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FoodSaver Troubleshooting: How To Fix Your Vacuum Sealer In Simple Steps

You’re probably reading this article because you’re interested in troubleshooting FoodSaver vacuum sealers.

That’s good because that’s what we're going to be talking about.

Caring and maintaining your vacuum sealer is an important part of owning a sealing unit. Versatile and reliable, vacuum sealers are valuable kitchen appliances that can preserve almost any type of meat, veggie, or fruit.

Food items that are vacuum sealed generally last 5x longer than normal. Not only that, but a good vacuum sealer can prevent freezer burn, dehydration, and bacterial growth, saving you money and time.

However, without proper care and maintenance, any high-end vacuum sealer can malfunction. Instead of calling FoodSaver’s customer service every time a problem arises, read these easy FoodSaver troubleshooting solutions to fix your vacuum sealer.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing quick and simple ways to fix your FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

Is your FoodSaver not vacuuming? Is your LED indicator light not turning off? Will the accessory hose latch onto the vacuum canister, but not a masonry jar?

We’ll be analyzing every problem for a quick and simple FoodSaver troubleshooting.

Take A Look At Our Best Vacuum Sealers in 2017

How To Fix Your Vacuum Sealer : Steps By Steps

Suction Malfunctions

FoodSaver excels at making vacuum sealers with powerful suctions. This is important for avoiding wrinkles and holes in your pouches and bags.

It also sucks out every drop of moisture and space of air, allowing fresher foods and longer-lasting results. Sometimes suction malfunctions arise, which leads to freezer-burned meals and bacterial growth. Sometimes the vacuum doesn’t even activate.

Let’s look at what we can do to fix your vacuum sealer’s suction.

  • Problem: The FoodSaver vacuum sealer’s vacuum suction has either weakened or won’t work.
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solutions:

1. Is The Lid Fully Closed?

Make sure that the latch is fully closed and clear of debris. If dirt or debris is present then clean it with a damp cloth and close the latch until it clicks.

2. Are The Gaskets Inserted Properly?

Open the lid and check that the gaskets are in place and are clear of debris. If dirt or debris is present then remove the gaskets and clean them. You can reinsert them, but wait for 10 to 20 seconds for expansion if compressed.

3. Is The Accessory Hose Still Attached?

Be sure to detach the accessory hose before starting your vacuum sealer.

If you are using the accessory hose to vacuum seal: Open the bottom panel of the hose and check that the vacuum tubes are still connected. Check that the lid is closed and the LED indicator light is not flashing.

Sealing Malfunctions

People buy vacuum sealers with the sole purpose of sealing and preserving their foods. So, when the “sealing” part of the vacuum sealing process malfunctions, it can be pretty frustrating.

Reliable seals guarantee that air can’t slip-in after vacuuming. It keeps food from becoming dehydrated, freezer-burned, or spoiled.

It also keeps your food fresh while preventing spillage and frustrating messes. A reliable seal makes an exceptional vacuum sealer.

  • Problem: The vacuum sealer doesn’t seal well or at all. Sometimes there are wrinkles in the seal that lets in air.
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solutions:
1. Is The Vacuum Bag Or Pouch Correctly?

First, try rotating the bag at a 90-degree angle. If the pouch or bag has ridges or textured, the lines should run perpendicular to the strip with the smooth end facing upwards. You can then try to reseal the pouch or bag on a moist setting.

To avoid wrinkles: When you are inserting it, stretch the material until it’s flat. Then curl the rim downward so it slips into the vacuum channel. This should effectively seal the bag or pouch.

2. Did You Overfill The Bag Or Pouch?

There should be three inches (7.62 cm) of extra space between the sealer and food content. If it contains liquid, you can freeze the bag before vacuuming. Slip it in the freezer overnight or for a few hours if you’re in a hurry.

