MES 30" not working after replacing element - help!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by husker3in4, May 7, 2015.

  1. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    It is a model # 20070910. I have had it for a couple of years and it worked wonderfully. Until, that is, it couldn't keep temp right in the middle of a smoke. I usually smoke at 225, when I went to put more wood chips in it about half way thru the smoke, it was at 160 degrees and wouldn't get much hotter. So I read about how the elements get drippings on them to the point they don't work anymore. I ordered a new one and followed the instructions to replace it this past February.

    The whole process wasn't that difficult, although working the wiring into the back of the smoker and into the element was a bit tricky. In any case, I went to turn it on and the electronic panel on the top works as normal, but the element doesn't get hot. The electronic panel's little red "heating" light comes on, but the element doesn't get hot at all. Its really cold in the winter here and I figured Id wait until spring to pull it back out and mess with it again.

    Has anyone else experienced this or can offer suggestions?

    Here is a pic of the smoker so you know which one Im talking about. Its the one with the redesigned backing so you only have to take off a few screws around the wiring, you dont have to remove the whole back (that was an older model).

    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  2. Just a tip. You might want to take the access panel off and see if the new element is getting voltage. if it is not you can tell that to the Master built folks when you speak to them. The controller of course determines the voltage out flow.   If you need a control panel they were available from Master built at a fair price . Let them tell you, you  need a new one then lobby for a free or reduced priced one.    Jted
  3. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    By access panel you mean the little silver panel off the lower back, where the wires plug into the element? How am I able to tell if they are getting voltage or not?
  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you own a multimeter?
  5. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    No but I am pretty sure a buddy of mine does. What is the proper voltage Im looking for?
  6. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    120 volts, more or less.
  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If you can't get a multi-meter than you can get a cheap current tester for $10 that will tell you whether or not there is current on the wire. I have one that simply lights up if current is present.
  8. This one is a few dollars more but it looks like it  is worth it.

    With these three tools you can perform all your tests.   Jted
  9. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Do I need a multimeter to just test the voltage, or is there something cheaper I can buy at walmart or wherever to just test the voltage? I really miss using this smoker. I have a newer model that works, just not nearly as well as this one used to.
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you get a fairly decent multi meter, you will use it forever.... the uses are endless... You can get temperature probes for them.... you can check your car, boat, motorcycle, dishwasher, dryer, hair dryer, fuses, household wiring..... There are pamphlets that tell you how to use them that usually come with the meter... If you get a really good one, you can check your "black box" while trolling for fish... you can search for galvanic action that leads to corrosion.... I found a snap-on $300 meter for $90 at a pawn shop....
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bought a multimeter at Lowes a few years ago for $20. It came with a couple of extra things. But after all the time of having it I've only learned to test alkaline batteries and one wall circuit. Most other times I've tried using it I couldn't get any electrical values. Mine is a Greenlee and came with a piss-poor owners manual.
  12. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    DaveOmak nailed it, even if you don't have a boat.  And there are plenty of "how to" sites on the internet, as well as books that can show you how to use the meter.  It is also good to have an idea of what is wrong with something before calling in a repairman. 

    The link jted provided is well worth checking out. Besides a multimeter, I also own those same testers, or a variant. Real handy.
  13. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    So I had a buddy come over and test it with his multimeter.. it showed continuity on the wires that plug into the element prongs, but when we plugged the smoker in to the wall and tested those same wires, we got little to no current. this was the result with the smoker plugged into the wall but not on, and with it plugged into the wall and trying to heat. I figured one of the wires from the control panel to the element was burnt out, so I drilled out the rivets on the back of the smoker and removed the backing to expose the wires. to my dismay, all the wires look fine.

    So does this mean the problem lies in the control panel? It looks and appears to function normally. I also noticed a little box that is underneath the smoker, that one of the wires comes out of (that plugs into the element). I havent explored that box yet.

    Any suggestions?

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you take the connectors apart and look at the actual wires and connections......
  15. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    Was the red LED on the control panel lit?

    Next on the back there is a box with 2 black wires check the wires inside the box if they look good disconnect one wire you should get 0 ohms between the two terminals.

    If nothing there look on the bottom find the box drill it open. Look for bad connections.

  16. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Ive done the first 2 thinks, all looks good. The box on the bottom is next, what is in there anyway?
  17. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    The bottom box contains a circuit board with a relay to control the heater and a 5 volt power supply.

  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The box Walta is speaking of is on the bottom of the smoker... the floor of the smoke chamber...
  19. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    Just to be clear the power supply and relay box is underneath the smoker. Turn the smoker upside down and you will see the box that is riveted closed.


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