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Foodsaver non-sealing bags problem~

p
peak_fanatic Aug 20, 2011 12:22 AM

I've had my original Foodsaver vacuum / thermal seal unit for a little over 2 yrs., it began to (apparently) fail to vacuum air from my bags (heat-sealed fine though) so after a couple hrs of trying to figure out if there was something I was doing wrong (I cleaned moisture trough and inspected seal gaskets) I just gave in and purchased a second (newer generation) Foodsaver unit. I got home and attempted to use the new unit to seal meatballs, this unit failed to vacuum as well. The motor on both units worked fine, just no ability to vacuum air from bags. So, after a couple of hrs of investigating and cursing I stumbled upon an interesting continuity observation. I noticed that some of my Foodsaver (brand) bags had a dimpled texture to the exterior surface of the bags, and some were smooth (untextured). I also noticed that the bags with the spanish label translation tended to be the textured bags and the ones without spanish translation on the bags were the untextured (smooth outer surface) bags. Long story short, the textured bags failed to vacuum everytime and the smooth bags vacuum-sealed every time. Now my problem is that when I search for the smooth (non-textured) bags at Target, Walmart, etc... they cease to exist. I've been opening boxes at many stores (I know that's bad shopper etiquette) to find the smooth bags but they don't seem to exist. I wrote Foodsaver from their website (twice) explaining this issue but have yet to hear back from them. I wonder if they're aware of this manufacturer-flaw issue and choose to deny it's existence. I have several boxes of the textured bags which won't work and can't return them because I haven't the receipts. Needless-to-say, I'm not terribly impressed with Foodsaver.

  1. r
    rexster314 Aug 20, 2011 10:50 AM

    I would seriously consider calling the Foodsaver CS. Usually they can help you troubleshoot your problem

    1. pikawicca Aug 20, 2011 10:55 AM

      I've been using the textures bags and haven't had a problem.

      1. BIGGUNDOCTOR Aug 20, 2011 01:08 PM

        Textured bags work great in mine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
          j
          Jeri L Aug 21, 2011 09:18 AM

          Same here. Even the off brand ones I bought off Ebay.

        2. n
          Nanzi Aug 21, 2011 09:32 AM

          The ones I have are smooth on one side and textured on the other. And seal well except when I don't get them flat. I had a problem once with sealing and took the rubber gasket out and washed it well, and carefully, returned it to the machine and Voila, success. I love my 5 yr old FoodSaver.
          Now I wonder what kind of bags I will find when I shop, as I'm almost out.
          Good Luck troubleshooting with FoodSaver Customer Service.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Nanzi
            ski_gpsy Sep 18, 2011 06:06 AM

            I use my FoodSaver constantly. (I read somewhere that it is American women's #1 favorite "gadget".) When mine started failing to seal, I called Customer Service and was told to remove the gaskets and flip them over, that there were grooves pressed into them over time that allowed air to enter and prevent sealing. The very nice Customer Service guy also said that if simply turning them over didn't solve the problem, then I needed to purchase new gaskets which are available from FoodSaver. I flipped them and the problem was solved. If and when it happens again I will wash them first, before ordering new ones --- thank you Nanzi!

            1. re: ski_gpsy
              monavano Jul 21, 2013 03:10 PM

              Same experience here. The OP very well may not have needed to buy a new one, because if the motor and heat seal work, but suction isn't happening, it's the gaskets.
              The gaskets wear out from the compression.
              I replaced my gaskets and now do NOT store my Food Saver in the locked position.

              1. re: monavano
                ski_gpsy Jul 22, 2013 07:15 PM

                Good tip Monavano about NOT storing in the locked position. I didn't know that.

                I do know that I need a new gasket, but after a few seconds of not sealing, I remember to remove the gasket and wet it so that it plumps up. That will keep it sealing until I remember to order a new gasket!

                1. re: ski_gpsy
                  monavano Jul 22, 2013 07:24 PM

                  Wetting it worked as a temporary solution for me too.

              2. re: ski_gpsy
                c oliver Oct 16, 2013 05:52 PM

                EXCELLENT! Something I'd never considered. Thanks a mil.

              3. re: Nanzi
                c oliver Oct 16, 2013 05:51 PM

                I have what you have. We're pretty good about wiping off and out the bottom part but hadn't done the top gasket. That seemed to cure the problem with 'sucking' :)

              4. m
                Mother of four Aug 22, 2011 06:43 PM

                i hadn't used mine in about seven months, and when I tried it I was having the same problem...not vacuuming the air from the bags. I went to read the instructions and realized that i was putting it in the slot incorrectly. Go back and read your instructions again, maybe that is what is happening.

