Cleaning the FoodSaver Hose

This is the third time I’ve had to do this…. what a pain!

While sealing the milk in jars is a great idea, and re-using the canning lids works beautifully most of the time, sometimes the lid has a little nick or kink in it. When there is the FoodSaver will suck up milk through the hose.

The FoodSaver company would probably not want me to take off the bottom and service it myself. But I decided if there were screws on the bottom and I have a screwdriver that fits, well…. I might as well see how it was put together inside. I might come up with a way to either replace the hose or clean it out.

Cleaning the hose involves taking off the bottom of the FoodSaver. There are 8 small Phillip’s head screws that need to be removed.

Next I removed the 3 screws that hold the white hose wheel assembly to the bottom.

 Don’t remove the three small screws that hold the hose onto the top of the assembly (the screws in the black plastic fitting in the center of the hose assembly). I did that the first time and it wasn’t necessary. The hose is easily removed from the bottom of the assembly. Keep the screws in different piles or in small bowls. They are all different sizes, but since they are all tiny, it is really hard to tell them apart.

This is what the inside of the bottom looks like. The hose wheel assembly is already removed from the bottom, as is the hose that was filled with milk. 

The rubber band is really important! After you get the three screws out of the hose wheel, reach below the wheel and hold the underside while you take the whole assembly off. The assembly is in two pieces (three if you count the spring that winds the hose up). Vet2Be and I made the mistake of just taking the assembly off the first time and the spring unwound into a big mess. We managed to get it all back together, but now I just reach underneath and hold the top and bottom of the wheel assembly in place and then wrap a rubber band around it.

You will also have to remove the hose guide (it’s a small piece of black plastic that the hose runs through that attaches to the base of the FoodSaver.) It will have two or three screws (there are three holes for screws, but I only have two screws–I probably lost one screw)
This photo was taken while the plastic hose was still attached at the base of the hose assembly.

 After removing the hose from the assembly I ran cool water through the hose until the water ran clear. Not very long at all.

Then I used an old fish tank air pump to dry out the inside of the FoodSaver hose.

This is the pump we used. Nothing fancy, but you need the hose from the air pump.
Can you tell I use rubber bands alot?

Attach the end of the air pump hose to the small end of the FoodSaver hose so the air is blowing in the opposite direction that the milk came into the hose. It probably doesn’t really matter which way the FoodSaver hose attaches to the air pump hose, it just fits better that way with my set up.

Turn the air pump on and let it go until the inside of the FoodSaver hose is dry. It usually takes at least 3 hours in our dry air to get the inside of the hose dry.

Put the small end of the hose back into the hose wheel assembly. Then wind the hose around and out the hole on the side (by my thumb).

I had to re-wind the spring a bit, too. I didn’t wind it quite as tightly as it came from the factory. I like it better when the hose doesn’t get reeled in at 90 mph, especially when I’m sealing multiple jars. I don’t have to keep pulling the hose out for every jar.

Next screw the hose assembly back on with the three small screws.

I’m hoping I don’t have to do this too often. Three times is plenty. I always worry that I will either loose screws or mix them up. I’m getting faster at it, though. Is that a good thing?!

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