One of my biggest frustrations with trying to live more responsibly is how often household items break. I’ve had this toaster for a little over a year, and it no longer works unless I stand there holding down the lever (and not always then). In the spirit of living a more sustainable life, I’ve decided to try and turn this paperweight back into a working appliance, and I’m documenting the process for anyone else who wants to fix rather than toss.
In the past few months, I’ve conquered two faulty shower faucets, a broken freezer, and a water heater (twice). Now, I’m about to open this paperweight up. I’m looking for a reason that the toast will no longer toast. Should be fairly simple, right?
Oh dear. So it took a little doing to get it open, but I finally got it. The screws are not all that easy to get to. I was hoping that it would be a simple mechanical fix. Sadly, it’s looking like that’s not the case:
From what I can gather, the “toast” lever is governed by a computer(?!?) which tells this magnet whether or not to engage, thus holding the toast down until the OTHER circuit board decides it’s toasted enough.
So in order to fix my toaster, I would have to replace a couple of circuit boards, since I really have no way of knowing which one is faulty.
However, there does not seem to be any source for replacement circuit boards. The trusty internet tells me it is not cost-effective to attempt repair, and that the company who made my toaster does not supply replacement boards. The internet also tells me circuit board toasters have a lifespan of only a short couple of years due to the boards rarely being properly insulated against the repeated heat. Great. So now, not only do I have an expensive paperweight, but it’s also e-waste?
This is NOT how I wanted this post to end, but I guess it makes it’s own point. Know what you’re buying.
I had no idea toaster technology had “evolved” beyond the simple toasters my parents had when I was a kid. Now that I DO know, I’ll be on the lookout for a simple mechanical toaster – perhaps a vintage one.
Lest this post be totally without happy news, here are some links to sites which are invaluable for learning how to fix those things which are fixable:
The DIY Network
Gourmet Depot (I’ve bought replacement blender parts here.)
Small Appliance replacement parts (in case the above site doesn’t have what you need)
Ok. In the next week or so, I am going to try and tackle our broken vacuum cleaner. I hope that project goes more smoothly…