Is it time for a new smoker?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by oldironhead, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    To the OP.. i would just use a scraper/putty knife and scrape the top... then the sides ... then the bottom.. wash the grates of coarse.... and that's about it....not familiar with your smoker... y it will need to have air vents on both top and bottom for the pellets tray/tube to work.... GL with your ventures...

    PS... wear disposable gloves when doing this for easier clean up....
    oldironhead likes this.
  2. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper


    You have to go into your profile and create the "Signature" for all of your posts, like a email "signature", your "Bio" would be other info you filled out like where you live, hobbies and little mess like that.

    If you are repairing shorted or broken wires in that smoker, then you should be soldering and shrink tubing all repairs, and you should also do as I do and cover the soldered wired with di-electric grease before heating and shrinking, maybe over your head...............???? It all depends on what the issue is, bad connection, short (pinched or pulled wire), bad insulation from heat and or grease or just acidic environment (short).
    It could very likely be a dry smoky heating element connection, if they used a sta-con spade on it, they love failing in a couple of ways, but the general issue a bad connection and or a bad crimp on the spade or ring end sta-con.
    Go to the Auto Store, any one should have it, and get a tube, large, the size of a old tooth paste tube, just a little shorter and fatter, 3M and some others make it, it is called Di-Electric Grease, and or Ignition Grease.

    If you have to replace / recrimp the spade or ring end sta-cons, make sure you have the right crimping tool and put the Di-electric Grease on the fresh stripped wire end and in the barrel on the sta-con before crimping !

    I am not sure if this is your issue but if you look at the element connectors and they are blackened, then you need to figure out if it is smoke blackening or temp / high current from a bad connection, and if you ever have to remove those take care torquing screws back down, they need to be tight and greased, and you need to hold the element side of the connector to ensure you do not bend the wire feeding into the element as this would create a short over time.

    Not sure what issue you are having, if you need any help maybe you could send me some pics if you want any advice, your welcome to do it here as it may help others.

    If you have not, may want to call Master Built, they are very nice and may be able to tell you exactly what is wrong !
    daricksta likes this.
  3. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper


    Did we hijack your thread, I just like keeping the discussion going, I am sorry, and in our defense we and many others did answer KC's question [​IMG]

    I will be here till KC releases me................see the timer is not counting down............[​IMG]  

    But I have Bluetooth, I can still text hehehe
    oldironhead likes this.
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for all this info, Guy. I'll be referring to it. I'm also working with Dr. K in learning how to fix what might need to be fixed. I've got a crimping/wire stripping tool in an electrical repair kit my wife bought me years ago. Why do you put the grease on the stripped wire end and on the sta-con barrel? I don't even know what a sta-con connector looks like.

    I'll work on my profile sometime. I just takes almost more time than I have just to reply to posts!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  5. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper


    The Sta-Con Barrel is the end you put the wire into (little barrel) before you crimp it, I fill the little barrel by just sticking the end of the Sta-Con (barrel end) into the grease the grease tube end and just squeezing a little watching the other end, if it is a blade type connector (push on type) I just keep going till I see it enter into the female part of the blade connector, and I do the wire the same way, just stick it in the end of the tube, then I put the wire end in the barrel end of the Sta-con and then Crimp it.
    The reason why I do this is the Di-Electric Grease keeps the copper from Oxidizing and will keep the copper beautiful and clean, it will also stop any migration of moisture or acids that will corrode the connection and or the wire, so I make sure it is coated back to the insulation, being careful not to strip the wire too long, this way all exposed wire is minimal and all the wire and in the crimp is completely covered and sealed with the Di-Electric Grease, some will say it is over kill, but in work and home, I have never had a corroded or bad connection, none, not even in very caustic environments like smokers, ovens, heat tables, range tops etc where spills and moisture create a multitude of issues where simple moisture will create very aggressive and destructive compounds that will reduce copper and metals to fragile, damaged and less able to handle current loads, it actually will change the metal composition and cause it to be thin and even change the resistance characteristics a bit and then it gets hotter under the same load or the corroded parts of the outside are more resistive causing greater current passing thru what is left that is not affected thereby causing more heat, either way, very bad.
    Whenever you are working on high heat connections that are push on or ring end type crimp connectors, always try and use stainless steel crimp connectors, yes they are more expensive, but far more reliable in those situations, if in a ambient outdoor or indoor temp location, the standard crimp connectors are fine.
    Here are a couple of examples of what I am speaking of, they are referred to as High Temp :!On-Terminals/p_802002  

    If you use that Di-Electric Grease everywhere, and those High Temp Connectors where needed you will be cooking more and not have to worry about stupid wiring issues in the middle of a cook, anywhere you have a electrical connection, high or low voltage whether on a terminal strip or a harness plug or push on or ring end type crimp connection you will have like near zero issues with bad, dry, corroded or oxidized connections, the hardest lesson in electrical and electronics for anyone to learn, is just because a connection is tight does not mean it is good, I will also actually clean my connections in many cases if surfaces are not true color, this means they have a glaze or oxidation on them and the connection will not be as good as it should be, so some very fine sandpaper or steel wool, get the color back and then coat with Di-Electric Grease, then make connection.

