$1 Solution for a Broken Toaster Oven Timer !




I hate throwing away an otherwise perfectly functional things, just because one part fails.
When the timer of my Oster toaster oven died, it's perfect time to do some hacking.

If your wind-up timer wouldn't DING either, this is for you !

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Step 1: Remove Timer Switch

Open up the oven. Check that it has only 2 wires connected to the switch.
Pull knob off from the front and remove any housing screws.

Step 2: Replace With My $1 Hack

Get any light switch and connect with existing wires.

Step 3: Expand Hole for Light Switch

I use my zip saw, but dremel will work too.
Just any rectangular shape will do

Step 4: Reassemble Everything Again

Put a little hot glue if the switch is not stable against the housing.
In my case, the wires are pretty stiff as is.

Now it's really manual operation, just WATCH the food like a hawk !

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    15 Discussions


    8 months ago

    You can replace timer switch and keep that functionality. They are $10 on Amazon and $5 if you can wait for shipping from China.

    I just did it yesterday on my toaster oven that had a broken timer switch. It's as good as new now.


    3 years ago

    Well, check this http://bakingreview.com/oster-extra-large-capacity-countertop-6-slice-digital-convection-toaster-oven-stainless-steel-tssttvdgxl-shp/ as well.


    3 years ago

    I love little hacks like this. It isn't a permanent solution but it can make do in the mean time. I'm not the most handy but I think I could do this with my toaster oven. http://gibsonsappliancerepair.net


    7 years ago on Step 4

    This is beyond lame! How does a thirty cent on/off light switch even begin to compare to the existing timer switch function?

    Suggested solution: the root cause of the problem is that the plastic shaft of the timer know has fractured, right?

    Ok, so the knob is no longer usable. On Oster toasters, the plastic know is hollow, and has two notches at the very tip. Using a two part epoxy solution and filling up the hollow shaft will likely not work, but you can try it.

    Best solution: the knob shaft is about .25" O.D., and inserts through a hole about .35" I.D. Take a steel, or even an aluminum spacer bushing with an I.D. slightly larger than .25". It should be slightly shorter than the length of the shaft.

    Fit the plastic parts back together to reform the shaft; fill the hollow shaft with 2 part epoxy bonding agent (why not? won't hurt), then slip the spacer bushing over the shaft, with some epoxy glue to bond it to the outer shaft surface. Give the epoxy glue a day or so to set. Then cut the identical notches into the tip of the bushing after everything is hard, but only if necessary, since it might work as is if you have the correct length of bushing. As long as the OD of the bushing is smaller than the ID of the toaster frame where the knob slips thru, the knob will be perfectly usable again.

    Then pat yourself on the back for not stooping so low as to use an on/off light switch and glue inside a toaster!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    How about using a timer switch like you see in some gas station bathrooms. Like this: http://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-FD15MWC-15-Minute-Spring-Loaded/dp/B000EVS4WG/ref=tag_stp_s2f_edpp_timer_12ch
    If you don't know what I'm talking about.
    5 minutes is probably a bit much for toast but by the look of the face of that model I think it could be set lower but you can still set it for longer times for other stuff like reheating pizza. 
    As for the heat worries others have mentioned, I would think that if the leads going to the original timer are regular insulated wires then it should be fine, and I'm sure there are many different configurations in the hundreds of models on the market, but mine sends the normal house voltage through all the switches and stuff before augmenting the power for heating purposes so there should not be any problem with the power going through the switch. I know there would be no issue with shorting in mine because the area where the power is routed through all the switches has some narrow gaps between wire that shouldn't be connected because they are for separate switches, like toaster timer versus temperature setting, and nothing is shielded. So, I guess it would have to be looked at on a case be case basis.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, I looked all over the Net for a good deal on any kind of Switch that would work and is rated at 20 Amps, like the original, to be Safe. I actually Repaired my original Switch first off and it only worked for about 2 weeks!:O So, I had to break down and spend a few bucks;) I ended up Ordering the DeLonghi Timer for Toaster Oven Model #5218104600 from here, http://www.thegourmetdepotco.com/items/?item=7564 for $10.95. And it has worked out great. I installed it in Feb 2011 and no problems at all. I did have to shorten the Shaft quite a bit, since it stuck out of my Hamilton Beach 31160b. But, that was the only mod I had to do. I have a bunch of Pics I took of it all taken apart. I plan on posting them on my Blog, when I get A Round-Tuit. There's more info on what I found and Pics of my Hamilton Beach 31160b on my Blog, http://donsdeals.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-hamilton-beach-31160b-toaster-oven.html



    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, good Idea!:) I hadn't thought of a plain ol light switch. I was thinking of a nice looking toggle switch... maybe one with a nice red or blue light. But I have several brand new regular light switches in the Garage... Still, what I really want is a real timer switch. I found one that is said to work on this page... http://www.fixya.com/support/r4707909-timer_switch_failures And a couple of stores on Google Shopping that sell them. But, I have hated that loud ticking sound and the horribly loud Ding! When it is done, ever since we first got the thing... What I would like to find is an electronic timer switch. I would prefer just a twist knob, but a punch in number pad would work too. If it was small enough for the space on my Hamilton Beach 31160b Toaster Oven. Any Ideas there?



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Check the ratings of the switch, a small toaster oven might be 600 Watt and your standard lightswitch won't have trouble, but a large one can be 1500 Watt or more and many standard lightswitches are not rated for that and will melt, and having it embedded in a area that gets warm in the first place won't help much.

    The calculation is voltage (in the US 110V/ in the EU 230V) times the A (Ampere) equals Wattage, so for a 600 watt oven in the US you'd need a 5.5A switch at least.
    Note that sometimes the values on the switch are like 3A-250vV meaning it can do that at least, so that would be 750 Watt and that means in the US it can handle 750/110=6.8A even though it says 3A but that's for the 250V situation, they make switches and plugs and such often for international use and just put the maximum like that.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    HUH? An amp is an amp. 1 amp consumed at 250 volts is going to be consumed the same as 1 amp at 110 volts in a resistive load, which is what a toaster oven in. The reason switches are rated "different" is because the voltage rating is related to the switch's ability to suppress the internal arc that occurs when a switch's contacts open up. At higher voltages the voltage tends to arc across the switch easier then lower voltage and that's why the difference. Nice instructible by the way.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    But yes the arcing is significant, but both switches and wires get hot depending on the amperage on them even without arcing, and switches (as well as wires) can melt (or even create enough heat to cause it to catch fire depending on the materials used) their covering and then since there's no supporting structure anymore cause very dangerous situation like arcing when the wires get close to each other, or causing parts to get live that you touch.
    The contact surfaces in switches, as well as the leads to them, can be very small/thin and that means they are more limited in what they can take than what their external size might suggest, but fortunately they put rating on them.

    Still, if you want to burn down your house (and not get insurance money), I guess that's your choice :).


    10 years ago on Introduction

    When my washing machine's main power switch died of corrosion I just bypassed it and used the switch on the wall instead. Still, nice hacking and ingenuity. L


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What about just ordering the part, I mean it is still cheaper than buying a new toaster oven and you get to enjoy what timers are meant for. Otherwise good instructable


    10 years ago on Introduction

    wow you should have posted this like 3 weeks ago, i had some taco shells in my toaster the timer didnt stop it so they caught fire, and if i would have known about this i might not have shot it and destroyed it

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Not a bad little hack there. Back in my younger years when I first had my own apartment, an old microwave had a busted knob that opened the door and stopped the microwave, all I did was put a screw into the old busted knob and vola, fixed microwave. Nice work here though.