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Toaster / air-fryer type oven -- disassembly and repair question

 
pollinator
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The Repair-Ungarbage subforum seemed like a good place for this query.

I'm trying hard NOT to discard of a countertop air-fryer oven (Cuisinart) that appears to just have a bad door switch (turns the unit off when the door is open, turns it back on when the door is closed).  It has a lot of screws ostensibly holding on the main housing. But when I remove all of the apparently necessary screws, it still seems as though the housing is stuck tight in a place where no screws are evident......and right where the door switch is located!  Does anyone know if it's common to use either spot welds or high-temperature glue is such places to keep the housing from coming off?  I start to wonder about taking some metal shears to the housing and just leaving the ugly hole there when done.  (It's off warranty, so that would not be an issue...).   I can't seem to find a repair manual for it anywhere.  Opinions?  I just hate the thought of adding one more appliance to the scrap heap.....  Thanks!
 
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Pictures might help!
 
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You've got "Microwave" in your title but refer to an air fryer in your post.  I've never seen an air fryer combined with a microwave, but the world is large and there are many things in it that I have not seen. "There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." If your unit genuinely contains a microwave cooking element, it's normal for microwave ovens to be assembled in some difficult-to-disassemble manner.  (Or so I have been told.)  This is because the housing is an important part of the safety screening (metal, Faraday cage) that prevents you from cooking your face or internal organs when you stand next to your unit waiting for food to be done.  If the housing were easily removed, some genius would inevitably try to operate the unit with the housing off while peering intently at the works, and then his descendants would sue the manufacturer for his fatal case of cooked-face.

If your unit does not contain a magnetron, then I got nothin'.  
 
John Weiland
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My bad....attached is a stock photo.  I already re-assembled mine with the screws since I was getting nowhere.  In the photo below, you can see where the little switch on the right-hand side is that gets pushed in when the door closes.  Yeah...I guess I understand the reasoning behind the "No Entry" philosophy with these units.  I just cringe at having to send it back to the manufacturer when it just went off warranty and could be an easy fix on my own.....or at least I envision it being easy... :-)  Let me know if you want additional photos of the broken appliance that may be of use.
AirFryer.JPG
[Thumbnail for AirFryer.JPG]
 
Dan Boone
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I can't read the dials in that photo.  It doesn't look like it has microwave function, due to the metal-appearing basket and shelf, but can you confirm?
 
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I wonder if the switch has a collar holding it on (and possibly grounding it...)
 
John Weiland
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Sorry...my original addition of the word 'microwave' was in the probably false assumption that most of these types of counter-top appliances perhaps had the same general sort of housing.  So if that is not the case, then disregard the reference to that and my apologies for the confusion.  The back of the unit and along the bottom edges is where the majority of the screws are located.  When I remove these screws....with the intent of removing the exterior housing.... I can separate the housing from the unit along the *back* of the unit, but not along the *front* of the unit, which has me confused.  It's almost as if along the front of the unit they used some other sort of bonding principle because there are no other obvious screws along that front edge where the door is located that would be holding the housing into place.  And there is a seam along that edge where the exterior housing meets the metal through which that button is protruding.  So I was thinking this was separable from that metal, but it appears not to be.
SeamAlongCornerEdge.JPG
Seam Along Corner Edge
Seam Along Corner Edge
RearView.JPG
Rear View
Rear View
 
Dan Boone
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John Weiland wrote:Sorry...my original addition of the word 'microwave' was in the probably false assumption that most of these types of counter-top appliances perhaps had the same general sort of housing.  So if that is not the case, then disregard the reference to that and my apologies for the confusion.



No worries!  I just wanted to be 100% sure, because the safety implications of digging into a broken microwave are so severe, I was afraid that some people with appliance repair knowledge (not me!) would be reluctant to reply in your thread.  I have taken the liberty of changing the title of the thread, just to take the whole "microwave" danger-spectre off the table.
 
Phil Gardener
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Can you get access to that switch from behind by taking off the rear panel?
 
John Weiland
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Phil Gardener wrote:Can you get access to that switch from behind by taking off the rear panel?



I'll take a look at that this coming weekend.  I suspect it will be pretty narrow access with the oven chamber that close to the housing, but will see what I can see.  Thanks!
 
