Repairing a Russell Hobbs 9299 Toaster

We have had this toaster for several years. It's been reliable, solid and looks suitably retro in the kitchen. Suddenly one day we weren't able to push the sliding knobs down any more and it couldn't be made to work. The solution was either to chuck it out (which I balked at since I assumed that it would be potentially fixable and because it wasn't a cheap throwaway item) or try to repair it. A search of the internet revealed little of use so out came the toolkit.

The plastic base of the toaster is held in by four cross-head screws which come out easily. The power cable has one cross head screw and then a nasty surprise up its sleeve: a star head screw (shown below) which is going to be a nuisance unless you have the right tool. Digging in my toolkit I found a suitable driver for it, this must only be the second time I've ever used it. Slackening the power cable grip allows you to remove the base and then disconnect the power lead.

Getting the guts out of the toaster is simple once you pull off the movable black knobs. Despite them hanging on grimly, I eventually prised them free as they really are just a push fit, though an exceptionally tight one. There's a push-in connector on a ribbon cable that goes to the buttons on the outer case and this has to be disconnected before you can extricate the innards from the chrome outer.

In my case, the juggling around that got the black knobs off and freed up the case was enough to allow the left hand mechanism to come free and work again, no longer jammed towards the top of its travel. This proved to be extremely fortunate as I'd otherwise have been baffled as to the root of the problem.

The photo of the pressed-metal U-shaped slider (centre of photo with spring attached to it) shows the two metal posts that it slides up and down and in the foreground the electromagnet that holds it down during toasting (foreground bottom left, two red wires). What isn't clear is that the upper limit of the slider's travel is enforced by a pressing attached to the main chassis, a simple lip that protrudes to prevent the slider moving further upwards.

The second slider, the one that comes into play when you are toasting more than two slices, was still firmly wedged and wouldn't move. For some unaccountable reason the slider had managed to wedge itself above the protruding chassis lip. Despite denials from the family, the only way I can see this happening is some substantial shock being applied to the body of the toaster, perhaps being dropped from a height of a couple of feet or more. A bit of levering with a screwdriver got it back below the lip and the mechanism then moved just like before. After reassembly, the toaster worked just like new.

If you look really, really carefully in the 'Innards' photo you can just about make out that the left-hand slider is below the lip and held against it by the spring whilst the right hand one is a millimetre or so higher, wedged above it, but you need to focus hard to spot it.


U-shaped Slider

Cable Connector


Star Screw