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MES not working

thethom

Newbie
6
11
Joined Apr 13, 2017
Hello all,

I have a MES that I love. It is in a pole barn with a chimney running up and then out through the wall. That way I can smoke in the dry space year round.

I discovered that condensation was forming in the chimney and would drip a bit back onto the top (right on the control panel).

Now it won't work. When I plug it in, I hear a small beep, but I can't get it to turn on. The outlet works. The cold smoker box in the same outlet works.

Any ideas? Am I hosed? Can I swap out just the electric box? I've upgraded gaskets, added the chimney, etc. I'd really like to avoid buying a new smoker.

It is very cold in the space, would that matter?
 

texascoast

Fire Starter
41
17
Joined Dec 29, 2013
Hey there Thethom,
I have a MES30 which I have had similar issues with, here are a couple of things i have found with my MES.

Good example today, 1/20/2019, I tried using my MES but it would trip the GCFI. I have seen this issue before on my unit after not using it for a month or more.
I removed the small back cover that covers your wiring to the heating element and other electronics. I always seem to find smoky greasy residue between the green wire (ground) and the metal back of the smoker, this is what cause the circuit to trip. I remove the screw and nut that connects the green wire and the metal back and clean it so it shines metallic again. This solved my problem today.
There is also a small metal disk inside the smoker that is about the size of a dime, it's on the upper left side on mine. This is a thermal overload device (KSD301), once it is operates it will need to be replaced. Unfortunately you will need to remove the metal back of your smoker to get to this device. You can test it by connecting the two wires going to the device to see if your unit comes on. Don't run it like this, just test it! I ordered replacement KSD301s from Amazon.
I have also found the wires connecting to this device to be frayed so this too can cause a circuit to trip.

I hope this helps!
Later,
TexasCoast
 

texascoast

Fire Starter
41
17
Joined Dec 29, 2013
Hey Thethom,
I have had my MES30 since about 2012 and have not had to replace the Digital Control panel.

Most of my issues are wiring connectors that corrode or Thermal Overload device that operate.
I actually took one of the "Older" members advice and replaced the major wiring in the back with heavy gauge wiring that you would use on an electric range.
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,289
581
Joined Jan 7, 2017
When you do get the unit fixed, create a small horizontal run in your chimney headed towards the wall and drill a small hole in it. This will allow the condensation to drain into a cup or buck or whatever you put in the hole.

I run the same setup as you and once i drilled the hole (maybe 3/8 - 1/2" hole) I had no more probs with condensation
 

texascoast

Fire Starter
41
17
Joined Dec 29, 2013
Hey Thethom,
Have you removed your digital controller to inspect it yet?
I removed my digital controller when I first had issues, mine is a simple circuit board that you can inspect for corrosion or damage from moisture exposure.
 

texascoast

Fire Starter
41
17
Joined Dec 29, 2013
FiveTricks,
My Bad... I just realized you're from Flint, Mi. where it really gets COLD:)
I'm setting outside along the Texas coast just north of Galveston, where its 56deg currently.
Sorry about asking you to get a picture!!
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,289
581
Joined Jan 7, 2017
20190120_164826.jpg

Here is the hole. Nothing special but it's at the lowest point in the horizontal run.

20190120_164837.jpg

A shot of the outer portion.

20190119_092205.jpg

A shot of the inside portion. There appears to be a little snag, but I have a hangar to raise that horizontal portion when I have the exhaust hooked up to multiple units.
 

thethom

Newbie
6
11
Joined Apr 13, 2017
Thanks for the replies everyone. It doesn't trip a breaker. I can't get the control panel to even light up. I think if it were a heating element wire, I would at least get a digital display?

For now, I ordered the replacement control panel. When I'm working on it, I'll check all those wires first.
 

texascoast

Fire Starter
41
17
Joined Dec 29, 2013
Thethom,
Good Luck with your MES repairs.

I really like mine but it does sit outside on a covered patio but I've noticed that I have issues mostly when I'm not using it on a regular basis:)

Fivetricks - Thanks for the pictures of your smoke stack arrangement, that is some setup you have there.

Luckily my MES is located on a south facing covered patio, all I've done is add a 12" tin can smokestack to the top of the unit to help draw the smoke out of the box.

Nice talking to you guys!
Good Smoking Weather to both of you!
 

indaswamp

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
4,443
1,245
Joined Apr 27, 2017
This is what I love about this site! Great job guys all around for helping out!
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,289
581
Joined Jan 7, 2017
That's my configuration for those devices. I've had up to four connected at once. If you could take a shot of your setup for me I could help to advise you on your condensation problem :-)
 

thethom

Newbie
6
11
Joined Apr 13, 2017
That's my configuration for those devices. I've had up to four connected at once. If you could take a shot of your setup for me I could help to advise you on your condensation problem :-)
I'll try and get a pic. I think even more than condensation, is snow melting off the roof that seeps in a joint. Some Silicone caulk would probably work wonders. It's just been too cold to caulk outdoors.
 

thethom

Newbie
6
11
Joined Apr 13, 2017
I swapped out the electronic panel on top and I'm back in business!

Thanks everyone.
 

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