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Mes Quit

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
My 3 year old MES quit in the middle of a cook. The controller still works & you can hear the thermostat click but no heat from the element which does not look burned out. Before I take the back off has anyone done any repair work on their MES
post #2 of 63
I just fixed mine last week. In my case, it was a pretty easy fix..... Drilled out the back rivets & took off the back..... The connection at the heating element (inside the aluminum small box in back) was fried....

I cut off the bad connector (right next to the connector) from the wire that leads underneath to the "junction box" stripped about 1/4" of the existing wire.....attached a new connector......sanded down the connection.....attached it & it works fine....

Installed all new SS screws, but I think aluminum would work as well.

I'm not sure if my design is the same as yours, or everybody else's that will view this post, but one thing I did that I finally figured out was to Drill a hole in the "shroud" that covers the back of the chip pan....It allows for easy access to the screws that hold the heating element to the back of the MES and the small aluminum box in back. Until I figured this out, I was one mad MES repair man....The position of the screws in back is very awkward.....Here's a picture & good luck!
post #3 of 63
Make sure after your repair work to make the following MODIFICATION!biggrin.gif
post #4 of 63
LOL, I can just imagine a loop playing little curls of smoke rising up on the monitor - helps fix the envy for the glass front version icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 63
I figured it was so that you could have instant access to SMF!
post #6 of 63
It's actually my patio TV, but a computer monitor would be good also. A kegerator is just a little too big for the 30", but with the 40" ?????????
post #7 of 63
So how did you figure out the correct placement for the hole in the "shroud"? From my view the screw on the left of the heating element plate I might be able to get at with out taking off the shroud. The center screw is for the ground wire from previous photos and discussion but it's that darn far right one that would make it necessary to remove the shroud or drill an access hole.
post #8 of 63
That "darn right one" was the one that I was having troubles with. I did not take off the "shroud"......I took out all the shelves, wood chip box & water pan.....Then I "eyeballed" where that "darn right screw" is located & drilled a hole through the "shroud" that is about 2 times larger in diameter than my screwdriver. So now I can push my screwdriver right through the hole drilled in the "shroud" and get to that "darn right one" easily.

Hope that helps, if you want some more photos, I can send more later, after it cools down from smoking, that is!biggrin.gif
post #9 of 63
With all these reports of MES failure I'm thinking of making the repair before it fails. Seems it always fails in the middle of a big smoke. How hard is it to drill out the rivets and then reattach the back with screws?
post #10 of 63
It's easy to drill out the rivets, took me about 5 minutes & then you have easy/quick access to the rear, if you have an electric screwdriver/drill.

Before the website conversion, I think one of the MES users on here did a TOTAL wiring replacement on his with a cost of about $8.00 as I recall.

Anyone remember this?
post #11 of 63
Here is the complete rebuild.

Hope this helps.
post #12 of 63
Thanks Ron!
post #13 of 63
Hello to everyone, Lostarrow there's one thing I would like to add to the great advice you've been given. If you discover the connection/connector at the element is fried(as mine was,) follow the wire to the control box. There was enough slack wire there, about 3", to make the repair possible.
Good luck.
post #14 of 63
Here is the previous thread on the MES repair with photos.


Just for the heck of it I popped off the back of my new MES. The chip dispenser "shroud" was not hard to remove. Only 4 screws that were easy to get to. The connections were very clean as expected on a new smoker. The connectors had a plastic insulated cover as seen in the attached photos.

Is this the same as what has been seen in the past or is this an attempt to improve wear and longevity of this Achilles heel problem?

I want to replace these even though they look new but was just curious if Masterbuilt has done any improvements. I don't want a failure during a smoke if I can help it so why not do it now or am I crazy or OCD?
post #15 of 63
Scubadoo, Here's my take on the situation, I don't think it's a hardware issue. In my opinion the issue is a loose connection between the male tab on the element and female connector on the wire. In my case one connector/tab looked brand new while the other was toast (tab and connector).In fact all the wiring and connections I saw inside the unit looked new. I was impressed with the quality and workmanship- this unit is one and a half years old.
The connection that failed on mine was the shorter of the two wires, when I removed the element( from the inside before removing back panel ) the wire remained inside the cabinet- it was too short to pull out of the hole left by removing the element. After pulling the rear panel I thought I would have to replace the wire as it seemed too short to facilitate a repair but when I accessed the other end to remove it I found some slack- about 3inches.
My thinking is that wire was tight at installation and the small movement of the element every time the ash bin is emptied worked the connection and eventually caused enough slack for the electricity to arc and fail. I don't think the connectors pulled apart but loosened just enough.
When repairing mine I crimped the devil out of the female connector and had to use a lot of force to get them back together, I also left some slack in the wire as to allow the connection to flex a little with the element.
Well it's been about a month and I've got around fifty hours of smoking on the repair (and will be cooking all day today) and so far so good. Will post any further issues.
My advice, since you've opened it already, is to put a little slack in the wire, check the connector/tab for a good tight fit and have a female tab ready for the repair just in case.
My .02 hope it helps, Bob.
post #16 of 63
Bob, thanks for your insight. After inspecting the connectors I found that on my 3 months old unit the male connectors were clean and free of any corrosion but the female connectors had developed a rusty orange hue. These were not rusted out of course but given the humid conditions here in Florida I wonder if a stainless female connector wouldn't be a better solution and offer some security. It could be a combination of rust formation and faulty connection due to the short wire that is causing these units to have such a high fail rate.
post #17 of 63
You know I didn't even think about the stainless connectors. A+ Idea. If I have to do it again I'll either solder the connection straight or do stainless. Hopefully it'll behave for a while. Did fine Sunday- had two chuckies in it and a full load of jerky in the 30", all went well.
post #18 of 63
Stopped by an electrical supply house today. They had no clue if these terminals were available in stainless. I found a marine site that has insulated terminals. Also available through amazon.

post #19 of 63
I just did this. Myself before finding this site :(

I drilled out the rivets, then replaced them with short stainless steel screws. Some young enterprising person could probably make a kit of connectors, screws, sealant, etc and sell them as a kit since it looks like this is bound to happen with the 40.
post #20 of 63
My MES from sams that is two years old and probably used a dozen times is now tripping my GFI outlet.
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