Tag Archives: Heating Element

Maintenance – How to change the Heating Element and PTFE Cover/Adhesive on your Hand Sealer

Maintenance is KEY to a long lasting impulse sealer.  Regular maintenance of your impulse sealer will ensure the longevity of your sealer.  After using between 1,000-5,000 seals, it is normal for the heating element (wire) to break .  The number is dependent on your timer setting and will vary from user to user.  Regularly replacing your sealer’s heating wire, PTFE adhesive (sticky brown protective skin under the element), and the PTFE cover (brown protective skin over the element) is essential for your sealer’s health and well-being.

Take a look at our instructional video on how to change out your heating element and insulation pieces.

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What Does “Seal Width” Mean for a Sealer?

When shopping around for a heat impulse sealer, the two most important questions you will need to answer are:

Q:  What sealer size should I purchase?
A:  How wide is your bag?  This one is easy.  If your bag is 6″, then you will need a sealer that will fit your 6″ bag.  The closest size to that is our 8″ hand sealer.

Seal Width Examples_small

Seal Width Examples

Next Q:  What seal width should I choose?
There are a variety of seal widths that a sealer can make.  There are two types of heating elements: round or flat. The round wire is mainly used to cut and seal with no excess material above the seal.  Depending on the width of the flat wire element, sealers are available in 2-3mm, 5mm, 8mm, or 10 mm.   If you are sealing thicker materials, you may want to choose a wider seal width for better heat penetration.  Please download our seal width guide for a better idea of the type of seal width you should choose.  The most basic seal width is 2mm and if you are sealing a general poly bag, the 2mm seal width will do the trick.

Help! My Sealer Isn’t Working!

Q:  I bought a sealer and now the sealer  isn’t working!  Can you help me?

A: Why, of course we can! We are the sealer experts and can assist you with any sealer problem.  Most often, the problem is a simple fix.  All you need is a screwdriver, unplug your machine and follow our quick little troubleshooting steps.

Using a screwdriver, loosen the PTFE metal plate and untuck the PTFE cover.

1. Is your heating element / wire broken?
– This is the wire (flat or round) that heats up to seal or cut the bag/film.  Remove the PTFE cover and check that the wire is not discolored, bent, or broken.

Check the wire. Make sure the wire runs fully across the sealer.

2.   Do you hear the “click” of the microswitch activation?
The microswitch allows the electricity to pass to the heating element which in turn heats up and seals your poly material.  Sometimes the microswitch moves out of alignment during shipping and needs a simple adjustment to get the unit back to proper working order.

Remove the bottom plate to locate the microswitch

If you do not hear the “click” of the microswitch, you will want to locate the microswitch and make sure the arm operating bracket touches the microswitch when the sealer arm is brought into contact with the sealer base.
Carefully push the microswitch level to ensure that the level comes in contact with the microswitch trigger.

Carefully push the microswitch level to ensure that the level comes in contact with the microswitch trigger.

Mounting Springs hold the elements on both ends.

3.  Are the mounting springs (holding the elements) in tact and in good condition?  Make sure that the spring the element mounts on is intact. Replace if damaged.  Please check also that the mounting spring is not rusted or worn in any way as this will prevent the element from conducting heat.

Make sure there are no loose connections to the timer.

4.  Does the timer light come on when you bring your arm down to meet the base of the sealer?  The light on the timer should come on briefly when the seal bar is brought down for sealing. If it does not come on, there maybe some loose wires or the timer may need replacing

Adding a “Cut” Option to Your Sealer

We have two types of sealers that offer a “cut” option:  a cut and seal sealer (aka a sealer with a round wire) OR a sealer with a sliding cutter.  Please take a look at the two options to determine which sealer works best for you.  If you  have questions, please contact us or one of our distributors!

Seal and Cut Sealer
A seal and cut sealer is most often used in shrink wrapping  film and bags.  When using a seal and cut sealer, any excess material above the seal is cut off creating a clean seamless seal.

Seal and Cut Sealer (Round Wire)

When purchasing a seal and cut sealer, ask for an impulse sealer with a ROUND wire instead of a flat wire.  Flat wire sealers create seal widths such as 2mm, 5mm, or 10mm seal widths.  Round wires create no seam.

If you already have a 2mm sealer, you can easily purchase a round wire heating element and convert your sealer to a cut and seal sealer.  Please note:  ONLY 2mm sealers can be converted, a 5mm or 10mm sealer CANNOT be converted to a round wire.  See our instructions on how to change your heating element wire.

Sealer with Sliding Cutter
Now, a sealer with a sliding cutter is most often used to trim a bag length or seal poly tubing.  A sealer with a sliding cutter is equipped with a blade which will cut any excess material about 1/4″ from the seal line.

We carry sealers with cutters in a 2mm and 5mm seal width.  We recommend using a 2mm for sealing materials 3-5mil thick (6-10mil total) and 5mm seal width for sealing materials 6-10mil thick (12-20mil total).

Sealer w/ Cutter

Glossary of Packaging Terms

We have created a couple of glossary reference guides for our distributors.  There are so many terms to remember that we sometimes we forget too!

Click here for our A to Zs of Packaging

Click here for our Glossary of Flexible Packaging Materials

MAINTENANCE – for your Hand Impulse Sealer

Regular maintenance of your impulse sealer will ensure the longevity of your sealer.  After using between 1,000-5,000 seals, it is normal for the heating element (wire) to break .  The number is dependent on your timer setting and will vary from user to user.  Regularly replacing your sealer’s heating wire, PTFE adhesive (sticky brown protective skin under the element), and the PTFE cover (brown protective skin over the element) is essential for your sealer’s health and well-being.

An impulse sealer’s PTFE adhesive serves as a barrier between the heating element and the sealer’s body.  When the sealer’s heating element has burned through the bottom PTFE adhesive and arc’ed on the sealer’s body, the heating element will break and may also damage the timer.

**When replacing the heating element, you MUST also replace the bottom PTFE adhesive.  Make sure the PTFE adhesive is 1/4″ and 1/2″ past the machine on both ends.  This prevents the heating element from coming in contact with the sealer’s body.

Download our instructions on how to change your sealer’s heating wire and PTFE cover and adhesive here.

We carry replacement kits for all our sealers.   If you do not find what you are looking for, contact us!