FV500 Tips and Tricks
Quick Start Guide
1. Make a bag:
Place a roll of vacuum film in the roll film holder, which is visible when the lid of the machine is opened. Pull some film off the roll and cut by sliding the supplied cutter along the groove in front of the roll film holder. Place one end of the film over the gold seal band at the front of the machine. DO NOT GO ON OR UP PAST THE GREY SILICONE LINE. Make sure the film is laying flat across the seal band and lower the lid. Push the START/STOPbutton to start the machine and then press down on the centre of the lid until you hear the note of the machine change and the red light will brighten. This means that the lid is being held shut by vacuum pressure and the seal function has activated. The machine will switch of when the seal is completed. To open the lid, push sideways on the grey silicone buttonthis will release the vacuum pressure.
Please note: In cold conditions you may need to preheat the machine prior to the first seal, to do this just run the machine through the seal cycle with no film in it.
2. Vacuum Seal the bag:
Place item you are vacuum sealing into the bag. It is best to spread out food items to give a nice flat finished product. This is more economical on space and will give an even freeze and defrost. Place the open end of the bag into the vacuum chamber, which is ABOVE THE GREY LINE. Lower the lid and press the start/stop button. Press down onto the centre of the lid the same as when sealing the first end of the bag. The machine will vacuum the bag, once the bag has started to vacuum you can stop pressing on the lid. Once the bag is vacuumed the machine will switch to seal and complete the process. Wait for the red light to go out before opening the machine.
3. Vacuum/Seal soft foods and liquid:
For soft foods or foods with a high liquid content the machine can be run in manual mode. To do this, once the open end of the bag is placed into the vacuum chamber, close the lid and lock the grey tabs, which are located on either side of the lid. Press the stop/start button and watch what is happening to the food. Once the food starts to crush or liquid is starting to move towards the machine press the stop/start button again. The vacuum pump will instantly stop and the seal function will activate. Watch the red light, when it dims again the seal function is completed. To open the lid press down on either side of the lid front corners, to release the tabs.
Please Note: Sometimes the tabs will release themselves with the vacuum pressure, this depends on the vacuum created and the compression of the vacuum chamber seal. When the machine is operated in this manner, there is sometimes not enough down force on the lid to make an effective seal. Always check the seal after doing a partial vacuum. If the seal does not look good, or if you are not sure, place the end of the bag back over the seal band and put a second seal above the first one. For foods with a high liquid content (such as seafood) always leave a gap of around 25 to 50mm to help to prevent liquid being sucked into the vacuum chamber and allow you to see if any liquid is moving toward the machine. Locking the lid shut is also a good way of holding the film in place for difficult food items, which need arranging in the bag once the open end of the bag is placed into the vacuum chamber. The machine can also be allowed to run to full vacuum with the lid tabs locked down.
NOTE: WHEN VACUUM SEALING LIQUIDS ALWAYS CHECK THE FILTER FOR LIQUID AND CLEAN IT OUT. ALLOW IT TO DRY THEN THE MACHINE IS READY TO USE AGAIN.
DO NOT LEAVE LIQUID IN THE FILTER.
My machine won’t switch from vacuum to seal, it just keeps running:
This is generally because the machine has not achieved full vacuum. Here are some reasons why this happens:
- Kinks in the film where it sits into the vacuum chamber, this will cause air leaks. Make sure the film is laying flat into the vacuum chamber.
- An imperfect first seal on the base of the bag will cause an air leak. Check the seal. A good seal will look even and opaque, with none of the bag embossing showing in the seal area.
- The bag may have been punctured by a sharp object, particularly if the bag is being re used
- TO TEST THE MACHINE:
Run the vacuum seal function without any film. If the machine switches over from vacuum to seal (the red light brightens and the sound of the machine changes) then the machine is working perfectly and the fault is with the film or the operating procedure.Run this test with the lid locked shut.
Some of the bags that were vacuumed later lost their vacuum:
This is caused by an air leak in the bag.
- Other brands of film can give variable results with the seal process. Check the function with ZeroPak film.
- If liquid was sucked into the seal band area there is a high likelihood that the seal will leak. The liquid contaminates the seal and cools it. If this occurs place a second seal above the first seal as insurance.
- There may be a kink in the film across the seal area. This is a guaranteed leak. Make sure the film is sitting flat in the machine at all times.
- Some food items hold a large amount of air inside them, which is slowly released in the vacuum. Whole sweet corn is a typical example. Take the corn off the cob prior to vacuuming. Soft foods like minced meat can also cause air pockets in the bag. Make sure things like mince are pushed into the corners of the bag or that a gap is left on the side of the bag for the air to pass.
- Fruit and vegetables give off Ethylene gas as they ripen. This will release the vacuum. You can vacuum fruit and vegetables but when the bag starts to release the vacuum it is time to open it.
The bag has been sealed but not fully vacuumed:
- Make sure the open end of the bag is inside the vacuum chamber.
- If you are working very quickly vacuum sealing multiple bags you may find that the residual heat that builds up in the seal band will start to seal the bag before the vacuum is completed. The machine has a duty cycle of 1 bag every 2 minutes. We find that we can exceed this without any problems, however if you experience the above problem let the machine sit for a couple of minutes with the lid open and try again.
- Sometimes this problem can occur more quickly with other brands of film, which are lighter in construction.