    As I said, also, when working with oven type elements like in these smokers with wire ends, the connection needs to be tight, to do this without bending the lead wire out of the element you need to hold the blade on the element end so you can tighten without bending or twisting wire that leads into element, yes the wire going into the element is shielded with a silicone insulation, this is why you do not get shocked lol, but when repairing wire ends and or replacing elements you need to be very careful not to pull, bend or twist the wire lead coming out of the element, if you twist it then you compromise the metal in the wire and it is now softer and will not handle current loads as well which will lead eventually to a failure, if you pull excessively then you can create tight spots internally with the insulator and then that will eventually lead to a shorted element, same is true for the twist or bend at the ends as this will also mess up the centered placement of the wire leading into the element and place pressure on areas of the insulation against the walls of the element (same as pulling would do, but pulling would more effect where element is bent and shaped), when this happens it lessens the distance between the insulation and the outer wall by pressure on the silicone, silicone is very soft, and when putting pressure on the silicone, it makes it thinner, two things happen here, the di-electric properties of the silicone when pressed upon decrease and start causing other issues as well regarding life of the insulator, it then shorts or gets hot spots that go beyond design specs and then cause failure.

    Take the time and use the grease everywhere there is a electrical connection of any kind, any voltage and you will be rewarded with long life and fewer problems
    Also take the time and a little money and get those high temp crimp connectors and you will have done the above again 

    And in closing, I will offer more info on life of the unit, and this applies to any appliance or even just a single element on a electric smoker :

    When you have a appliance that is designed say to draw 10 amps @ 125V, lets say for the sake of the example it is according to the 10 amps at 125V, that means it is using 1250 watts, now if you voltage drops from a long cord that is undersized either for the length of the run or for the current drawn then your wattage use and or output will remain close to the same but your Amp draw will increase, because you are either running a smaller than required wire to the load, or a wire that is too small because it is too long to the load, or possibly you have issues with the service and low voltage is present, generally it is small wire or a long run with small wire, the end result is higher amp draw, which will burn up motors, control circuits, voltage regulators, heating elements, you name it, it will cause the appliance to operate beyond and above its current and temp design, and further more for electronic sensing equipment will cause issues with readings, messing them all up and as well cause voltage, frequency and current issues in the operation of the control boards, this applies to even battery powered stuff regarding accuracy.

    Bottom line is, if you are running a cord to a Electric Smoker make sure it is sized properly for the length of the run, under 25 ft you can use 14 gauge, but you have to figure in the wire between you and the breaker box in the house !
    If you use a 25 ft cord outside and have 50 ft of wire between the outlet and the breaker panel then you are really running 75 ft and that is too long, you will suffer a voltage drop and increased current draw.

    Now if you have the same setup as above and ran a 12 gauge 25 ft cord you would be better off, and yes if you ran a 10 gauge 25 ft cord you would still be better off

    I have a outdoor outlet, it is fed with 10 gauge from the panel, dedicated, it will provide 30 amps if needed, but by industry and code standards it is a 25 Amp capable outlet, it is only about 20 ft from the panel, and I use a 25 ft extension cord that is 12 gauge to fire this Smoker, so there is little resistive load in that configuration so voltage drop will be minimum and current should be within design specs, no issues 

    So these kinds of things can cause premature failures, in reality they "will" cause premature failure period, the only question is the time of the failure

    It is the difference between something lasting 5 years and lasting 8 years or lasting up to 10 or more years, it makes a difference, so make sure you pick the closest outlet you have to the panel and go spend a little money on a 12 gauge cord at the very least, if the outlet is far far away from the panel then make a 10 gauge cord the length you need and at least make the situation as best as possible.

    What most people do not understand is when they wire a house, traditionally it is to the attic in loops from outlet to outlet, there can be well over 100 ft in a single room, then the run to the panel feeding the room !
    And in older homes with 14 gauge instead of 12 gauge wiring, the resistive load and voltage drop is even greater....................