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You did check the bottom for screws, right? Including screws that hide under threatening stickers? The ones that say "Violating this appliances warranty will make your ears fall off, don't do it!!" Really seems like it should come apart. Most things like that do. I have scavenged the cabinets from several things of that ilk, never had as issue getting them off. Check in the feet too, those screws are sometimes structural.
 
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I'm guessing clips, possibly nasty one way clips. Makes assembly a snap! If nothing else works, take a pry bar (screwdriver) to the edge of dial housing. If any gap opens you may be able to see what the attachment is.  
 
John Weiland
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“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”  —Seneca

"You can't always get what you want....
...but if you try try try,.....you might just find.....you get what you need" --Jagger/Richards

Seven months ago this thread was active and we were all mostly living the halcyon days of a pre-COVID lockdown.  Half inspired by curiosity, the other half by motivational quotations, it seemed finally like a good time to decide if the broken air-fryer was destined for the dust bin or the alchemy of Dr Frankenstein's visions.

As Cuisinart had graciously provided the air-fryer in question with 'ventilation fins', this provided a means by which I could initiate a cut in the outside housing with a handy pair of tin snips.  Some effort later, an adequate (if ugly) hole existed in the side of the unit, readily exposing the door switch and its wiring.  It did not appear that the switch itself could be removed in any logical way.....turning the screws running through the switch did nothing to release it from the mount against the oven chamber.  On to option B, which was to pry loose the wires attached to the switch....easily done.  After paring the wire ends down to more of a point, they were spliced together under a standard electrical wiring nut.  That glorious invention...."Duct Tape"....soon entered the picture to fish the job.  By wrapping the rough metal edges in tape, no sharp points remained to catch unknowinging pinkies and the hole itself was covered with two layers, the end result blending well with the burnished silver trim of the oven.

It works!!! .... and I'm not missing the door switch a bit.  I mean, how often do you turn off your main gas/electric oven range just to open the door anyway?.....
P1190769.JPG
air fryer door open
air fryer door open
P1190767.JPG
wires spliced together
wires spliced together
P1190772.JPG
duct tape repair!
duct tape repair!
 
Phil Gardener
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Good job!  Be careful of those hot elements if you open the door and reach in!
 
John Weiland
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Phil Gardener wrote: Be careful of those hot elements if you open the door and reach in!



Yes....well noted.  I'm typically using an oven mitt anyway since any of the pans/grids we use for cooking are screaming hot during a cooking run.
 
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Remove all screws from outside including feet.
Once the back is off there are 8 screws along the top on inside of unit, all the way toward front. Will need a long screwdriver.
Then you pull toward back and it will slip out of tension clips. Takes a little muscle.
 
John Weiland
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Retro Dub wrote:Remove all screws from outside including feet.
Once the back is off there are 8 screws along the top on inside of unit, all the way toward front. Will need a long screwdriver.
Then you pull toward back and it will slip out of tension clips. Takes a little muscle.



Thanks for this info!  If I find need in the future to dig inside the unit again, I will use this excellent description for removing the housing.
 
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I have a Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven (TOA-60). At first the switch stopped shutting off when the door was open. Now, it doesn't turn on. I've opened up the toaster, do you know if there is a switch to replace this? I can't seem to take it out.
 
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Mine's doing the same thing, sometimes I have to slam the door or flick the door switch repeatedly before it turns on, then it won't turn off, then it wont turn on, then it turns off while cooking...very unpleasant. I bought mine at Costco over two years ago. Costco has a ridiculous return policy and I'm going to take it back and see if this is returnable, then probably buy the same one again! I really like it. If they wont take it, I will either try to pry everything apart as described above and replace the switch or use a wire nut or solder to keep it in the "on position.

For what it's worth, I tried white vinegar and steam cleaning from the outside, no luck.

Also, you are supposed to use the timer on the left for everything except toast, then the toast timer for toasting. Right now, the toaster setting will enable air fry to work too. My guess is there is some or short in multiple places, maybe the sensor and the "mode" selector?

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem. Found other cases online. I feel like returning to Costco so they can return to MFG is the best way to make sure Cuisinart learns and fixes this on future models.
 
Rocco Sucato
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According to Costco, I bought that air fryer somewhere else....maybe.

