Brand new MES keeps tripping breaker

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Chawklet

Newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2022
2
0
Hi All,

For whatever reason my new MES 30" analog keeps tripping the breaker. I've read that this isnt an uncommon issue with these products. However, I'm noticing a strange trend for when my breaker is tripped.

When my heating element is installed on the smoker box and the coils are touching the smoker box. The unit immediately trips. When the plug so much as touches the outlet, the breaker will trip. However, when the heating element coils are not touching any other "metal" it does not trip. I guess my question is - Is my smoker assembled correctly? Should the chip box be sitting directly on the heating element or should there be space? Based on how the coils are angled, I would assume that it was designed so the coils could have direct conduction with the chip box. However this seems to be giving me problems as the unit heats up fine without the chip box, but the second i put it in and it contacts the coils, it trips the breaker.

Thanks
 

PolishDeli

Smoking Fanatic
Oct 9, 2018
369
512
Does the outlet you are connecting to have a proper ground?
If the electrical on your side is good, then it sounds like the electrical on the MES side is bad. In that case, I'm with SmokinAl SmokinAl :
Get intouch with MB.
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Oct 18, 2016
676
796
Orlando FL
It does sound to me like your smoker is shorting to ground and the breaker is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, but my knowledge of electrical is not at a level to give you advice on wiring, etc...

Some basic troubleshooting steps I'd take if it were me:
1) Plug the MES into an outlet on a different circuit. If the problem follows, it's highly likely the problem is the MES.
2) Plug in another high-ish draw device on the circuit that's tripping. Shop vac, hair dryer, something like that. See what happens. If the breaker trips on those you may have either a faulty breaker or a wiring issue, but that's when I'd call an electrician.
 
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radioguy

Master of the Pit
Jan 12, 2013
1,043
416
Columbus, Ohio
Do you have access to voltmeter or outlet tester? Your wall outlet or the MES could be wired backwards. Sounds like a direct short to ground. It is very easy to find this problem.

RG
 
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dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 22, 2013
2,880
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Peoria, IL
I'm thinking the power cord plug is just two blade polarized without a ground wire. If so, then maybe the 1,500 watt draw is tripping a weak breaker. The element probably is shorted and the pan may be dead shorting and tripping the breaker, drawing too many amps. I don't know. Just a thought.
 
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Chawklet

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 28, 2022
2
0
I had a similar issue with an electric grill a few months ago. Swapping out the grill for one that wasnt 5 years old seemed to fix the issue. However, I do think the outdoor outlet box is poorly made and the installed gfci is not weather resistant rated. I was thinking about installing a new WR gfci later tonight when I get the chance, hopefully fixing the issue.

Masterbuilt was quick to respond to my inquiry and already processed a replacement smoker. However, they didn't really provide any input as to what the issue was. Perhaps when the new one arrives nothing will change (assuming I haven't already switched out the GFCI and that was the issue).
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Sep 12, 2009
45,246
17,973
Macungie, PA
I wouldn't be too hasty blaming the Smoker.
I don't think there are many Masterbuilt Analog Smokers with electrical problems.
How many Watts is the Analog unit?

Bear
 

mcokevin

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Oct 18, 2016
676
796
Orlando FL
I had a similar issue with an electric grill a few months ago. Swapping out the grill for one that wasnt 5 years old seemed to fix the issue. However, I do think the outdoor outlet box is poorly made and the installed gfci is not weather resistant rated. I was thinking about installing a new WR gfci later tonight when I get the chance, hopefully fixing the issue.

Masterbuilt was quick to respond to my inquiry and already processed a replacement smoker. However, they didn't really provide any input as to what the issue was. Perhaps when the new one arrives nothing will change (assuming I haven't already switched out the GFCI and that was the issue).
GFCIs can and do go bad. If you had the same issue a few months ago I'd look there first.

Try moving it to another circuit and see if the problem follows. Is the GFCI faulting or the breaker tripping?
 
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schlotz

Master of the Pit
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Jan 13, 2015
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Coatesville, IN
Agree with mcokevin mcokevin these things do go bad or weaken which might be the case if this is the exact same outlet you had previous issues with. You could actually have two issues working. This GFCI and what sounds like a direct short to ground with the heat coil touching the box which would be a call to MB.
 

cruiser rod

Smoke Blower
Jul 18, 2013
77
14
South Jersey
I just starting having the same problems with my 30" MES. The 1st time this happened I ran an extension cord from a regular outlet from inside of my house to see if was the GFI and the smoker ran great. So I replaced the GFI with a brand new one. Then yesterday I went to use my MES pluged into the new GFI and it turned on fine started to heat and after about 5-10 minutes I heard the GFI trip off. So again I ran the extension cord from the inside of my house and once again it ran great and I finished my smoke.

I do know that GFI's have a low tolerance for current fluctuations, is it possible that something in the smoker by turning on and off the heating element and is tripping the GFI? Could this mean the heating element is causing the problem? I have replaced mine 2Xs so far and I do use my MES a lot.
 

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