MES trouble code help

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by georgialee, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Newbie

    Just went to preheat the smoker and it showed an error code I assume. It looks like EAAF. Does anyone know what that means. It is cold today (below 20).
    Is it too cold to use?
  2. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I've heard of this in other posts . Take the controller off and bring it inside to warm up . Unplug the unit from the wall outlet first . After the controller is room temp put it back on the smoker and try it . I've also read use a lighter to heat the termostat sensor inside the smoker to warm that up a little bit and then try again to turn it on . Mine is about 2 or 3 years old and I don't have trouble with mine . I turned it on 2 nights ago and the temp in the garage where my smoker is was 10 degrees . Others have had this problem .
  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I currently have two MES's and have owned a few MES's over many years and have never had this problem.

    Doing a little research I found that some MES's that were manufactured need to be above 40º when they are first started. So I would bring it inside and warm it up to get it started or try the following -

    "Right now, Masterbuilt is having problems with their Electronic Smokehouse that was on sale at Bass Pro for $130. The unit works great, but when it is cold outside, like below 40F, the control unit is giving an error code EAAF and it wont turn on the element. To get around this, the thermocouple sticking out of the back wall, INSIDE the unit needs to be warmed up with a rag soaked in hot water. Once the probe reads a temp somewhere in the 40F range, the element kicks on and gets the smoker warmed right up."

    Other info I found -
  4. georgialee

    georgialee Newbie

    I just took it off and set it in the window hoping the sun will help speed up the process.
    This is frustrating...
  5. georgialee

    georgialee Newbie

    Thanks MossyMo! I will give this a try.[​IMG]
  6. georgialee

    georgialee Newbie

    It worked. Just took a hot rag and held it onto the temp stick on the back right side. Good to go. Now to let it preheat and get the meat on.
    Thanks guy- This websit rocks. Quick responses[​IMG][​IMG]
  7. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad it worked for you. What are you smoking today? Pictures of your smoking creations are appreciated !!!

    Smokers are like pets, gotta spend a little time getting to know their likes and dislikes. Hard to beleive a hunk of metal could have a personality, but they do !!!
  8. georgialee

    georgialee Newbie

    I just went out with the dog and checked it only to find it was showing the trouble code. I am afraid I lost too much time today to get it done in time for dinner. I will have to wait for Sat. to come around when it will be above freezing and I can spend some quality time with it. As for me it will be a lazy day watching football. Thanks for the info guys. It will come in handy.
    I will be researching rubs for next weekend.
    I will be sure to post pics as it progresses.
  9. After further experimenting with my MES, the computer won't start until the thermocouple reads over 32F. When it's really cold here, I end up hanging the hot washcloth off of the thermocouple, and leaving it in there with the door shut for a while. I'll come back and check it in 20-30 to make sure it's still on and nice and warm inside; that's when I will remove the washcloth. I also screwed up once and thought that when I got the unit to kick on it would be fine, but when the temp dropped below 31 because I didn't leave the source of heat on the probe, it turned off on me.

    So far my only problem has been this EAAF code. I can live with this work-around for cold weather smoking. This unit is too inexpensive and easy to use (set it and forget it overnight) to not think it's worth it. I'm going to add a smoke daddy and call it good!
  10. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If your MES warranty hasn't expired, then take it back! Something is wrong with the controller. You should contact Masterbuilt and see how they can help you. Having to put a hot washcloth to keep the temp above 32º is just plain BS hassle. The outdoor ambient shouldn't be a factor unless it is extremely cold, say 15º and colder. There are guys here that have used their MES when the temps were around Zeroº.
  11. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have pulled the plug and then waited 10 seconds before re plugging it in. That resets the darn thing sometimes in cold weather. Sometimes works sometimes doesn't. I put 4 wheels on a piece of plywood and set the MES on that, now I wheel it inside the night before using it. Then get it up to about 60f indoors, then wheel it outside and it works fine.
    Pain in the butt sometimes but it is a good smoker.

    PS mine is an older model 30" .
  12. jwneural

    jwneural Newbie

    The problem is a low temperature as measured by the probe on the back INSIDE of the MES.  When I start a smoke on a cold day, I light a can of sterno in the water pan to pre-heat the interior of the smoker.
  13. I have a small metal heater for under the desk that I plug in and warm up the thermometer inside the box. It gets warm enough and then the heating element kicks in. I let it warm up good and that helps really get it going. Us northerners need to do this for about 5 months when we prepare to smoke a day away and it is cold and dark when we start.
  14. rickyldd

    rickyldd Newbie

    This is great advice for anything electrical esp. tv's, cable boxes, etc. Learned this from my son that was taught it in electronic school.

    Also I have read that some put hot or boiling water before trying to preheat.
  15. richsmoker

    richsmoker Newbie

    Easier yet, bring a lighter out and hold 2 to 3 inches below the thermostat on the back wall. Temperature display kicks on and as soon as is says 40, you can program it and smoker light kicks on. Thanks everyone!!
  16. beatrice

    beatrice Newbie

    I am in Montana. It has been a balmy -35 for the past few days. I used a hair dryer inside the unit on the chip tray, it did the trick after about one minute. Super easy!
  17. tim hone

    tim hone Newbie

    I have a Landmann Smokey Mountain Great Outdoors.  I am getting Error 2.

    It seems to be related to the thermostat control.  Any ideas or how to fix?
  18. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    Mine has been giving me trouble for some time. I decided to try removing the screws for the controller, unplugging and replugging it and then put the screws back in. It must have been a bit of corrosion in the connector, because after I did this, the MES has been working fine. How long that will last, I don't know. Before, I could see the temperature readings all over the place, going from verly low to very high and back. Now the temperature readings are stable again and I don't get the EAAF error code. When it gets cold, I'll have to see if it still works.
  19. ERR1 Error Code is caused by the thermistor indicating too hot a temperature. The thermistor is inside the small metallic tube a few inches from the inside top of the cooking box.

    I had a 10K ohm potentiometer on hand so I used it to collect some information about the control electronics. After removing the thermistor from the circuit and placing the potentiometer

    in the circuit, I was able to capture data on the system. I would set the potentiometer and then record what temperature the system was seeing. 

    From the graph, the thermistor appears to be 33K at 25 degrees C with a Beta value of 4200. (Thermistors are speced at 25C with a known Beta.)

    The thermistor that I pulled from the unit at one point showed a resistance of 110 ohms and at another time 4.9K. It was clearly defective.

    By the way, with the original thermistor in the circuit, we could not get the heating element to come on. The ERR1 error code would also appear. 

    However, when we installed the potentiometer, we could dial in the temperature simulating a working thermistor. With the pot in place, we then could get the 

    heating element to turn on. 

    We have ordered a replacement thermistor from DigiKey, part number 541-1205-ND. This is a Vishay part, part number 04T3302JF.

    It may not fit in the original tube so we may have to create a replacement tube for the device.

  20. The Digikey replacement part has brought this smoker back to life. The ERR1 code is gone.

    The following chart plots the reading from the control unit vs the actual temperature taken with an infrared thermometer. 

    There is a 30F offset but this is easily overcome: the control unit reads 30F higher than the actual. If you wish to smoke at 210, set the temperature to 240.


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