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MES 30 Temp. Overrun

Murray

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MES new at Christmas, 8 smokes, cold climate. I now have a reoccurring issue with the unit surpassing the temperature set point and keeps heating. Happened once when I first got the MES, cleared it’s self up and hasn’t happened until today. Applied the hairdryer to start it up, set temperature to 225F came back later and temperature was 235F and still heating. Shut it down, disconnect power and let it cool. Started it up and I incrementally increasesd the temperature up by 5F, unit keep passing the set point. Did this 4-5 times each time temperature surpassing set point. Then all of a sudden it’s working fine.

It’s under warranty so I’m not stuck just inconvenienced.

Disconnected the control panel and have it sitting besides the wood stove. I’m guessing condensation is my problem in the control panel. Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

SonnyE

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When my MES 30 cycles, it is not at all unusual for it to swing.
What it it, is the heating element has a bit of mass. The element, an insulated Nichrome wire inside a housing, gets shut off, but there is a certain amount of over-run because the heat is oozing out.
Nothing unusual about that with electric heat.
If you pre-heat it a considerable time, 1-2 hours, you can see it tend to stabilize somewhere around the set temperature. Then, when you put your meat in it to smoke and cook, you'll see the temperature re-stabilize as the steam from the meat affects the operation.
In all, the control of the MES line is at best marginal. It works, but it's anybodies guess how well because every one is different.
But, it's a damn sight better than nursing a charcoal or stick burner. And it can be improved upon.
That is why many will get a PID controller to work around the OEM controller.
Even at that, I see my PID controller switch on at 1 degree below set point then drift to 2 degrees below before it starts to rise. It shuts completely off at set point, but the residual heat can carry it 2-4 degrees above the set point.
But if you are looking for lab results, you will never see it at this price point. You will have to learn to work around what your MES does, or modify the controller. Which is the route I took.
 

Murray

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When my MES 30 cycles, it is not at all unusual for it to swing.
What it it, is the heating element has a bit of mass. The element, an insulated Nichrome wire inside a housing, gets shut off, but there is a certain amount of over-run because the heat is oozing out.
Nothing unusual about that with electric heat.
If you pre-heat it a considerable time, 1-2 hours, you can see it tend to stabilize somewhere around the set temperature. Then, when you put your meat in it to smoke and cook, you'll see the temperature re-stabilize as the steam from the meat affects the operation.
In all, the control of the MES line is at best marginal. It works, but it's anybodies guess how well because every one is different.
But, it's a damn sight better than nursing a charcoal or stick burner. And it can be improved upon.
That is why many will get a PID controller to work around the OEM controller.
Even at that, I see my PID controller switch on at 1 degree below set point then drift to 2 degrees below before it starts to rise. It shuts completely off at set point, but the residual heat can carry it 2-4 degrees above the set point.
But if you are looking for lab results, you will never see it at this price point. You will have to learn to work around what your MES does, or modify the controller. Which is the route I took.
Mine isn’t shutting down at the set point, the red light stays on and so does the heating element.
 

SonnyE

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Mine isn’t shutting down at the set point, the red light stays on and so does the heating element.
At what point does it shut off?
If it is too far out, or running up against the safety switch (Out around 320°) it has a problem and needs to be dealt with with Masterbuilt.
Could be a faulty controller.
But it is NOT a precision device.
 

TomKnollRFV

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It is likely a faulty controller if it's just plain not shutting off. I'd give masterbuilt a call, they'll definitely replace the part(s). I just had to deal with this sort of thing, they sent me a new power control unit <since mine plain kept shutting down randomly!>

Now it took mine a bit to get sorted mind...first time around I got the wrong power part kit sent out. So they actually forwarded my case to Quality control/engineering folk and it took a while for them to slog through their work load to me. On the other hand, they said if this doesn't work, they'd just replace the thing.
 

Murray

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At what point does it shut off?
If it is too far out, or running up against the safety switch (Out around 320°) it has a problem and needs to be dealt with with Masterbuilt.
Could be a faulty controller.
But it is NOT a precision device.
Doesn’t shut off, set control temperature to 100F, hits 100F and keeps on heating. Set temperature to 125F same thing, heating element keeps going past the set point. Never let it run to see what might happen, figured if the controller is letting the heating element run 5F past the set point no need to see how high it will go till a melt down.
Haven’t had the MES anywhere near 300F.
 

Murray

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It is likely a faulty controller if it's just plain not shutting off. I'd give masterbuilt a call, they'll definitely replace the part(s). I just had to deal with this sort of thing, they sent me a new power control unit <since mine plain kept shutting down randomly!>

Now it took mine a bit to get sorted mind...first time around I got the wrong power part kit sent out. So they actually forwarded my case to Quality control/engineering folk and it took a while for them to slog through their work load to me. On the other hand, they said if this doesn't work, they'd just replace the thing.
I’m thinking it’s a controller, yours shut down, I’m the opposite, mine won’t shut down. However that being said it’s working fine now.
 

