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Vitamix: New Container Design - 2015 (to avoid black particle issue) - Possible free replacement container

unlvrebels 4,628 5,731 June 25, 2015 at 01:44 AM in Home & Home Improvement (6)
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Last Edited by unlvrebels June 25, 2015 at 01:58 AM
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I bought a Vitamix 5200 in 2014. I came across black specks issue through various websites. I tested the new unit at home and found similar black particles. I also expressed my concern on the Vitamix Facebook page along with others.
https://www.facebook.com/VitamixC...4736918929

According to Vitamix: "Vitamix containers conform to the rigorous food equipment safety and sanitation standards from the National Sanitation Foundation, (NSF). Our seal material is safe and presents no health risk from repeat exposure or limited ingestion. Any flecks from the seal that may be ingested over the service years of our blenders represent a tiny fraction of what is considered safe."

Since, a large number of customers have expressed their concerns, Vitamix did some follow-up and their engineers seems to have reportedly figured out a way to prevent the black specks. Vitamix says that the updated design will be available in the market soon.

I came to know through some websites that Vitamix is offering the newly designed containers - w/o lid (in exchange for old containers w/o lid) to those who expressed concern. This week, I spoke with a representative regarding this and my shipment is on the way. I need to ship the old container (without lid) back to them later.

Background Information:
Disclaimer: I just copied and pasted the information below from these websites.
Source:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/virginiah....nvmbJnp5r
http://joyofblending.com/vitamix-...particles/

Some Vitamix blenders produce tiny black particles of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the non-stick chemical more commonly known as Teflon. Customers are upset, though health experts say there's nothing to worry about.

The PTFE flecks apparently come from a seal at the bottom of the containers used in all blender models, Scott Tennant, director of communications at Vitamix, told BuzzFeed News. PTFE "has been used in pots and pans and other cookware for more than 50 years."

The flecks also contain about 2% graphite, which gives them their black color, Tennant said. Vitamix conducted an internal analysis late last summer, then contracted an independent standards company to conduct similar tests. Vitamix has not published any of these scientific results.

Vitamix sold 1.4 million blenders last year, typically retailing between $400 and $700. The reason PTFE works so well as a non-stick coating is because it's chemically inert: Nothing reacts with it. So if the particles are indeed PTFE, as the company claims, then there's nothing to fret about, experts say.

"It's unsightly, and not many people want to have the visual of having black flakes in your food," Edward Boyer, director of toxicology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told BuzzFeed News. "But it's probably better for you than eating a cheeseburger every meal."

Since last spring, angry customers have been posting evidence of the tiny particles, which become visible if you run the machine with water inside.

Vitamix is working on a new, shard-free model:

"We are working toward possible modifications to the seal that we hope to have in place later this year," Tennant said.
The company will not be recalling the old models because the flecks don't pose any safety risks, he added. "We do care very, very deeply about customer preferences," he said. "This was not a safety issue."

PTFE releases toxic fumes when heated above ~500?F
It is true that pure PTFE is usually safe. The exception is when PTFE gets very hot - above 500 degrees Fahrenheit - and turns into vapor. People who breathe in these fumes, such as workers who mill PTFE, can get chills, fever, and respiratory distress.

This is why you should be careful about preheating non-stick pans. However the Vitamix bearing seal never gets anywhere near that hot because it is in thermal contact with your food. If you were to run your Vitamix with nothing in it for a LONG time (over 5 minutes?), the bearings would heat up, but I think the container would melt well before the PTFE started off-gassing. (The container is made of Tritan copolyester, which starts to soften at ~250?F.)

Vitamix machines produce a lot of heat: The blades spin so forcefully that, after running for several minutes, it can heat the contents of the container, making hot soup. But that's not enough to vaporize PTFE. "The good news here is it's very, very difficult for household equipment to heat up to the point that it can vaporize PTFE," Boyer, the University of Massachusetts toxicologist, said. "Unless you've got a burning Vitamix mixer, you're not going to have a problem with it."

Why does Vitamix use PTFE in the bearing seal?
In addition to being inert, PTFE is one of the most slippery materials. Slippery means low friction, which means that the high-speed bearings run more efficiently than they would with other materials. The only tradeoff is that PTFE has lower wear resistance than other materials. I suspect that lower wear resistance explains why we can sometimes detect the tiny black specks from Vitamix containers.

Do the black specks affect the longevity of the bearing seal?

The answer could be no, for two reasons:
- The specks are so small that they don't add up to a significant volume of material.
- According to the Vitamix employees I have spoken to, the PTFE seal is not a new component on Vitamix containers. That is, they've been using PTFE seals for many years, without seeing significant problems. It seems that the new development is that people started running the water and white bowl test last year and started detecting the specks. I know of Vitamix containers that have been going strong since the mid 90s. Also, remember that new machines come with a 5 or 7-year warranty.

Why hasn't Vitamix released a public statement?
I believe the reason is that they have determined that there is no health risk. I suspect that they do not want to have to explain why PTFE is not as scary as it might sound more than they have to. It took Vitamix a few months to communicate to all of their customer service associates, but now if you call and ask, the associates will tell you the nature of the black specks.

Vitamix is quite concerned about their consumers' well being, as they demonstrated in their fast-moving voluntary blade recall in 2013.http://www.containerbladerecall.c...Entry.aspx

In addition to not being a health problem, the black specs are not visible under normal blending conditions, so they won't harm the aesthetics of your blends.

