Vitamix blenders are known for their power, performance, and longevity. Many Vitamix owners use their blenders for years or even decades before needing to replace them. But when the time does come for a new blender, some owners consider refurbishing their old Vitamix rather than buying a brand new one. So, can a Vitamix be refurbished? The short answer is yes, Vitamix blenders can be refurbished. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what refurbishing a Vitamix entails, the pros and cons of refurbishing versus buying new, and everything else you need to know about giving your old Vitamix a second life.
What Does Refurbishing a Vitamix Involve?
Refurbishing a Vitamix involves a thorough inspection, replacement of any defective parts, testing, cleaning, and polishing to make the machine look and work like new again. Here are the key steps involved in refurbishing a Vitamix blender:
- Disassembly – The blender is completely taken apart to access all internal components.
- Inspection – Each part is closely inspected for damage, wear and tear, or defects. Any worn or defective parts are replaced.
- Replacement parts – Common replacement parts include blades, seals, bearings, gaskets, lids, and containers. Only genuine Vitamix parts are used.
- Cleaning – The interior and exterior of all components are thoroughly cleaned to remove residue buildup.
- Reassembly – The Vitamix is reassembled with all parts carefully aligned and secured.
- Testing – The refurbished machine is stringently tested to ensure optimal performance and safety.
- Polishing – The exterior housing is buffed and polished to restore the machine’s aesthetics.
In addition to mechanical refurbishing, some retailers also update older Vitamix models with new features like touchscreen controls or built-in timers. Vitamix blenders made in the last 20 years can generally be refurbished, but very old vintage models may have unavailable replacement parts.
Who Refurbishes Vitamix Blenders?
Vitamix blenders are refurbished by both Vitamix and third-party companies. Here are some of the main options:
- Vitamix – Vitamix has its own refurbishment program and sells certified refurbished blenders directly through its website. These are restored to like-new condition by Vitamix technicians.
- Retailers – Major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, and Williams Sonoma often sell refurbished Vitamix blenders in-store and online. Retailer-refurbished blenders typically come with a warranty.
- Third-party refurbishers – Various blender repair shops and small businesses specialize in refurbishing used Vitamix blenders to resell.
- Independent sellers – Individuals may also refurbish and resell used Vitamix blenders through classified ads or sites like eBay and Craigslist.
Vitamix and major retailers typically offer the best warranties and credibility when buying a refurbished blender. With independent refurbishers, it’s important to carefully assess reputation and warranty coverage.
Pros and Cons of Refurbished vs. New
Here’s an overview of some of the key pros and cons to consider when deciding between a refurbished or brand new Vitamix:
Refurbished Vitamix Pros:
- Significant cost savings – Refurbished models are typically 20-50% less than the retail price of a new unit.
- Identical performance – A properly refurbished Vitamix works as good as new.
- Warranty included – Many come with a full 5-7 year warranty like a new Vitamix.
- Environmentally friendly – Refurbishing reduces waste and resource use.
Refurbished Vitamix Cons:
- Limited selection – Only certain models may be available refurbished.
- Cosmetic flaws – There may be some small scratches or blemishes.
- No return policy – Refurbished blenders typically cannot be returned if you’re unsatisfied.
- Shorter lifespan – The motor may not last as many years as a brand new model.
New Vitamix Pros:
- Full warranty – A brand new machine comes with Vitamix’s full 7-10 year warranty.
- Latest features – The newest Vitamix models include the latest presets and controls.
- Cosmetically flawless – The housing will look shiny and blemish-free.
- Returnable – Can be returned to the retailer if needed.
New Vitamix Cons:
- Higher price – A new Vitamix costs $289-$689 versus $209-$375 for most refurbished units.
- Minimal savings – Buying new offers little cost advantage.
- Resource intensive – New production has a larger environmental impact.
Buying a Refurbished Vitamix
If you decide to go the refurbished route, here are some tips for selecting a refurbished Vitamix blender:
- Choose a seller with a solid reputation and warranty – Opt for Vitamix’s certified refurbished blenders or major retailers.
- Inspect for quality and test performance – Carefully examine for any cosmetic flaws and test all functions before purchasing.
- Consider newer models – Refurbished next gen blenders like the Vitamix 5200 or 7500 may have more life left than 1990s models.
- Ask about part replacements – Find out what components were replaced during refurbishing.
- Look for a deal – Aim for at least $100+ off the new retail price.
- Use a credit card – Purchase with a credit card so you can dispute the transaction if any issues arise.
DIY Vitamix Refurbishing
With the right parts and some mechanical skill, it’s also possible to refurbish a Vitamix blender yourself at home. Here are the basics of DIY Vitamix refurbishing:
- Replacement container – New Vitamix jars are available for all models.
- Blades – Dull or damaged blades should be replaced for optimal performance.
- Rubber base seal – This crucial seal preserves the connection between the jar and motor base.
- Bearings and motor brushes – If worn, these small but essential motor parts should be swapped out.
- Cleaning supplies – For sanitizing all the blender’s components before reassembly.
- Repair manual – This guides proper disassembly and reassembly of the specific model.
- Obtain replacement parts and manuals for your model.
- Completely disassemble the Vitamix.
- Thoroughly clean each part with soap and water or diluted vinegar.
- Inspect components and identify any in need of replacement.
- Replace worn or defective parts with new OEM parts.
- Carefully reassemble the blender, following the repair manual.
- Test the motor and all speeds.
- Give the jar exterior a final polish to restore its appearance.
With a detail-oriented approach, proper parts, and by carefully following the product manual, many home blender owners have been able to successful rebuild old Vitamix machines. However, take care not to damage any components during disassembly and reassembly.
Cost of Refurbishing a Vitamix
If you plan to restore your Vitamix at home, the cost will depend on which parts need to be replaced:
Expect to spend $150-$300 or more for a DIY Vitamix refurbishing if you need to replace multiple parts. Purchasing a professionally refurbished Vitamix from a retailer may be more cost effective depending on how many components need replacement.
Is Refurbishing Worth It?
In many cases, refurbishing an old Vitamix blender can be well worth it. Key factors to consider include:
- Age of your blender – Vitamix blenders 15-20+ years old may have more wear and need more repairs.
- Cost of new parts – Is it worth spending $200-300+ on parts for an old model?
- Availability of parts – Some parts for 1990s models may be discontinued.
- Your repair skills – DIY refurbishing requires mechanical ability and Vitamix knowledge.
- Cost savings – Refurbishing can save $100+ over buying new.
For newer Vitamix machines under 15 years old that just need basic fixes like new seals or blades, refurbishing is typically a smart money-saving option. Very old models from the 1990s or with unavailable parts may be better replaced. Consulting Vitamix customer service on part availability for your model can help determine if refurbishing is feasible.
Thanks to their reputation for reliability, refurbishing a Vitamix blender is very possible with the right replacement parts and repair techniques. For newer models in otherwise good shape, refurbishing can often extend a Vitamix blender’s lifespan for many more years while saving money over buying new. However, very old blenders from the 1990s with significant wear may be better replaced. When shopping for a refurbished Vitamix, purchasing from trusted sources like Vitamix’s own refurbishment program or major retailers helps ensure you get a quality, warranted appliance. With some DIY mechanical skill, Vitamix blenders can also be refurbished at home if you purchase replacement parts. Overall, giving your old but not ancient Vitamix a second life through refurbishment is usually a smart money-saving move.