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MES 40 - Solution Not Yet Found

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by Matt Williams, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Matt Williams

    Matt Williams Newbie

    Hi Everyone,

    About 4 months new to the smoking community and my MES (specifically 20075315 40" Digital Electric Smoker) has run into the ground. My issue was that, upon turning on the smoker, the display panel would immediately show the temperature at 265° when it was truly room temperature, thus the heating element wouldn't kick on.

    Fast forward a month, I call customer service and get a new display panel shipped for free from Masterbuilt. For the record, I tried to confirm with customer service that they were shipping me the right part and the rep assured me it would fix it. As you can guess, after installing the new display panel and firing it up, it still says 265° and won't kick on the heating element.

    Any help / guidance would be a huge help.
     
  2. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hi there and welcome!

    It seems the top controller panel is not the issue. It could be anything from the smoker sensor through to the lower circuit board.

    You are out of warranty so you may not get much love from masterbuilt.
    I would suggest that you prepare for the possibility using a PID controller and rewire job on your MES.

    I did a post on how to rewire an MES for a plug n play PID like the Auber ones, see the post here:
    https://smokingmeatforums.com/threads/mes-rewire-simple-guide-no-back-removal-needed.267069/

    It isn't really that complicated. In short you would be:
    • Rewiring the MES so that power goes to the heating element to heat it up (this can be done in less than 30 minutes if you are prepared)
    • Plug the newly rewired MES into a PID Controller and put the PID conroller sensor inside the MES smoker through the vent to measure temperature
    • Plug the PID into the wall
    • Now the PID will get power from the wall, PID will sense the temp in the MES and allow power to flow to the MES through the MES plug when the smoker is below the set temp. The PID will cut off the power to the MES plug when the set temp is hit or exceeded and repeat the cycle to hold the temp
    It's a simple as that PLUS the PID controller is WAAAAAAY better then the crappy one that comes with the MES. You should be able to keep within 3 degrees of your set temp with a PID controller. That's not possible with the MES conroller.

    I hope this info helps out:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  3. mosparky

    mosparky Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm thinking the temp probe in the back wall of the MES is bad. Obviously something is telling the controller the temp is already at 265. I doubt it is an easy fix, no access panel. If it were mine, I'd try to get a new one from Masterbuilt, and cut an access hole, wire it in and fashion a homemade cover panel.
    Masterbuilt may be able to tell you which wires from the control panel lead to the temp probe and what it should read with an ohm meter at a given ambient temp. I'm really not sure how tech savvy their CS reps are, but surely there is someone on site who is and can answer those kind of questions.
     
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Matt, has the smoker ever worked? If you notified Masterbuilt before your warranty ran out I would think you'd still be covered. Pre-existing condition on record. I'd try to return the unit for a new one.

    Chris
     
  5. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I thought the warranty went from 90 days to one year but the manual still says 90 days.
     
  6. Matt Williams

    Matt Williams Newbie

    Chris,

    Yeah, it probably had ~15hrs of run time before cutting out. I agree with you that the pre-existing condition would be on their record. Might put in a call to them tomorrow.

    Appreciate it!

    Matt
     
  7. Matt Williams

    Matt Williams Newbie

    Already ruled out the idea of this being easy given the struggles I read about other members having. I will call Masterbuilt and test the reps again. Wasn't sure where the temp probe is in the MES but I'll do some digging and see if I can pinpoint it.

    Appreciate the help!
     
  8. Matt Williams

    Matt Williams Newbie

    Love the DIY aspect of this and the improved temp accuracy sounds attractive too. I'd prefer an easy fix but seems I am past that unless Masterbuilt surprises me with some good customer support and warranty protection.

    I will look into the PID and follow up with you for any questions or speed bumps if I end up going with this option.

    Appreciate the help!
     
  9. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No problem!

    I believe this Auber Plug and Play PID (after an MES rewire) would be the minimal one you want to look at https://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_28&products_id=110

    There are others that are dual probe (1 smoker, 1 meat probe) and now they even have a wifi unit!

    At the very least the one I gave you the link to should do the job of regulating the smoker temp.
    I would then encourage you to look into the ThermoPro TP20 for a dual thermometer to measure meat temp and such :)

    Let me know if all of this helps :)
     
  10. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Matt,
    I am using an Auber PID to run and control my 1st Gen MES. One of the best mods I've done besides adding a mailbox mod to this smoker as well. There are lots threads that have been started regarding PID controllers. Spend some time researching this mod.