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Food Saver Dilemma

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hey Gang!


I have a 4 year old FoodSaver ProII that has toasted the teflon strip. This is the strip that covers the sealing element. I fixed it once already with crazy glue but it has split in half and come undone from the unit on one side.

I have been round and round with the folks at FoodSaver only to find that they offer no repair service nor do they have replacement parts other than the rubber and foam seals. :confused: This really ticks me off because this thing wasn't cheap and I invested the extra money for the Pro model so not to have issues like this. The one thing that really gets my blood boiling is the indifferent attitude the on-line rep took as far as not even offering a suggestion other than buying a new unit!!!!:mad::mad: Before I bought the pro model, I went through 4 of the ones you buy at the store, all having a similar issue with the sealer element. I really thought the Pro model would be more durable in this respect.

Anyhow, I can't seem to find teflon or non stick sheets so I can make a replacement strip. I remeber getting these sheets for automatic bun toaste/grills but can't seem to remember where.

If anyone has a suggestion on this I would greatly appreciate it.
post #2 of 50
This is what I found at FoodSaver Service and Parts :

For repair and service of FoodSaver products please contact Tilia Customer Service at 1-800-777-5452. Replacement of the FoodSaver sealing strip is done by the Tilia repair department at 1-800-777-5452.

For any FoodSaver replacement parts or accessories that are not listed on this web site please call Tilia Customer Service at 1-800-777-5452. Replacement parts would include: vacuum hose, gasket, accessory hose, seals, and other repair parts.

For questions concerning the operation of FoodSaver products that are not listed on this web site please call Tilia Customer Service at 1-800-777-5452.

For questions concerning the operation of FoodSaver products that were not purchased from this web site please call Tilia Customer Service at 1-800-777-5452.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 50
Would some cooking parchment paper work, at least for one use? Then just trim off the scorched bit and repeat?

Phil
post #4 of 50
Thread Starter 
Dear .....................................,

Thank you for contacting Jarden Consumer Solutions. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

Although we do not doubt your abilities to repair the unit, we cannot send out internal components. This has as much to do with liability issues as it does certain patent concerns. We do not supply the parts or schematics of what is essentially proprietary company information.

Unfortunately, we do not have a service center available that can repair FoodSaver units.
If you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us through our toll free number, 1-800-777-5452. Our hours are 8 am - 8 pm Monday through Friday, and 9 am - 6 pm Saturday, Eastern Time.

Sincerely,

-----------------,
Jarden Consumer Solutions

In order to offer you a more extensive line of innovative products for your home and family, we have joined our sister brands under the Jarden Consumer Solutions umbrella.



Pete, Thanks for providing the info and I have no doubt that what you provided was accurate....at one time but this is the email I received from Jardin las week and it seems that Tilla is no longer part of the equation. They are all part of the Sunbeam conglomerate and like most others out there, only want your money and screw the service, customer or otherwise.

Phil, the parchment works for one shot deals like you would think, but when you have a couple gallons of sauce or several steaks you just cut......it get's quite smokey and expensive. :rolleyes:Thanks for the input though.

Personally I think it's just amazing that an almost 300.00 piece of equipment can be brought down by a .30cent part. But isn't that the way it is with most things these days? I still say that they should continue to offer a way to repair their products especially when the product has a grand history of this issue! That or change the warranty and grandfather people in! But I don't ever see that happening!:rolleyes:
post #5 of 50
Perhaps you can find something that will work at fluoropolymerproducts.com.
post #6 of 50

Teflon sheets

I know I have seen thin teflon sheets in kitchen stores and on the QVC home shopping channel, they are the thiness of parchment and are made to be cut to fit the bottom of your oven. Could you maybe use one of these sheets and cut a few strips to make a new part for your machine? I know I even have some sheets of it somewhere around here that I use in sewing, the stuff takes high temps of a full blast iron so I think it would stand up to the heat strip in a Foodsaver. Me, I gave up on Foodsaver, we bought 2 of them (mid level ones) on sale and neither one has lasted......they didn't die from overuse either, we tried them both when we bought them and then they got packed away while work was done on the kitchen, a year later neither one worked when they were taken out of the boxes they came in. I wrote to the company too and their answer was essentially we should just upgrade to their new models. Not happening, fool me once.....I'm going to have a look around this house tomorrow and see if i can find where hubby put the sheets of this stuff, if I get lucky and find it I will gladly send you some, wish me luck.
post #7 of 50
Thread Starter 
Mattie, Thanks I'll wait and see what you come up with. I actually bought the pro one because of the amount it's used. Some weeks, we can use it 10-20 times and others as much as 50 times. Then again, it sits idle for a few weeks at a time because we are using up food we made and stored. The only trouble I have ever had with the food-saver was the sealing strip. Most have only lasted a matter of weeks before they burned up the teflon completely and I was able to get this one to limp along for almost 3 years before it burned it up so, I've not had too bad of luck. The thing that gets me is the lack of customer support and repair. I guess it's just my thought process but anything that costs almost what a weeks worth of groceries does is not "throw-away". I buy something, it's taken care of to last for not just a couple but several years. I don't mind spending the extra buck as long as it's worth it in the way of quality. Buying cheap stuff and replaceing it is not only a hassle but it's time consuming.;)

