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Before You Throw a Broken Toaster Out, Learn How to Fix a Toaster That Won’t Stay Down

There are many reasons why a toaster will not stay down when you put the bread in and press the lever. Fix this common problem by checking the electrical connection and doing some cleaning and maintenance. Then, if necessary, open the toaster to fix mechanical problems.

This guide will help you to:

  • Clean the toaster and fix the problem without opening the toaster.
  • If that does not work, fix the problem by opening the toaster.
  • Know if it is time to buy a new toaster.

If you follow these steps, you will learn how to fix a toaster that won’t stay down.

Reasons Why This Issue Appears

You want to check power problems for a good electrical connection, cleaning problems to ensure the safety shut-off of the heating element is not triggered too soon, and physical issues such as problems with the lever mechanism.

In her blog post on the history of toasters, Ana Lopes Ramos says, “We’ve come a long way from heating bread in a fire on a rock.”

5 Steps on How to Fix a Toaster That Won’t Stay Down

  1. Check the electrical connection.
  2. Do cleaning and maintenance.
  3. Check the functioning of the toaster lever.
  4. Check the thermostat.
  5. Check the circuit board.

Let’s dive deeper into these steps:

1. Electrical Connection

One of the most common problems that has "ruined" more than one technical device is to check the connection.

A common reason that a toaster will not stay down is that there is no electrical connection. This problem may be as simple as the toaster is not plugged in.

A friend has a cat that likes to walk on the kitchen counters. The cat caused her toaster to be unplugged.

If there is no electrical connection, the circuit may not be complete, and the lever of some toasters will not stay down until there is a proper electrical connection. Be sure to check the integrity of the power cord and inspect the connections inside to make sure the toaster is receiving power.

2. Cleaning and Maintenance

Crumbs that build up inside a toaster may accumulate near the heat sensor. Most modern toasters have a safety feature that cuts off the power if the heating circuit gets too hot. If crumbs or debris build up around the heat sensor area, this may cause the sensor to experience a higher temperature in that localized area and shut the circuit off.

It has been proven time and time again that taking good care of your device not only helps it stay looking good but also prolongs its service life.

Unplug the toaster. Clean the crumb tray. Turn the toaster upside down over the sink and make sure any crumbs or small pieces of bread that may be stuck inside are shaken out.

Make sure there are no crumbs stuck in the heating coils. A can of spray air may be helpful to blow the crumbs out of the toaster.

If something is lodged in and will not come out, use a wooden or plastic utensil to help remove it. Never use a metal utensil in a toaster for safety reasons. This method helps to avoid any potential of an electrical shock if you forget to unplug it.

This video, produced by My Mate Vince, shows some cleaning and maintenance tips to try first before you attempt to take your toaster apart.

You may be lucky and be able to clean your toaster enough to repair this problem without needing to take it apart.

3. Toaster Lever

Unplug the toaster and make sure it is cool before attempting to remove any parts. Remove the cover, carefully saving any screws.

Test the toaster lever to see if it is intact and moving the platform that holds the bread up and down correctly. Apply a drop of lubricating oil if needed. If you discover a broken lever, replace it.

This video, produced by Nick Makes & Breaks Stuff, shows how to repair a super cheap toaster. He takes you through each step. He opens the bottom to reveal a crumb catcher full of bread crumbs and debris. He shows how to fix the lever problem.

Since most of these super cheap toasters are not worth paying someone to repair, this DIY method is a good approach to try.

4. Thermostat

On some toasters, the thermostat is next to the crumb tray. Crumbs may get into the thermostat and interrupt its functioning. Unplug the toaster.

Be sure to clean it thoroughly and check to see if it has a solid connection to the rest of the electrical circuit. Set it to a higher temperature setting and plug it in again to see if that helps.

5. Circuit Board

If your toaster is more modern with a digital display, it may have a failed circuit board. If you check all the other reasons and it still does not work, you may need professional help to check the circuit board for failure or buy a new toaster.

This video, produced by HealMytech, shows how to repair a toaster that has the problem of the lever will not stay down. Many toasters have similar functional properties.

For this repair, the videos show the repair of a Breville model Vtt233 four-slice toaster. This Breville unit has a pretty common form factor design. This repair video helps you understand all the toaster functions.

Before throwing an old toaster out in the trash, try these tips shown in the video to see if you can get the lever to keep from incorrectly springing back up.

Ann Smarty says, “It’s more than a toaster,” in her blog post about amazing toaster innovations.

Other Common Issues with Toasters

Your toaster can break not only from your exposure, but also from external factors, such as a power surge due to a lightning strike.

Some other common issues are, a partial failure of a portion of the heating coils causes the bread to only get toasted on one side. The lever may get stuck in the down position, and this causes the bread to burn. A bad or loose electrical connection causes a spark, which may be a fire hazard. If you open the toaster to make repairs, be sure to check for these other problems.

If you went through all these steps and still can’t get your toaster to work properly, you might want to consider upgrading to a modern cool touch toaster. You can learn more about this wonderful toaster style here.

Useful Resources:

To Sum Up

Did you succeed in learning how to fix a toaster that won’t stay down? I hope you did. If not, I hope you had fun understanding a little more about how toasters work so you can fix simple problems if they come up in the future with any new toaster you may purchase.

Cindy Becker

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