3 yr old MES 40 is dead!!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ptcruiserguy, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Well guess it had to happen sooner or later. 

    Wanted to smoke a turkey this weekend but when I set up 

    my MES 40, it would not turn on. Tried multiple outlets and still

    nothing. I get nothing on the controller at all. No lights nothing.

    Not good at electrical so I am asking for ideas on what to do to 

    possibly still use this smoker that I have grown fond of.

    Any and all help or ideas will be appreciated.


    Mike [​IMG]
  2. Okay so a lot of looks but no answers as of right now.

    So I have a couple more questions.

    1. Since I am not getting any power up to the controller unit, Is it possible to check to see if the 

    heating element is still good.

    2. If the Element is still good, can I buy a PID controller and use it for my heating of the smoker?

    Also I used a multi-meter to check and see if I am getting power through my cord, and I am getting what read to be 122Vs.

    Anything after that I have no clue how to check.

    Thanks again for looking

  3. If you can pop a cover and see if there is any kind of internal fuses. I really dont know anything about the mes units but did have a microwave blow a fuse. Replaced fuse worked for years more.
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    You have probably burned one of the ends off the wire. (very cheap construction)  If you want to fix the unit there may be access panel on back or you may have to drill rivets to open it up. . follow wires to each point and you will see any that are burnt. I replaced all the wires w/ 12 gauge high temp wire and all the aluminum terminals w/ stainless.

      If all the wires look good then you have a control box problem and will have to contact MES.

     Replace panels w/ 1/2" tech screws instead of rivets  and will be easy to open up if you have to again.
    tymidga likes this.
  5. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    It seems like it was just this week that I read where a guy had a similar problem and found a burnt wire.  The fix was as simple as stripping back to some fresh wire and making a new connection. 
    tymidga likes this.
  6. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    If you can't figure out how to test the heating element it might be worth pulling the back off and see if they are burned. Not that hard of a job.
  7. X2

    What he said:

    I did this too plus added a PID.....works great.
  8. Mike,

    Sorry for your misfortune.

    It does not sound like a burnt wire but that does happen far to often. With a burnt wire on one of the element terminals you would still get power to the controller. It is worth a look, just to make sure. As for the element since you have a multi-meter it is easy. when you have the element terminals exposed and the smoker un plugged set your meter to ohms or the horseshoe symbol  that's upside down. turn on the meter and touch each probe together. You should see the dial quickly move. That means there is resistance and the meter is working properly. Now for the element check, just put either probe on a terminal and the other on the other. Once again you should see that needle move. If it does the element is good if not there is not a path for the power to travel. Quick & easy once you get the element exposed. Hopefully you have the access plate. If not get a good quality 1/8" drill bit and 25 or so #8 x /1/2 or 5/8 inch stainless phillips head screws. I quickly gave up on my cordless drill and opted for a regular drill. I recommend a truss head screw because the head is a little bigger in diameter and you don't need a washer.


    I used these and they worked  well and I did not have to go looking around for them.  Check it out as best you can and report back. someone will be glad to help you or you can P/M me.      Jted
  9. Thanks for all of the responses.

    Jted, I ordered the screws you suggested. Also I have the access panel on the back for the element.

    I am adding two pictures, first one is of where power goes into smoker. (this is on bottom of smoker, had to drill out rivets).

    This next picture is where I removed access cover for element. Just need to know if I need to remove all the rubber and heat sink stuff to get to terminals for the element.

    These don't just pull right off like most normal leads I have found.


  10. They may pull off, they are spade connectors (male/female) or mine were. Maybe you could get pull the connector off while leaving the shrink tube in place and then test it. ??? Maybe??

    You can also bypass the controller and see if you get power at the element. I did that but my memory is not clear on what/how I did. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

  11. Mike,

    It is hard to see in your picture, here is a shot of the element that was posted 3 weeks ago .


    It is a MES 40. They may be hard get of . You can use small pliers or needle nose pliers to get them off. The factory uses a cheap connector then covers it in silicon heat shrink to protect it and it rusts real bad.

    Here is a link to a photo of the high heat male connectors and screws I used.


    You can embed the tip of the probes into the silicon heat shrink and test the element.
  12. Azbohunter: I think I will have to peel the heatsink back somewhat to get to the leads so I can test them. What I want to actually do is what Jted has done to his.

