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Masterbuilt 1050, 800, 560 Troubleshooting

mcokevin

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As some may have read my Masterbuilt 1050 has been nonfunctional since late July. I purchased it in April, so it has been unavailable to use almost half of the time I've owned it. I am detailing the troubleshooting steps I took in hopes that this will be helpful to someone in the future as reference material. The issue isn't completely resolved yet, but I am close - and at least have a functional smoker as of Sunday.

This is for a 1050, but the same logic and steps should apply to both the 800 and 560.

The Problem: In late July I was grilling burgers for a couple of families and all of the sudden the fan in the smoker just stopped blowing. The smoker had been running for about 15-20 minutes, and I had just put the burgers on. I quickly lit the gasser and moved them over. I tried the smoker again the next day and had the same problem. It would light fine, come up to temp, then after about 15-20 minutes the fan would stop blowing. This happened below 500, so it was not a result of having the lid open.

The Good: Masterbuilt support has been great at sending replacement parts and responding quickly to emails. They also sent me two bags of lump charcoal to compensate for me having to run the smoker all this time troubleshooting.
The Bad: The quality of parts seems to be quite concerning, and global supply chain delays have caused this to drag for months.

Steps:
  1. First thing I guessed was that this was either a switch or a controller issue. Masterbuilt thought it was a switch or the temp probe, so they processed a parts order consisting of replacement switches for the ash door, hopper lid, a new controller, and a temperature probe. I was almost positive it wasn't the temp probe as my ThermPro was reading the same as the built-in probe.
  2. A few weeks later the switches arrived. I noticed the ash bin door switch seemed to have some damage to it, so I assumed this had to be the issue. I replaced the ash bin door switch with one of the new ones they sent me - quick and easy. Fired up the smoker and unfortunately had the same problem. I inspected the hopper lid switch and it looked brand new without any visible signs of damage, so figured at this point it had to be the controller.
  3. The controller was back ordered until late September. That arrived just as I was leaving town. A week later I had some time, so I swapped the controller for the new one and fired up the smoker. The same problem persisted, so it wasn't the controller. Now the frustration is setting in.
  4. I ran an extension chord to a new outlet, figured maybe the GFI outlet I added was giving some unstable power. That did not help.
  5. I was almost positive the temp probe and hopper lid switch were fine, but I had those parts already so I figured I'd rule it out. Best practice in troubleshooting is to only replace one part at a time. So, first I tried the hopper lid switch. Replaced that and fired up the smoker - same problem.
  6. The temp probe is a real pain to replace, so I temporarily connected the new one to the controller and ran the wire to the front of the unit and under the lid, just resting in there loosely. I am thankful I didn't put too much effort in to this, as it was not the problem.
  7. At this stage the only parts I have not tested or replaced are the lid switch and the fan. The fan did not sound faulty, but it seemed like the logical next step since the problem was that the fan stopped blowing. Contacted Masterbuilt and they sent me a new fan and a lid switch.
  8. On Sunday I received the parts and swapped the fan. I did not swap the lid switch as I was about 99% sure that wasn't the problem. Swapping the fan did not fix the problem.
  9. At this point I am about ready to put the smoker out to the curb. Began to somewhat desperately check all of the parts I had already replaced.
  10. After very vigorously (perhaps angrily) pressing the ash bin door switch in/out a dozen or more times the switch piston broke and got stuck inside the switch. But -- once the switch got stuck the fan kicked back on. Almost unbelievably, the first switch I replaced was still the problem, even after replacing it.
So, I've still got somewhat of a problem as the switch does not work, but it has at least failed to a closed state and I can use the smoker. Either the first replacement switch they sent me was also faulty, or there is some physical change happening to the smoker after it heats up and runs for about 15 minutes.

I am awaiting for their next response, however I am considering removing that switch entirely and wiring in a toggle switch to replace it. I almost never need to open the ash bin during a cook, and having a manual switch would probably be fine. This way I'd still have the safety feature when I need it, but the problem would theoretically resolve.

I ran the smoker empty for about 45 minutes Sunday night and it performed as expected. Grilled dinner last night, and it again performed as expected. I will probably be smoking a pork tenderloin for dinner tonight, which would be the final test - but I am almost positive I've finally found the problem.

Here is the suspect switch. This is a replacement switch I received from MB after step 1. You'll note the piston is stuck in the down position even with the door open. Hey, it works!
IMG_1305.jpeg
 

912smoker

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DON'T TOUCH THAT SWITCH LOL.
Glad you got it figured out and running ! That's the reason I haven't replaced my switches and use contact cleaner between cooks. These switches have the tendancy to collect micro particles of dust and grit due to their enviroment. I like the toggle idea too !
 

mcokevin

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DON'T TOUCH THAT SWITCH LOL.
Glad you got it figured out and running ! That's the reason I haven't replaced my switches and use contact cleaner between cooks. These switches have the tendancy to collect micro particles of dust and grit due to their enviroment. I like the toggle idea too !
If the piston pops out I'm taping it closed. Done messing around with this damn thing. I will be curious to see MB's response to my latest email.

On the plus side I've got a spare part for everything in my smoker now.... :emoji_rolling_eyes:
 

JLinza

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Thanks for the heads up. I use my 1050 quite often. Haven't had this issue yet " fingers crossed "
 

912smoker

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Thanks for the heads up. I use my 1050 quite often. Haven't had this issue yet " fingers crossed "
My problems were usually when I would raise the temp to go from smoke to sear and the temp would stall somewhere around 400 °.
Haven't has a problem since I started using contact cleaner and manually working the switches for 20-30 secs or so. I've had issues with the lid and hopper switches. MB sent me replacements months ago and they're on the shelf. Haven't needed them since I started this routine maintenance between cooks.
 

jcam222

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I appreciate you posting such a detailed post. I have one of these now and sold another 8 of them. I’m sure I’ll refer to this thread at some point.
 

JLinza

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My problems were usually when I would raise the temp to go from smoke to sear and the temp would stall somewhere around 400 °.
Haven't has a problem since I started using contact cleaner and manually working the switches for 20-30 secs or so. I've had issues with the lid and hopper switches. MB sent me replacements months ago and they're on the shelf. Haven't needed them since I started this routine maintenance between cooks.
Sweet, I haven't had mine up to sear except for one time. I'm usually going low and slow and if I sear I generally switch to my weber. But a little preventative maintenance never hurts.
 

jcam222

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My problems were usually when I would raise the temp to go from smoke to sear and the temp would stall somewhere around 400 °.
Haven't has a problem since I started using contact cleaner and manually working the switches for 20-30 secs or so. I've had issues with the lid and hopper switches. MB sent me replacements months ago and they're on the shelf. Haven't needed them since I started this routine maintenance between cooks.
What is the location of each switch you are using the cleaner on?
 

912smoker

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Only the hood and hopper switches have been problematic for me. But a little TLC can help remedy the problem.
 

mcokevin

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I appreciate you posting such a detailed post. I have one of these now and sold another 8 of them. I’m sure I’ll refer to this thread at some point.
No problem, I hope it's helpful!
 

912smoker

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I appreciate you posting such a detailed post. I have one of these now and sold another 8 of them. I’m sure I’ll refer to this thread at some point.
Yeah I'll buy one for for son and SIL if I can find a deal ! Looking every day
 

jcam222

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Yeah I'll buy one for for son and SIL if I can find a deal ! Looking every day
Few and far between now, I’ve looked for more as I’d buy 10 more at least. Deal now is the Cuisanart Pellet Grill. Retail $599 clearance to $199. Very solid unit eith some nice e read like griddle and charcoal tray inserts.
 

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