Bob, I did check out the site and submitted a bid request for two products that I think I might be able to get to work. Just have to hope the cost is not more than a new FoodSaver:rolleyes::D
post #8 of 50
There are some light duty commercial units by well known companies, around $500 (if you look) by Anvil (7200), FMA Omcam (mt500), and MiniPack (Fast Vac). By all means check the warranty and replacement part availibility situations before buying.

I've got a friend who's had good luck with a 15" Cabela's -- which is really a rebranded Weston. If you look, you can find the Weston in either powder coat or stainless for well under $400 new. I don't think he uses his as much as you use yours though.

I've had good experiences going through Restaurant Equipment World for several purchases -- although not a vacuum sealer. They do have a "Vacuum Sealer World;" and you might want to browse the site. Vacuum Sealer World - Commercial vacuum sealing equipment by Restaurant Equipment World

It looks as though they've got an amazing deal on the Orved (Eurodib) EVS at $700, but I'm a sucker for anything with a gauge. One of the nice thing about the REW people is they are very good on the phone, speak knowledgeably, give good advice to the limit of their knowledge based on your needs and not their potential profit, and say "don't know," when they don't.

By way of example, a couple of years ago I went nuts and tried to spend several hundred on a big deal blender and they talked me way down to the little 3/4hp commercial model we own and love. Less than $100, it saved me about $300 compared to what I was going to spend, and about $50 compared to what I would have spent for the same thing almost anywhere else.

Consider them endoresed.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #9 of 50
I have a Foodsaver which so far works well, but am appalled at the price of the additional bags. It's the Gillette Razor strategy.

I looked at BDL's referenced site - Restaurant Equipment World - and found vac bags of another manufacturer for a very reasonable price. They are described as "polyamide/PPP" plastic.

Anybody know tha material used in Foodsaver bags? Any reason it wouldn't work in the Foodsaver? It's obviously a thermoplastic material.

Thanks for any help

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #10 of 50
McMaster-Carr carries teflon tape in different sizes and glues.
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
Many of the sites ya'll have provided have offered a vaiety of options. Thanks a million!!!!

Yet, It would be interesting to know the thickness of teflon tape needed to still allow the sealing element to do it's job thoroughly. I no longer have any sort of Micrometer set since when I gave up Motorsports I gave them up as well. I have a feeler gauge for spark plugs but there is no way to use that to gauge the thickness of the teflon tape. Well no accurate way at least.

If I had to guess I'd say .005 or maybe .015 thick? Anyone have a clue or way to measure?


Thanks again.

BDL, I've seriously considered getting a more commercial model. Just can't seem to find one that doesn't take up it's own room. I'll have to check out the site you mentioned

Mike, I'll have to check out that bag thing. I've noticed that recently the bags foodsaver makes or sells are getting thinner. They seem to get pin holes much easier than they once did. You're also correct on the price. Even with the box that Costco/Wally World sells it's getting ridiculous.
post #12 of 50

Found it

Old School...send me your address by PM and I will send you some of the teflon sheet that I have here in my little hands! This is good to about 400 degrees so should work fine for what you need it for, it is also 18 inches wide, I'll send you enough to hold you over for quite a few replacements and hope it works well for you. I'll look for a message from you tomorrow in case you don't get on again tonight. Mattie:D
post #13 of 50
For bags try Goodmans on Amazon.com. Very decent pricing if you buy in bulk.
post #14 of 50

Address

OldSchool..........you didn't give me a full name to address the stuff to....I put your first name and the address on the envelope and hopefully it will still get to you....it's going out this morning.......I'll check before it gets sent in case you leave a last name to put on it. Mattie;)
post #15 of 50
Joe-
Dunno if this might work, but you might try the teflon tape used for sealing pipe joints. It's plenty thin, but has no adhesive backing. You would have to stick it down at both ends with something sticky.

Even if it was a one-shot repair, it's cheap enough to use, if it works.

