If holding down the handle all the way causes the toasting coils to heat up, the problem to stay down is the result of a IC chip failure on the circuit board that is not specifically identifiable. The IC controls current through a solenoid (electromagnet) that holds down a metal plate attached to the handle.
If the coils DON't heat up, the problem could be one or both of the metal push-down contacts on the circuit board that are activated by the handle. Plastic case is difficult to get off. Four screws on the bottom for starters, then you must "get behind" the toaster hand and push the back of it to one side to disengage it from its mechanism. THe front adjusting have to be pulled (forced) off by applying a screwdriver blade behind the knob and prying forward.
a 6ya Repairman can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
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Is it plugged in. You may have to do a little handy work, unplug the unit and look to see where it catches when the handle is in down position, you may have to open the bottom door. There is a little catch when the handle is down it may need to be bent a little not much.
Most people when they make grilled cheese sandwiches try to stamp out as many as they possibly can as quickly as they possibly can. When you make grilled cheese this way you end up sacrificing a great tasting sandwich for just an okay sandwich. With just a little bit of patients and self control you can make a great grilled cheese sandwich that will keep your kids coming back for more.
It all starts with having the right equipment and ingredients to make the perfect sandwich. You can use a saute pan on a medium low heat but I prefer and recommend that you use an electric griddle set to about 275 degrees. To make the sandwich you need bread (we use sliced white bread), butter (at room temperature so you can spread it) and either cheddar cheese or sliced American cheese.
Before you start to make your sandwiches you have to set up the griddle and set the heat. The key is to have it ready so the sandwich starts to cook right when it hits the griddle.
To build your sandwich take two slices of white bread and the butter, lather up one side of each of the slices of bread with a generous amount of butter. You want to let the butter sit a bit so that it comes down to room temperature, this will make it easier to spread on the bread.
Lay the slice of bread with the butter side down and cover the whole slice with a single layer of cheese. Close it up and you're ready to start grilling.
Carefully place your sandwich on the grilling surface and let it sit for 5 minutes on each side. Don't put it down and walk away because you need to make sure that it doesn't burn. After five minutes flip the sandwich over and let the second side cook for another five minutes. You will know that it is done when both sides of the sandwich is golden brown. It may take longer than 5 minutes on each side so don't panic if after 10 minutes its not done.
When its finished you can put them on a plate and serve them up hot. In my house we like to open them up and put a tomato slice with salt in it. You can have it plain or with tomato soup, cut in half or whole, how ever you enjoy it. Bon appetit!