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MES 40 stopped working! Suggestions.......

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So this past Friday I smoked 2 boston butts and they ended up finishing around 10pm. The following day I was warming up my AMNPS and attempted to fire up the MES 40 and I noticed after about 10 minutes the Maverick and Temp gauge on the smoker was pinned at 86° and nothing was heating up.

Does this sound like the heating element has crapped out? I have done a lot of research the last day on this and almost every post I find says Masterbuilt doesn't have replacement parts. Any suggestions on:
1. Is it worth trying to replace that element?
2. If it is. Worth it, how difficult ?
3. If the answers are no, besides my ole charcoal brinkmann that one must babysit, what suggestions on electric, propane smokers can you offer......

Thank you for any assistance,

Tony
post #2 of 15

If it is under warranty, have it fixed. Could be the controller or the element.  Also check to make sure you did not trip a breaker.  You may have to look into getting a new smoker with a better track record for longevity.  I would suggest Smokin-it, SmokinTex, and Cookshack. Or a generation 1 Masterbuilt which seems to last much longer and have fewer problems than the Generation 2.

 

Dave

post #3 of 15

If it's out of warranty and you don't have the electrical know how to check parts before you replace them it may cost more to fix then replace! This is why I chose the analog over the digital, much simpler to diagnose and repair. But the trade off is I must tend the smoker a bit more when  cook. If you end up replacing the smoker you may still modify this box with a hot plate or universal element or even just use this box for cold smokes etc.

post #4 of 15

Call Masterbuilt. you didn't say which MES you have. Make sure you have voltage to the plug first.

Happy smoken.

David

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post

If it is under warranty, have it fixed. Could be the controller or the element.  Also check to make sure you did not trip a breaker.  You may have to look into getting a new smoker with a better track record for longevity.  I would suggest Smokin-it, SmokinTex, and Cookshack. Or a generation 1 Masterbuilt which seems to last much longer and have fewer problems than the Generation 2.

Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by old sarge View Post

If it is under warranty, have it fixed. Could be the controller or the element.  Also check to make sure you did not trip a breaker.  You may have to look into getting a new smoker with a better track record for longevity.  I would suggest Smokin-it, SmokinTex, and Cookshack. Or a generation 1 Masterbuilt which seems to last much longer and have fewer problems than the Generation 2.

Dave

First thing I did was check for power, it wasn't a breaker. The unit turns on, has lights and allows you to set everything it just wont heat up. I am just really dissapointed with this MES 40 because I bought it in Nov 2012 and can't believe it has already died.... Also invested in an AMNPS because as everyone knows the MES smoke system is pathetic. Can't believe masterbuilt would keep selling smokers, that don't really smoke nor last long.... Looks like i might be moving on......
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by exromenyer View Post



 Also invested in an AMNPS because as everyone knows the MES smoke system is pathetic. Can't believe masterbuilt would keep selling smokers, that don't really smoke nor last long.... Looks like i might be moving on......

 

The unit does power up.  So, you may have nothing more than a loose or fried wire leading to the heating element.

 

In spite of all the problems cited on this forum less Generation 1, people read and still buy.  As long as people buy it and develop or create work arounds, Masterbuilt will continue.  And the public ever eager to get a bargain will continue to purchase.  

 

Nothing made by man will be perfect. Nothing!  But some come pretty close.

post #7 of 15
ontainer" data-huddler-embed="/t/169616/mes-40-stopped-working-suggestions#post_1236804" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">Quote:
Originally Posted by exromenyer View Post

So this past Friday I smoked 2 boston butts and they ended up finishing around 10pm. The following day I was warming up my AMNPS and attempted to fire up the MES 40 and I noticed after about 10 minutes the Maverick and Temp gauge on the smoker was pinned at 86° and nothing was heating up.



Does this sound like the heating element has crapped out? I have done a lot of research the last day on this and almost every post I find says Masterbuilt doesn't have replacement parts. Any suggestions on:

1. Is it worth trying to replace that element?

2. If it is. Worth it, how difficult ?

3. If the answers are no, besides my ole charcoal brinkmann that one must babysit, what suggestions on electric, propane smokers can you offer......



Thank you for any assistance,



Tony

 




