Masterbuilt tripping breaker when reaching temperature

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Original poster
Mar 10, 2017
Hi all,

I have a Masterbuilt Model #20071914 that I have used maybe 10 times.  The last time I used it, the circuit breaker would trip EVERY time the box reached the set point temperature (225) and turned off the element.  I would reset the breaker, turn the smoker back on, and all would be fine UNTIL it reached set point temperature, then the breaker would trip again.  I tried different circuits around the house and all of them did the same thing.   Any advice on what to do?

Note my house has arc fault breakers, not ground fault outlets.  I don't think that matters here because they have never tripped in 6 years and the smoker worked fine for a while.

AFCI's have the same ~5mA current imbalance circuitry as GFCIs.  Based on the responses you've been given, the filaments get old, develop tiny microcracks in the potting, and develop 5mA of leakage current to ground, which then trips a GFCI/AFCI.  If you just had an AFCI or GFCI receptacle, I'd tell you to just replace it with a conventional receptacle.  But since you have AFCI breakers, that's not really an option.  Are you sure you don't have some circuit (maybe in garage?) that's not AFCI? 

If not, you CAN try a 3-to-2 prong "cheater" and see if that "fixes" the problem.  That's a pretty convincing proof for MB they owe you a new filament.  But I don't recommend operating that way.  The ground fault circuitry, when working, which it appears to be now, will protect you against electrocution with that "cheater", but only as long as it works.  But it is much more complex than green equipment wiring so is far more likely to fail.  (And they do.  You're supposed to check them monthly, right?)   With a cheater, especially with a failing filament, you are courting a potentially deadly shock if you touch your smoker when the filament has failed dead short to case and your GFCI fails. 

Remember, the ground wire is your first line of defense, the GFCI/AFCI a backup. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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