I've been cruising this site since I got my smoker about 4 years ago. I've read all the posts I could find on MES problems, wiring upgrades, ect. I haven't found anyone with my exact problem - so here goes my story.
My smoker tripped the GFI recept the last time I tried to use it. It knocked it off as soon as the element tried to turn on. It's the same setup that I've used for years. When I couldn't get it to work, I borrowed a MES 40" and used it in the exact same outlet - no problems. In troubleshooting I've found that if I remove the element from the smoker and hook it up outside WITHOUT the ground wire connected, the element heats up without tripping the recept. Hooking the ground wire to the bolt through the element plate, it trips just as it did inside the smoker. I let the element power up without the ground and the element got red hot just like it should. So I'm thinking the element is good but somehow its shorting out.
I'm not strong enough in the electrical department to know where to go from here. Can anyone give me any ideas? Could I take the ground wire that is with the element hot wires to the frame? The element is cooling at the moment but my next thought was to put it back in the smoker and see what it does without the ground attached.
Thanks in advance for your help!