Any hardware or home improvement, of course.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #16 of 50
Try this site-
teflon heat seal tape

I used to use Teflon tape on heat seal machines for t-shirts and hats. It is way hotter than what your food saver runs at so you will not have an issue with it.

They also have sheets that you can cut to your specs.

Thanks for the heads up. I have been considering getting a sealer. I sure won't get a FoodSaver.
Michael
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Michael
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post #17 of 50

Arrival

Old School.......I hope the envelope arrived by now and that you can use the stuff to repair your machine, let me know if it works for you. Mattie
post #18 of 50
Thread Starter 
Mattie,

Thanks again!. Apologies for not getting back sooner, forgot about things because of a couple challenges we are having here. Plus I haven't had need to use the food saver in a week. That's gotta be a new record for me:rolleyes: Kinda that whole "outta sight outta mind" thing.;)

Unfortunately we haven't seen it in the mail as of yesterday afternoon, but things in this little City of our tend to go slower than normal with the mail. We have a Post Office but they do no official sorting there. It's all been moved to another facility up the road. Really stupid if you ask me but I"m not running the Post Office today.:look:

Maybe today. I'll post something or PM ya as soon as we get it.

Later
post #19 of 50
I've been going through the same hassle and today received an exact duplicate of the previously posted response letter from Jardin. I just found another forum that directs to the website for Cleveland Equipment, which sells a variety of heat sealers and repair parts. One kit for $8 includes two 12" heat sealing bars and two teflon fabric strips. The Foodsaver Pro II has a 12" sealing bar. I'm hoping that it will be compatible since there can't be many companies in the world making heat sealing bars. At that price it's worth taking the chance.
post #20 of 50

Re : Food Saver Dilemma

You are doing good job......
All the best......

Menus Nearu
post #21 of 50
While we've not had any problem with the sealing strip, I'm fed up (no pun intended) with the way the bags lose their vacuum in the freezer. We've had our unit for several years, and the bags seem to lose vacuum much more than they used to. We've tried put the sealed bags into grocery bags and then into the freezer to cut down on abrasion. Helps a little. As far as the price of the bags, we wait until Fleet Farm has them on sale. The only rationale I can come up with, is the cost of food is increasing all the time, and saving the food in vacuum bags cuts down on losing taste due to the freezer environment.

As far as dealing with appliance people, stay clear of Rival, especially their "Deep Fryer" . Called the company because it didn't fry very well. I gave them the results of using a candy thermometer to show that at a setting on the Rival of 300F yielded (after waiting for the green light to come on and checking the temperature 3 times over the next 15 minutes) of about 210F. The Rival setting of 375 yielded a candy thermometer reading of 230F. No amount of waiting could get the oil up to 300, let alone 350 or 375!

They were happy to replace it FREE! Yeah, except I would have to pay shipping to ship the bad unit (brand new) and shipping for the replacement unit. A total greater than going to the store (including tax) and buying another one. With no promise that it would work any better. An internet search yielded a whole 17 pages of dissatisfied Rival deep fryer customers with the same complaint, including paying more to replace it through the company's warranty than just going out and buying a new one.

Watch out for Subzero refrigerator/freezers too! Especially since Wolf now owns them.

And the list grows longer every day!

doc
post #22 of 50
doc -

many yrs ago I had cause to investigate the 'failures' - what we found was with age the sealing efficient decreased.

goop build up, elements not running as hot, jaw warping / uneven sealing.
looks okay to the naked eye, but the seal is not as 'tight' as a brand new unit - especially at the corners/ends of the bag. basically, it starts "leaking" the instant it comes out of the sealer - albeit rather slowly....

certainly something poking a hole while moving about the freezer isn't going to help <g>
our experiments were constructed with frozen bags inside a freezer flooded with special gases. we could measure how much and how fast the outside gases got in....

I explained it like gluing two pcs of wood together. you can gloop up the seam, press the two pcs together to get good glue smear around, walk away; you will get a "bond"
if the two pcs are _clamped_ together, you get a better bond . . .
post #23 of 50

Silicon Gasket Maker

My Foodsaver has a couple of small areas where the teflon strip has deteriorated/burned, consequently these areas get too hot and melt through the bag frequently ruining the seal.

