Another MES Wiring Fix with Potentially Helpful GFCI Tripping Info and 1st Smoke Results

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2010
Norman, Oklahoma
I recently purchased a 30” MES that was “out of commission”.  Let me begin with the fact that initially I did not replace the wiring (couldn’t find high temp wire at any local stores/appliance repair shops)…I only cut, stripped the old wiring and replaced the connectors (this routine fix has been covered numerous times by many of the great SMF members).  After doing so I unexpectedly hit a new speed bump on my way to electric smoking heaven.  After setting the temp and time on the controller the heating element would kick on and after about 3-5 minutes it would trip the GFCI.  It was at this point that I decided I should find some higher temp wiring and attempt the correct fix.  Fortunately I was able to find an appliance shop (30 mins away) that had some “extra” wiring from a broken range.  I only got enough to splice about 8 inches for each heating element wire.  After removing the heating element I also decided to flip the ground wire around as there was a considerable about of creosote built up on one side (the side not connected to the heating element looked brand new).  With the wiring spliced and the ground wire cleaned and re-connected I again set the temp and time on the controller.  No more GFCI issues and after bringing it up to temp I proceeded to smoke 2 pork shoulders for 14 hours at 240 degrees with no problems.  I’m not sure is the ground wire was the culprit or that maybe there was a nick in one of the wires that were replaced.  Either way I am now up and smoking 

Sorry, no Q-View this time as I wasn’t sure how things would turn out on my first electric smoke.  Other than the lack of smoke ring (vain aesthetic reasons only) the shoulders came out surprisingly good.  No foil used (personal preference), so the bark was very much like my charcoal offset with considerably less amount of work required (the whole reason I decided to go the electric smoker route).

Thanks again to everyone at SMF.  You make troubleshooting issues for smokers a much easier task. 

I hope this post can help at least one person with a similar issue and save them some $$$$.  


Smoking Fanatic
Dec 12, 2009
good to hear it works

  Napa should carry heavier wire too if you ever need to replace it again is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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