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MES tripping GFCI - Page 6

post #101 of 165
No problems at all with quality of cooking, John. Other than the smoke issue (I was getting ready to get an AMAZEN tray). I just wasn't comfortable with the whole electrical issue with the house. I have 2 co-workers who smoke electric, but they both have dedicated 20A lines to use. I just don't have that option...
post #102 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyMose View Post

No problems at all with quality of cooking, John. Other than the smoke issue (I was getting ready to get an AMAZEN tray). I just wasn't comfortable with the whole electrical issue with the house. I have 2 co-workers who smoke electric, but they both have dedicated 20A lines to use. I just don't have that option...


You really shouldn't have a problem with overloading a 15-amp circuit breaker. I did extensive power tests on my MES 30, and posted the results here:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/238891/mes-30-energy-measurements-using-kill-a-watt-power-meter

 

I know that there are some different versions of the MES 30", but on mine, it consumes exactly 800 watts when the heating element is on. That is under seven amps, or less than half the current trip point of your 15-amp breaker.

post #103 of 165

johnmeyer - Great write-up and very clear as well.  I think everyone should have a volt/ohm meter in their basic tool line-up. Handy all around the house. And inexpensive  as well. Quite often though, the instructions accompanying such a tool are either too skimpy or too technical.  Thanks for your clear help.

post #104 of 165

Ok

 

Unplug it. Disconnect both wires to the element. Connect your mes to a non ground fault circuit interrupter. Adjust temp- up so relays engage. If it trips breaker pcb for temp controller is faulty. otherwise OHM element to ground. The controller relays fail more than any part because they are made in ch*na and assembled in Me*ic0

post #105 of 165

Not everything made in China or Mexico falls apart or fails. 

post #106 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post

Did you give up on the MES because of the electrical issues you described, or for some other reason? I am asking because I have a thread about why I am thinking of selling my MES, and I just wanted to find out if you had any issues with the quality of the smoking you were able to do.
No problem at all with the quality of cooking, John! Other than the smoke issue involved with electric (I was about to order an AMAZN tray), I loved it. I just wasn't comfortable with the whole electrical thing with the house. I have 2 co-workers who smoke electric, but they have dedicated 20A cicuits. I don't have that option.
Dan
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post


You really shouldn't have a problem with overloading a 15-amp circuit breaker. I did extensive power tests on my MES 30, and posted the results here:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/238891/mes-30-energy-measurements-using-kill-a-watt-power-meter

I know that there are some different versions of the MES 30", but on mine, it consumes exactly 800 watts when the heating element is on. That is under seven amps, or less than half the current trip point of your 15-amp breaker.
Between you, me and the fencepost, John; I think you're right. Sparky scared the bejesus out of the Mrs, though, so to keep peace in the family I let it go. Oh well. I'd rather have the convenience of the MES, but really, other than jumping through a few hoops to do sausage warm smokes, I like the gasser just fine.
Hope you get it sorted out.
Smoke On!
Dan
post #107 of 165
I have both MES and a propane Smoke Hollow, both have there purposes and i use both alot but if i had to choose just one i would go propane. P. S. I live were electricity is only 2.5 cents a kilowatt......cheap, but i just like the heat source of a propane smoker
post #108 of 165

Made in China Or Mexico does fail more often. Find me a part that's not made in either. You know what? Show me a part made in the U.S.A or E.U.

 

Duty cycle is the failure in their products. Lower grade alloys.

post #109 of 165
I had the same problem. I used with no problem then it started popping the gfci . Had to use a cord fot several smokes. I found the clip tray was rubbing the element and just needed a good cleaning,works fine now
post #110 of 165
Mine sat out in some rain....and then tripped the GCFI immediately upon plugging it in. I read this forum and tried plugging it in a non-GFCI outlet. I ran it at 220 deg for an hour and everything is ok now. It will run on a GFCI outlet again.
post #111 of 165
After I started using my pellet grill/smoker regularly, I let my MES sit in the basement for a couple years....unused 😱....