I saw a post that suggested using RTV red gasket maker purchased from an auto parts or hardware store. Ace Hardware didn't have red but had "Ultra Copper" by Permatex which has a higher temperature rating (700 F) than red, about $9.00 for a 3 oz tube. Using the supplied application nozzle cut open just below the tip at its smallest diameter I applied a 1/8 inch bead down the center of the teflon sealing strip along its entire length then lightly ran my finger down the bead to spread it out in a very thin layer along the entire width of the sealing strip making sure there weren't any thin/bare spots. I let it cure for about 6 hours (the instruction on the tube say 24 hours) and tried sealing a bag and it worked. Also did 10 repetitive seals at the highest setting and each came out fine and the gasket material remained in tact with no smoke or fumes.

Trial and error tips and discoveries:
1. When running your finger down the bead do it with one motion from end to end. If you stop in the middle you'll leave a ripple.

2. Once cured the gasket material it is a little fragile because of its thinness and can tear. Very light rubbing with hot water and soap to clean is about all it will tolerate, no scrubbing.

3. If the gasket material does tear after it's cured, you can peal the whole thing off and do a new application. Nice to know once you've done it you can go back to where you started and haven't made things worse.

4. The technical sheet for the gasket maker says it's non-toxic.

5. Don't know if you can just make "spot" repairs or not. The gasket material doesn't adhere strongly to the teflon and may peal off after a short time.

6. I don't know what the longevity of the repair will be.

7. You'll (I am) more likely to misplace or lose the tube of gasket maker before you ever use it up.

8. It looks a little tacky, at least when I do it, so you may not want to use your vacuum packer as a display model.

Hope this is of help to some.

Mike
post #24 of 50
GOT IT!!!

Thanks to MaryB when she posted on 5-2-09 about McMaster-Carr.

They have EXACTLY what we all need.

It is their item #76475A32 Teflon Tape - Silicone Adhesive listed on page 3383 of the catalog. (see MaryB’s link) It
can handle heat of up to 500 degrees so will never be tested by the Food Saver’s low heat.

It is ½" wide by 5 yards long. Enough to do at least 12 Food Saver units and sells for $6.77 per roll (about .56 cents
to repair one Food Saver). Great Customer Service. They are located in the Chicago area at 630-600-3600. They
ship from Santa Fe Springs, California.

As I am in Orange County California its only about 15 miles to Santa Fe Springs so I picked up a roll today. Happy to
say this is a very quick fix ... took me about 2 minutes to find a scissors and about 10 SECONDS to install the tape
and it works perfect.

As I now still have over 13 ½ feet of this tape left I would be happy to share with any one who needs it

Just send an E-mail to me at HTB39 @ Hotmail . COM (no spaces) let me know how long of a strip you need (I’ll
send a few inches more) and give me your Name and a mailing address.

Have a great evening.
post #25 of 50
Hi Gang,

I am now out of Teflon Tape, if you need the tape, contact:

McMaster-Carr
Item #76475A32 Teflon Tape - Silicone Adhesive
 ½" wide by 5 yards long  - $6.77 per roll
Chicago area at 630-600-3600.

When you remove the old tape you will see that it is “tucked down” on the ends into slots on
your Food Saver. To keep your sanity, do not try to put the new tape into the slots as all you
will do is ruin the new tape. (please do not ask how I know this)

Clean any dirt etc from the heating element with a little soap and water using a soft cloth. Do
not start scraping old glue etc off or you could ruin the element.

Cut the new tape about 1/8" to 1/4" longer than you need on each side so that it overlaps the
slots.

Unroll the Teflon Tape to expose the adhesive side then just press and smooth the tape down
where the old tape was located.

This is a very easy repair. It will take you longer to read this message than to have your Food
Saver back to normal operating condition.

Have a great afternoon.

Bene Vita
post #26 of 50

Hello,

 

Thanks to all of you for posting this great information -- it did help me fix my Food Saver!

 

I wanted to add a variation on the cleaning step mentioned by Bene Vita.  Instead of using soap and water and a soft cloth I used fine steel wool (#0000, plain, without soap, available at my local ACE hardware store) to clean the heating element.  Just scrub gently, rubbing along the length of the heating element, until you get a uniform, shiny surface.  Don't worry about cleaning anything else around the heating element.  Then blow the heating element and surrounding area so that it's dust-free, and follow the rest of Bene Vita's instructions.

 

Worked like a charm.  Haven't had seals this good in ages (I had been doing double seals for a while before the sealing stopped working completely). 

 

Best,

 

Frittata

post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 

I posted an issue regarding some new food Saver bags I recently purchased in another topic. Figured since someone brought this up from the depths of the forum I would add some info regarding my the status of the original topic in addition to the newer "bag" issue.

