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How to fix Food Saver - Vacuum Sealer? Answered

I have a Food Saver brand Vacuum Sealer, that all of a sudden stopped working properly. It has no On-Off switch. You simply plug it in, and then put the bag up to the vacuum area and then press down and hold the lid when its vacuuming the air out and then seals the bag closed.

When it stopped working, a vacuum bag was placed (as we normally would) and then the lid was put down and pressed. The motor is still running, but normally it makes a louder noise as its vacuuming the air out, and this time it didn't work. (No vacuum). Since it wouldn't vacuum the air, it then wouldn't also seal the bag. 

I checked the single air hole on the unit, and there isn't anything obstructing the flow of air, and the bag was put properly in the machine. I also tried using a new bag (just in case the other one was defective) but it made no difference. All the bags come off a large roll. You seal one end, fill it, and then vacuum the air and finally it seals. I've been using this machine for several years with no issues, and this isn't a new roll of bags.

Any ideas on what to do to service it and hopefully get it working again?

Discussions

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steveastrouk

Best Answer 7 years ago

Sounds like a valve in the pumps gone bad - blocked, by the sounds of it. I don't know what pump tech they used inside to advise you further. I'd guess at a diaphragm pump, but open it up and take a look is probably quickest.

Steve

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canucksgirlsteveastrouk

Answer 7 years ago

Thanks for the reply. New photos of the inside have been added.

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steveastroukcanucksgirl

Answer 7 years ago

Yep. Diaphragm pump.

Watch it in action. See that the little crank's turning like fury.

Any cracks in the pipework ?

Otherwise, its open the top of the pump time. There are probably some popper valves in there, or the diaphragm's ripped.

Steve

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canucksgirlsteveastrouk

Answer 7 years ago

I didn't try and run it while the machine is apart. I did take apart the pump unit as far as I could (which wasn't very much). I uploaded 3 new photos. There was a rubber gasket over the holes in the pump unit. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the gasket, and there isn't anything obviously wrong with the parts I can see, including the tubes which don't appear to have any cracks or holes.

Any suggestions? (I can't get into the pump area any further. Seems to be a sealed unit.

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steveastroukcanucksgirl

Answer 7 years ago

Does the crank turn freely ?

You're going to have to see what it does with the lid off the machine.

Steve

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timothybhewitt

7 weeks ago

Does anyone know where to buy a replacement Air Pressure Switch? They are made by Signal Lux or Everel. But I can't find them in North America.

I did contact FoodSaver and they couldn't help me.

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teamdaisy1423

3 months ago

I also have a malfunctioning vac 420...

My unit seals when there is no bag involved (or put only on the sealing strip, and not in the vacuum chamber "valley"), but if there is anything in the vacuum chamber 95% of the time it will not seal...

I've tried to blow into the pressure valve, and adjust the screw ( in both directions) but it just doesn't seem to be working.

i oiled the seals but as I said, it only seals as expected when it does not have to evacuate anything.

Could my pump just be running a little under it's original specs and need to be oiled / reserviced / replaced - or do you think I should try to open the pressure check?

Update, when the pump sounds good (i.e. when the sealer activates and the "sound" is right) I get a measurement of a little under -25 inHg, when the bag is inserted and completely evacuated the measurement is more like -10 inHg ... could this be due to the functioning of the pump (as in, it should be running more like -28 and down to -18 or something when it activates the seal) or do you think this is all related to the seals themselves? Because the vacuum slowly dissipates without hitting the cancel button, I think this is proof positive that I have something wrong with my sealing gaskets (they are clearly not airtight). I'll try replacing those and post here my results.

Solution : It looks very much like it is mostly the lower seal (the one made of foam) that is the culprit. Wetting it thoroughly with water helped the problem immensely, and more or less solved the problem on its own. It is potentially possible that the all rubber (not really designed to be removed or replaced) gasket on the top half is also not in good condition anymore, but as it does not compress as much/frequently; the lower one is more likely to be the culprit. A video online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoISV5ISs-g) showed someone using (foodsafe hopefully) "red rtv - high temp gasket maker" which he then applied a thin even layer of using a credit card to the top gasket and allowed it to dry for several days (to make sure as much of that nasty solvent evaporates away as possible before use). Between that and replacing the foam I am sure to have the solution. In my case neither the pump nor the vacuum limit gauge seem to be having any issue. The replacement gaskets can be purchased online, but weather sealant strip tape looks AWFULLY similar.... Ideally you want both the foam and the adhesive to be foodsafe (though it likely matters little, as you are constantly sucking air away from the food you are sealing)

9 times out of 10, it's going to be that sealing gasket (especially if you "sometimes" have success, and have increased success when you push down hard or thoroughly wet the gaskets before you use them.)

