Despite their simple appearance, toasters are actually quite complicated. Luckily, most of us never have an issue with our toaster and we don’t have to think about how complicated they may or may not be. After many years of frequent use, bread may just stop popping up and we end up with burnt toast, a smelly kitchen, and an empty stomach!
If the toaster is older and the bread stops popping up, assuming it is free of crumbs and other typical toaster ailments, your best bet would be to just trash it and get a new one. The price of toasters has come down significantly over the past few years. Tinkering with an old toaster just isn’t worth your time when you can get a brand new one for next to nothing.
If you want to attempt repair, it could be a quick fix. The most typical problems with a toaster that isn’t popping up are the slide control for toast darkness slipping out of place, the spring that lifts the carriage slipping or breaking, or crumbs blocking the metal strip so that it cannot move sufficiently.
You’ll want to reposition parts that have slipped out of place with needle nose pliers and clean the crumbs out of the toaster. You should never shake a toaster or turn it upside down to clean it, this may actually cause more damage. A lot of the time simply emptying the crumb collector will put your toaster back in working order. If you have examined the carriage and lever and have emptied crumbs, yet your toaster still won’t pop up, you may be dealing with an electrical problem.
To disassemble your toaster and look for electrical problems:
- Unplug the toaster. Seems like an obvious thing to do but you’d be surprised how many people begin work on electrical appliances while they’re still plugged in!
- Carefully turn the toaster over and remove the screws in the bottom with a screwdriver.
- Pull the knob off the carriage lever. The carriage lever is the part that lowers the toast into the toaster.
- Remove the cabinet body to get to the electric components.
- Locate the electrical contacts; they’ll be below and in line with the carriage lever.
- Examine the electrical contacts. If they appear to be pitted or burnt you can attempt to clean them with fine sandpaper and proceed to the next step. If one or more of the contacts appear to be melted or badly damaged, it’s time to replace the toaster.
- Depress the toast carriage lever and check to see if the two sets of contacts touch.
- If the contacts do not touch use needle-nose pliers to grab the movable contacts. Bend the contacts up and away from the fixed contacts. Now, when you depress the carriage lever it will cause the contacts to press firmly against one another.
- Put the toaster back together.
- Time to put your handy work to the test. Does it work?
If your toaster is controlled by an electric circuit board, you really are better off letting a professional repair it beyond these steps. If the above steps didn’t solve your problem, it’s possible that you have a damaged heating component, and then it’s time to get a new toaster. Remember not to let the repair of an old toaster frustrate you. If all else fails, you can get a new one for next to nothing.note