Vacu-Seal Maintenance

Has your Vacu-Seal stopped sucking?

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I have had 2 people mentioning that their Vacu-Seal has simply ceased to create any suction or stopped creating any suction at all. Fortunately this problem is easy to fix. It is cause by the small particles of coffee and chaff being sucked into the vacuum forming part of the unit.


The Picture above shows the Vacu-Seal unit, turn it over and you will find two recessed crosshead screws. Simply remove these, remove the batteries and split the unit starting from the battery compartment. Inside you will find the "simple" components that make the Vacu-Seal work (click to enlarge).

The system works by a motor turning an disk which has an eccentric mounting of an arm. This converts rotary to reciprocating motion and moves a small piston (this piston has a thin rubber skirt that creates the seal) up and down….this works in the same way as a bycycle pump. A small sheet of rubber with some flaps in it act as a valve. Simply unscrew the 4 screws as the bottom of this little valve chamber, remove the rubber sheet (with flaps in it) and clean around the piston with a cotton bud. The flexible rubber seal can accumulate small particles of coffee or chaff and this breaks the seal and causes the Vacu-Seal to either fail, or function inefficiently.


Before reassembling, lightly grease the piston chamber, the part in which the piston (shown as a dotted red line), slides up and down in. I used a silicon lube Dow Corning Molycote 111 for this purpose (I would not recommend using anything petroleum based for this)1. Reassemble and you should find the unit working perfectly again. To prevent recurrence of this problem in future, try to ensure the coffee is clean and chaff/particle free. Also try to have the coffee a slight distance away from the valve when removing air from the bags.