Short answer---YES it is worth it. The first thing I suspect is it is a easy fix.
Second if it is the controller it is about 40.00 The 800 watt element if that is what you have is about 25 or 30 dollars from Masterbuilt. You must call them.
You must trouble shoot your element. Do you have any electrical testers. If you have to buy a pocket volt tester it is about 12.00. All it does is test for voltage. Just wave it very near a wire and the light lights up if you have voltage.
Most likely when you remove the inspection plate on the back that covers the element wires. that is if you have one other wise you need a 1/8 inch drill bit and drill out the rivets on the back cover. Don't worry it is not a daunting task. Maybe 15minn and you are in. When you open the back cover or inspection plate un plug the smoker First thing you want to do is inspect the female spade terminals that connect the wires to the element. I think you will find one of them is burned off.(dam Chinese low temp connectors) This is the easy fix if you find that is the culprit.
Set the temp and time so it should heat. Once again check the wires for voltage by waving the pocket meter on the wire. At this point you will or won't have voltage. At this point it does not matter how much because the tester will show any voltage from 60 volts A/C up to about 600 volts. if you don't have voltage you need to follow the wire back to the thermostat or snap switch and see if you have voltage going into it. the thermostat should be about half way up the back of the box. Don't mistake the temp probe for the thermostat. The thermostat or snap switch is just a safety switch it will be next in line leaving the element. That is what my problem was.
Don't worry we are getting there. The snap switch is about a dollar from Amazon or you may find one (150c or 300 f ) at a appliance repair shop. They use them in a lot of appliances including pellet stoves. It is a one time switch that is set for a specific temp. At that point it acts like a fuse and burns out. That is why you will not have voltage at the element but will have on one side of the switch. Your smoker is on so BE CARE FULL or you will be bit. So far you may have spent 1 hour. You have found out if it is the wiring or the safety switch.
if you have power at the element and doesn't heat it is portably dead but you want to test it by checking for continuity. This is done a lot of different ways but the easiest is with a volt ohm meter. You can buy a cheep one or borrow one from someone. If you buy one don't buy a nice fancy one for this job. all you will do is be checking if there is a break in the element. here is a link for some rewiring info.
Texacajun did a great job on his tread to up grade the cheap factory wiring .

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89886/mes-wiring-upgrade-mod

Like I said before, I think your hot wire has burnt off at the element. A 4.00 dollar fix and 1.5 hours of work.
Is it worth it only you know that. Do you want to invest in a new smoker ? Well now is a good excuse.

If you want to repair yours and have questions just ask the forum or P/M me, many of us are happy to help.

Jted
post #8 of 15
Tony,
It seems that your MES is not the only thing that has stopped working.
I have tried to edit my thread and add a link for the switch but it won't let me.
In any case here it is.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A77LJL0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

jted
Edited by jted - 9/15/14 at 3:52pm
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. I took the back plate off finally and it looks like one of the wires is fried. My concern now is replacing the metal tab on the wire and it fitting on the male piece because the wire length is very short to begin with. I think that would be the cheapest route to begin with and if that is not it, then it is the element which I saw is secured by the two bolts and comes out rather easily. All that being said, those connectors still need to be replaced so i guess I am going to have to look and see if that wire has any more wiggle room. Lastly, my plates had screws so they came off easily and I am calling Masterbuilt tomorrow to find out what they will do for me.

On another note, does anyone know what size connectors these are and where I can get them? Radio Shack, hardware store? They are almost L shape so just not sure.

Thank you for the help and apologies it took so long to get back, I haven't checked back here in awhile I was really frustrated this thing died on me!!

Tony




post #10 of 15

I've had to change these too.

 

This thread has some good info: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89886/mes-wiring-upgrade-mod 

 

The connectors can be found at hardware and automotive shops.

 

Don't forget some emory cloth or sand paper to clean up the male sides.

post #11 of 15

Tony, You have a relatively easy fix. 86GN has it covered. The terminal size is  #16 x 1/4 inch You know you need a female high temp connector. I found mine at a ACE hardware store. They sell appliance parts. I also think a appliance repair shop would have them I paid .50 each.  Clean up the male spade terminals like 86GN recommended and cut the old connector off as close as you can Only strip as much as you need. No more than 1/2 inch. The high temp terminals are very hard. My stripper has a crush portion to crimp. It would not touch it,  it just did not have the leverage. I used a pair of vice grips to crush the connector around the wire I would crush then tighten up the vice grips and do it again and again till it was very securely attached, It will be very important if you have to use a # 14 connector. It will repair your smoker. It is as easy as it looks     PM me if you need some help I will walk you through it.        Jted 

post #12 of 15

Hi Exro,

    Shoot me a PM, and I will get you fixed up.  Tks.  Darryl

post #13 of 15

Hmmmmmm.....after the 'fix' I for damn sure would not plug that in near my house...just sayin'

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 86GN View Post

I've had to change these too.



 



This thread has some good info: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89886/mes-wiring-upgrade-mod 



 



The connectors can be found at hardware and automotive shops.



 



Don't forget some emory cloth or sand paper to clean up the male sides.


 




Thanks for the information. I did plan on cleaning the male sides with sandpaper for sure. I just took the element out and the entire back piece. I have an ace hardware nearby so I'll make a stop there. I acutally pulled off the other one to bring it with me. Figured while I got it apart, might as well replace them both.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Willie View Post

Hmmmmmm.....after the 'fix' I for damn sure would not plug that in near my house...just sayin'


 



I'm not really concerned Chef Willie since i'm not doing any modifications, I'm just replacing some female connectors. The element actually just plugs right back into the back of the smoker and those male ends will be brand new because Masterbuilt is sending me a brand new one as a complimentary action because mine should not have died already. I'm not an electrician but it's not much different than wiring a ceiling fan or a new switch in the house... Follow it back on the way you took it off and cross your fingers!!!

Thanks,
Tony
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