                1. r
                  rtrt24 Jun 4, 2013 09:05 AM

                  I agree with previous Foodsaver problem. I have the 3480 and it will not seal and the bags are the problem
                  I tried cheaper bags but the textured one i had problems with.
                  Foodsaver are sending me couple new seals but that probaly won't fix the problem.
                  The unit is great but should last longer than 2 years

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rtrt24
                    t
                    Tom34 Jul 21, 2013 10:26 AM

                    Go on ebay, google "original foodsaver". These were made in Italy during the 70's, 80's & early 90's.

                    They are bullet proof nozzle machines that are made to be completely rebuilt. They go for between $50 - $75.

                    They will outlast and out perform any big box store machine out there.

                    1. re: Tom34
                      The Professor Oct 11, 2013 09:33 AM

                      Agree. I bought my FoodSaver sometime around 1991 had it is still going strong. Whenever it has stopped pulling adequate vacuum (which is maybe three times in 22 years) the simple fix published in the instruction manual fixed it in minutes: a little vinegar & water in a vacuum bag, open the drain in the bottom of the unit, and let the machine suck the liquid solution through the system.
                      The unit still works as good as it did the day I bought it.

                      I was expensive back then, but solidly built and worth every penny.

                      1. re: The Professor
                        t
                        Tom34 Oct 11, 2013 10:29 AM

                        Yeah, they definitely don't make them like they used to. I still have my original & picked up 2 Italian made FoodSaver nozzle machines on ebay for about $50.00 ea to the front door. Cleaned them, replaced the pads, lubed the pump with a few drops or warm water and Armor All silicone in the canister port and they are as good as new and are properly stored for my daughters when the time comes.

                        Probably the most comprehensive read to date that I have found concerning home vacuum sealers is by Professional Marketing Group. It can be found by googling, "FoodSaver History, PMG" . It comes up under an Ebay site.

                        Thom Dolder at PMG also repairs and stocks parts for the early machines.

                  2. pikawicca Jun 4, 2013 02:36 PM

                    Same thing happened to me, twice. Ended up biting the bullet and buying a chamber vacuum sealer (which I love). Spendy and takes up quite a bit of real estate, but it's an amazing machine.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pikawicca
                      c oliver Oct 16, 2013 05:53 PM

                      Gotta link, p ?

                    2. drongo Jul 21, 2013 02:50 PM

                      I had a similar problem 1-2 years ago with one lot of authentic Foodsaver bags. I tossed all the bags, and have not had a problem since.

                      I probably should have complained (because the bags are not inexpensive) but I didn't.

                      1. a
                        amsoilguy Oct 6, 2013 04:56 PM

                        OK. EXACT SAME ISSUE. Went and bought a new one. Sometimes it seals, sometimes it doesn't. Took the bag to the old sealer, worked... One that would not work on old one works on the new one. Yep, Spanish on the bags. I truly hope that it is only this roll. What a royal pain in the a$$. We will be calling Foodsaver to complain tomorrow.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: amsoilguy
                          t
                          Tom34 Oct 7, 2013 01:06 PM

                          The older Italian made Foodsaver machines had a huge heavy powerful transformer and an actual seal "bar" that would seal any bag even when the inside surfaces were covered with fish slime or animal fat. Actually have to pay attention how long you keep the seal bar activated because it will melt right through the bags.

                          The machines today have a small cheap transformer and a sealing wire instead of a sealing bar. Sealing complaints are quite common, especially if the inside of the bag is slimy. When filling the bag with wet/slimy/fatty food, best to fold the top of the bag inside out so the food does not contact the area of the bag that gets sealed.

                          Those new machines sure do look pretty though :-)

                        2. r
                          rtrt24 Oct 12, 2013 07:07 AM

                          I recently purchased Foodsaver Gamesaver deluxe plus and it is great...It comes with 10yr warrany replacement at n/c shipped free....I bought it about a tr ago and has been perfect. I have frozen over a 150 different items and works great....Cost was about $125 or so....Very happy better than the bigger one I had....A+ on this one......

                          1. b
                            Billweagle Oct 16, 2013 06:04 AM

                            Thanks for the tip on the textured bags. Tried one of the originals that came with the Foodsaver and it worked. Anybody getting any satisfaction from the company on this glitch.

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