Picture of Replace a Vacuum Sealer Heating Element
Our old vacuum sealer finally gave up on me. The heating element had gotten wet or corroded and eventually burned holes through the Teflon sealing strip. We use this quite often and I needed a working one, but a new $100+ sealer was out of my budget range.

A quick search revealed that it is very common for the sealing strips to wear out, and replacement parts are readily available. The whole process of replacement should take about $15 and 15 minutes of your time.

This post was first published here.
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Step 1: Tools/Materials

Picture of Tools/Materials
The whole machine can be disassembled by a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, which was a nice surprise in today's world of single-use plastic snaps.
-Philips-head screwdriver
-small long-nose pliers
-small needle-nose pliers

You will need to order a new heating element and some Teflon tape. I got mine from Elements and More for about $15 (and free shipping). Be sure to tell them to write "Do Not Bend" on the mailing envelope. You could probably use NiChrome wire or ribbon for a more DIY approach.

Step 2: Disassemble

Picture of Disassemble
If your model has a cord guide, unhook the cord. The 350 model has 9 screws that hold it together. Remove all screws and carefully pull the case apart.

Once it's opened up, you get to see all of the cool guts, like the huge transformer and the vacuum pump.

Step 3: Remove Old Components

Picture of Remove Old Components
The heating element is held in place by a tiny tension spring at each end. Use pliers to unhook these from the heating element. Keep track of the springs. They'll fall out if you don't remove them completely.

Push the old Teflon tape through the side hole and grab it from the other side with pliers to remove. The old heating element should then come out easily. Scrape away any melted thermoplastic or other burned material that may be stuck to the machine.

Step 4: Install New Heating Element

Picture of Install New Heating Element
Nothing too complicated here. Just put the new one where the old one went. Make sure the heating element is centered.

Step 5: Apply Teflon Tape

Picture of Apply Teflon Tape
Center the tape over the heating element. It should have enough extra length on both ends to tuck into the holes. Don't worry if the ends are slightly wrinkled. It doesn't use the ends during operation.

Step 6: Reassemble

Picture of Reassemble
Opposite of disassembly. That's all there is to it. Your vacuum sealer should be good as new.
petonic16 months ago

OK, I did it tonight in about an hour. Part of it is that I'm mechanically challenged and so everything takes about 3 times as long as it should. But it worked like a champ, and is wife-approved! Works like a champ. Thanks for taking the time to do the writeup. While your model is not exact, and mine is a little more tricky to take apart, the principles and the inspiration helped me do it.

JamesRPatrick (author)  petonic16 months ago
Awesome! I'm glad I could help!
petonic17 months ago

Great. Thanks for the inspiration and the detailed instructions. It's offensive to me to throw away equipment (even affordably priced FoodSavr's) when 90% of the equipment is still good. This makes it easy. Thanks!

canida3 years ago
Nice! We're starting to see similar issues, so I've filed this Instructable for future use.
JamesRPatrick (author)  canida3 years ago
Post a picture if you end up doing it!