Some vacuum sealers can't seal liquid-based foods. This can cause malfunctions that the manufacturer’s warranty might not cover. If liquid gets into the pump, you may need to pay for repair fees. Check the customer reviews and product overview to determine if your vacuum sealer can seal liquid-based foods.

3. Does The Seal Bar Need To Be Cleaned Or Replaced?

Check the seal bar and gasket for debris. If present, you can clean them with a damp cloth and then reinsert them into the vacuum sealer. Make sure that the seal is not damp during the sealing process. If it is, then pull out the profile, dry it with a cloth, and then reinsert it into the unit.

Read Also : How To Vacuum Seal Foods Without A Vacuum Sealer

No Power

Sometimes your vacuum sealer refuses to activate. This is a problem for an obvious reason, but it might have not-so-obvious solutions.

Hopefully, fixing your FoodSaver vacuum sealer won’t cost you any extra money or time. Just in case, let’s look at a few common glitches that might cause your sealing unit to stop working.

  • Problem: My vacuum sealer won’t turn on.
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solutions:

1. Does The Outlet Work?

Check the outlet before trying anything else. Unplug and then re-plug the cord. If nothing happens, try plugging a different appliance into that outlet. If the other appliance works, then you should try something else. But if the other appliance doesn’t work, then you should try a different outlet.

2. Check The Cord

Firmly attach the cord to the vacuum sealer. You should check the cord for loose wires or gnaw marks made by pets or mice. You may need to purchase a new cord. In the long run, this would be a cheaper and easier option than buying a whole new vacuum sealer or going without.

3. If It Is Battery Powered, Is The Battery Charged?

Many portable vacuum sealers contain batteries. The LED indicator light should light up when the vacuum sealer is charging. If it doesn’t turn on, then it might not be charging. Try jiggling the battery or vacuum sealer until the LED light turns on. If you try this and it still doesn’t work, you might want to consider purchasing a new battery for your vacuum sealer.

Other Issues

No matter how durable and handy they are, FoodSaver vacuum sealers are still simple kitchen appliances. That means they break down, experience malfunctions, and can be down-right frustrating.

Not all problems can lump into suction, sealing, and power failures. In this section, we’ll look at what else can happen and their possible solutions to fix your vacuum sealer.

  • Problem: LED “Tray-Full” light won’t turn off.
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solution: Dampness along the sensor causes this. First, find a hair dryer or blow dryer and remove the tray inserts. Then blow air along the sensor and upper area of the tray until it’s dry.
  • Problem: Bag Melts
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solution: The vacuum sealer may have become too hot for use. Some FoodSaver vacuum sealers can sustain high-usage, while others can't. Be sure to check the product overview and customer reviews to determine which are best for continuous, repetitive seals. Otherwise, we recommend a 20-30 second cool-down period between sets or sealing processes.
  • Problem: Accessory hose won’t latch
  • FoodSaver Troubleshooting Solution: Make sure that the vacuum pouch, bag, or canister is FoodSaver brand. If it’s not, then make sure the vacuum sealer can support non-FoodSaver brand materials. The jar or canister should be unbent and clear of dirt and debris. When sealing jars, you might need to remove the outer ring and just use the flat top.

Customer Service

If your problems persist, call FoodSaver’s customer service at 1-877-777-8042 (U.S).

FoodSaver Troubleshooting Conclusion

FoodSaver vacuum sealers are kitchen appliances and every appliance may experience malfunctions. That doesn’t mean that FoodSaver vacuum sealers are less durable or reliable than other vacuum sealing units.

In fact, FoodSaver appliances tend to receive quite a few positive customer reviews. These vacuum sealers rarely malfunction and tend to focus on easily fixable sensory issues. But, most FoodSaver vacuum sealers come with a 1 or 5-year warranty.

Overall, FoodSaver vacuum sealers contain unique, sturdy, and attractive designs that can provide you years of reliable vacuum sealing.

If you decide to purchase a FoodSaver sealing unit, please tell us about how it works. Did you experience malfunctions or problems?

