I just bought a brand new smoker from craigslist. Yeah ... not the best plan I guess but everything looked brand new with parts in the bags and all.
Anyway ... I plugged it in the first time and the controller powered on so I thought I was good to go. Well I set the temperature and time for 275 degrees and 3 hours. Well ... there was never any heat. The little red light came on on the controller saying it was heating but it never happened.
Without going into details I went ahead and drilled the rivets and took off the back panel. Everything looks fine. So ... the next day I plugged it in again and it did actually heat up to 275 as set on the controller. I had changed the outlet I was connected to so i assumed that was the problem. Well ...On that day it heated to 275 and then stopped working. I tried several different plugs in my house and now the element won't turn on at all again ...
So ... in summary ... Controller turns on but the element never gets hot. With strange intermittent periods of working(n o known reason)
So ... I took out my handy dandy multimeter and started checking stuff but don't know enough to rule things out. Below are some of the measurements and scenarios.
Please help me figure out my next steps.
#1) Tested the Ohms across the heating element which was about 17 ohms. That makes sense for an 800 watt element. V=IR --> 120/17=I=7 amps, 7 amps * 120 volts = 847 watts. So it seems like the element is fine ... plus it is brand new.
#2) Testing Power/Volts across the Heating element ... this one was a bit weird for me. Testing over the two terminals produced a reading of zero volts. Not too surprising ... When I measured between the heating element terminal on left side and the ground(Smoker frame) I get 120 volts. Same with the terminal on the right side. To me that seems strange ... A large voltage at the terminal but no flow ... Any thoughts?
#3) Since the smoker stopped working after heating to 275 I thought maybe the thermal cut0off switch had tripped or was broken. I tried 3 things to figure that out.
a) Measured resistance across the cut-off and got .02 ohms ... so basically it is fine ...
b) Removed the two leads and measured the amps while the unit is turned on ... Obviously it was zero ... Had to check ...
c) Connected the two leads ... effectively bypassing the cut-off switch. No results ... still no heat.
*** Another note. The relay does click when turned on. I know that is not a scientific measurement but I thought I'd share.
So ... I have no idea what to test next ... I'm not sure it makes any sense ... Also I'm not able to get to all of the connections in the box on the bottom of the smoker which holds the relays etc ...
I'd really appreciate any feedback ... I'm trying to avoid having to do a full re-wire because for the trouble I'll just go buy one from the store. Safety is a concern. Also, I'll be calling masterbuilt in the next few days to see if they will help even though I don't have a receipt. :(