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My toaster turned out to have an electromagnet that makes its lever and the toast carriage stay down. It turned out that the problem with my toaster was that it was plugged into a faulty outlet. Unfortunately, I destroyed part of my toaster's darkness mechanism trying to understand its latching mechanism before I realized that it was not made like traditional toasters. So my first recommendation to you: try plugging it into an outlet that you KNOW works.
Go to the Hamiton Beach website to see if your series has been recalled. I have same model, can't get base off and found recall notice looking for help. My series wasn't but yours might be. Good luck, might get a new toaster!
I have the same problem. I have troubleshot it down to a transistor or IC on the circuit board with the buttons and rotary control.
The way the toaster works is the board sends a voltage to the electromagnet that holds the "works" down until the desired time or temperature has been reached. The transistor is in series with the magnet and I assume has opened, or, the integrated circuit that sends a switching voltage to the transistor is bad.
As soon as I locate my soldering iron I'll pull the transistor to test it.
If you're looking for a minor mechanical fix, this won't be it! I'm only trying to fix it because I'm bored, I doubt it will be cost-effective if I have to buy any parts.
When this happens it is usually due to the fact that the electronics inside the unit has failed, and will not activate the hold in relay.
Time for a new one. Repair may be an option, but probably not an ecconomic repair.
I have the 4-slice oster, but I bet the control mechanism is the same. When you take it apart you will see a small steel bar held by two plastic fingers. When you push the lever down the steel bar moves down and contacts a small square electromagnet. The electromagnet holds the lever down during toasting and releases the lever when done. On mine there was a compressed layer of bread crumbs covering the electromagnet. Cleaned it off and now it works again.
To take the toaster apart, pull the down lever straight out and then unfasten the screws on the bottom base (5 on mine) and pull the top off carefully. There are wires connecting the control face to the base, but they have enough slack to let you separate the top/bottom and access the mechanism.
I had the same problem. I opened up the toaster and found that the electromagnet that holds the plastic clip to keep the toaster down had a tiny crumb between the magnet and the metal plate. I cleaned the magnet and it is working fine again. We spent 6 months burning toast by holding it down with a chopstick wedged between the lever and finally took a shot before I went to buy a new one. Took me all of 15 minutes.
Unplug it and take it outside. Remove any little drawers you have completely, and brush them out with a stiff brush.
Turn toaster upsidedown, and bang the sides with your flat palm to empty crumbs. Because of the design, this doesn't get everything out, and you may need to do it upright, and upsidedown again.
While upsidedown, press the levers fully down, and agitate them on the bottom stop.
This should remove the crumbs from the electromagnet armature.
This is operates when a flat plate rests on the elecromagnet. If there are crumbs in the way - it wont hold.
If there is still a problem after this, please contact again, or rate so that other may follow the advice given. Thank you.
We ran into the same problem today with our toaster. There was never a problem before I cleaned it--not only by sliding out the crumb drawer, but by turning it upside down to dislodge every last crumb. After that, It would not stay down when pushed down.
My husband took the cover off and found that a magnet is what keeps the lever down when the toaster's on, and allows it to go back up when the toasting is done. It's an electro magnet that works only when the toaster is on. It seems that when I turned the unit upside down and rightside up again, crumbs landed on the magnet's contact plates (which are about 1/4" x 1/2") and would not allow the magnet to engage. Because the magnet wouldn't engage, the lever would not stay down, and the toaster shut off. Brush off the magnets, replace the cover and toast away!
Main problem with these is crumbs, they get stuck between the 2 surfaces of the small electromagnet that keeps the lever down, consequently it does not stick anymore, try drop kicking it in the drection of the garbage can, this sort fright may just scare it into working again.