Why are my toaster elements not glowing? Reasons

If your toaster elements are not glowing, it could be due to a faulty power cord, a blown fuse, a broken heating element, or a damaged thermostat. These are some of the most common reasons why your toaster might stop working properly. In this article, we will explain how to diagnose and fix each of these problems, and also provide some tips on how to prevent them from happening again.

How to check the power cord

The power cord is the part that connects your toaster to the electrical outlet. Sometimes, the cord can get damaged by wear and tear, or by accidental cuts or burns. If the cord is damaged, it might not deliver enough power to the toaster, or it might cause a short circuit that trips the breaker or blows the fuse.

To check the power cord, you can use a multimeter, which is a device that measures electrical voltage, current, and resistance. You can find a multimeter at any hardware store or online. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Unplug the toaster from the outlet and let it cool down completely.
  • Set the multimeter to the lowest resistance setting (usually marked as Ω or ohms).
  • Touch one probe of the multimeter to one of the prongs of the plug, and the other probe to the corresponding terminal inside the toaster. You might need to open the toaster case to access the terminals. Be careful not to touch any live wires or metal parts.
  • If the multimeter shows a reading close to zero, it means the cord is in good condition and has no breaks or shorts. If the multimeter shows a high reading or no reading at all, it means the cord is damaged and needs to be replaced.

How to replace the fuse

The fuse is a small device that protects the toaster from overheating or overloading. It is usually located inside the toaster case, near the power cord. The fuse has a thin metal wire that melts when the current exceeds a certain limit, cutting off the power to the toaster. If the fuse is blown, the toaster will not turn on or heat up at all.

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To replace the fuse, you will need a new fuse of the same type and rating as the old one. You can find the fuse rating on the fuse itself, or on the label of the toaster. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Unplug the toaster from the outlet and let it cool down completely.
  • Open the toaster case and locate the fuse. It might be wrapped in a plastic or ceramic casing, or attached to a metal clip.
  • Remove the old fuse and replace it with the new one. Make sure the new fuse fits snugly and securely in its place.
  • Close the toaster case and plug it back into the outlet. Test the toaster to see if it works.

How to fix the heating element

The heating element is the part that produces the heat that toasts the bread. It is usually made of a metal wire that coils around a ceramic or metal core. The wire heats up when electricity passes through it, creating infrared radiation that browns the bread. Sometimes, the wire can break or burn out, causing the heating element to stop working or to produce uneven heat.

To fix the heating element, you will need a soldering iron, some solder, and some electrical tape. You can find these tools at any hardware store or online. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Unplug the toaster from the outlet and let it cool down completely.
  • Open the toaster case and locate the heating element. It might be covered by a metal or plastic shield, which you will need to remove.
  • Inspect the heating element for any breaks or burns. If you find any, you will need to solder them back together. To do this, heat up the soldering iron and apply some solder to the broken ends of the wire. Then, touch the soldering iron to the wire and melt the solder, joining the ends together. Be careful not to touch the ceramic or metal core, as it might crack or melt.
  • Wrap some electrical tape around the soldered joint to insulate it and prevent it from shorting out.
  • Replace the shield and close the toaster case. Plug the toaster back into the outlet and test it to see if it works.
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How to adjust the thermostat

The thermostat is the part that controls the temperature and the toasting time of the toaster. It is usually a knob or a lever that you can adjust to select the desired level of browning. Sometimes, the thermostat can get misaligned or malfunctioning, causing the toaster to under-toast or over-toast the bread.

To adjust the thermostat, you will need a screwdriver and a toaster thermometer. You can find a toaster thermometer at any kitchenware store or online. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Unplug the toaster from the outlet and let it cool down completely.
  • Open the toaster case and locate the thermostat. It might be attached to a metal rod or a spring that connects to the knob or the lever.
  • Loosen the screw that holds the thermostat in place. Do not remove it completely, just enough to allow some movement.
  • Plug the toaster back into the outlet and insert the toaster thermometer into one of the slots. Set the knob or the lever to the medium setting and turn on the toaster.
  • Wait until the toaster pops up the bread and check the temperature on the thermometer. The ideal temperature for medium toast is between 300°F and 350°F. If the temperature is too low or too high, adjust the thermostat slightly by moving it up or down, and repeat the process until you get the desired temperature.
  • Tighten the screw that holds the thermostat in place and close the toaster case. Test the toaster to see if it works.

How to prevent toaster problems

To keep your toaster working well and avoid common problems, here are some tips to follow:

  • Clean your toaster regularly. Remove any crumbs or debris that might accumulate inside the toaster or on the heating elements. You can use a soft brush or a damp cloth to wipe the inside and the outside of the toaster. Do not use any abrasive or flammable materials, such as steel wool or alcohol. Make sure the toaster is unplugged and cool before cleaning it.
  • Do not overload your toaster. Do not insert bread that is too thick, too large, or too moist, as it might get stuck or cause a fire. Use bread that is suitable for toasting, such as sliced bread, bagels, or waffles. Do not insert any metal objects, such as forks or knives, into the toaster, as they might cause an electric shock or a short circuit.
  • Do not leave your toaster unattended. Always keep an eye on your toaster when it is in use, and turn it off when you are done. Do not place your toaster near any flammable materials, such as curtains, paper towels, or plastic bags. Do not use your toaster in a humid or wet environment, such as a bathroom or a kitchen sink, as it might cause an electric shock or a fire.
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Conclusion

Toaster elements not glowing is a common problem that can have various causes and solutions. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can diagnose and fix your toaster problem, and enjoy your toast again. However, if you are not confident or comfortable with repairing your toaster yourself, you can always contact a professional toaster repair service or buy a new toaster. Remember, safety first!