    Jted: I have the screws ordered and will remove the back of the smoker tomorrow. As soon as I can afford it I want to set mine up just like yours is. Reason is, my smoker stays

    out on my front porch (covered porch), and is subject to wind blown rain. Can't really move it closer to house because of vinyl siding. Your post on how to fix this and using a PID

    controller is what I am looking for. Too many heat swings with the original controller. Is there possibly another PID you could suggest (less expensive) that will serve the same

    purpose as the Auber?

    Again I would just like to thank everyone for their input and help in my time of need. 

    Everyone here has always been great in helping me out and I really appreciate it.

    Thanks Again

  13. Mike, all  tho the MES units do have large temp swings the act of smoking foods practically pork allows the swing, What I mean is that pork cooks well with them. I just wanted mine  to be 242 if I set it at 242. Do you have a gen 1 or gen 2 style unit?

    My smoke lives on a concrete pad elevated behind my house. It is covered and I only use it when it is dry. I do however remove my controller. It is very easy to do I just unplug the smoker and the power cord. The probe unplugs and is stored in the smoker. My home has vinyl also and I thought that may be a concern especially  when l one of my neighbors had a propane grill to close and now had drooping vinyl.  The MES units don't get to hot on the out side I keep mine 6" inches from the house angled away from it. Use your temp gauge to monitor the heat at the vinyl I never had any issues with it. I spent a lot of time checking mine and the hottest area was the door seal, and the top near the exhaust. That is where you would expect it to be the hottest. I did my checks in July and August. Always error on the side of safety. If you are concerned you can buy a peice of concreat   board and just set it behind the smoker. $13.00 and it is no longer a concern.


    You can find PID units on Amazon and Ebay but you must assemble them. There  may be other plug and play type controlers but the Auber is the most used with smokers. Look around this and other sites for the info you need. Since I don't know your level of expertize I would not recommend it.

    I must say that smoking meat as a hobby has been like most other hobbies a money pit. It is not like having a boat. You can spend a lot of money. If I had it to do over I should have started with a MES 40 instead of a 30. It is just my wife and  I know  but I never smoke for 2 it is usually 5. It's amazing how fast they come home to smoked meat.
  14. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If the element is good get an Auber PID (no assembly). Simply cut your power cord and hook it directly to your element with new connectors. Then plug that cord directly into the back of the Auber and you'll get rock solid temp control, step temp cooking, hold after meat us cooked and a meat probe with all kinds of other parameters to make life easy. Did this over 2 1/2 years ago with my mes and never looked back.
  15. I believe mine is the Gen 1. I bought it back in 2011. My controller sits on top in the back of the smoker.

    My level of expertise is: if you have a diagram, then I can build it. 

    thanks again Jted

  16. Mike, Since you are going to have the element exposed You might as well replace the female connectors with High heat ones. These are the ones used on oven elements. You may find this before they fail.

     I bought mine at a Ace hardware store that sells a lot of appliance parts. There is not a lot of extra wire so you may only have one shot using the existing wire.  Clean up the old male terminals and be prepared to crush the connectors to the wire. I tried my wire strippers but they did not have enough leverage. I used vice grips an crimped it several time till it was tight. You can cover them after you put them on I used regular electrical tape.


    That guy was me!  I had issues with mine and could not find the parts anywhere.  MBTECHGUY here fixed me up and I got what I needed and back in business.  I think my element fried and the wires leading to it burnt also.  Changed everything out and seems to be working fine.... Smoked some pork butts and chickens last week they did fine.. Smoking two hams today, they are just sucking heat and killing my temperature... I think the tin pans deflect so much heat but if i don't use them under the hams I am afraid it will put my AMNPS out.....

    The link above was to my post so it might help you out. Those female ends on the wires I couldn't find them anywhere, they were 90 degree odd shaped ones but MBTECGUY was awesome!


  18. I did 32 chicken thighs yesterday and although I preheated my MES 30, the temp dropped way down and never did fully recover. I think it is the "800 watt element". Not enough power when you have a lot there to suck up the heat.

    Hope your hams turn out great.
  19. I've actually got the MES40 Gen II so I have the 1200 watt element but I tell ya, it still struggles..... Thanks for the kind words and awesome hunting and fishing album you have on Google!!!!

  20. Thanks for the thumbs up on the album, lots of fun!
    Looks like 30 and 40 have similar issue when loaded heavy.

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