Searching For Repair person for my Vacuseal press

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alacrity8

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What needs to be repaired?
Is it leaking?
Thermostat problems?

Seal has repair information, and parts available.
Not sure if you will find a specialist willing to travel to you.
 

gmadutch

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Mar 18, 2011
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The vacuum quit working on it. I figured I'd have a problem getting someone to come to me. Any other profession that might?
 

Jim Miller

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The vacuum quit working on it. I figured I'd have a problem getting someone to come to me. Any other profession that might?
Please be more specific. Did the vacuum pump stop working, or does it still run as usual, but without creating a vacuum in the press?

If the vacuum pump has stopped running, check the electrical circuit and, if it is intact, then you can just plug in a new vacuum pump. This is the sort of device I'm referring to, but you may need a bigger unit with greater capacity. You can get the CFM rating and other specifications off the name tag on your old unit.

If the vacuum pump is still running, then you probably have a problem with the hoses going into the press, or maybe the seal around the lid. If this is more like your problem, then several seasoned Grumblers can help you figure out what to do next.
 

gmadutch

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Please be more specific. Did the vacuum pump stop working, or does it still run as usual, but without creating a vacuum in the press?

If the vacuum pump has stopped running, check the electrical circuit and, if it is intact, then you can just plug in a new vacuum pump. This is the sort of device I'm referring to, but you may need a bigger unit with greater capacity. You can get the CFM rating and other specifications off the name tag on your old unit.

If the vacuum pump is still running, then you probably have a problem with the hoses going into the press, or maybe the seal around the lid. If this is more like your problem, then several seasoned Grumblers can help you figure out what to do next.
Thanks for all your suggestions. My daughter found a guy who's coming to check it out. I appreciate it!
 
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murrayatuptown

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Jan 23, 2009
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We have had 3 different presses, 2 being VacuSeal and the 3rd was a cold press I don't remember, but probably the same brand (I can't think of another brand, so I've probably never had one).

I have repaired two old, well-used vacuum pumps that had the vacuum strength reduced enough to be unusable in a mounting press. Both were made by Gast Mfg. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

I had never done such a repair previously and was successful both times. They sell repair kits with all the parts that can fail. On both of ours, one or more of the stainless steel valves reeds (I may have forgotten the correct term) broke due to metal fatigue. One was decades old and the other probably 15-20 years. I think they were both diaphragm type, not piston. They did run but failed to develop sufficient vacuum. The repair kit came with completely adequate instructions. I don't recall any special tools being required.

I can't remember the model numbers, so I tried to look up a random model for a repair kit cost estimate tonight. A randomly-selected diaphragm type vacuum pump repair kit was just under $50. Maybe there's shipping, too. I can't tell you if this was a puny one or a large one.

Piston type vacuum pumps for some reason were easier for me to find a range of repair kit prices. They started at $80.

Regardless of which model or type, repair kits are much less expensive than replacing a pump.

It must have been a long time ago I did ours, as I seem to remember paying about $20 for each repair kit.

If you DO have a Gast (part of IDEX Corporation now) vacuum pump, their website is www.gastmfg.com.

If you would prefer to have someone local do it for you for the confidence in their knowledge and/or experience, you should be able to find the manufacturer and model number clearly marked on the pump and locate a repair kit online. Then could pay a modest labor fee. If you just give your repair candidate the pump and they have to do the research and shopping, they may quote you more because it would take more time.

In a graphic arts application, it is unlikely to encounter an oil-based vacuum pump which would probably be an entirely different task.

The Gast pumps I worked on were easy to repair. I describe myself as not-mechanically-inclined but usually get stuck with such tasks. I don't remember it even being messy or dusty. The stainless steel valves simply cracked in half.

We couldn't give away the cold press, so I took it apart and had a spare pump.
 

murrayatuptown

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I trust Jim Miller's opinions (have attended presentations of his a number of times at framing material suppliers in Michigan), but I personally would be leery of oil-based vacuum pumps. The oil has a way of getting into the air stream eventually and if it contaminates a mounting press and, later, items placed in the mounting press, how does one solve those problems?
 

murrayatuptown

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Also, whoever owns Vacuseal now has made reaching the tech support people more difficult by requiring a credit card before establishing contact with the person. I understand tech support costs companies money, but the internet service companies have demonstrated repeatedly you are rolling the dice hoping to get someone who knows what you are talking about and is allowed to connect you to someone who does if they do not.

