Originally Posted by daRicksta
Originally Posted by N4YNU
You have to go into your profile and create the "Signature" for all of your posts, like a email "signature", your "Bio" would be other info you filled out like where you live, hobbies and little mess like that.
If you are repairing shorted or broken wires in that smoker, then you should be soldering and shrink tubing all repairs, and you should also do as I do and cover the soldered wired with di-electric grease before heating and shrinking, maybe over your head...............???? It all depends on what the issue is, bad connection, short (pinched or pulled wire), bad insulation from heat and or grease or just acidic environment (short).
It could very likely be a dry smoky heating element connection, if they used a sta-con spade on it, they love failing in a couple of ways, but the general issue a bad connection and or a bad crimp on the spade or ring end sta-con.
Go to the Auto Store, any one should have it, and get a tube, large, the size of a old tooth paste tube, just a little shorter and fatter, 3M and some others make it, it is called Di-Electric Grease, and or Ignition Grease.
If you have to replace / recrimp the spade or ring end sta-cons, make sure you have the right crimping tool and put the Di-electric Grease on the fresh stripped wire end and in the barrel on the sta-con before crimping !
I am not sure if this is your issue but if you look at the element connectors and they are blackened, then you need to figure out if it is smoke blackening or temp / high current from a bad connection, and if you ever have to remove those take care torquing screws back down, they need to be tight and greased, and you need to hold the element side of the connector to ensure you do not bend the wire feeding into the element as this would create a short over time.
Not sure what issue you are having, if you need any help maybe you could send me some pics if you want any advice, your welcome to do it here as it may help others.
If you have not, may want to call Master Built, they are very nice and may be able to tell you exactly what is wrong !
Thanks for all this info, Guy. I'll be referring to it. I'm also working with Dr. K in learning how to fix what might need to be fixed. I've got a crimping/wire stripping tool in an electrical repair kit my wife bought me years ago. Why do you put the grease on the stripped wire end and on the sta-con barrel? I don't even know what a sta-con connector looks like.
I'll work on my profile sometime. I just takes almost more time than I have just to reply to posts!
The Sta-Con Barrel is the end you put the wire into (little barrel) before you crimp it, I fill the little barrel by just sticking the end of the Sta-Con (barrel end) into the grease the grease tube end and just squeezing a little watching the other end, if it is a blade type connector (push on type) I just keep going till I see it enter into the female part of the blade connector, and I do the wire the same way, just stick it in the end of the tube, then I put the wire end in the barrel end of the Sta-con and then Crimp it.
The reason why I do this is the Di-Electric Grease keeps the copper from Oxidizing and will keep the copper beautiful and clean, it will also stop any migration of moisture or acids that will corrode the connection and or the wire, so I make sure it is coated back to the insulation, being careful not to strip the wire too long, this way all exposed wire is minimal and all the wire and in the crimp is completely covered and sealed with the Di-Electric Grease, some will say it is over kill, but in work and home, I have never had a corroded or bad connection, none, not even in very caustic environments like smokers, ovens, heat tables, range tops etc where spills and moisture create a multitude of issues where simple moisture will create very aggressive and destructive compounds that will reduce copper and metals to fragile, damaged and less able to handle current loads, it actually will change the metal composition and cause it to be thin and even change the resistance characteristics a bit and then it gets hotter under the same load or the corroded parts of the outside are more resistive causing greater current passing thru what is left that is not affected thereby causing more heat, either way, very bad.
Whenever you are working on high heat connections that are push on or ring end type crimp connectors, always try and use stainless steel crimp connectors, yes they are more expensive, but far more reliable in those situations, if in a ambient outdoor or indoor temp location, the standard crimp connectors are fine.
Here are a couple of examples of what I am speaking of, they are referred to as High Temp :
If you use that Di-Electric Grease everywhere, and those High Temp Connectors where needed you will be cooking more and not have to worry about stupid wiring issues in the middle of a cook, anywhere you have a electrical connection, high or low voltage whether on a terminal strip or a harness plug or push on or ring end type crimp connection you will have like near zero issues with bad, dry, corroded or oxidized connections, the hardest lesson in electrical and electronics for anyone to learn, is just because a connection is tight does not mean it is good, I will also actually clean my connections in many cases if surfaces are not true color, this means they have a glaze or oxidation on them and the connection will not be as good as it should be, so some very fine sandpaper or steel wool, get the color back and then coat with Di-Electric Grease, then make connection.