One side note is that all high-speed blenders use these PTFE seals, and the black specks have been found in all the top brands.
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#2
interesting - i called a couple of months ago and got "on a list" but haven't heard anything. i will have to call them and see.

thanks OP
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#3
Quote from armedmetallica View Post :
interesting - i called a couple of months ago and got "on a list" but haven't heard anything. i will have to call them and see.

thanks OP
Try contacting them now.
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#4
I just received my replacement container after the manager at Vitamix personally spoke with me. There is NO NEW CONTAINER, what is new is the new blade hub assembly, where the source of the problem was when a few of us discovery the black speck issues in early 2014 (thanks to xtp / xpt, sry if i got your name wrong).

You will NOT be receiving a new design container. You will get the same design container with the NEW Blade hub assembly. People might get confuse with the whole new design container. The current new design container was made for the Costco 5300s, its basically the same low-profile container Vitamix uses on their other models but fitted to be use with the 5300s (5200 rebranded for Costco).

It took a couple of back & forth with Vitamix until a manager got on the phone with me to finally send me the new blade assembly with the same design container for the 5200. I will be posting a Youtube video to show the results of the Before & After with the new blade hub assembly.

Vitamix confirms that the public should have the new supply of containers with the new blade hub assembly ready by sometimes in the Fall. Currently Vitamix is making these per request and all done in-house at their Ohio facility / headquarters. I am hoping that Vitamix once they start mass production on the new blade, offer recalls.
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#5
Didn't want to deal with all of the black fleck madness and I bought a Breville Boss and haven't looked back.
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#6
I've been wanting to buy a vitamix for awhile, but I haven't because of this. What model or where do I need to shop to make sure the Vitamix I buy has the newest assembly that doesn't cause the black spots? Thanks!
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#7
The "black flecks" issue is horribly overhyped.

You're more likely to get a brain tumor from using your cell phone than you are to have a problem from any black specs in a high speed blender.

Quote from kwik View Post :
Didn't want to deal with all of the black fleck madness and I bought a Breville Boss and haven't looked back.
Vitamix is a better blender.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8NTI2WkGW0
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#9
Quote from rathina View Post :
I've been wanting to buy a vitamix for awhile, but I haven't because of this. What model or where do I need to shop to make sure the Vitamix I buy has the newest assembly that doesn't cause the black spots? Thanks!
I recommend waiting until mid Fall and purchase it at your local Costco. With Costco you can buy it, check for the black spec and if it has it, then return it, very simple with Costco. If you don't have a Costco, still wait till mid Fall. That is when all of the containers should have the new seal.
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#10
Quote from yeti79 View Post :
The "black flecks" issue is horribly overhyped.

You're more likely to get a brain tumor from using your cell phone than you are to have a problem from any black specs in a high speed blender.



Vitamix is a better blender.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8NTI2WkGW0
I had a vitamix for a few days and it was fine, but then I had the black flecks and called vita, they said it's not a problem and to live with it.

That's why I bought the breville. I don't see a difference between the two in blending quality. The stuff she was blending in the video was on the wrong settings, soooo it's a one sided review.
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#11
Just received my refurbished vitamix and it had black particles. I recently saw a post on youtube that says the particles will go away after some use. And indeed that was the for mine. Initially it had bunch but totally went away after around 20-ish blend.
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#12
Quote from xtp View Post :
For all relevant information on the NEW blade Hub..

Read my following posts.. I've updated them with the information on the new blade hub after taking it apart. Yes there are pictars.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?to...msg1401773

http://slickdeals.net/f/7035600-vitamix-blender-certified-refurbished-246-75-25-shipping-5-year-warranty?v=1&p=76458879#post76458879

http://slickdeals.net/f/7213642-vitafix-yes-vitamix-black-dust-fixed-here-s-how?v=1&p=70582202#post70582202
So did I understand correctly that there still may be specks; I just won't see them? Why bother with the replacement?
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#13
Quote from keightertot View Post :
So did I understand correctly that there still may be specks; I just won't see them? Why bother with the replacement?
Um.. no.

They fixed the Black Specks that were from the blade-hub-retainer-cap.. {hard-teflon}.. they swapped it with soft rubber.

They did not fix the possible black lubricant issue, because technically, it's not an issue, as there will always be lubricant.. Wink

They only swapped out the black lube for white lube.


But assuming these are ball bearings, Eventually the white lube, would turn into black lube, so..... prolly gonna get some black lube eventually.
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#14
Purchased a 5300 recently at Costco and it didn't have any specks. Really like the new pitcher since it now fits under our cabinets.

Got it as a replacement since I returned a 2 yr old 6300 that shattered. Love Costco's return policy. Smilie
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#15
Quote from xtp View Post :
Um.. no.

They fixed the Black Specks that were from the blade-hub-retainer-cap.. {hard-teflon}.. they swapped it with soft rubber.

They did not fix the possible black lubricant issue, because technically, it's not an issue, as there will always be lubricant.. Wink

They only swapped out the black lube for white lube.


But assuming these are ball bearings, Eventually the white lube, would turn into black lube, so..... prolly gonna get some black lube eventually.
Gotcha. Thanks.
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