Hello all ... I'm new to smoking and honestly am only getting involved because my brother is coming for a pig hunt and staying with me next month so I want to make a thing of it. I posted a long message in the equipment forum earlier but it seems to have disappeared ... so if there ends up being a duplicate I apologize.
I live in Texas and am planning to do some simple Electric Smoking to start. So ... I bought a brand new MES 30 (control panel mounted on back of top panel, Black with no window) ... FROM CRAIGSLIST ... yeah ... maybe not the best plan at this point but I'd rather not debate that yet ... :)
So the shorter version than my long post earlier ... I have this smoker .... I plugged it in and the controller came on. I set it for 275 degrees and 3 hours for preseason. I checked on it after a while and the heating element never came on. So there is a problem. Called the guy and got no response so my first thought was to take it apart ... (lol ... crazy i know.) .. I drilled the rivets and got into the back and bottom compartments and took a bunch of measurements that just confused me more. Below is the measurements I took. I'm hoping someone can lead me to some next steps in troubleshooting. Also the Controller seems to work and the Red Heat Light is lit when it should be heating. Also the relay clicks when the controller turns on(Not exactly a scientific measurement but gives some insight).
****Note ... Not going into all the details but after I took it apart without any changes ... I got the smoker to heat up to 275 one time. It didn't stay there long and I have not been able to replicate that. I tried several different outlets at my house. :S
#1) I measured the resistance across the 2 Heating element leads. I got ~17 ohms which is perfect for a 800-850 watt resistive heating element ... Also it is brand new ... not surprised
#2) Measured AC and DC voltages across the Terminals of heating element. Got no results for DC so I'll ignore that for now. For AC I read zero as well. I then took a reading from the left terminal of the heating element and the ground(Smoker Chassis) and got 120 volts AC. Same on the right terminal. What the heck ... I have voltage on both sides but not current ... Where is it stuck ??? .... AHHHH .... Any thoughts?
#3) The other thing I was curious about ... due to it heating up the one time was the thermal cut-off switch. I thought maybe it was broken or had tripped the first time it heated up. I did three things to verify. a) Measured resistance across two terminals and it measured .2 ohms ... so that seems good. b) Measured amperage to the cut-off ... not surprisingly it was zero. c) I removed the leads from the cut-off and connected them directly, removing cut-off from circuit. No results ... No heat to heating element.
I have access to the bottom panel with the relay etc ... but obviously can only measure certain things since it is coated in the white goo .. .
Anybody know what else I can try to troubleshoot?