Thread Number: 35899  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Sunbeam Radiant Toaster
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Post# 385094   1/30/2018 at 20:08 by Louvac (A)        

Hey Guys!

Can anyone shed some light on a Sunbeam radiant toaster? This particular one that I have appears not to have been used all that much as it is in really good condition. I suspect it was retired because it will not turn on and lower the toast when a slice is inserted. The cord is in really good condition, however there is a couple of questionable spots but nothing major. When you jiggle the cord when it's plugged in you don't get even a pop or an arc and spark (unless the cord is completely broken inside the jacket).

What can be the problem? Is there a switch associated with the lowering lever that may have gone bad?

Post# 385103 , Reply# 1   1/30/2018 at 23:16 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Hey Louvac

Try this link for an easy step-by-step
repair primer.


Post# 385123 , Reply# 2   1/31/2018 at 13:03 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

Hi Louvac.

I have the T-20 Sunbeam, and have also worked on other radiant control versions. The cord could be the issue. One you have it plugged in, try taking a wooden spoon (NOT metal) and push the internal lever down (inside the one slice side) to see if the coils turn on. If they do, the cord may be the problem. If that does not work, you may need to disassemble the toaster to sort out the issue. A good resource for videos is youtube. Try searching there for troubleshooting tips. They are not very difficult to work on and once they work well, they are a joy to use and beats any other toasters out there. Sine you are working on a electric appliance, please do use good common sense.

Post# 385214 , Reply# 3   2/1/2018 at 20:10 by Louvac (A)        
Thanks Guys!

I will give this a try and see it this works. Stay tuned!

Post# 385217 , Reply# 4   2/1/2018 at 21:04 by Louvac (A)'s where I'm at...

I tried playing with the adjustment screw and I did get it to turn on....BUT

Here's what happens....

I hear a hum that says it's activated and I feel it starting to heat up but the activator lever though it starts to lower, it then stops and the heat coils turn off. What doesn't happen is that though the activator arm starts the toaster in motion, it will not engage the next part or function that will cause it to lower. At one point I got it to lower a small amount but it would not go all the way down and stay down with the coils heating up.

What gives? Does it just need a good shake? What about a compressor air blast?

It's interesting to note that when I tipped it over to shake it, two shards of glass came out at two different times. Is there a glass component inside this toaster? Is there a glass sensor inside?

Post# 385221 , Reply# 5   2/1/2018 at 22:54 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        

Good you're investigating the problem, Louvac.

To my knowledge (I also had a brand new Sunbeam
Radiant Toaster), the only sensor is a metal
coil, like a watch mainspring.

You've probably got debris lodged in the
carriage track. You'll need to take the
shell off in order to see the whole lowering
mechanism area. The less disassembly you have
to do, the better.

At least now you know the reason it was retired.
Its probably in perfect working order, but has
something in it that doesn't belong there.

Post# 385270 , Reply# 6   2/2/2018 at 19:25 by Louvac (A)        
You're on to something too!

Hey Frank!

I am beginning to wonder if there is another shard of glass lodged somewhere in there. I will give another shake down tomorrow and see if anything else falls out by chance.....stay tuned!

Post# 385278 , Reply# 7   2/2/2018 at 20:37 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        

My mistake.
Technically the coil spring is part of the
timer control. Its the bimetal spring which
disengages the electrical contacts when the
timer spring set time (sooner for light,
later for dark) reaches its limit.

Post# 385539 , Reply# 8   2/6/2018 at 18:45 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Sounds like a foreign object might be stuck where it shouldn't be, so a disassembly would be in order.
The only thing that 'broke' my mom's trusty 1964 Toastmaster was a chunk of bread that was stuck in the electrical switch. And this only happened because she would turn the thing upside down to shake the crumbs out. Instead the bottom door should be opened and then only shook right-side-up. Even the manual stated this to prevent the problem she had.
So easy fix and it is still toasting.

Post# 385625 , Reply# 9   2/8/2018 at 12:58 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

If you are still having issues, you can try to use canned air to clean out any bits of burned toast, etc. but do be careful as some internal parts are quite delicate, such as the springs and latches. The outer cover of the toaster can be removed easily enough, but it can be a bit difficult to fit it back on. It can be done, but takes some patience to get those small hex shaped screws aligned with the holes. Once you do get the cover off, you can really see how complex and well made the toaster is with all the working parts. It really is an amazing piece of machinery. No wonder they typically lasted so long!

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