I have a Breville 'smart toaster oven' which I've used for 7 years in two different apartments with no problems. As of the last month, the toaster oven will randomly trip the circuit (that is, in the kitchen wall outlet, which can be reset by clicking in the button in the outlet itself; does not trip the fuse in the house-wide breaker, apologies if incorrect terminology). I tried multiple outlets, same issue. Sometimes it happens after 2 seconds, sometimes after 1 minute.

Does anyone have any advice here? It is definitely out of warranty, and I know that parts+labor from a professional shop will be more than a new one (I called a couple) so.. can I do any kind of repair myself that wouldn't be too tough, or is it just time to give in and buy a new one? I hate to buy new when I can fix so would appreciate any leads, especially if it wouldn't be too expensive. Thank you in advance.

EDIT: Based on answeres here I have realized the outlet is GFCI. I just tried plugging the toaster into a non GFCI outlet, it works! Is this: A) OK for short term as I order/research a new toaster and B) possibly OK for the long term rather than replacing a toaster?

  • Does it have a 2 prong or 3 prong plug? – longneck Jun 1 '18 at 13:59
  • The thing in the socket is called a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor) device. A ground fault is when power goes a direction it should not, e.g. through a human, killing them. It's designed to save lives. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 1 '18 at 14:38
  • It could be in need of a good cleaning. Buildup from the nicrome wires that get hot could be causing the ground fault, another possibility is one of the wires is moving around when hot and causing the fault. – Ed Beal Jun 1 '18 at 14:55
  • @EdBeal what would be a good way to diagnose if it were something like this rather than need of a replacement of elements? Just take off the back cover and clean and check that things are in good order? – dama_do_bling Jun 1 '18 at 15:07
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    Many have a clean out access on the bottom, make sure it is clean. Lightly tapping to shake debris out may give you more time but if it continues to trip the GFCI it is time for a replacement. – Ed Beal Jun 1 '18 at 15:32

You have a ground fault, and the GFCI in the receptacle is tripping, as it should, to protect you.

The fault could be anywhere in the wiring of the toaster oven. Since it does not happen immediately, my guess is that it is not in the power switch connection or power supply (the electronic controls have some sort of power supply to convert from high-voltage AC to low-voltage DC) but probably something related to the heating element(s). Possibly a loose connection on one of the heating elements so that as it starts to heat up something shorts and the GFCI trips to prevent any more serious problems.

If the heating elements are designed to be user-replaceable (rare on a small appliance though not impossible) then I would go through the process of disassembly, removal, clean contacts as much as possible on the elements and where they connect in the toaster oven (there may be oxidation or evidence of arcing) and replace the elements. If that doesn't fix it, or if that is not practical, then it is time for a new toaster oven.

Unfortunately, small appliances are not generally designed to be very repairable. Under warranty, depending on the company & the particular device, warranty repair is often:

Do a quick check to make sure it is not a really simple problem and then send out a "refurbished" item which is often just a return from a store for cosmetic or "didn't like it and returned but can't sell it because the packaging is damaged" item.

So a professional repair out-of-warranty is very likely not cost-effective.

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    Thank you for this, its as I suspected.. Built in obsolescence. FWIW the model is the BOV450XL (ereplacementparts.com/…) and doesnt look like I can buy heating elements. – dama_do_bling Jun 1 '18 at 15:01
  • I have a "small" twist/question (i also added to the original).. If I plug the toaster into a non GFCI outlet, it works! Is this: A) OK for short term as I order/research a new toaster and B) possibly OK for the long term rather than replacing a toaster? – dama_do_bling Jun 2 '18 at 1:20
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    @dama_do_bling I would not proceed that way. It only "works" because that circuit is not protected and cannot sense the fault to shut things down. – Roberto Jun 2 '18 at 1:51
  • @dama_do_bling - As Roberto said, that is not a good idea. Definitely not a long term solution. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jun 3 '18 at 2:00

I recently had a similar problem with a countertop oven. The solution was to either not use a GFI outlet or ?? All the outlets in the kitchen were GFI protected so using a non-protected outlet was simply not practical. On a whim, I tried using a surge protector that I use to protect my computer and, to my surprise, it fixed the problem! The surge protector is rated to the wattage of the oven and is plugged into a GFI-protected outlet, so all is solved. A bit odd, but you might give it a try. Don't see any downside.

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