How did these FoodSaver Troubleshooting solutions help to fix your vacuum sealer? Did the FoodSaver not vacuum like it's supposed to? 

Heloise Blaure: Hi, I'm Heloise! I create simple, delicious recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.

View Comments

  • My seal button doesn't work. I previously had a food saver that stopped working after a short time. I had purchased a lot of storage bags, so purchased another machine. I have had it for 2 years but probably only used it 4-5 times because I get frustrated. Today I was able to seal 4 bags, now it won't work again. I cleaned out the tray but don't know what else to do.

    • If it’s capable of vacuuming sealing jars, make sure that the lever or attachment hose is either disconnected or pulled down.

      Remember not to overfill your bags. The seal might not work if the bag’s profile is soaked, so try to avoid liquid-based products until you perfect the sealing process. Try to freeze your food for 30 minutes to an hour before sealing. You can also try a different power outlet.

      If none of these work, try to clean the seal profile. Most FoodSaver units have a drawer on the bottom of the unit. You’ll see a rubber pad that runs across the unit. This is the seal profile. Try to wipe it with a damp cloth. You may need to replace the profile.

  • I have a 2 in 1 and use the zipper bags often, however, today the accessory feature does not seal the zipper bags, full or empty, nor will it seal a canister?

    • a. The accessory feature should be used to seal both zipper bags and canisters. Are you using it with the retractable handheld sealer? Make sure that you're using the recommended zipper bags so that the handheld sealer latches on securely. You’ll want to hold the handheld sealer in an upright position. You can also check that the gaskets are clean and are in good condition.

  • Just got my FS2000. Was initially VERY disappointed. The bags would collapse painfully slowly and would never reach sufficient vacuum to trigger the seal operation. I read the manual and all available tips, forums and videos I could find....no help. I then had a light bulb moment. When I unpacked the unit, I installed the accessory vacuum tube because that's how I used my previous (more expensive) FoodSaver that the FS2000 was replacing. It would operate normally with the tube installed or not...not so with the FS2000. I pulled the accessory tube and BAM! everything works. In none of the troubleshooting tips was there any mention that the tube should ONLY be inserted when using an external accessory. It may seem obvious now but the previous unit didn't care.

    • That’s a really good point! Some vacuum sealers have somewhat weak suctions. So, attaching a vacuum tube could cause more harm than good. Do you use the tube to vacuum seal jars?

  • I cannot find out why my seal type, dry or moist, lights blink at the same time. I have looked through out and see no reason. Tray is empty dried it out. Still both lights blinking.

    • Which vacuum sealer do you have? When do the lights flash? You may need to clean the profile bar. Make sure that you give the sealer at least 20 seconds to cool down between seals. These lights may be warning you that the food sealer is overheating.

  • I have a Food Saver (Model V1205) which I have not used for a while. The outside of the sealer (black plastic) is very sticky to the touch. Is there a way to clean this? What has caused this? The sealer has not been used that much and is like new. Please advise. Thank you.

  • I have series V3400. The upper seal bar appears to be stuck in the down position. The unit does not function or even turn on and I can't open for cleaning. Any ideas?

  • I have a FoodSaver V3460. It has gotten to the point that it will not complete the vacuum process. It does pull a nice vacuum but the the "Vacuum Progress" light will not turn on & the machine will just continue to run until I push the "Stop/Seal" button. It then seals the pouch nicely & retains the vacuum. I have cleaned the gaskets by wiping them with a damp cloth but this hasn't helped. What could be wrong? Do I need a new gasket even though this one appears to be fine?

  • I havev a V3820 and having problems getting it to vacuum. The bag seal works and the gasket surfaces are all spotless. The vacuum process starts but does not continue. It does work erratically. It is 2 years old and has been used sporadically. Hope you can help.

  • I am experiencing the same issue as Jim. Upper seal arm is not releasing and the unit will not unlock. V3460