How to Replace My Toaster Oven Heating Wire

Written by don davis
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Before you throw away your broken expensive toaster oven, consider fixing it yourself. Heating elements are among the basic parts that sometimes need replacement in toaster ovens. These elements are the thick, dark wires or rods that extend horizontally across the bottom of the toaster oven. They are made of a nickel and chrome alloy called chromel that has been used to make thermocouple extension wires for a century. It is the same metal used to make heating elements in full-size electric ovens. If these wires don't glow red when you turn on the toaster oven, they might be broken.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)
  • Nuts (optional)
  • Bolts (optional)
  • Replacement heating elements

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  1. 1

    Prepare the toaster oven for heating element replacement. Unplug the toaster oven, and, if necessary, wait for it to cool. Remove its racks and crumb tray. Check whether or not the chromel wires in the toaster oven are riveted or welded in place. If they are, the rivets have to be drilled out and either the appliance re-riveted or the rivets replaced with nuts and bolts. The job probably is easier if you turn your toaster oven upside down.

  2. 2

    Remove the old heating elements. Usually, all you have to do is unscrew the ends. Sometimes the elements are fastened into the oven with small screws and a support bracket. Don't break the white, ceramic insulating caps at the end of the elements.

  3. 3

    Install the new heating elements. If you removed the old elements by turning them counterclockwise, install the new elements by turning them clockwise,. The replacement heating elements must be identical to the old elements and have the same resistance rating.

  4. 4

    Test the new heating elements. Replace the toaster oven's crumb tray and racks. Plug the toaster back into an electrical socket, and turn it on. Watch it heat up, and smell for burning insulation. Unplug your toaster oven if you smell burning insulation. A burning aroma probably means the new elements are either improperly installed or have a resistance rating different from the old heating elements. Try repeating the procedure to replace the heating elements again. If you still smell burning, replace the toaster oven.

Tips and warnings

  • Before you buy replacement heating elements, check the brand and model of your toaster oven to ensure you purchase the correct replacement parts. Check the toaster oven manufacturer's website first for the parts.

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