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

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.
canida2 years ago
Nice! We're starting to see similar issues, so I've filed this Instructable for future use.
JamesRPatrick (author)  canida2 years ago
Post a picture if you end up doing it!