The other 1 out of 10 times it is probably going to be the pressure sensor (that initiates sealing, when the target - in my case a little under -25 inHg pressure is reached), the lines between the pressure sensor the pump and the vacuum "valley" chamber you insert the bag into, or the pump itself. I would troubleshoot them in exactly the same order I listed them in the previous sentence. Good Luck! (ps. if you have a model that also has a ball spring valve on the top of it (to hook up to jars, etc) you might want to plug that with your finger, just in case that is involved in some way - it is unlikely but possible)

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Vanio Ivanov

12 months ago

Does anyone know where can I buy the piston seal which is broken as you can see on the pictures?
Food saver V475

1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg
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MoosestangVanio Ivanov

Reply 10 months ago

I had the same problem with my V300. I lucked out with a little rubber seal like used on a sink faucet. I just made sure that I cleaned it up and greased the rubber good and put it back together and it works great. Hopefully this will help.

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dgould944

1 year ago

My seal-a-meal, when I put one end of the bag in to make the first seal, the motor runs but it doesn't make that high-pitched noise like when it's sucking and it never seals. Oddly, when I remove the bag and close it (with nothing in there) it DOES make the high pitched-noise, the green light comes on (hands free) and then does the sealing, even though there is nothing to seal. But when I put the bag in - nothing but the motor running consistently with no change in intonation of the motor and the green light doesn't come on and it doesn't seal.

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dgould944

1 year ago

My seal-a-meal, when I put one end of the bag in to make the first seal, the motor runs but it doesn't make that high-pitched noise like when it's sucking and it never seals. Oddly, when I remove the bag and close it (with nothing in there) it DOES make the high pitched-noise, the green light comes on (hands free) and then does the sealing, even though there is nothing to seal. But when I put the bag in - nothing but the motor running consistently with no change in intonation of the motor and the green light doesn't come on and it doesn't seal.

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Smykowski

2 years ago

Thanks to the advice in this thread, I was able to fix mine. As I was trying to adjust the hex screw underneath the pressure switch, it became obvious that one of the legs of the switch worked its way free from the solder point on the board, so the switch wasn't doing anything.

I resoldered both legs, and it's working again.

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capth00k

2 years ago

Is there a place to buy a replacement pressure switch? mine worked for a while, then stopped. I'm wondering if I can just install a switch between those two solder points on the PCB, and eliminate the pressure switch altogether.

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kayeyun

4 years ago

I am having the same problem with my vacuum sealer (Model V475). I have located the vacuum limit sensor per tvandyke's instruction as shown in the attached picture. And trying to disassemble it to clean the limit sensor. But having trouble locating the "hexscrew". There is a small hole on the side of the sensor but there is no hex screw inside the hole. Could anyone show me how to disassemble the limit sensor? Thanks in advance.

Vacuum limit sensor.jpg
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capth00kkayeyun

Answer 2 years ago

The hex screw is actually under the unit. You can adjust it through a hole in the board or PCB

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LauraH163

3 years ago

I also want to thank the folks on this thread (even though it's older) for their various advice and expertise.

I picked up a FoodSaver at a thrift store - motor and vacuum worked, it just wouldn't seal. Thanks to the advice in this thread, I also narrowed down the problem to the pressure sensor switch. Had to un-solder it, and then open up the hex screw, but after cleaning the switch (q-tips & rubbing alcohol) my unit is working. YAY!

I would add that I wasn't super careful in noticing how far the hex screw was adjusted, so it took a couple tries to get it adjusted back to the right pressure.