    This is why when I wired my house I drilled holes in the studs at the bottom of the wall and went from outlet to outlet, yes I used a lot of nail plates but I reduced the overall length of each run by over half, and it is now 12 gauge, the original in the Vintage '46 home was 16 gauge lol, anyway this is how I can have a $112 electric bill in the middle of the summer in a all electric home with a inside temp of no more than 74 degrees, you pay for current used not voltage, the higher the standing voltage then the lower the current draw on anything, period.

    I run one size over on all code required wire sizes for appliances, they say I am nits and do not need to until they see my power bill and scratch their heads, code is like the bare minimum, I could give you some scary examples of issues with code sized wiring under nominal code approved loads, much of it makes no sense when you apply the truth of the matter to it, which is Ohm's Law, being in electronics and radio communications gives you a better understanding of fact versus building grade code standards.

    Anyway, make sure you have the shortest run to that Smoker or either increase the gauge wire size of the cord you are using, these things can cause trouble you would not believe and early failures of any kind of electrical equipment and appliances.
    daricksta likes this.
  6. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Guy, can't tell you how much I appreciate this. I need to sit down over the weekend (when it's quiet here) and read it thoroughly so I can both comprehend and absorb it. What'll be best for me is to read it through a few times, print it out, and take it with me when I'm in front of the smoker.

    I use an extension cord when I plug the smoker into one of the electrical outlets on the side of my house. I did a bit of research and it's fine for the smoker. This overheating problem also occurs when the smoker's plugged directly into the outlet. Now, the lower the wire gauge number the larger the wires, thus the more volts and amps it can handle, right? No idea what the wiring is in our house. It's a manufactured home and we found out after we were living in it that the wiring, the plumbing, and the drywall are all subpar. And this wasn't a cheap house and it was built by a company that at the time was among the best. That among the best company was bought out by a larger one and they're both now out of business. But we couldn't have afforded a stick built with this square footage and floor plan. Financial compromises had to be made.


    Anyway, I'll read both your posts about this and reply over the weekend when I think I understand it all and after I've actually looked at the controller wiring.
  7. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper


    All good man, if you have any questions just ask, would be happy to help in any way I can, you have some help and if he has this unit and you are in touch with Customer Support then you probably are in good shape, but if not let me know.
    I am following this post so I get notifications  [​IMG]
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Geez, I never thought to follow a post. Right now I don't even know how to follow a post. Just something I never took the time to learn. Anyway, tomorrow I'll pick up a can of dielectric grease and then my plan is to print out all your replies (but I'll look at your links online) and the replies from Dr. K. I'll need to read it a all a few times to understand all the info. Then I'll need it in me little hands while I'm at the smoker before I do my stuff. It might be fairly simple to do but there's a lot of text to sift through. Thanks for your help, Guy. You got points!
  9. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    All cool, just look below the last comment on the thread on the left, it has a star (empty, outline, click on that and it turns yellow) that says "subscribe" you click on that and you should receive notifications on the forum for messages, and it is a tube of Di-electric grease, only get the can if it can sit on a table safe, I do not like the pressurized cans because I leave the stuff in my work vehicle and the tip always get pressed and the grease wasted
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think I automatically get subscribed when I post to a thread because it always says "subscribed". Update on the smoker: talked to a CSR on the phone. She's starting with the cheapest possible solution which is a new controller for $27 including shipping. I'll receive it in a few days. Hopefully that works. If not, her next idea was that the heat sensor might be calling for too much heat from the controller. If that's the case then a new smoker box would be in order. That'll cost me $80 but the $20 I paid for the controller could be applied to that purchase. After I connect the new controller I'll fire up the smoker and see if it fixed the high temp issue. Even if I do need to order a new smoker box it'll still be cheaper than buying a whole new MES 30 Gen 1, even at the best sale price I've found.

  11. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper


    I think the default setting is to "subscribe" to all threads that you comment on hehehe, sorry about that, if you did not know, if you look at your little pic at the top it should have a number showing which would be all the comments that were made on the threads you are subscribed to, if you mouse over it and click on subscriptions in the little drop down menu, it will take you to the page of all the threads you are subscribed to and in the list a little green arrow will indicate all the ones that have been commented on.

    That is cool they are working with you, I have found their customer service to be top notch, and those prices they gave you are amazing, that is too cool.
    Let me know how it goes, sounds like they have you well taken care of  [​IMG]

    Sorry so late on the reply, been real busy remodeling a bathroom with a friend, for a friend lol, never ends, supposed to take 3 days, we are on day 5, I need a break, but anyway, I will be back to normal soon !!!

    If you need anything just ask, if I can help, I surely will  [​IMG]

  12. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    lets see.. what was the OP asking about in this thread ??

