Archive for December 2015

Your Electric Can Opener Died? There’s Still Hope

Just because your electric can opener died and you don’t have enough money for a replacement doesn’t mean you have to give up on clam chowder. You can just figure out what’s wrong with it and replace whatever specific part failed! I know that seems unlikely, but with the help of this article, it’s possible for even a non-engineer to figure out:

First keep in mind that the electric can opener is activated by an operating lever which is lifted before the edge of the can is placed between the feed gear and the cutter. The top of the can is kept still by a magnet. When downward force is applied to the lever, it activates a switch tat then initiates the motor. The motor then powers the gears which turn the small feed gear and rotate the can. The can rotates against the cutter, which slices through the edge of the lid. When the lid is fully sliced, it remains stuck to the magnet.

electric can opener tooMost electric can opener problems can be prevented through proper use of the device; owners should make sure to clean and the drive wheel and cutter with a toothbrush, standard detergent, and a good rinsing followed by a thin layer of lubricant (make sure to unplug the device first!).

If you’re already experiencing a problem, it’s worth your time to check out the can opener’s switch. An electric can opener is turned on and off with a contact switch activated by the device’s operating lever. If that switch is defective, the device may not turn on. To examine the switch, remove the can opener’s cover and make sure when you pull the lever down it makes contact with the switch. If not, figure out what’s obstructing their connection and fix that. If the switch is still having problems, unplug the appliance and check for a circuitry issue using a continuity tester. If the contacts have corroded, use pliers to handle some emery paper and give the contacts a little TLC. If a contact is broken or the switch is totally defective, now you know what to replace. In the case of making a replacement, be sure to mark all the wires you’re unplugging so you can connect everything back up again.

electric can opener gearMaybe you’ve got a gear issue. Gears translate the motor’s power into torque that then forces the can you’re opening to rotate. This requires a feed gear at the edge of the can and a gear or two inside the appliance. To check and/or replace gears, open the appliance case and carefully remove them. If teeth are missing or warped, you need to replace them (be sure to find the exact replacement parts). Otherwise add some lubricant and see if that helps.

If all is well among the circuits and gears, you may have an issue with the dreaded motor. To check, unplug the appliance and find the fuse on the motor. Check it out with a continuity tester and see if its blown; these devices are engineered so that the fuse will blow before too much electrical current is applied to the motor. It’s also worth your time to see if the bearings have been worn down, causing the shaft to wobble. You can do this simply by removing the rotor.