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capth00kLauraH163

Answer 2 years ago

This also worked for me. I unsoldered the pressure sensor switch (one with the hose attached on the board) ; opened it, spring was toast -- had deterrated due to some fluid in the unit. Replaced and cleaned, works fine now (wasn't sealing as well)

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JohnW616

2 years ago

Having a similar issue with my FoodSaver Mini Plus... it vacuums fine, it just never attempts to seal. I've taken it apart and cleaned everything, but what ever tells it it is time to seal just never activates. I've tried multiple types of bags and rolls. I thought the Mini Plus actually was just based on a timer since it doesn't have a manual seal button either. I know it had worked before on just the beginning of the roll to create an initial seal. Any ideas?

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canucksgirlJohnW616

Answer 2 years ago

Hi JohnW616. If you haven't already done so, I would suggest doing a thorough inspection of the sealing system. Using a good magnifying glass, check the wire under the Teflon sealing strip for any obvious breaks or discoloration (such as a burn mark). If that appears fine, open up the unit. You should see that the sealing strip wire is held under tension with small coil springs on either end. Check that there is still tension on both ends. If not, it would indicate that there is a break along the wire and it would need to be replaced. If you have access to a multimeter, you could also use that to check for any breaks in the sealing strip. If the sealing strip is okay, I would check the wiring from the sealing strip to the switch (that controls the vacuum and sealing operations). My unit makes a pretty obvious "click" noise when the bag is vacuumed and it begins the sealing; but if you're not hearing that, it could mean a problem at the switch. Beyond that, check all the connectors to the motor and the circuit board for any obvious problems. Let me know how it works out...

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JohnW616canucksgirl

Answer 2 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried a few more things with no luck and when I put it together last it now stops vacuuming too (although the pump runs). Could just be a loose tube. Maybe I'll play with it again when I get time. Either way got a killer deal on a replacement - a new damaged box Rival FSFGSL0150-015 at Amazon.

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mcgary911

2 years ago

I just broke mine out after about 2 years, and it seemed to evacuate the bag ok, but not quite enough to have it seal the bag. I had stored it for so long, the foam rubber gasket was a little compressed so wasn't working as well as it should. I left it out (open) all night and it works fine again this morning. I think when I store it from now on, I'll put something in there so it won't close all the way and compress the gaskets. Nice that I didn't have to crack it open. Since I was on this page, I was obviously ready.

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tvandyke

6 years ago

If you look closely in the pic with the motor (pump) & the green circuit board, there is a block. Easy fix, go to a pet store & get "fish pump air line", & replace that section, less than $1.

Check the red barrel connected to the brown side of the circuit board. This a sensor to vary the "pressure limit" before the sealing process is triggered. If anything is sucked into it, the sensor will not work. If you like small items, You can take it apart & clean it. Unscrew the hexagon screw. A small flat bladed screw driver, fits quite well. (& count turns until unscrewed, so you can put it back; exactly the way it was). Carefully remove the spring hidden inside. Inside is a metal plate mounted on a piece of rubber; (non-removable). Use a Q-tip & alcohol to clean the metal plate, let dry. Re-install spring & screw back in the hexagon screw; exactly the way it was.

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Rick_the_Rattvandyke

Answer 3 years ago

I found that the pump piston (photos attached) is damaged (shards were still in the thin grease of the cylinder). Any idea where I might find a replacement? Looks like the end cap is replaceable by itself.

IMG_20160904_164820839[1].jpgIMG_20160904_164808610[1].jpg
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TheMightyMarcustvandyke

Answer 4 years ago

I just want to thank you, tvandyke. Your instructions to canucksgirl on the pressure switch and how to clean it saved my Foodsaver v345 from certain demise. The pump was working great, but the unit wouldn't seal. After some Googling, I found this post and did what you said. PRESTO! Foodsaver is back in action.

The one thing you didn't mention but that I figured out from another website is you need to desolder the pressure valve off the circuit board to successfully remove the hex screw. But I needed an excuse to buy a soldering station (my first) and learn how to solder. Now what to do with it? I know! Time to build a drone!! :)

2015-01-10 22.02.42.jpg
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MRubenzahltvandyke

Answer 4 years ago

I don't think the foam is a block. I think it prevents the tubing from collapsing under vacuum pressure. Mine has metal springs inside the tubing for certain tubes.

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dwabramstvandyke

Answer 5 years ago

tyvandyke, thanks very much for the suggestion on the pressure limit switch. While the one on my sealer was glued and sealed, a little cleaning and cycling the switch by sucking on the tube got it working again.

