Need help: Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer

marie26September 17, 2005

I had also posted this on the appliance forum but I thought I'd try here to get a reply. I just purchased a Foodsaver Vac 900. I had an old model which I just threw away. That one had a little spout that you put the bag into and held the top down to seal.

With my new one, I only have to hold the top down a few seconds and it is supposed to continue to seal. The opened end of the plastic bag goes into a wide open area and then I'm supposed to just press vac and seal.

My problem is that it only works sometimes so I must be doing something wrong. I feel that I must use quite a bit extra of the bag so that the contents sits on the counter when sealing. Is this correct? It just seems a waste of the bag which is expensive.

I tried to use the bags from my other sealer which are alot thinner than the freezer bags given with my new machine but the older bags don't seem to work. Must I only use the new bags that came with the new sealer?

Is there a trick to get the sealer to seal properly each time? I've read the directions but was hoping someone can walk me through it. TIA

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claire_de_luna

Marie, sometimes when the bag doesn't seal, it's because the unit hasn't had time to cool down a little before you use it again. For example, you can't really seal one end of the bag (to make a bag) and turn right around to vacuum seal it. Try giving it an extra 20 seconds before you use it again, and see if it helps. If not, we'll try again!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 11:08AM
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marie26

I realized the 20 second thing after I finally read the directions properly. Sometimes, it seals great after several tries. But other times, like when I tried to seal an opened package of hot dogs, it just sealed and didn't do a vacuum seal even when I did the moist vacuum and seal.

Must the opened side of the bag fit entirely into the vacuum section? By that I mean must I only put in the wide part of the bag? I never had to do that with my previous sealer.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 4:06PM
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claire_de_luna

If I'm understanding you, then yes, the entire end of the open bag should fit into the VS. Make sure the open bag fits right into the well, so it will vacuum and seal properly. If you're still having problems, let us know! It took me a few times before I finally figured it out for myself...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:58PM
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marie26

Last night, I tried to seal raw chicken thighs. I sealed the bag so that the wide end was open (perpendicular to the stripe). I used the moist seal and vacuum but all I got the machine to do was seal it. There was definitely air left in it.

I find that I must use quite a bit extra bag to get the food to rest on the counter and the bag to rest into the VS. Is this correct?

I still don't know what I am doing wrong. The machine did seal 2 things correctly the other day so I know it does work.

Thanks for any advice. I was so excited to finally buy a new VS and don't want to give up on it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 4:04PM
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claire_de_luna

Yes, I always make my bags a little longer so the food can rest on the counter. It also prevents any liquid being sucked up into the well that the bag fits into while it's being sealed. Also, when you use what's in the bag, there's plenty of room to cut the end off and reseal that end of the bag.

Marie, I'm not familiar with "moist seal" so you obviously have a different version of this than I do.

The only other thing I can think of is to tell you that there needs to be quite a bit of room between where the bag seals, and the food. I try to give it about 2-3 inches, so there's room for the vacuum to work. Also, make sure your machine is locked into place, and the bag opening lined up straight into the ''well'' or the vacuum won't suck the air out. When you cut your bags, they need to be pretty straight across.

If none of the above suggestions work, you might try calling the manufacturer of your machine...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 6:19PM
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marie26

Thnak you for responding. I will try your suggestions and hopefully it's just a matter of getting the hang of it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 7:22PM
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pratzert

Another trick is to freeze the food first so it's not "moist" or wet, and THEN seal it. That way you have no liquid to interfere with the sealing of the bag.

Also, be sure that ALL of the open end of the bag is in the vacuum channel.

Tim

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:08AM
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marie26

I tried to use the machine again today. I first tried using the vacuum sealer bags I had from my previous sealer. Even though I know I made the proper sized bag and used the sealer properly, it didn't seal. Then I used the bags the new sealer came with and the food sealed properly.

The bags that come with the new sealer are very expensive and some foods don't have to be sealed in these freezer/microwave type bags.

