Saturday, July 30, 2011

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?!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Just a few photos of the hike to Willow Springs this year. The spring run-off is still running off. Hubby hasn't seen the water this high in 40 years.

In the 30 years we've been camping here I've seen one layer of sandbags here once or twice. Heavy snowfall last winter and lots of rain this spring. We are grateful for all the water this year, especially when there are so many places that have drought.

Water under the bridge!

Lots and lots of flowers this summer! Probably because of all the water.

Head of the springs. This is where the water starts and flows in the river in the previous pictures.

Usually no water coming out of this part of the head at this time of the year.

We can usually cross over to the slop on the left side of the picture by stepping on rocks. Not this year!

The other spot at the head of the springs that is usually dry this time of year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kiddie Pool for the Llamas!

Vet2Be filled up the kiddie pool for the ducks.... apparently the llamas thought it was their foot bath!

Daisy on the left and Meadow on the right. Meadow LOVES water. Sometimes she even takes a nap in the puddles from the sprinklers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gidget Has a Calf

Gidget belongs to Sheepy. Gidget had bucklings this year and Sheepy sold them so that she could have the milk for calves and cheese.

Look who gets the milk now!

Gidget, the goat, feeding her adopted calf.

Way to go Sheepy and Gidget!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Table Runner

We were with Hubby's business partner over Independence Day. I'm not really sure what to think about the trip yet. It was a bit overwhelming.

We stayed with them in their homes (no, that isn't a mistake. We stayed 'in town' and 'on the ranch'.)

I didn't bring a hostess gift because, well.... they are wealthy.

What do you bring to someone who has a private plane? And a 2000+ acre ranch? And 31 horses? And two full-time ranch hands?

How do you say 'thank you' to someone who calls his pilot one day ahead and says, "Hi Bud, do you have time to fly the plane down here and pick up my partner's wife and Jr. (that's what he called Vet2Be) and take them for a sight-seeing flight? I'll be happy to pay the day rate."

I wasn't sure.

On our way home Hubby needed to stop at the lawyer's office to sign some paperwork. Two doors down was a quilt shop! Much more interesting for me than sitting in the office.

I bought a pattern called, "Jacob's Jazz". It looked striking, but not too hard. One of those things that 'grabbed' me.

When I got home I went to the quilt store and bought some batik fabric, which wasn't what I had in mind at all, but it 'grabbed' me just like the pattern did. I know better than to walk away from that gut feeling!

Between Sunday and Monday I got the top finished and found a wonderful machine quilter who will quilt it this week. I'll bind it over the weekend and send it out on Monday.

They are a gracious and generous couple. I was happy to meet them and enjoyed their company, although I am still trying to 'digest' the weekend!

It is hard to see the pattern of the batik in the photo, but believe me, it is stunning! The pattern didn't call for such a wide border, but when I laid the runner on top of the backing, it looked much better. So I added 4" borders all around.