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Masterbuilt Pro catches fire...

drh3rdiii

Newbie
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Joined Nov 26, 2020
I will continue searching for what am sure are similar issues with... have a Masterbuilt Pro. Purchased a year ago. Used a couple of times. I noted that when running full on, high, the unit directly behind the gas adjustment on the front panel would catch fire. It leaks propane. It appears to be poorly designed. Home Depot built the unit so I was not part of the assembly. And I am out of warranty.

Now however, I ran a test for smoking a turkey tomorrow and when running the smoker on high, it would catch fire directly behind the dial. The propane is fed to the adjustment dial, and there is about a 2" line that feeds into a tube that goes directly to the burner. There are aeration holes at the point where the flames come on. I am trying to figure out if something is missing from the assembly that either keeps the burner flame from exposure to this point of propane being injected into the tube that feeds the burner.

It is all a bit crazy as I can't fathom a unit being that susceptible to catching fire like this. The burner does not appear to be restricted, meaning when the burner is on it produces and even flame... on low, medium and high. But it also means propane is leaking from just behind the dial and once it catches fire, yeah, I can dial it back to low and blow it out. But this is dangerous. And of course not smoking a turkey tmrw in the smoker.

So thought I would toss this out there to see if anyone has had experience with this particular smoker and if there is a solution. I wish this had revealed itself when I first purchased it and I may just have to toss the unit as it is out of warranty (Home Depot).

Ideas anyone?

tx
 

TuckersBarbeque

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
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If you have a defective unit that is a fire hazard, there is no reason to risk burning your house down.
With that said, I had one of those years ago, and then eventually gave it to a buddy after 5 years of reliable use. Long story short, it's still going after 8 years.
You could theoretically take apart all the fittings, apply some thread sealant for gas fittings, and reassemble and check it out. If you have enough time this morning, it may be worth it, probably a 3 hr job after all is said and done, including Home Depot.
If you like the smoker, at ~$200 it's pretty cheap to simply replace, also a 3 hr job including Home Depot once it's set up and broken in...

My two cents, because it's only $200, I'd get a new one. Peace of mind to not sit there and worry every cook about burning plastic/leaking gas near the house for such a small amount is the best value. An ounce of prevention...
If this were ~$1,000 smoker, I'd spend more time diagnosing and trying to repair, even if the repair was $200... :emoji_wink:

Good luck to you and Happy Thanksgiving. Let us know what you decided to do!
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
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Sounds as if there is a blockage in the burner... Spider webs or something...
If you have compressed air, blow it out....
you can also remove the burner assembly and flush it with water....
Those aeration holes adjust the air for a good flame... The blockage is downstream of those holes...
Maybe a can of that "clean air" for blowing dust out of computers will do also...
It also might be.... your pressure regulator is faulty and putting out too much propane, over taxing the burner....
Blow it out and see where that gets you.....
Dave
 

Brokenhandle

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Nov 9, 2019
I agree with what Dave says... have had that same issue. Not on that same smoker but in my case it was cobwebs. If you can get a small bristle brush to run through tubes really helps.

Ryan
 

Murray

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Dec 30, 2018
Should you disassemble the unit and clean then reassemble be sure to use teflon tape or pipe dope that’s approved for LP. Here in Canada teflon tape is yellow for LP/natural gas, white for water/air, I’m guessing it would be the same in the USA
 

drh3rdiii

Newbie
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Joined Nov 26, 2020
Zow... thankx for all the replies. Yes, I will follow all recommendations. Starting with disassembling, cleaning, blowing out, pipe cleaning, etc... all the way to if I can't return it to the original form which worked great btw, then toss it and get a different one.

I too felt that because it worked when new, but have not used it in many months, something has blocked the flow of propane/air mix. So was going to follow the recommendations yes.

I wonder tho... seems that the access between the burner and the propane/airflow junction, engineering-wise, wouldn't that want to be separated, blocked, restricted? Thought hm... on that.

Anywayz, it worked fine until now so anything can be fixed. Tx for confirming what I was sensing. This place is like what I experience on wood stove forums. A fine group of interested in the process folks.
 

drh3rdiii

Newbie
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9
Joined Nov 26, 2020
Well I'll be a money's grandson. That is exactly what it was, is. Three minutes to get the burner and tube off and found a critter had tried to set up a vaca spot. Cleaned all the tubes, connections, refitting and sealing per recommendations. And believe this will resolve it.

Tx for the ideas. I doubt I would have messed with it today if I hadn't read some encouragements, urging, to give it a go. Too late for today's bird. But now my missus is like, great, he's going to want to smoke everything now. Cool. I just like things that work.
 

Brokenhandle

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Glad ya got it fixed! Those little critters sure cause frustration at times.

Ryan
 

drh3rdiii

Newbie
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Joined Nov 26, 2020
Yessirs Brokenhandle and TuckersBarbeque... it was something very simple. When does that ever happen?

So now, to affectionately, lovingly, humorously get under my missus' skin, am musing about "I can smoke bacon for breakfast... I can experiment with smoking scrambled eggs... and smoking coffee sounds like a winner." She hands me a broom and says 'yes dear, as soon as you clean out the...." and I zoom out like a cartoon character.
 

OldSmoke

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Sep 5, 2020
When I built the wind skirt for mine, I added screens to prevent this issue. I’ve had them get into the fireplaces, BBQ, and just about everything else using natural gas or propane. Good job fixing it!

7C4B422B-5C05-4229-91C0-E41D2ABFCBDC.jpeg
 

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