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Huh, new member needs troubleshooting help


Joined Jul 24, 2016
My Masterbuilt electric smoker hasn't been fired up in a few months so I thought I'd do ribs today.  Loaded up and turned on, it started heating then blew the GFCI.  I checked and verified good chassis ground, then ran through the startup process again.  No joy, same problem.  Tried other ckts, same issue.  This unit is new enough (about 1 yr old, used about 6 times) so I know it's not on its last leg. Garage stored so it's not water damaged.  Element begins heating and works for about 60 seconds before blowing the breaker. 

Any advice?  Anyone else have the same problems?

Oh, and as far as my stats for the Roll Call,  We live near Smithfield, VA about 10 min drive to Smithfield Foods hog processing plant.  Thursdays are a good day to go by their warehouse sized smokehouse where the hams and bacon are being flavored.

Been through two vertical charcoal style smokers over the years.  Lots of Thanksgiving and wedding reception turkeys have been smoked in those, as well as dozens of salmon, some catfish, and lots of beaver jerky.  The electric Masterbuilt was a bartered payment for work I did at a house.  Client had a QVC addiction and the smoker had been sitting there in the box for a year, along with a case of chips and recipe book.  I thought it was a good trade...well, until today.


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined May 13, 2013
Welcome to the forum!

Did you try it on a non GFCI Circuit?  Are you using an extension cord?

They draw quite a bit of amps, I would try it on a circuit with no load.  If you are using an extension cord, try without.

- Jason


Master of the Pit
Joined Apr 6, 2015
Hello and welcome to you.

Sometimes they get a little moisture into the controls.

Hook up to a non GFI circuit, let it run for an hour or two.

Then try again on the GFI, sometimes it cures them.

Have fun.



Joined Jul 24, 2016
Now we're getting somewhere.  I tried the non-GFCI circuit and it's still running after 5 mins.    If the house doesn't burn down I'll try the GFCI in an hour and let you know the results.  thanks Ed.

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from another hot day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 13, 2015
So, was an extension cord in use when the tripping occurred?

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