedals and replace them. You can try to repair or replace the rheostat if the necessary qualifications are present. But it is better for a user without experience in such work not to meddle with an electrician.

There is a risk that an incorrectly installed rheostat will cause a fire or even an electric shock.

But you cannot always repair the electronic pedal. It will require specialized equipment and skill in reading and soldering chips. In addition, you may need all sorts of special components, which are sometimes very difficult to get on the free market.

In What Cases Is It Possible Repair a Sewing Machine Pedal at home?

Sewing Pedal

You can do do-it-yourself repairs in the following cases:

Contact oxidation

 Enough to clean them up. First, you need to disconnect the equipment from the mains, disassemble the pedal, and then clean the contacts with sandpaper or in another way. Then it remains to assemble the pedal, connect the device to the network and visually evaluate the result of the work. If there is no cleaning experience, you should entrust the work to a sewing machine repairman.

Wiring damage

With prolonged and improper use, certain problems with the wires are possible. TheSewingStuffs are talking about kinks and mechanical damage to cables that occur due to improper use or storage of the machine (and pedals in particular). Since it is difficult to find the exact break area without using a tester, it is easier to replace the entire wiring. If you want to leave the old wires and remove local damage, you must call a sewing machine repair specialist.

Other types of breakdowns are much more difficult to fix. So don’t waste your time. Moreover, calling the masters is quite simple.

Causes of Breakage of the Sewing Machine Pedal

A pedal with a rheostat is very durable, and only the body breaks in it: either from time to time or from inaccurate use. It is easy to understand that the pedal will soon become unusable. The machine responds to pressing the pedal only when the pedal is pressed to the floor.

With breakdowns of electric pedals, everything is more complicated. To fix the electronic pedal, you need to solder the board. Such a pedal goes out of standup instantly. It happens because the main radio component, the resistor, burns out.

Is It Worth Repairing the Machine’s Pedal With Your Own Hands?

If you can still try to fix the pedal with a rheostat at home, then the repair of the electronic pedal should be entrusted to the master. Soldering the board is a tricky thing. You need special equipment and an understanding of the board structure. If handled incorrectly, you can simply throw the pedal away.

Features of Repairing Foot Control Sewing Machines

Sometimes you can still find foot sewing machines in some craftswomen, which they inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. You can not compare them with modern models in terms of the number of functions performed, but they are still quite reliable.

The main difference between foot-operated machines and analogs with an electric drive is that you put the machine into operation with the help of your legs. You step on the pedal, the flywheel starts, and through the belt drive, the torque is transmitted to the machine’s rotating parts.

The most common breakdowns of the foot sewing machine:

  • The transmission belt broke.
  • The wheel stopped spinning.
  • The machine needs adjustment and adjustment.
  • Foot drive jammed.

Differences in the Repair of Pedals With a Rheostat and Electronic Sewing Pedals

If the sewing machine/overlock electric foot pedal is defective, check what type of foot pedal you have before repairing it. If the electric foot pedal for the sewing machine is a rheostatic type, you can start repairing it.

If the foot pedal is electronic (there are various microcircuits and radio components inside the pedal), then you will also need special equipment and knowledge in radio electronics. 

How to Distinguish a Rheostat-type Pedal From an Electronic Pedal?

The rheostatic foot pedal for a sewing machine is weighty. The body of the foot pedal is solid and does not bend when pressed with a finger. And the electronic foot pedal is as light as if it had nothing inside. Repair an electronic foot pedal is usually entrusted to a specialist radio installer.

Sewing Pedal
  • The cost of repairing an electronic foot pedal in service is almost the same as buying a new foot pedal for a sewing machine. So if you have a defective sewing machine/overlock electronic foot pedal, better buy a new one and don’t waste your precious time.
  • If you have a rheostat-type electric foot pedal, repairing such a foot pedal will be easier. You can identify rheostat-type pedal malfunctions visually. Its body often breaks into an electric foot pedal with a rheostat. Since the rheostat pedal tends to heat up well during prolonged operation, the body of such a pedal is made of special heat-resistant plastic.
  • Such plastic is very fragile, and any foot pedal made of this plastic, if dropped on a hard floor, will break. You can try to glue the broken fragments of the foot pedal together, but do not forget that the electric sewing machine pedal tends to heat up. When the pedal warms up, the glue that connects the broken parts of the pedal softens and becomes fragile. And such a pedal can suddenly fall apart when pressed with a foot and then hit you with an electric shock.
  • It is possible to glue a rheostat-type electric foot pedal if something insignificant has fallen off it. But if the connection in the foot pedal has broken (the eyelet has fallen off), connecting the upper and lower half of the pedal, or it has broken into several parts, you must replace such a pedal with a new one.
  • The specifics of using rheostat-type electric foot pedals also do not recommend sharp pressing on the pedal, as the rheostat will last longer. Do not leave the electric foot pedal connected to the mains for long. If the body of the electric foot pedal for the sewing machine has no visual damage, open the pedal, inspect the inside, shake the wires, the pedal rheostat, and, if necessary, strengthen them when they are loose. Solder the wires’ joints and the pedal’s internal elements with a soldering iron. On this, we can say that the repair of the rheostatic type foot pedal is completed. You can try it in operation.
  • If nothing has changed, the rheostat burned out in the foot pedal and needs to be replaced. And since foot pedal rheostats are not sold anywhere, you need to buy a new sewing machine/overlock foot pedal.

Repairing an electronic pedal for sewing machines is similar to repairing rheostat-type pedals. Everything is the same: you open the pedal, inspect, and re-solder suspicious places with a soldering iron. That’s all you can do with your own hands when repairing an electronic type sewing pedal.

How to Fix the Pedal of a Sewing Machine at Home?

The pedal breakdown is often not noticed immediately. People think that everything has stopped working because the engine has burned down. But when the engine breaks, the jelly wiring begins to smell in the air, and when the pedal breaks, there is no smell.

repair sewing machine foot pedal

The reasons for breaking the pedal may be:

  • Oxidation of contacts of connecting forks ;
  • Break-in of the wire inside the cord.

It’s easy enough to deal with the first reason. You need to take a wait and clean contacts. The second reason for the fix is more complicated than the first. You need to find a certain place where the wire broke off.

  • If there is no desire to look for a breakup place, then you can replace the entire wiring. But for this, you will need the help of a specialist – an electrician.
  • But even specialized assistance will not always save the situation. Therefore, the best solution is to buy a new pedal.
  • There are also breakdowns in the machine that are not related to electricity.


A more complex repair of an electronic foot pedal can only be carried out by an expert of electronic equipment who has a tester, an oscilloscope at hand, and most importantly, knowledge of his business. We hope you have found this article helpful to know How to Repair Sewing Machine Foot Pedal

2 thoughts on “How to Repair Sewing Machine Foot Pedal – (at Home)”

  1. I’ve become accustomed to pressing the pedal with my left foot so I can use the knee lift readily. My Bernina has the heel tap needle down function (which is awesome!), so my whole foot is on the pedal.

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