I've been searching this subforum and found some great info but thought I'd start a new thread cause I didn't find my exact issue.
I've had an MES 30 Analog Model 20070210 for about 2 years now. The first year or so I had no issues with my temps. This year, I can't seem to get it up past about 200. After providing the following info I'll probably answer my own questions but any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
- I live in Brooklyn and smoke in a small backyard area of my apartment. I don't even bring the smoker out unless the outside temp is above 60 or so.
- I keep the smoker about 12 feet from the back of my building so the smoke isn't going up straight into my neighbor's windows. Therefore, I use an extension cord. I don't know the gauge off-hand but it's a bit more heavy duty 3-prong cord, maybe 15ft long.
-(the iffy part) I run the smoker (and extension cord) into a power strip that's mounted inside my back window. This is where I power my outside lights and anything else I want to plug in outside. I generally don't have anything else plugged in while the smoker is going.
-Until this past year, the power strip was plugged into an outside outlet that was on the other side of my fence the separates us from the apartment next door (same building). They just renovated that place and people moved in and I didn't want to use their power so the power strip now runs into my bathroom and is plugged into a GFCI outlet there.
-I think moving the power strip from the outside outlet to the GFCI is where I started losing power. It doesn't trip it but I can't get the temp past 200.
-The only other explanations would be if the element was going bad or got too much drippings etc on it from the smokes. But for the past year or so I've had a foil over the bottom, covering it. There also seems to be some black build-up on the end of the temp-control unit - the bigger prong that plugs into the element - not sure if there is ever an issue with that.
I'm guessing it's a power source and I'll probably experiment with that after reading through some of the other threads but just wanted to get any other opinions I could.
Also, FYI - MES 30 w/ mailbox mod, using the AMNPS coming in the lower left and also a 3" vent going out the top-back-right.