We all take our toasters for granted.

That is, until our mornings are suddenly absent that golden slice of toast which helps us start our day right.

If your toaster just isn’t heating – don’t worry. It’s a common problem. It’s typically caused by the same issues across all toasters, and we’ll help you solve all of them in this article.

A toaster which isn’t heating will first need a quick clean – empty out the crumb trays, turn it upside down and give it a strong shake. If that doesn’t fix it, the toaster may not be heating due to a faulty heating element or fuse.

Thankfully, it’s quite possible to fix all of these – which we’ll cover below.

If you’re ready to get your toaster hot again then read on and let’s dive in.

Materials Needed

You will need a number of materials to test whether your toaster is a dud. First, you need to have access to your toaster. Then, you will need to have a cloth, a brush, a wooden handle, and ideally a multimeter. Once you have collected all of these materials, it is time to take a closer look at your toaster.

How To Find Out if Your Toaster Is a Dud: 5 Steps

There are a number of reasons why your toaster might not be working properly. Therefore, you’ll need to follow the individual steps below. They include:

Step #1 Is the Toaster Clean?

First up, you should check and see if the toaster is clean. If you have a dirty toaster, this could prohibit it from working properly. If you have been using your toaster for a long time, there could be a bunch of crumbs that are present in the toaster. If there are crumbs in the way, they could block some of the elements, preventing your toaster from working properly. 

Therefore, you should clean your toaster thoroughly. First, unplug your toaster from the wall. Remove any crumb trays (ideally over the bin or sink) and wipe them clean.

Then, take your toaster outside. Turn it upside down and give it a good whack on the bottom. This should knock out a bunch of crumbs blocking your toaster (the local birds will thank you).

After this, take the toaster back inside and see if it gets hot again. If the toaster is heating up, you have solved the issue! If the toaster is still not getting hot, you may need to clean it more thoroughly. 

There should be a tray or pan you can disconnect from a toaster. Remove this tray, wash it thoroughly, and set it aside to dry. While it is drying, you may want to use a wooden spoon to knock off some of the crud in the toaster that may not have come off when you were outside.

Finally, now that you know that the toaster is clean, you can put it back together. If the toaster is working properly, you have solved the issue. If the toaster is still not working properly, you still do not know if it is a duck. It is time to move on to the next step. 

Step #2 Is the Lever Working Properly?

Is the Lever Working Properly
Push the lever down completely to activate the toaster

After this, you need to make sure the lever is working properly. There is a lever that you should have to push down to get the toaster to activate. If you are having a hard time getting the lever to go down, this could be the reason why the toaster is not working properly.

Of course, the first reason why the lever might not go down is that the toaster is not plugged in. Again, make sure you plugged in the toaster after the last steps. Otherwise, the lever is not going to work properly. 

If the toaster is still plugged in but the lever is still not going down, then there could be an issue with the magnet inside the lever. Usually, the lever stays down because it is connected to a magnet that is activated when you push it down.

Unfortunately this one is a trickier fix – often needing a professional to dismantle the toaster to access and replace the magnet.

Step #3 Check the Heating Element of the Toaster

Now, we have ruled out all the possible mechanical issues. It is time to take a closer look at the electrical problems. If there is something wrong with the heating element of your toaster, then you know you have a dud. It is time to take a closer look at this possibility.

First, you will need to take a look at the manual to figure out what type of heating element you have. Then, you will need to test the heating element. To do this, you will need to remove the front of the toaster. That way, you can expose the individual heating elements.

Take a look at the heating elements themselves. See if they look odd, disfigured, or corroded. If they do, you have found your culprit. You will need to replace the heating element to fix your toaster.

If the heating elements look okay, then you should test them using a multimeter. A multimeter has been specifically designed to test the amount of power that is flowing between two points. You should get a reading that is above zero. If you get a reading that is 0 or close to it, then you know the heating elements are dead. It is time to replace them.

You will need to compare the cost of replacing the individual heating elements to the cost of replacing the entire toaster. It might be easier to get a new toaster. 

Step #4 Check the Fuses

Take a closer look at the fuse if it is busted

If the heating elements are okay, it is time to take a closer look at the fuse. The fuse is responsible for delivering power to your heating element. If the fuse in your toaster cuts off power to the heating element, it is not going to get hot. Even though this is put in place as a safety measure, there are situations where the fuse may shut off inappropriately

You need to look at the manual to figure out where the fuse controlling the heating elements is located. There is a good chance you will need to unscrew your toaster to expose the fuse. After this, you should visually inspect the fuse to make sure it looks okay. 

If the fuse looks okay, you should use the multimeter to test this as well. This should tell you if the fuse is still alive. If the fuse is dead, then you know you have a dud, and you will need to replace the fuse. Again, it may be cheaper to replace a toaster instead of the fuse. 

Fixing a Non-Heating Toaster

These are a few basic steps you need to follow to figure out if your toaster is a dud. Just because your toaster is not turning on does not necessarily mean you have a dud. It is important to look at mechanical issues before you start digging into the electrical wiring of your toaster. 

There are several electrical elements you need to test to figure out what is wrong with your toaster. In particular, you need to test the heating elements and the fuse. You need to make sure there is still power flowing to the electrical elements if you want your toaster to turn on. Remember that you always need to put safety first when you are working on your toaster. If you ever have questions or concerns about something you are doing with your toaster, you should reach out to a professional.