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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!
 
pollinator
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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!
 
Pearl Sutton
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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?.....
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air fryer door open
air fryer door open
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wires spliced together
wires spliced together
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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!  
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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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The switch that I need to replace, is the selector for the various types of cooking, such as bake, broil, air fry, etc. It is a dual switch, FZ31-9e. It is the half that is on the rear that is scorched. The wheel inside is what determines if it is a single unit, or a double, like mine. The part that you need, is the same part number as mine, but it has a different rating. Mine is 20A 125V. I think yours is 16A 125V. It is a Hua Lai Li FZ41-9e 16A-125V(not the far more common FZ31-9. I do not know what that "e" at the end means, but it makes it very difficult to find). Your part is available on Ebay. Your search on EBay will show the switch for sale for $79. However, if you continue to search, or maybe go to that sellers store, you will see that they offer the same part for around $30, and also $50...
Good luck! Simple removal and replacement will fix your problem. I have to go find my version, which is a 6pin 7 position back half of a double switch. Unfortunately, the wheel inside of the switch is partially melted, or I could put it in a switch that was rated for the same amps. I could even use my pins, if the other switch didn't have enough, or they bent the wrong way, or if they were a lighter guage. The only part that I really need is the wheel inside. I thought about 3D printing it, but I don't think I can find a type of plastic that is as durable while hot, and I am not sure of the exact shape of a tiny portion of the wheel. I even thought of using JB weld to build up the part that melted. I cut off the past that scorched, but it wasn't that much, and I think that I can determine the original shape. Trial and error(unplugged) or let me know if I need small changes. The problem in the end, is whether it would happen again. Before mine broke it got slightly difficult to turn. I should have dealt with it right then... Oh well, lesson learned. I figured that I can get a regurgitated(I mean refurbished, that was an honest mistake in spelling, and my phone thought that I meant to use that word. I will leave it because it is kind of funny!) one for $100, and throw that on the counter. I will keep all of the switches out of the old one, though. I may even pop the case off of the new, regurgitated
one, and see if they replaced my part or yours, and see what they replaced it with. I imagine that they did, as it is a liability.
Thanks and good luck!
 
            
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Ghengis:
I am having the exact same problem with the function switch and want to replace it.  I took it apart to the point where the back was off, and I could see the 8 screws required to take off the front. But I backed up and put it together again as some of the functions work and my wife wants to use it while we are waiting for the part.  I have the Cuisinart TOA-60 model.  If you have the same model, can you please clarify which part number is correct? The function switch has 7 positions. Thanks in advance!  
 
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I am having the same issue, and a Google search lead me to this forum.

The original part is a HUA Li Lai "11 pins" "7 positions" using dual FZ31-9E parts with one of the 12 pins moved and probably a restrictor to reduce from 8 positions to 7.  

I found this part on ebay for $24.99 USD
https://www.ebay.com/itm/144096921567?hash=item218cd887df:g:3YoAAOSwVBBg3cgV

The ebay part is a 8 position 12 pin instead of a 7 position 11 pin, which is the one needed for the Cuisinart TOA-60.   I just ordered the eBay one.  I didn't find the one that is acutaly needed for this toaster oven, but this will hopefully work if I hook it up the same way.

I pulled apart the original switch and it is totally destroyed internally.  When I opened it, a metal piece fell out and everything was charred.  I think the problem is that I switched the 7-position dial while the timer was running.   That causes electrical arcing inside the dial and destroys it.   In order to make this dial last, I will set it to the bake, air fry, or other settings BEFORE I turn the timer dial and make sure not to touch it unless I turn the timer back to the OFF position.  

Hope this helps others.  
 
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How did you separate the switch from the front panel? I see metal tabs, but those looked crimped too hard to unbend. The knob seems stuck so I can not remove it to see if screws are at front face of the oven holding switch?
 
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Did the "-9" piece work in place of the "-9e" piece?  I've been looking for the FZ31-9e 20A piece with absolutely no luck anywhere.  

If it worked for you, I'll buy a -9 piece!
 
                      
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I also need FZ31-9e 20A with 11 pins 7 functions. Any luck finding one?
 
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I'm not as advanced as all of you, I have a replacement TOA-60 on its way to me, but I'm wondering if there is a way to remove the knobs from my old unit, to hang onto in case one of the knobs on the new unit breaks. I've tried a pliers with a piece of cloth protecting the metal surface, but I want getting anywhere...
 
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Having same issue with multi function switch.  There are two plastic tabs on inside of front plate by the shaft of the switch.  Push both tabs in and knob will come off.  Two screws under knob hold switch in place.  I noted wire routing and pulled mine out to get part number.  FZ31-9E, 11 pin, 7 position.  No luck finding one anywhere.  Anyone tried the 12 pin 8 position and if so, which position should not be used?
 
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SOLUTION... potentially

I fixed my TOA-60 without replacing the FZ31-9E (11pin,7pos) rotary switch. I think it will work for you too if your units switch failed in the same way mine did. Mine failed by melting the switch housing around the pin where the power connects (pin B on the rear half of the switch).

I fixed the unit by bypassing that part of the switch and tying the brown power wire (from the door switch) to the two white wires above it (pos 3&4, go to the two timers). This will make power go to both timers for all functions...so only use 1 timer at a time or the longer timer will set the duration.

I pulled the unit apart. Traced all the wires and made a diagram). Tested continuity across all the switch pins to understand the functions and made a table). Also, found the  hua li lai web page and realized the switch must be custom for Cuisinart...so I doubt it can be found online anywhere.
http://www.hualilai.com/eprojgt.htm ...these are tables showing contacts for their standard switches.

I realized that the switch's 4 separate inputs each only connects to 2 outputs each across all 7 positions. That means that the rear half of the switch is only functioning to determine which timer the power goes through. So connecting those 3 wires only means both timers will send power for all 7 positions.

This will only work if the one of the pins B/3/4 of the rear half of the switch has failed.
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When you basically bypassed the broken switch what did you do with the other three wires on the back half of the rotary switch?  Red and blue.    Terminals A, 1 and 2.  On opposite side from B, 3 and 4.
 
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It has also happened to me like you with the TOA-60. In my case, only one of the contactor sides or one of the covers was smashed. The internal mechanism can still be used; Therefore, I can think of buying one that has 3 similar contactors either on one or both sides and placing it on the end of the switch which is still intact. What I have observed is actually melting around where the voltage line is present. Other than that, nothing else has deteriorated on the switch. For this reason I suggest buying a similar one and disassembling it to use one of the contactor caps to replace the one that is melted. When I do I will let you know about the success of this.

Cal.
 
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I ran into the same problem and will be ordering the 12pin 8 position. I figured that its just a selector and is connecting 2 wires together to complete a circuit. 25 dollars is cheaper than 70.  Has anyone contact cuisinart to see if they can supply the selector?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/124915218037?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28 <- 12pin 8sel
 
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