  13. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  14. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    Well actually it was KC asking about maybe needing replacing, then it grew into cleaning in regards to her questions, then it went into the AMNPS per discussion with her, then she thanked everyone and I thought Rick was offended, then we found I was wrong and started discussing his issues, so sorry, thread was not hijacked, rather, me and Rick are still using it to communicate his issues..............

    Since we were both trying to help KC we are aware of the original post, at least I am, still waiting for KC to come back in maybe.

    You gents have a nice night, no terrorist activities here
  15. HAHA! Y'all are so awesome! I've been reading the (ahem... nerdy guy) posts but I missed the initial ones about potential thread-jacking. I have gotten lots of fantastic responses to my initial question, so I'm good w y'all using this to communicate otherwise. Thanks for the concern/consideration. Love this forum!!
  16. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I got lost seeing all the "reposts" as quotes. Generally just addressing a reply to a particular user is sufficient or deleting much of a quote not directly pertinent to answering a question. And to John, thanks for the tip on thread hi-jacking for dummies. Never hurts to read and learn.
  17. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    Ahhh, so you were hiding in there hehehe
    I was not so concerned about the hijacking issues, we were still on topic about repairing or fixing, just your questions were answered and Rick made his apparent, hijacking has always been for me and other forums I have been on or for that matter any thread, the changing of the original post or the same along with ignoring the original posters question, we have done neither here, just continued on with a repair issue, anyway glad to see you chime in miss KC, have you used that Cajun Injector yet ?
    I have made some killer chicken, small amounts..........been real busy helping a buddy help another buddy with a bathroom restoration, the project has gone way over the amount of time it was supposed to, but such is life, sometimes doing these jobs is like opening a can of worms hehehe.
  18. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    I know how to hijack a thread, just jump in and change the subject, and in regards to quotes, I always quote them when answering a question especially when I know I am speaking with someone not so familiar with forums, so they can see the original question and may not have the time to scroll back a page or more to find their question, or I may want them to know I am addressing that particular comment, I like the quotes, people that use them save me time as well so I do not have to do the same, and here we are in reality hijacking the thread explaining why we have not hijacked the thread.............................kinda ironic huh

    No terrorist hijacking here, I have seen it happen in reality all over this forum, but hard to stay kind and helpful to many without technically doing it, and I think those that do get really out of hand are rectified, as for the rest, I think the majority is more concerned with the answers they find in the discussions as long as the topic is not changed IMHO.
    That is what makes this one of the best forums I have seen, helping being the primary concern, trivial policing has a habit of turning many away, if it is a troll, sure, jump on it, otherwise we need to understand many get their feelings hurt and may not even know what they have done other than try the best they know how to get help, I have seen some told to start a new thread and then they never speak again, most likely because they may not know how, but all the police were worried about was the thread being hijacked, not the person looking for some help that is not as internet savvy as the ones "protecting" the threads, food for thought gents, helping is far more important IMHO.
  19. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    Thankyou again for defending us KC, as soon as I get done with this bathroom, I got some ribs to do for a test run again, then going to start doing Jerky, I promise, my neighbor gave me chicken to do for them after I did the split breasts and they tasted them lol, and after I did the chicken again, for them, they bought a pack of almost 2" thick ribs lol and gave them to me, of course I get half per them but they are interrupting my Jerky ROFLOL
    So now this bathroom is interrupting the Ribs which are interrupting the Jerky ...............LOL
    I still want to know 2 things though, did your dog lick the smoker clean ? and have you used the smoker yet ?
    I hope you not afraid of using it, this is my first electric smoker too, and I can assure you there is little to worry about ( I was worried too lol ), it is easy peezy and makes some grand foodies !!!

    Here is my split breast chicken I did:

    It was beyond delicious, the color is a little dark because I cooked it at about 310 degrees and the AMNPS makes a bit more smoke over 250 degrees, but the chicken was incredible, and I did not even paint it with sauce, just did a simple brine, soaked for 3.5 hrs in the fridge and cooked, it was off the chart moist and filled with smoke flavor thru and thru, going to paint the next batch after I dry it for about an hour or so, and then put it in, but I am doing the ribs next lol, I think my neighbor is getting ready to buy a smoker now lol.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  20. I haven't since I did the "Drunken Chickens" (See:

    Been out of town a bunch on the "last hoorah" before school started. I'm thinking it'll be football season soon (GO TIGERS!!) and can't wait to enjoy some smoked football eats! Wings, I can do!

    I think I'm going to get ambitious and try another pork shoulder - the last one I tried about wore me out-- so I'm looking into the A-Maze-N pellet feeder first.

    Thanks, everyone :)

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