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MargaretF26

3 years ago

I have a FoodSaver v2840. The automatic vacuum and seal has stopped functioning properly. The bag is properly vacuumed, however, the machine doesn't stop at that point and move on to sealing the tightly vacuumed bag. It just continues vacuuming. I can hit the SEAL button, which stops the vacuuming and does seal the bag, but a bit of the tight vacuum seal is released. Any thoughts.

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PenneyT1

3 years ago

my seal strip is not getting hot and the light is not on . it runs but no action.

If repairable, where can I get parts ...thank you

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cl2iclcet

3 years ago

good read. had a low suction on my food saver. took it a part just needed to be cleaned..

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KimB119

3 years ago

Just got a food saver for Christmas! Love it! TOok the drip tray out and shut the drawer..oops. Could not get that thing open to put the drip pan back in the drawer. starting taking screws out of the bottom and thought this is not good and a thought popped in my head plug it back in and turn it on...it unlocked the drawer.

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zigernot

3 years ago

TIME SAVER: I ended up taking a can of compressed air and disconnecting a couple of the tubes and spraying generously inside the unit. Plugged the unit back in and started sealing.

Thanks for all of the information.

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godson1952

3 years ago

I HAVE THIS SEAL A MEAL Model VS 230 vacuum sealer,Well the problem is that it will NOT heat up to seal the end of the bag.Don't get me wrong but I'm assuming that the transformer is gave up its life ;)

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canucksgirlgodson1952

Answer 3 years ago

If it won't heat up to seal the bag, then you probably have a break in
the sealing strip. The good news is that's not terribly difficult to
fix. Just google "Foodsaver teflon sealing strip" to get parts and replacement
info.

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godson1952canucksgirl

Answer 3 years ago

Thanks ,will do that and will try that also.I know its a good machine and hate to part with it. ;)

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canucksgirlgodson1952

Answer 3 years ago

No problem. BTW, I did notice you said "Seal a Meal" and not Foodsaver, I just didn't type that correctly in my response. The same principles apply regardless of the brand. I also have a small handheld bag sealer and the sealing strip wire broke, but it was easy to diagnose and repair (using a wire from an old toaster) as its just sandwiched between a teflon strip and some heat resistant foam. ;)

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tammychaney1964

4 years ago

I have a FoodSaver V845, it just won't come on at all?? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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rickharris

7 years ago

Ok the pump looks like a diaphragm pump. The diaphragm is made from rubber and may well have cracked or developed a hole - You need to inspect it by either removing or any other way you can check its integrity.

It may have valves or just simple flaps to control air flow.

I think the foam is to provide a small restriction in the flow so the pump sucks in the right direction i.e. out of the bag because that's the easiest direction for air to flow.

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MRubenzahlrickharris

Answer 4 years ago

I would guess the foam is to prevent the tubing from collapsing under vacuum pressure. Mine has metal springs inside the tubing for certain tubes.

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canucksgirlrickharris

Answer 7 years ago

Thanks for the reply. I took the pump apart as far as I could (which wasn't very far). I don't see anything obviously wrong. I uploaded 3 new photos. I also checked the tubes and there doesn't seem to be any obvious cracks or holes.

Makes sense about the foam.

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bajablue

7 years ago

YAY for you and your now-functional Foodsaver! ;-D

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canucksgirlbajablue

Answer 7 years ago

LOL... thanks. I still don't know what was wrong, but it now works again!

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rickharris

7 years ago

The 2 cut away parts are the valves they fit over the inlet/outlet holes.

i agree with you and Steve something got in there and you scared it out.

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canucksgirlrickharris

Answer 7 years ago

I'm just glad it works now... Its probably the cheapest appliance repair ever! ;)

Thanks again for offering your help.

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steveastrouk

7 years ago

I wonder if one of the valves got stuck down with some juice accidently sucked into the mechanism ?

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mpilchfamily

7 years ago

Open it up and see whats going on. Whatever is used to hit the switch that activates the pump may have broken or the switch itself may be bad. You won't know till you open it up and see whats inside. When you do get it apart show us some more pictures of it.

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canucksgirlmpilchfamily

Answer 7 years ago

Thanks for the reply. New photos of the inside have been added.