Wendy has been the tech support person for Vacuseal mounting presses thru multiple corporate changes (Hunt, Elmer's, etc.) for as long as I remember. She has helped me do every maintenance task I needed. I hoped she was younger than me because I dreaded her retiring!
 

gmadutch

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Turns out the foam on the press was worn out, thus not being able to get a good seal around the edges. I got some new foam and replaced it myself and the press now works like a charm! Thanks for all the great input. I’m saving the info in case something else comes up. Right now I’m in hog heaven! My press is in action again 😁
 
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bsoucy

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Turns out the foam on the press was worn out, thus not being able to get a good seal around the edges. I got some new foam and replaced it myself and the press now works like a charm! Thanks for all the great input. I’m saving the info in case something else comes up. Right now I’m in hog heaven! My press is in action again 😁
Could you please share where you purchased the replacement foam and how you installed it? I recently bought a used Vacuseal and it doesn't seal. The pump works fine and hoses are all good (tested by capping the intake and the gauge read the correct pressure per the users manual). Somewhere in the lid of the machine, there is a leak and I'd like to try replacing the foam next, but not sure where to get the right materials. I tried using a weather stripping seal from the local hardware store, but that was a fail.
 

gmadutch

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I was having a hard time finding the foam I needed so I came across a 14” square 2” foam pillow insert which had the same consistency as the press foam. I cut it into 1 1/2” pieces (butted them together to get the lengths I needed for each side) and used gorilla tape to attach it to the press edges. The color is green rather than black but it doesn’t bother me as long as it works. And it does! Hope this helps. Feel free to call me if you need anything else. I’ll try to remember to send a photo (as I’m answering this from home) when I go to the shop tomorrow.
 
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gmadutch

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Mar 18, 2011
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We have had 3 different presses, 2 being VacuSeal and the 3rd was a cold press I don't remember, but probably the same brand (I can't think of another brand, so I've probably never had one).

I have repaired two old, well-used vacuum pumps that had the vacuum strength reduced enough to be unusable in a mounting press. Both were made by Gast Mfg. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

I had never done such a repair previously and was successful both times. They sell repair kits with all the parts that can fail. On both of ours, one or more of the stainless steel valves reeds (I may have forgotten the correct term) broke due to metal fatigue. One was decades old and the other probably 15-20 years. I think they were both diaphragm type, not piston. They did run but failed to develop sufficient vacuum. The repair kit came with completely adequate instructions. I don't recall any special tools being required.

I can't remember the model numbers, so I tried to look up a random model for a repair kit cost estimate tonight. A randomly-selected diaphragm type vacuum pump repair kit was just under $50. Maybe there's shipping, too. I can't tell you if this was a puny one or a large one.

Piston type vacuum pumps for some reason were easier for me to find a range of repair kit prices. They started at $80.

Regardless of which model or type, repair kits are much less expensive than replacing a pump.

It must have been a long time ago I did ours, as I seem to remember paying about $20 for each repair kit.

If you DO have a Gast (part of IDEX Corporation now) vacuum pump, their website is www.gastmfg.com.

If you would prefer to have someone local do it for you for the confidence in their knowledge and/or experience, you should be able to find the manufacturer and model number clearly marked on the pump and locate a repair kit online. Then could pay a modest labor fee. If you just give your repair candidate the pump and they have to do the research and shopping, they may quote you more because it would take more time.

In a graphic arts application, it is unlikely to encounter an oil-based vacuum pump which would probably be an entirely different task.

The Gast pumps I worked on were easy to repair. I describe myself as not-mechanically-inclined but usually get stuck with such tasks. I don't remember it even being messy or dusty. The stainless steel valves simply cracked in half.

We couldn't give away the cold press, so I took it apart and had a spare pump.
Wow! You sure know your stuff! I’m keeping all your suggestions in mind as a former framer is coming in tomorrow to help me with my bigger press that I believe has an alignment problem. If I get all three presses working I’ll be ecstatic.
Thanks for all your help. Rose 🌹
 

gmadutch

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Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
13
Also, whoever owns Vacuseal now has made reaching the tech support people more difficult by requiring a credit card before establishing contact with the person. I understand tech support costs companies money, but the internet service companies have demonstrated repeatedly you are rolling the dice hoping to get someone who knows what you are talking about and is allowed to connect you to someone who does if they do not.

Wendy has been the tech support person for Vacuseal mounting presses thru multiple corporate changes (Hunt, Elmer's, etc.) for as long as I remember. She has helped me do every maintenance task I needed. I hoped she was younger than me because I dreaded her retiring!
I talked to Wendy! She’s the one that gave me the courage to try to fix this myself. Got two presses done and working on the third. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. Rose 🌹
 

gmadutch

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Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
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Could you please share where you purchased the replacement foam and how you installed it? I recently bought a used Vacuseal and it doesn't seal. The pump works fine and hoses are all good (tested by capping the intake and the gauge read the correct pressure per the users manual). Somewhere in the lid of the machine, there is a leak and I'd like to try replacing the foam next, but not sure where to get the right materials. I tried using a weather stripping seal from the local hardware store, but that was a fail.
 

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