Either way, I took it apart and it was surprisingly clean. Removed the entire door sensor and hard-wired the door sensor so no more problems there. Looks like the errors on the door sensor all internal. I was going to take it apart but felt fulfilled and toss it in the trash. There is still a short with the toaster timer and air fry setting. Also, wont power on if in "air fry" mode. The fan is running high in Bake w/ fan so I'll take it.

All in all, about 40 minutes AND I'll be able to make toast tomorrow.

Thanks for everyone's previous input. I wouldn't have figured out about the screws in 2 of the 4 feet without the tips above
 
                        
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I just had the switch fail on my Cuisinart air fryer / toaster after two years of almost daily use.  Thanks for the tips on disassembly!  I don't have much going for me besides being patient and mechanically inclined so I was made for this job.  Disassembled and bypassed the switch using a butt connector.  Back in business!  I debated replacing the switch for about a minute but I have kids who rely on the toaster function almost daily for their bagels / eggo products.  

Magnetic tipped screwdriver helps for the 8 internal screws.  Those slide clips to get the outer cage free are a pita.  I can't believe I didn't cut myself given all the sharp edges & corners.  Such thin metal this thing is made of, you really have to be careful not to bend things too much.  The feet that have to come off were interesting because on one side you'd had three exposed screws.  On the other side you have one exposed and the other two are hidden under the actually rubber foot pad.  
Good luck to all who find this thread and take this on!  
9DFEDEF0-9764-4CB7-A531-8F42AFE5708F.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 9DFEDEF0-9764-4CB7-A531-8F42AFE5708F.jpeg]
 
John Weiland
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Mister Fixit wrote:I just had the switch fail on my Cuisinart air fryer / toaster after two years of almost daily use.  Thanks for the tips on disassembly! ......




Wow, Mr. F!......So that's what it looks like inside when one (i.e, *me*) doesn't go all 'Rambo' on the thing!     Yes, that door switch looks familiar.  Based on your description of the side clips that need to be released, it may have been best for my own experience that I cut that hole in the side-wall.   NOT being gifted with patience, I have a tendency to reach for the sledge or ball-peen hammer when that virtue is running in short supply.....and then I would have had NO airfryer contributing to meal-time during the dark days of winter past.  As it stands, the repair job noted above six months ago has continued to provide,.....from cakes to scones to french fries and more.  Thanks for continued contributions here....
 
                        
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Hi John,
Good to hear the unit has continued on operating since your repair!  Looks like the switch is the one  weak component in this otherwise fine fryer.  
Glad my googling led me here.
Take care.
 
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Thanks for taking the time to tell about your experience with the toaster/oven.   I bought one of the "reconditioned" ones because I falsely assumed that when the factory "reconditioned" it, they removed whatever bugs and failed components were defective.    I was fortunate in getting a 2 year warranty for about $8, since I only had 90 days manufacturer warranty.   The unit is only used six months a year, as we are snowbirds and just before the two year extended warranty when added to the 90 day warranty was running out...... my unit failed.   The Extended Warranty offered me about 80% of what I paid as settlement, which I accepted because I was not sure how much inconvenience it would be to get it to a repair facility and back home.

Not wanting to throw it out when it was still in like new condition, I carefully pulled it apart (after some minor cuts on hand before using gloves) and like you, was a bit puzzled by how it should come apart.   After removing all the screws described in a later posting and faced with the "clinched clips in the front lower sides, a bit of a struggle released the cover.   Running a meter detected the bad door switch which had not only failed, it allowed electric to flow at times (when touched lightly).   I am trying to read the data on the switch that seems unreadable because of scorching, but interested if the amperage of the micro door switch is meant to carry the amount of amps required for all heating elements and fan?   I am surprised that the switch is rated 125V 20amp and failed.   Is it possible the switch doesn't make good contact and tends to arc?   This is not about ONE switch but rather about multiple and dangerous failures, especially since the switch is NOT a full disconnect.   For an unit that may be opened several times while under FULL power, the danger of arcing is very possible and dangerous.   Will consider replacing the micro-switch but may have to resort to the more drastic "bypass".    Since my adjusted cost is less than $40, it will be easier to toss it when it loses its usefulness.  
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