I had the same problem tripping gfci outlet when I tried to fire it back up. My suspicion was moisture/humidity build up in the heating element. I suspected this because when I bought my big chief elec smoker many years ago, it did the same thing new, right out of the box. I called support and they said to pull the heating element out and put it in the oven @ 225 for 30 min or so. They said it had moisture in it and that this was fairly common. I thought it was BS, but the oven worked. So, when the MES did the same, I thought moisture was in the burner. My solution was to use a propane torch and gently heat the element to hopefully dry it out. It only took a few minutes of running the torch all along the element. I didn't hold it in any one spot for very long. I just wanted to warm it and get rid of the moisture. Long story short...it worked.
post #112 of 165

If in twenty minutes it produces no heat I would look again at the coil terminals.

sounds like a leak of voltage from the heating coils.

post #113 of 165

I live in Virginia. It is humid. My MES is stored outside under a good cover. After a rainy or humid period mine trips the GFCI. I use a hair dryer to heat it up and it works to dry out the element. Lately I have been putting a Ziploc bag around the chip loader and inserting it back in. It works to keep the moisture out. at least so far any ways. the box it self is nearly air tight ,the only air is through the chip loader or exhaust vent.    Jted

post #114 of 165

I took mine apart for the most part and my wire ends are burnt. The guy at Home Depot told me that was the heat shrink tubing but I know the difference between heat shrink and burnt. He also tried to sell me the plugs that were not high temp. Ace Hardware had the high temp ends so I bought a couple.

 

My element connections are corroded, one much worse than the other. If I disconnect the element, I don't have the GFCI issue. It comes on, and seems ok. Can I test the element? I am not sure what the resistance should be across it. I'd like to test it before I shell out $40 on one.

post #115 of 165

I would soak the coils in baking soda and vinager to chean them up before i went any further, then comare the readings and that may tell you where to look.

post #116 of 165

My MES didn't trip the GFI when it was stock, but trips it every time since I did the "upgrade".

The stock chip tray is half-width and sits about 1/4" above the heating element, It also turned the chips to charcoal, not ash.

The upgrade (free for a call to MasterCraft Customer Service) is a full-width chip tray that sits ON the heating element.  It makes a LOT more smoke and burns the chips to ash.  I usually put 3-4 charcoal briquettes in the tray before adding wood chips and it burns them too.

My guess it the GFI sees the tray sitting on the element as a short circuit.  I just run an extension cord from a non-GFI outlet in the house to the smoker in the driveway...

Would be very interested to see if anyone's "modded" MES will run on a GFI.

post #117 of 165

Extension cord is a BAD idea. Try lifting the pan just off the coil with a few washers or wads of foil.  GFIs do not "see", they actually have to get a trickle of current difference between incoming and out going. If the pan on the coil causes enough deflection to short the coil a little you have a problem brewing that should be corrected now.

post #118 of 165

Pretty much did the same thing with mine....30" digital MES

 

After checking things out with a meter looking for obvious grounds, plugged it into a non gfi outlet at my shop and let it run a few hours at 275.

 

No more problems with the gfi outlet up at the house.

 

Fred

post #119 of 165

IMO there is a design flaw with the stock MES as it relates to the chip holder and the element. Since the Chip holder rests quite firmly on the element, there is potential at those contact points for damage to the heating element. As the element heats and cools it will rub against the chip holder and over time my thought it it creates micro cracks in the element which cause the short to ground and premature failure to the element. Since I have a cold smoke attachment on mine I have removed this chip holder altogether. 

post #120 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwerring View Post
 

Pretty much did the same thing with mine....30" digital MES

 

After checking things out with a meter looking for obvious grounds, plugged it into a non gfi outlet at my shop and let it run a few hours at 275.

 

No more problems with the gfi outlet up at the house.

 

Fred

 

So you're saying after heating it awhile, then you plugged it back into the GFCI and it did not short anymore.  Hmmmm

 

Mine is having this issue this morning and I need to get a turkey into it ASAP.  :(

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