My masterbuilt on the fritz (I think)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chaznsc, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. chaznsc

    chaznsc Newbie

    I have a Masterbuilt electric smoker that is on the fritz (I think). I last used it probably two months ago. My smoker trips the GFCI outlet immediately when I plug it in. I plugged a hair dryer in to the outlet without issue. I checked with another GFCI with same results. I have used this outlet before without issue. I use a heavy gauge extension cord, but it trips with or without the cord being used.

    I checked resistance on the plug and am getting resistance. Any ideas what it might be? Keep in mind my ability to troubleshoot electricity ends at changing light bulbs :biggrin:

    I'm bummed and wife is upset with me as we have people coming over. Story of my life.

  2. sky monkey

    sky monkey Smoke Blower

     Sounds like you've already taken care of the first step, eliminate the extension cord and receptacle as a possible reason. If you plug your smoker directly into a functioning receptacle and it trips the GFCI or breaker the most likely cause is a short somewhere in the electrical circuit of your smoker.

      I'd recommend first visually inspecting the cord and all visible wiring for worn insulation, severe twists and kinks or exposed copper.  Insure the connection is dry as well, a wet plug can trip your GFCI (as you probably are well aware)

      Sounds like you were already checking continuity with a meter, a good check for the heating element is checking continuity between the beginning and end connection of the element.  You should see pretty low resistance there indicating no breaks in the heating element.  Make sure there is no contact between any of the metal of those connections and the frame/body of the smoker.  Sometimes a connection can come loose there and fall down and make contact with the smoker, that would cause a short.

      If you can't find the problem visually my advice runs out at that point. Not sure what kind of thermostat you have on it, the short could be internal to that as well.  I don't know this particular smoker and don't have an electric one myself but 15 years of building and servicing electrical signs left me with enough knowledge to get in trouble.

      Hope it helps a little, good luck!  I'm currently trying to repair my propane smoker which I'm not doing very good with.  Smoker's down make for a very unhappy cook. 
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Try running the hairdryer inside the mes for an hour. Moisture in and around the coil can cause a GFI trip...JJ
  4. chaznsc

    chaznsc Newbie

    Thanks to a post (on here) that a friend forwarded to me, I plugged into a non GFCI outlet and ran it for two hours at 200 degrees. Check back with the GFCI and all is well. We have had unseasonably warm and wet weather for the last ten days and it never occurred to me it could be moisture. It's been really humid; porch stays wet, my garage is a greenhouse :biggrin:

    Thank you for the great responses.......gonna go get me some meat :yahoo: :sausage: :grilling_smilie:
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  5. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter Fire Starter

    Glad you got it going. Was reading your thread on GJ and now here. Cool


Share This Page