Toaster Lever Not Going Down? (try this)

When it comes to kitchen appliances, the toaster is probably the most common and the most troublesome too. Toasters aren’t that complicated, they heat up bread and turn it into toast. The most common cause of toaster failures are breadcrumbs. If your toaster lever won’t stay down there’s a high probability it’s breadcrumbs causing the problem.

But let’s explore every avenue and find all of the reasons the lever won’t go down or stay down. Before we start, a quick word on safety. Never touch an electrical appliance in order to repair it without checking it’s disconnected from the mains supply first. And only attempt a repair if you are completely confident in your abilities, if not leave it to an expert.

No Power

This might seem obvious, but the lever won’t stay down on the toaster if the toaster isn’t plugged in or the power supply is switched off. First thing in the morning, before the first cup of coffee of the day, there’s a strong likelihood of this simple mistake happening. If that was the problem, happy days, if not keep reading.

Damaged Power Cord

This is more common than you might think, we often pull the plug using the bend in the power cord which can over time cause damage to the cord. Pay particular attention to the area around the plug and around the point where the cable enters the toaster. If the cable is damaged at all, it’s going to be easier to replace the toaster than it is to replace the cable.

Breadcrumb Build-Up

bread for toasting

Every time you use a toaster, you leave breadcrumbs behind, it’s inevitable. Over time these breadcrumbs can accumulate to such a degree that they can actually prevent the lever from travelling fully to the bottom of the toaster, where the electromagnet keeps the lever in position until the toast is done. This can affect the lever, electromagnet and other areas too. 

Turn the toaster upside down and gently shake it to remove all of the crumbs. Then, to be sure you’ve removed them all, use a can of compressed air to free any crumbs lodged in any nooks or crannies.

Faulty Electromagnet

The electromagnet holds the lever down until the toast is done. As with any electrical component, the electromagnet can become damaged and over time it will lose some of its magnetism. It is possible to replace the electromagnet (if you can find the correct size) but in all honesty, it’s advisable to replace the toaster.

Spring Defect

The return spring that forces the toast up out of the toaster once it’s finished cooking can over time become defective. It can lose its springiness and will not be strong enough to lift the toast. Alternatively it can become damaged and prevent the bread carrier from descending down to the electromagnet.

 It is possible to replace the spring but toasters are so reasonably priced, is it actually worth it? Whatever a new spring will cost could go towards a new toaster that’s covered by a warranty.

Ways To Make A Toaster Last Longer

Toaster with Bread

Even though a new toaster can cost as little as £10.00, it’s worth looking after yours to save the inconvenience of it letting you down at breakfast time. There are a few precautions you can take to prolong the life of your toaster. These include;

  • Treat it gently – Don’t force the lever down just lower it gently. This will prolong the life of the spring.
  • Remove crumbs regularly – This will prevent a number of problems including blocking the electromagnet from the catch, bunging up the bread carrier, etc
  • Never allow the power cord to get wet – It’s well known that water and electricity don’t mix. Keeping the power cord dry on your toaster will prevent any corrosion or damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a toaster lever that won’t stay down?

If the lever on your toaster won’t stay down it could be because there is a build-up of breadcrumbs preventing the electromagnet from holding the bread carriage down. To fix it, turn the toaster upside down and allow the crumbs to fall out.

Can toasters be repaired?

Toasters can be repaired but it’s usually easier and often cheaper to replace a broken or damaged toaster.

What do you do with a broken toaster?

A broken toaster should be taken to a recycle centre where the parts can be recycled professionally.

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