TomKnollRFV

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Doesn’t shut off, set control temperature to 100F, hits 100F and keeps on heating. Set temperature to 125F same thing, heating element keeps going past the set point. Never let it run to see what might happen, figured if the controller is letting the heating element run 5F past the set point no need to see how high it will go till a melt down.
Haven’t had the MES anywhere near 300F.
Set it for 225f and see what happens. It could be an over run for a few minutes as Sonny suggested. I've had a MES go well past 300f <Not from the MES..I had 3 rows of mesquite just decide to light them selves on me. Which pushed it from 275f to who knows what!>

The temperature sensors in the MES may read 5 above but it could very well be not there yet etc. Always worth seeing the way it goes. It could be fine and just needs to stabilize.

And..now that I'm thinking about it. Make sure the extension cord etc is alright. I used to keep reptiles and when a power cord or the like got screwy connected to the heat lamps etc, weird things would happen.
 

Murray

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Set it for 225f and see what happens. It could be an over run for a few minutes as Sonny suggested. I've had a MES go well past 300f <Not from the MES..I had 3 rows of mesquite just decide to light them selves on me. Which pushed it from 275f to who knows what!>

The temperature sensors in the MES may read 5 above but it could very well be not there yet etc. Always worth seeing the way it goes. It could be fine and just needs to stabilize.

And..now that I'm thinking about it. Make sure the extension cord etc is alright. I used to keep reptiles and when a power cord or the like got screwy connected to the heat lamps etc, weird things would happen.
Thanks for the extension cord, will try a different one, can’t hurt.
 

chopsaw

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Murray Murray it's not un common for them to run over / under 10 or 20 degrees . Just the way some of them are . Do you have a therm inside that you trust ? When you get time , set a temp and let it run until it cycles . Use a remote therm to monitor the temp inside so you know what it is compared to the unit read out . It should settle in once you let it run , but watch it to make sure it doesn't run away on you .
 

Murray

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Murray Murray it's not un common for them to run over / under 10 or 20 degrees . Just the way some of them are . Do you have a therm inside that you trust ? When you get time , set a temp and let it run until it cycles . Use a remote therm to monitor the temp inside so you know what it is compared to the unit read out . It should settle in once you let it run , but watch it to make sure it doesn't run away on you .
I tried that once when the unit was new, got nervous at 287F. Today I had it set to 100F and let it heat until the smoker hit 150F, heating light and element still going. I’ve got the controller in the house now, letting it warm up. Will reassemble tomorrow and test.
 

chopsaw

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I tried that once when the unit was new, got nervous at 287F. Today I had it set to 100F and let it heat until the smoker hit 150F, heating light and element still going. I’ve got the controller in the house now, letting it warm up. Will reassemble tomorrow and test.
OK yeah that's a problem . I think you need to give them a call then .
 

Winterrider

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Are you going according to the MES temp gauge? Have you put a quality digital thermometer in to check with?
 

TomKnollRFV

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Alright that's no longer stabilizing, it's borked. If it doesn't work properly after the reassembly, call right away, don't risk a fire!
 

Murray

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OK yeah that's a problem . I think you need to give them a call then .
I tend to agree with you, I have been pushing the MES. Cold smoking cheese whre I was turning it off and on to keep the cheese from freezing and staying below 70F. Warmest ambiant temperature I have smoked in was 0F, most of the smokes have been -10F. On two occasions I have had moisture seeping out the door, too much condensation.
 

Winterrider

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I think I would do like chop suggests, set temp at about 200° and let it roll to see if it does shut down. If TP-08 gets to the 300° mark, shut it down and open to cool quick. Little phone call if so. I had issues similar, tried new controller which got me closer but not to my liking. Went with PID, couldn't be happier.
 

Murray

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Alright that's no longer stabilizing, it's borked. If it doesn't work properly after the reassembly, call right away, don't risk a fire!
That’s why I’m shutdown for now, not too many control panel replacements posts, it seems for the most part the MES have a fairly robust control panel, temperatures not so accurate... I set my MES 15F less than the desired temperature.
 

Murray

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I think I would do like chop suggests, set temp at about 200° and let it roll to see if it does shut down. If TP-08 gets to the 300° mark, shut it down and open to cool quick. Little phone call if so. I had issues similar, tried new controller which got me closer but not to my liking. Went with PID, couldn't be happier.
I hear you, would like to wait until the smoker has a few miles on it before replacing components.
 

Wibb

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First post here, been lurking for awhile. I have a brand new MES 140S and it started doing this exact same thing today. Ambient outside was about 31-33F today and I've got mine wrapped in the MB insulating blanket. I smoked a full smoker of jerky yesterday in similar temps and it worked perfectly but today I had a smoker full of sausage and it was running away. I had it set for 120 and it was heating to 175. On multiple occasions today I had to cycle power and reset just to get it to the proper temp. At some point I ran the temp up and down from the main controller (not the remote) and it finally started behaving correctly the rest of the day. No rhyme or reason why it was acting up earlier though. I guess I'll call MB tomorrow and see what they have to say because I won't keep it if it behaves like this, I can't trust it without being outside every 15 minutes to monitor the panel. All temps were comfirmed by multiple probes from my iGrill2 which was working fine.
 

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