I have no problems with my smokers. I have an eight month old Gen 1 40 inch SS with window (20070311) I'm currently using (May 2015) and one seasoned and unused (June 2015.) I've seen a lot of burned up/corroded heating element connections but never what they look like when you get a new smoker. The pics below show the open access panel in the back of the smoker with the two element connections. I thought a ground wire would be in with them but it must be elsewhere.
This is the eight month old pic and the left shrink tubing is a little bubbled from heat but not sure if it's from originally being shrunk or from use. Both shrink tubes are a little shiny and have a glass like hardness.
This is the new unused smoker pic. The shrink tubing is very hard from being shrunk and as you can see the connections have been terminated opposite from the other pic(if that makes a difference, since I have seasoned it without a problem.) I have filled the open areas at the top of the shrink tubing as well as the element going into the back of the smokers around the black rubber insulating gasket and the screw head behind the left connection with a battery terminal anti corrosion dielectric paste.
I thought the connections were open so I could apply the paste directly to them but found they had shrink tubing over them. This is an attempt to be proactive in prolonging the life of the connection. My questions are:
-Do these pics differ from others that have accessed these connections and if so is it more substantial?
-Is the bubbled glass like shrink tubing from standard tubing not being high heat tubing or conductive heat from the element or a
potential problem or just normal life cycle?
-The two smokers being terminated opposite from the other appears to not matter. Any thoughts?