How do you fix a toaster lever?
My toaster, just past warranty, won't toast any more because the lever won't stay down. I know it's cheap, but I don't want to throw away what used to work fine.
I have done this a couple of times over the years. Often, it is caused by an accumulation of crumbs around the thermal shut off sensor. This causes the toaster to shut off quicker because it gets too hot.
The fix it is unplugging the toaster, taking the outer shell off and cleaning all visible residue out of the toaster. Compressed air, wooden skewers, and slightly damp, lint free cloths are helpful.
Reminder: if wiping with damp cloths, please let toaster thoroughly dry before reassembly.
Please don't laugh. I'm not mechanically inclined and have not tried fixing kitchen appliances before, but I could not just toss the toaster in the trash and go out and buy another for about $10. My toaster (2-slice basic Sunbeam) wouldn't stay down, I inspected it to make sure the heating elements were indeed working, it's just that the "bread slice holders" stopped staying down; therefore, no toasting happened. I had already done the initial crumb removal, taking the crumb release door off and shaking/jarring to dislodge crumbs so that all would fall out. After crumb removal, the toaster mechanism would still not stay down. I found online that the toaster has a circuit board and a magnet involved with it's function. I looked at the outside and saw the the screws did not look difficult to remove, so with the toaster unplugged, I removed the screws that held the cover on at the end that has the "push down" lever. I laid those two screws and tiny washers in a place in my work area where I could remember where I took them off from and where I could easily put them back on when it was time to do that. I removed the push down lever knob and set it aside also, then removed the cover and set it aside, as well. I inspected the circuit board, soldering, and wires and as far as I could tell, all were in good shape. I inspected the magnet mechanism, the two parts, with one part being connected to the push down lever and the other connected to a round electronic thingy with a connector plate on top of it. I noticed a residue coating each of the magnet connectors and wiped that clean. Before reassembling the toaster, I set it down securely on the counter and plugged it in. I pushed down the lever and it stayed! I reassembled the toaster and now have a working toaster again! This may not be much of an accomplishment to some, but it is great satisfaction to me.
The toaster mechanism stays down when the level triggers electric flow and enables a magnet at the bottom of the toaster, just below the down level. The magnet holds down a metal tab, located at the bottom of the level mechanism until the selected temperature is reached and electricity ceases. When the electric flow is disrupted the magnet is de-magnitized and the toast comes up.
Sometimes a crumb can be stuck between the magnet and the bottom of the level where the tab is located. You can either take the toaster apart or shake it, but it is not difficult to take apart and examine the mechanism. In my case, after cleaning, I accidentally allowed a wire that is usually to the sid, interfere with the magnet. I took the toaster apart one more time, moved the wire out of the way and the toast now stays down and pops when ready. Good luck.
There are (as far as I know) two types of toaster mechanism. The first is the old-style mechanical, which uses a heat-sensitive (bi-metallic?) strip or wire that expands when the toast begins to reflect more heat (and turns brown) and pushes a trip-lever and pops-up the toast.
The other, more modern kind of toaster mechanism is electromagnetic. The easiest way to tell which one you have is by pushing down the toast carrier with the toaster unplugged. The old mechanical kind will stay down, but the newer electromagnetic style won't, because the electromagnet requires power.
I recently bought an electromagnetic-style toaster from a thrift store. The coils heated up, but the carrier wouldn't stay down. I took it apart and used a multimeter to test as many of the various components in place on the board as I could. The transistor (a small black cylinder with one flat side and three wire 'legs') seemed bad.
I desoldered and removed it, checked the part number printed on it and looked on the 'net for cross-referenced compatible replacement transistors, since I had a few in my junk parts collection. Luckily, had one that was compatible, soldered it in and the toaster has been working fine since.
Of course, if you value your time more than the cost of a new toaster, there's not much benefit. If you really like to fix things and learn and you have the tools and some spare parts, however, it can be quite rewarding.
Try plugging the toaster into another outlet that you know is working... or test the outlet with a lamp to see if the outlet has power. Many kitchen outlets are GFI outlets with a circuit breaker on the outlet. If the toaster is plugged into a GFI outlet, push the reset button on the outlet. With your power going on and off, a breaker may have tripped cutting the power to the outlet.
If the outlet is powered and your toaster is toast. Buy a new one... unless there's some type of fuse you can replace.
All the Best!!!!
If this solution is no longer working it is possible that you might need a new thermostat.
Try finding a small appliance repair place which offers free estimates. That way you will at least get a diagnostic.
Sometimes for minor stuff; adjustments, there is no charge because they want your repeat business.
Hope this helps.
I doubt it's a broken element, but this fix for that pleased me immensely, so here it is. Maybe it's a little dangerous, but I remain unscathed. If you can see where the heating wire is broken, you can push the ends together with a dry chopstick or two, or other non conductive heat resistant things. Do this while the toaster is plugged it and in toasting mode so that when the ends touch each other, a weld occurs. Wearing sneakers and rubber gloves couldn't hurt, nor could doing it while it's plugged in to a GFCI.
It's not about the crumbs in the toaster. You have to ensure that all of the electrical appliences inside of the toaster is working, for example make sure that the screws are in the correct place. But do try and listen to the other advice and make sure that all the crumbs are out and that you keep your'e toaster in a clean condition to prevent it from happerning.