As I said, also, when working with oven type elements like in these smokers with wire ends, the connection needs to be tight, to do this without bending the lead wire out of the element you need to hold the blade on the element end so you can tighten without bending or twisting wire that leads into element, yes the wire going into the element is shielded with a silicone insulation, this is why you do not get shocked lol, but when repairing wire ends and or replacing elements you need to be very careful not to pull, bend or twist the wire lead coming out of the element, if you twist it then you compromise the metal in the wire and it is now softer and will not handle current loads as well which will lead eventually to a failure, if you pull excessively then you can create tight spots internally with the insulator and then that will eventually lead to a shorted element, same is true for the twist or bend at the ends as this will also mess up the centered placement of the wire leading into the element and place pressure on areas of the insulation against the walls of the element (same as pulling would do, but pulling would more effect where element is bent and shaped), when this happens it lessens the distance between the insulation and the outer wall by pressure on the silicone, silicone is very soft, and when putting pressure on the silicone, it makes it thinner, two things happen here, the di-electric properties of the silicone when pressed upon decrease and start causing other issues as well regarding life of the insulator, it then shorts or gets hot spots that go beyond design specs and then cause failure.
Take the time and use the grease everywhere there is a electrical connection of any kind, any voltage and you will be rewarded with long life and fewer problems
Also take the time and a little money and get those high temp crimp connectors and you will have done the above again
And in closing, I will offer more info on life of the unit, and this applies to any appliance or even just a single element on a electric smoker :
When you have a appliance that is designed say to draw 10 amps @ 125V, lets say for the sake of the example it is according to the 10 amps at 125V, that means it is using 1250 watts, now if you voltage drops from a long cord that is undersized either for the length of the run or for the current drawn then your wattage use and or output will remain close to the same but your Amp draw will increase, because you are either running a smaller than required wire to the load, or a wire that is too small because it is too long to the load, or possibly you have issues with the service and low voltage is present, generally it is small wire or a long run with small wire, the end result is higher amp draw, which will burn up motors, control circuits, voltage regulators, heating elements, you name it, it will cause the appliance to operate beyond and above its current and temp design, and further more for electronic sensing equipment will cause issues with readings, messing them all up and as well cause voltage, frequency and current issues in the operation of the control boards, this applies to even battery powered stuff regarding accuracy.
Bottom line is, if you are running a cord to a Electric Smoker make sure it is sized properly for the length of the run, under 25 ft you can use 14 gauge, but you have to figure in the wire between you and the breaker box in the house !
If you use a 25 ft cord outside and have 50 ft of wire between the outlet and the breaker panel then you are really running 75 ft and that is too long, you will suffer a voltage drop and increased current draw.
Now if you have the same setup as above and ran a 12 gauge 25 ft cord you would be better off, and yes if you ran a 10 gauge 25 ft cord you would still be better off
I have a outdoor outlet, it is fed with 10 gauge from the panel, dedicated, it will provide 30 amps if needed, but by industry and code standards it is a 25 Amp capable outlet, it is only about 20 ft from the panel, and I use a 25 ft extension cord that is 12 gauge to fire this Smoker, so there is little resistive load in that configuration so voltage drop will be minimum and current should be within design specs, no issues
So these kinds of things can cause premature failures, in reality they "will" cause premature failure period, the only question is the time of the failure
It is the difference between something lasting 5 years and lasting 8 years or lasting up to 10 or more years, it makes a difference, so make sure you pick the closest outlet you have to the panel and go spend a little money on a 12 gauge cord at the very least, if the outlet is far far away from the panel then make a 10 gauge cord the length you need and at least make the situation as best as possible.
What most people do not understand is when they wire a house, traditionally it is to the attic in loops from outlet to outlet, there can be well over 100 ft in a single room, then the run to the panel feeding the room !
And in older homes with 14 gauge instead of 12 gauge wiring, the resistive load and voltage drop is even greater....................
This is why when I wired my house I drilled holes in the studs at the bottom of the wall and went from outlet to outlet, yes I used a lot of nail plates but I reduced the overall length of each run by over half, and it is now 12 gauge, the original in the Vintage '46 home was 16 gauge lol, anyway this is how I can have a $112 electric bill in the middle of the summer in a all electric home with a inside temp of no more than 74 degrees, you pay for current used not voltage, the higher the standing voltage then the lower the current draw on anything, period.
I run one size over on all code required wire sizes for appliances, they say I am nits and do not need to until they see my power bill and scratch their heads, code is like the bare minimum, I could give you some scary examples of issues with code sized wiring under nominal code approved loads, much of it makes no sense when you apply the truth of the matter to it, which is Ohm's Law, being in electronics and radio communications gives you a better understanding of fact versus building grade code standards.
Anyway, make sure you have the shortest run to that Smoker or either increase the gauge wire size of the cord you are using, these things can cause trouble you would not believe and early failures of any kind of electrical equipment and appliances.