Thread Number: 84707  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Sunbeam T20A Toaster Please Help
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Post# 1091540   10/1/2020 at 19:10 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Sunbeam T20 A troubles

1) I took it apart. I cleaned and polished the shell. I removed the cord and cleaned the interior with lye based oven cleaner, rinsed it and put it back together. I didn't test it before taking it apart...silly me, but I've never had one not work, and I've gotten complacent.

2) When I plug it in, it immediately turns on on both sides and lowers itself.

3) After a few seconds, it raises and turns off.

4) When I put a single piece of bread, it lowers sluggishly, both sides turn on, and it doesn't cut off--at least not before the bread starts to smoke and I unplug it.

5) When I unplug it, the bread raises up rather sluggishly.

Please help. Thanks in advance.


Post# 1091547 , Reply# 1   10/1/2020 at 20:27 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

Hi Sarah

How familiar are you with this model? Have you had one before?

It just sounds out of adjustment.

Sluggish up and sluggish down is normal.

they don't "pop" up like other toasters, they rise slowly.

It is normal to cut off quickly if there is no bread in it. That also suggests the sensor is working correctly.

I think you need to calibrate the lighter - darker setting.


The link is to a website dedicated to these toasters, and includes how to calibrate the adjustment.


This post was last edited 10/01/2020 at 23:03
Post# 1092710 , Reply# 2   10/10/2020 at 11:45 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
A few more questions

sarahperdue's profile picture
Thanks gizmo,

I'm hoping to find time to work on the toaster this afternoon.

It's been a long time since I've owned one, and I have two questions--
1) Is it supposed to cycle on and off immediately after plugging it in?
2) When toasting one slice, are the heating elements on both sides supposed to come on?

Many thanks,

Post# 1092726 , Reply# 3   10/10/2020 at 14:30 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I'm going on sketchy memory here, but I'm pretty sure that if anything was disturbed during transport, the mechanism may indeed lower itself when the toaster is first plugged in as a result.


Similarly, I'm fairly certain that both sides will heat up even for a single slice.  Only one slot operates the mechanism, which is why it's identified on the top of the toaster.


These toasters are wonderful when they work properly and are used for plain white bread, but can be super annoying when they act up or are given something more substantial to toast. 

Post# 1092822 , Reply# 4   10/11/2020 at 09:17 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

OK, I have just got mine out to check...

q1.  IF the trigger has been activated, or IF it didn't complete the last toasting cycle, it will fire up when plugged in. The "trigger" is a spring loaded wire arm in the marked slot that starts the cycle. You can see the wire squiggle in the slot. If you bump the toaster in moving it, that may be enough to trigger??

q2. Yes, the elements always all work. There is no such thing as a single slot being activated.

There is only one trigger and only one sensor, that's why if you are only cooking one slice you must put the bread in that slot, but both slots will still glow red during toasting.

Post# 1092851 , Reply# 5   10/11/2020 at 14:31 by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I have one and itís been my only toaster for over 20 years. Yes both sides will heat for one slice. And itís not uncommon for it to go down when you first plug it in. If it were me I would plug it in, and let it do itís thing. After a moment it will realize it has no bread and stop. I would then wait a moment, and test a slice of bread and see.

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