I had a big smoke planned to do today, a couple of chickens followed by a tri Tip.
Went to go turn the MES 40 on to warm it up and came back an hour later and it is cold. Lights and everything work ok. I had this same problem with my MES 30 last year. The wire on one of the heat element terminals burned off. It was an easy fix since I am an electrician and have hi heat nickel terminal kit on the truck, but my point here is to always have a backup plan. I had my 30 to fall back on and am doing the tri tip in the oven. I think it would be a good idea every winter to take the time to pull the inspection plate off the back of a electric smoker and look for signs of deterioration on the connections to the heat element. Both of my MES smokers had the same issue, and it is pretty normal that sooner or later it is gonna fail considering how much use the unit gets. Expansion from heat, then contraction when it cools eventually loosens the connection that then only gets worse till it fails completely. It takes 15 min or less to repair. What if It had failed on a overnight smoke? That would have spelled disaster. Have a backup plan and do your yearly maintenance just like you would on a lawn mower, car, etc..A full working smoker is a happy smoker....
This is just my observation and solution.