Is it a fact that I can only use the bags that are made for this sealer?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 11:53PM
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pratzert

I can't say for sure, but I would bet the machine is designed to operate at a certain temperature to seal the bags, and the bags are designed to melt/seal at that termperature as well. I would stick to only the original bags.

You can often times find deals on the bags. I see for the foodsaver at BJ's wholesale club and COSTCO. Plus, don't forget they ARE re-usable. Just wash them out thouroughly and re-use. I always cut the bags larger than I need at the time just to be sure that there is enough "excess" bag so I can re-use it on something else.

Tim

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 9:03AM
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marie26

I liked my old vacuum sealer because it let me use any type of bag. I'm stuck with this sealer so I'll start looking out for the sales as well as rewash the bags. I wish I had known this before I bought this particular sealer.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 4:09PM
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ritaotay

I know where you're coming from Marie... I had trouble with the bags on both models of the Tilla Food Savers I have, just couldn't get the hang of it... Even when the bags looked like they were sealed they'd be open when I took them out of the freezer... It probably was because I couldn't see using 12 inches of bag when I only had 6 inches of food in it either... LOL ( I got frustrated with the old unit because I kept sucking liquids into the hose and into the unit. I bought the newer one because of the Fresh Saver Plus. )

I gave up on the bags and just use canning jars now... Well actually they're the jars for freezing, with the straight sides... The Fresh Saver Plus that came with my second, newer, one seals everything perfectly, be it a jelly jar or the canisters... Although I do use the attachment 'lids' from the older unit, the ones with the smaller holes... The new 'lids' have a large hole and you have to pull the end off the Fresh Saver to use them and that's a pain as well as a waste of time....

To tell the truth I can't see where using the bags ( if you can get them to work right ) are an advantage, unless you only freeze large items like whole chickens... I freeze everything in portions... I buy a huge beef roast or pork loin and cut it into 1/2 pound or 1 pound chunks, put them in jars and freeze then I can take out just what I need for the two of us or more for company...

Good luck getting the hang of it... I won't part with mine...

Rita

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 1:28AM
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lizql

I know with mine DH has no problems. I used it a few days ago to portion up ground beef we had gotten on sale. I had a hard time getting it to seal and vacuum. I kept trying and made sure that I got the open end of the bag right into that well and made sure it was sraight. I pressed and it sealed. Sucked it right tight against the machine. So I didn't need an extra large bag. If you get it right, it goes. Mine is suppose to work on any kind of bag. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 2:50PM
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gailr

Use only the bags meant for use with your model. Make sure the entire length of the open end is inside the sealing channel. Be sure there is no moisture or grease near where you are sealing .. if there is, clean it off and dry the bag well. Make sure there is a wide enough margin between where the bag seals and where the meat starts. Wait the extra 20 seconds between sealings. If your meat is moist, fold up a paper towel and place it between the meat and where you are sealing the bag .. the towel will absorb any moisture before it gets to the seal. Be sure to press down on the lid for several seconds before releasing. Do not re-use any bags that feel at all greasy after cleaning. Keep the sealing channel inside the machine clean, dry, and grease-free. Be sure the bag edge is all the way inside the sealing channel its entire length. Watch the Tilia website for sales and specials on the bags for your model and stock up then.

IF I were buying another vacuum food saver system, I would buy only a unit that lets me use/reuse any plastic-type bag I want to.

Did you know you can do about as good a job of sealing by using a freezer style ZipLock bag (available at any Dollar Stores) and a soda straw to suck out all the air yourself?

The problems with these pricey vacuum systems is you sometimes do not get a tight seal and even when you do get a tight seal with all air removed, how long will that seal last?

Gail R (WNY)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 2:28PM
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marie26

Gail R, your instructions definitely sound like they are meant for my machine. I didn't pay attention to the fact that it said to use the bags made for the machine because although it said that for my older model, I was able to use any bag. I bought this sealer because it said "hands free". That convenience doesn't outweigh the drawbacks on this model.

