How to Replace an Excalibur Dehydrator Timer

If you’re like me it means you put off projects that you know you can do and I’m not talking like my Dad that may take 20 years to finish the kitchen renovation he started. I’m talking about knowing my dehydrator wasn’t quite working but just ‘hoping’ it would work itself out.

Starting back in December, I noticed my 5 tray Excalibur dehydrator’s timer was no longer counting down. Extreme sad face! Three weeks ago, I finally called Excalibur to see if there was a quick fix they could trouble shoot with me over the phone. I consider myself lucky to have come from 2 crafty/mechanically inclined people. I’ve always loved figuring how things work on my own and really hoped it was that kind of a fix.

Luckily, I had bought my dehydrator straight through the company and despite the initial 10 minute hold time the woman that helped me was, in fact, super helpful. After explaining my problem, she verified that I had bought the machine through them by looking up the order records, all within seconds. In verifying she let me know that I bought my dehydrator on January 2, 2010. I couldn’t believe it has already been 2 years of dehydrated goodies. Now for the news.

The bad news, it wasn’t a quick fix. The good news, my machine was still covered within the 10 year warranty and they would send me a new timer. The okay news, it cost $8.50 – just for shipping though, nothing else. I’m still very very pleased and so happy that I don’t need to send it in or buy a new one. Within a few more minutes we had updated my address and verified my information. Wow. Quick, easy, and painless.

The new timer arrived within a week and came with detailed instructions, which was nice. I found there was one piece missing on the instructions or was missing on the part, but I figured it out and will detail it below. There were pictures but they were in black and white and small/fuzzy. So I’ll share my pictures here in case this could help anyone else.

A note: If you just wipe out or vacuum out your dehydrator after uses (like me), this isn’t enough. I noticed when taking the back panel off that there was a lot of dust around the fan etc – this is gross – I will be cleaning that fan on a more regular basis.

This will start their instructions, any notes or additions made by me will be marked in italics. 

Tools you will need:

I. Uninstalling the bad timer

Step 1: Turn off and unplug your dehydrator. Remove the door and all of the trays. The timer’s the guy on the right, in the cage.

 

Step 2: Pull up with your fingers then using a flat-ended screw driver – remove the knobs. I didn’t need to use the screw driver, mine pulled right off.

Step 3: Using a Phillip screw driver, unscrew & remove all 6 screws on the outer edge of the back panel. Disclaimer: Please do not touch the nuts in the middle of the panel

Step 4: Remove the back panel from the case; do not be afraid to use the power cord. This might be the hardest step of them all; if you need to wiggle the case to take the back panel off, please do so. Notice the cage protecting the mechanical parts. You will need to remove the cage. I found this step pretty easy, I slid the panel to the left and lifted up with the power cord – the cage caught at one point, but a little shimmy took care of this.

Step 5: Using a Phillip screw driver, unscrew all the screws around the cage and remove the cage from the panel. Be careful with the bottom edges to the cage, they are sharp little bleep bleeps.

Then take pictures of your face in the cage. ;)

AND do you see the dust on the fan??? Gross!

Step 6: Using pliers unscrew the black threaded washer.

Step 7: Remove the timer from the protection wall (Can be seen in the above photo).

  

Step 8: The timer terminals are labeled 1 and 2. Turn the timer in such a way that the knob shaft points down. Terminal 1 has two wires that go into it; you’re going to remove the wire farthest to the left of the number 1. CAUTION! Remove that wire using a flat headed screw driver.

Step 9: Remove the wire from Terminal 2, and then proceed to remove the remaining wire from Terminal 1. I think I did these out of order, so I don’t really think it matters.

Step 10: Notice the middle section of the back panel, there are two screws with white washers and nuts. Unscrew the nut off the 2nd screw furthest away from the thermostat (on the left) and remove the wire.

Step 11: Remove the timer from the back panel.

II. Installing the new timer

Look it’s shiny! and there’s bubble wrap to play with.

Step 1: The new timer has 2 wires on it; one with a ring and the other with a hook end.

Step 2: Attach the ring end to the 2nd screw furthest away from the thermostat in the middle of your dehydrator.

Step 3: PLEASE NOTICE the loose wire from the thermostat which you will use in the next step.

Attach that wire to the hook wire of the timer.

Both timer wires should be attached as follows – the flat ended wire from the timer connects with the thermostat “hook” ended wire and the round ended wire from the timer connects on the 2nd screw in the middle section, furthest from the thermostat.

Step 4: Attach the “hook” junction to terminal 1 of your timer. Mine arrived connected from shipment. I thought this part of the instructions were overly detailed – to me everything should be connected the same as how it was unconnected. Oh well.

Step 5: Take the loose wire from the power cord and attach it to terminal 2.

Step 6: Please notice the “bump” underneath the knob shaft. Attach the “bump” and the shaft to their appropriate holes. They wrote it, I didn’t. The bump is right below my thumb in the above picture – the shaft is above the thumb.

 

  

Step 7: Using pliers, screw the black threaded washer back into place. This next part was missing from the instructions, there is a small black piece that fits over the end of the shaft – it helps the knob fit tight and needs to be removed off the old timer and put on the new. See above picture. STOP!! After you have completed step 7 of the installation, plug in your unit, attach the knobs onto the thermostat and timer shafts, turn your timer on and test your dehydrator. If everything works fine proceed to step 8. If you are having problems, pleas contact Technical Support at 1-916-381-4254 ext 104.

Step 8: Attach the cage using the Philip screw driver. Before I did this, I also grabbed some soap warm water and removed ALL of the dust from the fan and surrounding area. (The machine was unplugged of course)

Step 9: Attach the back assembly to the case with the knob-shaft side first. Using the Philip screw driver, tighten all 8 screws in the back.

You might want to vacuum around that center spot too, more dust!

I was extremely pleased testing the dehydrator at the 2 hour mark to find that it did indeed work again. A satisfied job well done.

When I initially looked on the internet for what was wrong with my dehydrator, I couldn’t find anything. So, I hope this helps you if you need it. Call the company and see what can be done. I only searched google first because I just like to know what I’m getting myself into.

xoxo

  • Kim O’Hern

    thank you for posting this. I bought my dehydrator from a guy on craigslist and turns out, in addition to it being disgustingly dirty, the timer isn’t working. Luckily I’ve found this post, and it seems I can order a replacement timer from excalibur for $30. Thanks!

    • http://feedyourskull.com/ Michelle Felt

      Kim, I am so happy this helped you! Have a great time dehydrating :)