MES 30 element done

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gulf shucker, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. It's been a fun 3 - 4 years but my MES heating element has finally gave it up. It went out in style by poping a breaker in my apartment and losing power to half the place. Since this is and older model, is it worth replacing the element or better to just send it down the river? Thanks for the input.

    - L.J.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pull the back cover off.... the small one on the bottom center of the back of the smoker... Look and see what's wrong.... probably just a corroded wire that can be fixed.....

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  3. Thanks for the the reply Dave. Still not sure what I'm looking at nor the problem. I'm assuming I'll need a replacement element. As for now, I have a really nice cold smoker :devil::devil:
  4. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If it tripped the breaker it's probably more than just corroded wires although that is a possibility along with loose connections. 

    My guess is one of the heating element wires burned off at the connection and shorted to the frame.

    It's definitely worth looking into if you had no other major issues prior to this problem. 
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Have you tried using it again since this happened? The circuit you had it plugged into could have been overloaded and there's nothing wrong with your smoker.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  6. Hi, a lot of MES30 owners have had your problem. Some replace the corroded wire connectors some opt to do a entire wiring upgrade. You should follow Dave's instructions and look for noticeably burnt wiring. The odds are it is going to be a fairly quick 15.00 dollar fix even if you have to buy the tools to do it.

    Sometime back a Poster named Texacajun posted a great set of pictures during his wiring upgrade. I am not advocating the upgrade  but look at his pictures.

    You will see pictures of the connectors and some other views to help you identify your problem. Often one of the wires just burn off the connector and shorts out the smoker causing the circuit to trip. That is what the other posters are pointing to.

    This has been a common problem for some time since the manufacture used a sub par connector. Normally a high heat nickel steel appliance type connector is used as a replacement. It will not be available at a big box stores (Lowe's or Home Depot) You will need to go to a appliance repair shop or a good hardware store. I found mine a a large ACE hardware. They were .50 cents each and look like the ones in Texacajuns pictures. Don't throw away or give up on your smoker till you check it out.

    Report back and you will get the help you need to fix it better than new.

    When I did mine I did not take real good pictures but I have one of the ground ring at the element that was only 6 months old and it was starting to burn up.
    daricksta likes this.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The picture of the connector is a PERFECT example of corrosion causing increased amperage draw, which causes heat....
  8. UPDATE:
    Ok guys, I took yall's advice and decided to give it a shot fixing this smoker. I went ahead and pulled off the back plate to the wires and discovered this piece broken in half...

    Where should I go from here?
    Thanks again!
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Use some pliers and see if the corrosion can be crushed to expose the end of the elements internal ni-chrome wire... just clip around the edges... then sand the internal wire until it is clean.... strip back the wire you are holding and see if it looks clean, no corrosion... then apply solder to the element wire and black wire to "pre tin" the two connections.... then solder them together... for electrical insulation, wrap the newly soldered connection with fiberglass electrical tape.. it is heat tolerant and the new connection will last forever....
    The reason the connection gave up is.... a poor connection from the factory... seems to happen on many MES smokers... poor connections cause heat and then corrosion..... once a connection is soldered properly, that condition is eliminated......
    If the element ever burns out, it can easily be "un-soldered" but you won't live long enough for that to happen......


    Don't worry about the end of the element getting hot... the ends may get warm but the heat doesn't get created until the electricity has traveled down the element for a small distance... it the nature of the beast.....
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    gulf shucker likes this.
  10. Thanks Dave,
    I don't have a solder gun, but about to make a trip to Lowe's. Is there any particular type of solder to buy, im not too familar with that stuff. Any thing else I need to pick up? I have the pliers already. Thanks again
  11. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    L.J. Try to get electrical Solder it is pre-fluxed a small el cheapo solder gun from Harbor Freight 

    If you have to get plumbing solder,you will need flux also.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tropics in spot on.... Electrical solder that has the flux inside the solder in a hollow tube.... fiberglass electrical tape.... solder iron... something to clean off the corrosion... the whole thing should be less than $20... When using a soldering iron, plug it in and heat the tip... sand with sand paper... " tin" with solder... same with what you are soldering... the tip will need to be wiped with a wet paper towel, while hot, to clean again after tinning if it has sat around... the wet towel will make it shine.. or re sand and tin again... keeping a clean tip on the soldering iron is a must for ease in getting a good clean solder joint......
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  14. thank you gentlemen, I will keep everyone posted
  15. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    And take pics, too.
  16. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Check HF they may have the soldering kit, solder,soldering iron. No need to break the bank for something you may never need again. Google how to solder a wire.
  17. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    If those wires go to the heating element or anything with a resistance that builds heat you shouldn't be soldering. Use high heat wire nuts & shrink tubing.
  18. update:

    Here is a picture of some of the tape and corrosive material knocked off, just a better view of the issue.

    I cut the bad connector off and stripped the wire, reinforcing it with electric tape.

    I threaded the "fresh" wire through the tiny hole in the male spade and fanned the wiring out onto the spade, soldered just a bit to secure and wrapped the entire connection in high quality electric tape.

    Moment of truth -
    My MES is firing hot again! Working beautifully so far. I would like to thank everyone for their guidance on this repair. Total cost was around $25, much cheaper than a new unit. Special thanks to Dave! points to you sir.

    Happy continued smoking!
  19. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Great to know!!!!  I have a couple of these and I'm sure I'll be problem solving in the future.  Had to comment so I can find this post again!  Thanks for the pics and the update!
  20. Not a problem! Hope this doesent happen to yours.

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