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To DIY or Not to DIY: Should You Make That Repair?

DIY to Save Time & Money

When Tundra started, more than 20 years ago, we were a simple plumbing parts distributor.  Working out of a garage, our founder, Michael Lewis, began going door to door to see how he could help different businesses in the food service industry get the parts they needed to stay up and running, which quickly expanded Tundra to house more parts to serve its customers needs.

What he learned was that a lot of people in charge of running a kitchen were intimidated to make repairs, even simple ones.  Being the honest man he was (and still is), he took this as an opportunity to help teach people how they could make the repairs on their own.  The idea was that there were parts that you should have no problem installing yourself, while there were others that should be left to a professional.  Michael called them always DIY parts, sometimes DIY parts, and never DIY parts.

Always DIY Parts

Always Do It Yourself Parts require very little research and no technical skill to install. In general, if a part can be installed without the use of tools, it’s an Always DIY Part. Some typical examples include knobs, fryer baskets, light bulbs and hood filters.

If you’re trying to cut operating expenses in your kitchen, these are great items to start with. Because Always DIY Parts don’t require a service tech for installation, you start saving immediately on service labor, and you avoid the usual tech markup. Additionally, these parts can typically be used on multiple pieces of equipment and are generally in-stock ready for same-day pick-up or delivery. Usually, it would not make sense for a kitchen to stock replacement parts, but Always DIY Parts are one of the exceptions. Since most of these parts are multi-use (items like knobs), it may make sense to keep a few extras on hand.

Always DIY Parts

Sometimes DIY Parts

Sometimes Do It Yourself Parts require a small amount of research and little to no skill to install. These parts typically require the use of basic tools for installation, such as a screwdriver or wrench. The skill level for Sometimes DIY Parts is rather broad and spans from screwing in a refrigeration latch to installing a thermostat. While a thermostat is more difficult to install than a latch, the process can easily be taught. Everyone’s range for Sometimes DIY Parts is really determined by their confidence and comfort with making repairs.

Examples of typical Sometimes DIY Parts include refrigeration gaskets, switches, light fixtures, and high limits. While a lot of these items are typically multi-use parts, they are not necessarily needed as frequently so may not always be in stock. It is important when purchasing this category of parts to have a conversation with one of our sales team members to gauge the required technical knowledge for your specific part need.

With these parts, a little confidence and experience can go a long way to save time and money. This being said, most individuals can install Sometimes DIY Parts. If the installation is more difficult, you can always call a service tech to assist and still purchase the part yourself to save you the tech’s part mark-up.

Sometimes DIY Parts

Never DIY Parts

Never Do It Yourself Parts require the highest level of research and advanced technical knowledge to ensure the installation is done properly. Some common Never DIY Parts are refrigeration compressors, steamer boilers/generators, and parts for any 480 volt equipment. Odds are, you’ll want to contact an experienced service tech for these repairs.

Never DIY Parts are typically not in stock, because the parts are linked heavily to specific OEMs, making it unlikely multiple people will need the same part on a frequent basis. While it is best to use a service tech for these types of repairs, you can still look to purchase the necessary parts. To speed up the ordering process, present our sales team with the make and model number of your piece of equipment, as well as the item you need.

Never DIY Parts

Have DIY Questions?

We know that this only slightly covers how to gauge if you should be doing repairs yourself, but as it was Michael’s intention, we do hope that this helps you walk away with a slightly better understanding of what you should have in stock in your own kitchen.  And of course, if you have any questions on how to DIY on any of your food service equipment, let us know, we are lucky enough to have a lot of team members with years of experience in equipment repair.

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How to Replace a Vitamix Drive Socket [Video]

Has your Vitamix blender broken down? If you can hear the motor working, but the blades aren’t spinning correctly, chances are that the drive socket just needs to be replaced. In this video, Chris Tavano walks you through the procedure to get your Vitamix back in working shape!

To be sure that your Vitamix is never down for long, make sure to always keep an extra drive socket on hand!


Find more Vitamix replacement parts, and much more, here

Replacement Process:

  • Turn off and unplug Vitamix
  • Remove centering pad
  • Line up the “Vitamix” name stamped on the top of the drive socket with the small hole in the back of the housing
  • Insert the allen wrench at a 45-degree angle into the hole and unscrew the drive socket
  • Remove the old drive socket, and insert the new one in the same position
  • Re-insert the allen wrench and tighten the drive socket into the housing
  • Replace the centering pad
  • Mix away!

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Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply and in this episode, we’re going to show you how to troubleshoot and fix a common error with your Vitamix Blender.

So a common problem that you can see with your Vitamix Blender is your drive socket gets worn out and therefore, can’t spin your blade assembly correctly. So you may be asking yourself, why is the drive socket so important? Well, first and foremost it is really the only thing between you and the motor and the blade; as well, the drive socket works as a silencer to keep this baby running soft and silent.

So a couple of ways to identify if your Vitamix Blender is not running properly and if it really is the drive socket, is if you turn it on and you hear the motor running, but you don’t see the blade spinning. Common causes for this issue, could be many. You could be taking a container off of the motor before it stops running, or vice versa your putting the container on the motor while it is running. Another commonality would be you have a foreign object in your container, and it’s prohibiting the blade from spinning properly. Also, if you’re running your Vitamix Blender without the centering pad in place. And a last occurrence of why it could grind out the teeth on your drive socket, is you’re trying to tilt the container to move around your ingredients while the motor is running. And also, it’s important to know that you can wear out your drive socket by not using the correct Vitamix component part.

So what you want to do first, before doing any maintenance on your Vitamix Blender is first, be sure it’s unplugged, and in the off position. From there you’d want to remove your container because it’s not going to be needed and then you’re going to want to take off your centering pad, which is really easy, it peels right back. And then from there, you’re going to want to look at the little housing for the drive socket and find the hole, and on top of the drive socket, you’re going to see the brand name, Vitamix and a little arrow. You want to line the arrow up with the hole in the housing. From there, you’re going to take your 5/64 Allen wrench, place it down at a 45 degree angle, righty-tighty, lefty-loosy, and the drive socket should pop right out. Again, if you’re having a little bit of trouble having that drive socket pop out, you can just use a flat-headed screwdriver to help get some leverage underneath there. From there, you want to get your new drive socket, it’s got a square bolt, so it only fits one way in the housing; and again you’ll want to line up your Vitamix brand name with the arrow to the back of the housing where that hole is, place it in place. Again, it only goes on one way on the square nut. Get your 5/64 Hex wrench back at a 45 degree angle in that housing hole. 

And the good news is, that we have these parts in stock in our inventory here at Tundra, as well as, there’s no minimum order and they ship the day you order it. 

Peel your rubber centering pad right back over the drive socket and there you go.

And I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply, here’s to a better mise en place!

And if you have any other ideas for DIY videos, Please comment below.

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