Top 5 Common Toaster Problems

Problems arising in toasters must be known so that we can try to troubleshoot them when they arise or know how to prevent them from happening. So, here we have listed the top 5 problems that may arise in your toaster and a guide to fix those problems on your own.

Top 5 Common Toaster Problems

Top 5 Common Toaster Problems

Toasters can encounter the following five major problems that are commonly found among users. They are:

  • The toaster only toasts one side of bread
  • Toaster keeps popping up
  • The toaster doesn’t pop up after toasting
  • Toaster not turning on when plugged in
  • Browning control doesn’t work

Toaster Only Toasts one side of Bread

This issue can occur in your toaster when the heating element is not properly aligned or there are broken wires in the heating element. 

We know that the toasters use a heating element for toasting the bread. This heating element is just a bunch of nichrome wires which has a lot of resistance to electrical current. When current flows through it, due to its high resistance, the electrical energy is converted to heat.

These nichrome wires are usually fixed onto a plate through which the heat is radiated to the bread placed in the toaster’s slot.

If there is a misalignment in these wires fixed on the plate or the plate itself is not close enough to the toaster slot, then the heating will not be even.

Obviously, one side of the bread is closer to this heating plate. But with proper alignment, the heat will be evenly radiated to both sides. When there is misalignment, you cannot get the toasts evenly on both sides.

Also, if there are some broken nichrome wires, then heating will not take place evenly. This can lead to improper heat radiation and results in uneven bread toasts.


Since this requires a complete disassembly of the toaster and fixing the heating element, this is not recommended to be fixed on your own. Also, you may not have the necessary tools to mend the nichrome wires properly.

Therefore, if your toaster has this issue, take it over to a technician and get it resolved. The maximum you can do is try to disassemble and find out the broken wire or misalignment of the element.

The Toaster Keeps Popping Up

Another common problem with the toasters is that the bread slots don’t stay down. We have dealt with this issue in detail and you can find a complete solution along with the reason for it happening here.

Toaster Doesn’t Pop Up After Toasting

This problem arises due to two main reasons. Either there is a mechanical fault in the toaster or an electrical fault in the circuit. 

The mechanical fault might be caused due to the breadcrumbs blocking the spring system in the latch while the electrical fault might be due to a faulty thermostat that doesn’t signal the electromagnet to cut off and release the toaster slots.

Blocked Spring System

When we don’t service or maintain the toaster clean, the breadcrumbs will start to sediment in the slot. These may accidentally spill over to the spring system and may block its movement. 

So, even if the circuit is broken and the magnet releases the slot, the spring may not actuate causing the bread to keep staying down. 

Although the heating element may cut off, the residual heat in the nichrome wires will still radiate heat and toast the bread.

Faulty Thermostat

On the other hand, if there is an issue with the thermostat, it cannot read the temperature and properly cut off the circuit.

If you look at the mechanism of the toaster, there will be a timer circuit working along with a thermostat. The timing you set physically will coordinate with the thermostat. 

When the particular temperature is reached, the circuit breaks and cuts off the power supply to the heating element. This will then demagnetize the electromagnet, leading to the popping up of the toaster slots.

If any fault occurs in any of these systems, the toaster will not pop up. Both the thermostat and the circuit powering the electromagnet may get faulty and cause the issue.


  • First, you can try clearing the tray and slot that holds the bread. Remove all the breadcrumbs and check whether the latch moves down fluidly.
  • You can also try to remove the casing and check for anything stuck with the electromagnet or the spring system.
  • If nothing is wrong with the spring system, then you have to check the thermostat.
  • You can either set or reset the thermostat in your toaster. To do that, locate a bracket that connects to the dial.
  • Adjusting the bracket will either move it closer or further from the electromagnet. This means that the toasting time will increase or decrease accordingly. 
  • Some models might also have a potentiometer or variable resistor that increases or decreases the toasting which is connected to this bracket.
  • Either way, adjust this bracket and reset your thermostat. Try toasting the bread again. 
  • If it doesn’t work, then you have to go for replacing the electromagnet and its circuit which can only be done by a technician.

The Toaster Not Turning On When Plugged In

There are two scenarios that might occur with this issue. Either your toaster is not working at all even after it is plugged in or the toaster keeps tripping the breaker circuit in the home.

For both cases, the reasons are almost the same. Usually, we simply plug in the power cord and wait for the toaster to heat up. But it may either fail to turn on or start tripping the circuit due to a broken wire. 

If the power cord has broken or damaged wires, it will not power up the toaster. Also, this faulty wire will lead to tripping the circuit.

In some cases, if you have set the toasting dial to a very low setting, the wires may not heat up sooner as you expect them to. 

Another possible reason might be an issue with a broken wire inside the toaster circuit which cannot properly power the heating element.


  • First of all, thoroughly check the power cord and find out if there are any damages to the wires.
  • Turn off the toaster and unplug it. Give a complete check of the power cable and find any damages. 
  • If there are any damages, remove the damaged wires using a cutter and mend the cable with suitable wire. You must use insulation tape to cover the mended wires.
  • If you don’t find any issues with the power cord, then check for faulty wires inside the toaster circuit.
  • Fix any broken wires within the circuit and check the working of the toaster.
  • If the problem still persists, try turning the dial to the maximum and check whether the element is getting heated. 
  • When nothing works, you can take the toaster to a technician to find the fault with a complete checkup of the appliance.

Browning Control Doesn’t Work

Toasters usually have a dial to adjust the level of browning you want with your toasts. This is typically connected to a variable resistor or potentiometer or sometimes even a thermostat. 

If the dial doesn’t work, it probably means that there is a fault inside the circuit and you must look into it. Or the dial is physically jammed and requires some cleaning up.


If there are some broken wires, you can simply fix them. But if there is an issue with the potentiometer or the thermostat, you have to test their status with a multimeter. Then you have to replace that particular circuit component carefully.

If there is just a physical jam up in the dial, remove the knob and give a thorough cleaning of the dial. This will re-enable the dial to function normally. 

Most of the time, the dial doesn’t work due to a faulty circuit component and you must reach a technician to professionally resolve it.

Also Read This: What Happens if you Put Buttered Bread in a Toaster


These are the common problems users face with a toaster and if you own one, you must know these to prevent them from happening. Some fixes are easy and can be done at home. While others may require some expertise and expert tools to properly handle the issue. Therefore, if you are encountering any of these issues, check out the possible causes and go for a fix immediately.

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