Masterbuilt not working properly

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by t-bone tim, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Me too, sounds like it can be fixed easily.

    My food is never a disapointment.
  2. I get to do this repair this weekend, its just not getting up to temp. anymore. Mine is about 1 1/2 years old now so I can not complain. Thanks for all the great info and the pics for the repair.
  3. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a four year old Masterbuilt.  The electrical connections have failed twice, once after three years and then again just last week.  The rear panel is attached with screws not rivets, so getting it off was not as much of a problem as was described at the beginning of this thread.  But it was still a bear of a job, and very dirty. 

    I have a friend who just bought one from Amazon.  Not only did he get a great price ($169 versus $199 at Bass Pro shops), but his model has an access panel on the rear that allows easy and clean access to the connections.  I guess Masterbuilt finally learned!

    Here is a picture he sent me.

  4. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok so after 16 month of Blissfull MES ownership my little 30 inch stopped heating 10° before the end of a smoke on an eye of round.  Masterbuilt made me a decent offer on a new one, but right now it just isnt in the cards..  So THANK YOU guys for the pictures and posts that made it clear what I needed to do to check (and FIX) my MES.  After 2 hours and a little elbow grease the MES is humming right along once again.   It is said that ignorance is bliss..  fortunately I was ignorant of the quality in workmanship when it came to Materbuilts wiring.  I would have been very nervous about doing overnight smokes knowing what I found today.  Sub quality parts, and methods is why these are failing.   There were even arc markings inside the box.  Pre lude to some seriously bad things.
  5. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    Is there any method that's 100% safe leaving unattended overnight?

    Hopefully breakers and GFI outlets work if there's a problem..

    Has anyone that's experienced the MES wiring issues popped a breaker or outlet building up to the failure?
  6. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No your right there really isn't.   However Breakers and GFI cannot and will not always protect you.  Arcing like what I saw could start a fire long before either of those took affect and cut off the electrons.   It has made me re think where I place my smoker. 
  7. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    That's more of what I was getting at.  Didn't mean to come off like I kind of did..

    It sounds like MasterBuilt has addressed some of those issues.  I'm guessing the failure rate is still fairly small since there hasn't been a recall. 

    Out of curiosity, what kind of offer did they make you on a new one?
  8. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    for you guys that have done this rewire...did any of you happen to get photos of the full wiring setup, or even a drawn out schematic of your MES?  I am wanting to take the back off of mine, and rewire my heating element too, butI also have plans of wiring in a solid state relay and a new PID controller.  wiring diagrams or photos would be most helpful


  9. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  10. buckman52

    buckman52 Newbie

    This is my first effort at amy posting anywgere so please bear with me.   I have a MES 40" that I have had for about 18 months that has stopped working.  However I do not seem to be having the same wiring problem that has been described and resolved so wonderfully here.   My MES powers up fine and the electronic control works.  I can program in the target temp and the time just fine but as soon as it tries to turn on the heating element it trips the GFCI.  I have tried a different outlet and that one triped also.   I have removed the back and I cannot see and problems with any of the wiring,   Any suggestions????
  11. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I am not an electrician, but it sounds like it is possible that there is a short somewhere in the heating coil circuits.

    The times I have had problems, it did not trip the GFI but just stopped heating.  When I opened it up, the bad connection to one prong of the heating element was obvious.

    Your case may be that the ground wire has gotten loose or corroded.  I'd recommend unplugging it and then opening it up (do you have an access panel?) and taking a look.
  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am going to put some shrink fit over the wires and connectors..Looks like that might slow the corrsion down a good bit.

    I have some nice shrink with a goey interior that seals everything.

       Craig in Atlanta
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I have to agree with Dale on the short. The newer MES 30s have access panels in the back bottom right. I don't know about MES 40s. My MES 30 is only about 14 months old, and I don't even have that access box. If you don't have one either, you basically have to drill out all of the rivets, all the way around to get in (not a big deal). Then when you're finished fixing, you can replace with self-tappers.

    If you do a search on this forum, you can find a lot of MES wiring repair how-tos.

  14. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic


    I saw a MES40 with access panel at Bass Pro.

    BTW, you should have been there to see and hear the reaction when I asked the guy if they had sawdust!  They have chips in all sorts of flavors, but he was dumbfounded that anyone would want sawdust.

    Here is another sawdust memory for you.  While my dad was in the navy in WWII, we went to live at my grandmother's house in Georgia (very small town).  I can remember seeing the piles of sawdust at a local lumber mill after they had caught (been set on?) fire.  They burned and smoldered for days -- a visible red glow at night.  It is one of my first memories.  I was not yet 6 at the time.
  15. buckman52

    buckman52 Newbie

    Unfortunately there is no access panel so I drilled out the umpteen hundred rivits.  There is no visible evidence of any wiring problem.  None of the wires are scorched or turning brown.  All the connections are tight and clean.  Wiring does not seem to be the problem which leads me to think that it is an electronic problem.  I am fairly good at fixing electrical wiring problems but I am at a complete loss when it comes to "electronics".  There is a "box" mounted in the bottom panel that I looked in and there is no indication of a problem there.  I contacted MES and since it is a discontinumed model all they could do is offer me a discount on their new model.  I'ld love the new one but there is still too much life in this one if I can bring it back from the dead to be shelling out that kind of money yet.  Anybody know anything about the controler box in the bottom?
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It still sounds electrical to me, but I'm certainly no electric or electronic genius.

    It just sounds to me like everything is fine until it is under load. 

    Maybe try starting a new thread with this question, because there are a lot of guys who know a lot more about this stuff who aren't seeing the question.

  17. Try unplugging the element, tape up the ends of the wires with electrical tape, plug it in and and see if it still blows the breaker.  It sounds to me like the element is shorted which will drastically reduce the resistance.  This will cause the current draw to increase and trip the breaker. Just be careful you don't electrocute yourself.
  18. smoker61

    smoker61 Newbie

    I am absolutely new to the forum...just joined this evening.  I am not sure if I should start a new thread or not.  My problem is that I received a new masterbuilt 30" electric smoker with window and RF control. This moring I followed the procedure for "preseasoning".  The unit started heated up to about 150 degrees and then everything went dead. No problem with the outlet.  I tried resetting the unit and disconnected and reconnected the control panel.  Still nothing.  I've spent the last several hours reading about many wiring problems.  Obviously, I will call Masterbuilt on Monday (they seem to have bankers hours).  Other Forum members seem to indicate Masterbuilt will send me out a refurbished box and I will have to attach the door and install the racks etc myself. Are there other members that have had the same problem and is there anything else I might check out before going down this road with Masterbuilt?
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you using an extension cord?

    If that is a brand new MES 30, and it is a bad unit, you shouldn't be getting anything from Masterbuilt, other than a brand new unit.

    Once you know what the problem is, if it's a bad unit, contact Masterbuilt, or PM Darryl "MBtechguy" on this forum.

    And Yes---You would get more help if you start a new thread.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  20. smoker61

    smoker61 Newbie

    Bear - Thanks for your help!

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