Note 61 (Vita-Mix broken)

What started out as a mild but unpleasant odour…and then a bit of oil at the bottom, resulted in a service call to replace my Vita-Mix 5200.

I first noticed the oil on the bottom of the container in November.
I initially thought it might be minor wear and tear, and not a serious problem. However a month later there was a bit more oil on the bottom and the smell had become more noticeable,
I got on the Vita-Village forum around December 20th to first ask other users if  they’d noticed this. On the 28th that post had still not appeared and it looked as if their forums were not managed or used much. So on December 22nd I sent in the same inquiry to their service email. I got a quick initial response that my email was received, but still…on  the 28th there was no response. (probably due to the holiday)

On December 28th I was forced to call service as my Vita-Mix was no longer safe to use.
While pouring out my morning smoothie I noticed some dripping from the bottom of the container. I emptied it and tipped it over to see a mess of green smoothie and oil, both on the bottom of the container, and on the top of the Vita-Mix base.
No oil was getting inside the container.
I assume there is some sort of seal preventing the blade and gear from leaking, and this seal had broken for some reason.

Called for service on the 28th. On hold for about 20 minutes, then a quick resolution…they will mail me a new blade assembly and i’ll install it myself. (7 business days)
I was told the bearings in the blade assembly became worn and that is why the oil leaked out.
I was told not to worry about the white stuff on the base, this is just “glue” and should not cause any problems.

New blade assembly arrives via Canada Post 1:40pm December 30th. Amazingly quick response from Vita-Mix! It’s also amazing seeing the time of year.
That’s almost exactly 48 hours from the time I called for service.
Seeing i’m in Toronto, and their Canadian location is Windsor, i’m sure this also helped in getting it to me quickly.

Photo of the oil that appeared November 2011:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6550393453/in/set-72157628515134537

Photos of the white oily substance that appeared December 2011:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6550395295/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6550394885/in/set-72157628515134537/

Photos from December 28th when the bottom of the container leaked while making my smoothie, and chunks of oil/grease could be seen:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588774335/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588774551/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588774753/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588775263/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588775041/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588775441/in/set-72157628515134537/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff1961/6588775715/in/set-72157628515134537/

Videos of me replacing the blade assembly (pt 1 & 2):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFJgyC7Xlto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGClUX_63Gw

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2 Comments

Filed under Notes

2 responses to “Note 61 (Vita-Mix broken)

  1. A few weeks ago I was concerned I was hearing a slightly different sound from my blender. The blade assembly instructions mentioned that a different sound may indicate the blade assembly tightness required an adjustment. I loosened it. (very slightly)

    Now, the past week or so I notice that the blender is having a hard time grinding up the same things as it used to. (which could also be described as making unusual or untypical noise) It’s particularly noticeable when i’m just starting out, and have only a half litre of items in it. It almost seems like an air bubble is created at the bottom of the container. (something i’m familiar with happening when the 2L container is filled and the mixture thick)
    It takes ten times as long for it to grind that up.
    So my concern is two-fold…do I need to adjust the blade tightness again? Or is this related to the white blob of glue Vita-Mix told me is not a concern?

  2. Raw Forager

    Hi Jeff, I Love all your raw foodist information! (I spent several years in Hawaii exploring raw foods among other things) Loved your YouTube video about the blade replacement. Nice work! I imagine you got rid of the old blade assembly, but if you still have it, I really could use some parts from it. (or maybe someone else has one?) Would be glad to pay you or trade something for the old assembly. Thanks!

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