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Temperature knob element fear

My toaster oven stopped working a while ago so I took it apart hoping to simply find a loose/damaged wire. While fiddling with it, I got it to start working again, but I noticed this part of the temperature control knob getting red-hot. Is that how they’re supposed to work? I’ve never had one open before, so I shut it off until I confirm it’s not going to catch fire or something.

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Hi @hollywood3zx

They're supposed to get hot, but how hot may be the problem.

As the toast heats, the temperature will cause the thermostat's metals expand at a dissimilar rate and when the necessary level of heat is attained, the thermostat will curve sufficiently to straighten and open the contacts which will turn off the heating element.

You may have to check that there are no short circuits in the heating element which will reduce the resistance of the element but this will increase the current flow though the element meaning that the thermostat may get hotter than it should.

Bit hard to tell maybe if sections of the element are short circuit between the element wires, but you may be able to see if it is glowing or not uniformly over the length of the element or if there are any dull spots. A short circuit has no resistance so there will be no voltage loss at that point when the current flows through it so therefore no heat, no glow.

A lot of toasters get too hot to touch when toasting bread etc, so maybe try toasting a slice of bread and check that the thermostat functions correctly and disconnects the heater element, hopefully before the bread is burnt to a crisp.

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Thanks jay. That’s what I was figuring on doing. I’ll leave the cover off and test cook with it. See if it gets too hot or anything.


Upon further investigation… it’s &&^&@@. The element randomly sparks and shorts out. Fortunately, I just picked up a KitchenAid OTR micro/oven last night for a steal.


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