I'm just about out of the bags that the machine came with. I'm going to have to figure out where to buy them cheapest, especially since I feel I am wasting the bags by needing extra bag (length) between the sealer and the food.

I would not recommend this sealer to anyone.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 5:05PM
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foodsaver

Walmart has the bags pretty cheap you can get 2 rolls for $6.00 and very shortly I will have the bags available on my website cheaper then that.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:35PM
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marie26

I found that I wasn't using my Foodsaver because it was too much of a hassle to get it to work. Maybe it is defective but this was my second one and the company told me that they would not replace a second one since they had already replaced one which was defective. I had purchased it in another state from a store nowhere near me so I can't return it there. I will never buy an appliance from another state again unless it's such a great deal that I can't resist. But there will have to be a store near me that I'll be able to return it to.

Anyways, I purchased a Rival Seal-a-Meal today and it works like a charm. It's completely hands free, unlike the Foodsaver, because you lock it in place before vacuuming. This machine has a nozzle that you put the left side of the bag into. I prefer this so much more than the opening in the Foodsaver.

I tried to use other bags with it but, as with the Foodsaver, only the Rival bags seems to work. We had roast chicken for supper and I put the leftovers in a large ziploc bag, folded it over one time and pressed the air out. Then I put this bag in the machine's bag and vacuum sealed it. It worked perfectly. This way, I think I have found an easy way to be able to reuse the bags because they won't be real dirty when I wash them. Next time, I'll try to wrap the food in plastic wrap instead of using a bag.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:23PM
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ritaotay

Now that's a good idea Marie!

I never thought of putting stuff in a regular bag first THEN putting it in a food saver bag... I wouldn't mind reusing them that way... When you wash the food saver bags they never looked clean... WTG Marie!!!

Rita

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 10:58PM
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sherilynn

I have had one of these Food Saver vacuum sealers, from Sam's Club, for some time. I noticed when I moved around the country (military) that sometimes my machine just didn't seem to work right. It would half suck out the air, etc. I even bought a new machine which acted the same way.

Well, Dad, came to visit and he asked me if I ever read the instruction book? I thought I had, but missed this! On the back or bottom of the machine, there is an adjustment screw where you can increase the suction depending on elevation. Well, lo and behold, it worked! Why don't you try looking for that adjustment button?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 3:49AM
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linda_intennessee

make sure your bag has NO wrinkles
also take out the little black foam pad and turn it upside down and replace it that way
it shoud work
also if you do try to seal too many things at once, it gets too hot to work.......

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 5:52PM
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bobkatjeff

I am writing to let you know that there is a solution, if you want to use the off brand bags. I use the Great Value brand (Wal Mart) After searching on here for answers, I decided to try something.. I cut a piece about 4 inches long and slip it into the vacuum channel along with the bag that I'm trying to seal... it fools the machine into thinking that it is the thicker bags...and presto...it vacuums and seals as tight as a drum. I just keep reusing the same 4 inch piece every time I seal a new bag...It works like a charm!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 4:25PM
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l_tahmass07_gmail_com

I have an older version Model # V2490. Just recently I have been having problem when I try to vacuum seal. It vacuums but it does not seal automatically. I have to manualing press on the Seal button for it to stop otherwise, it will just go on. Please let me know what I am doing wrong.
Thanks,

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:42AM
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mcelmer1

I sucessfully sealed 4 bags with a new Foodsaver F2840. The fifth bag would not seal despite at least 6 attempts. The sixth bag finally sealed after at least 8 attempts. I waited at least 30 seconds between each try. What gives? The bags were in the channel, the pump removed the air but no seal. Again, this problem is from a new, right out the box Foodsaver machine. Email addy is mcelmer1@netecin.net

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 8:26PM
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