 

I went a couple rounds with Customer service regarding things. What it came down to was a half hearted attempt by Jarden to contact me and then a letter giving me a time frame to contact them. The letter was sent because the Consumer Resolution Specialist explained that they tried to reach me several times at the phone number I provided but I can honestly not remember one phone call from them appearing on or phone. The fact that we have caller I.D. on the phone and through our Dish receive confirms that no calls were ever made. (Edit: I mis spoke here. They did call one time and the DD took a message. Slipped my mind)

 

Anyhow I sent an email explaining that I was trying to decided whether or not they were losing my business for bags. I believe it was MaryB that provided a link for a site to purchase bags from....Thanks MaryB. That at the least gave me an option to consider and a way to make the statement to Jar din possible. So...in the email..... I had asked if they could help to resolve the issue I am having with the Teflon and heat strip. From my view, the issue was never closed with them. Especially since I raised the issue again and gave specifics....again.....of the overall problem I was having and my discontent for how they have approached things.

 

It has been several weeks now and not one attempt to contact me by phone, letter or even carrier pigeon.

 

Has Customer Service in our fair land really sunk to this level? I admit I'm rather tenacious when it comes to things and because of that I may have a different perspective but if a guest complained about something and wrote a letter or even filled out a comment card, it didn't matter how long it took my managers or staff to contact that guest, we could not close the file without getting feedback. If anyone tried to I would have chewed them out six ways to Sunday for not resolving things. When a guest says it's fine I believe it means far from it but just doesn't want to complain. But if a guest writes a letter......attention and resolution should be the priority and it all falls to the business to make contact. This also wasn't isolated to one or two of my positions it was a core belief.  I guess.....That's what really gets me fired up even now......... is that they sent a letter basically telling me that my issue didn't warrant any further effort on their part and it was up to me to contact them. It's just sad that the priorities of businesses have become what they are today. Well, maybe it's not the priorities ( albeit they are a bit lopsided) so much as it is how........or the lack there of........... or what people do to execute them. There is no thought given or personality portrayed. No creativity of the situation or even tailoring things to fit the specific complaint or person. Just a standard, one size fits all, less than exemplary level of sincerity in dealing with every situation presented. 

 

That's all I have to say for now. Although I would like to give Mattie405 another thanks for the film. I am just about out of it now but because of her effort to help out a perfect stranger, I have been able to keep my perfectly good, "except for the crappy 0.45 cent production cost/design weak link"  Professional II limping along for just over a year now. Thanks to the other that have provided info for self-adhesive Teflon tape too. This will help me to keep it operating for many years...and I will need to...... because this will probably be the last product I will have bought from Jarden/Sunbeam.  I did try to give them a chance to correct issues but they failed.


Edited by oldschool1982 - 9/2/10 at 3:30pm
post #28 of 50

Old School, glad to have been able to help out. I finally just pitched the two new machines I had, I never did get anything but the standard form letter from them telling me I needed to upgrade to their new improved machine after numerous attemps to get resolution. Like I said "fool me once........." no second shot for them, I would never give them another dime of my money. I could have seen if my machines were even used a little but both were just tested to make sure they sealed when we bought them home from the store then packed away until the kitchen was done, so I never even got to store any food using them. If you need more of that film I sent you they also sell something similar at JoAnnes fabrics or most craft stores, look for applique pressing sheets, they run about $4-8 bucks for a whole decent sized sheet full of it and it is good for temps over 400 degrees. Glad it held up for over a year at this point. Mattie

post #29 of 50

This was really informative. I have been having trouble with my food saver lately. It was so strange I thought it was the bags i bought because they were smaller in size. The make your own style bags with the roll seemed to work fine but the new bags were were pre-sealed at one end are not sealing at all. I am on my second food saver in 10 years and I am leaning more and more towards a light commercial model. Thanks for posting this.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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post #30 of 50

Hi all,

 

Interesting how this topic stays alive, and the level of emotion!

 

Still very happy with the Teflon-tape repair of my Foodsaver (see my earlier post above).  In the spirit of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I also wanted to share another repair I had been wanting to make -- replacing the blades on the sliding cutter.  Of course Jardin does not provide replacements of any kind.  However, I found a really good set of instructions at WikiHow, at http://www.wikihow.com/Replace-the-Cutter-Blade-in-a-Foodsaver-Machine.  While the model show is not the same as mine, the cutter assembly is identical.  It turns out the blades are cheap and easily available at your local hardware store; for the somewhat mechanically inclined, the replacement is straightforward.

 

I realize not everyone is interested in doing their own repairs.  However, for those of us who are, I am truly delighted to keep this thing working, out of a garbage dump, and to deny Jardin any more money for less-than-helpful business practices.

 

Best,

 

Frittata

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