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MES30 GFCI trip

mooch91

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All,

I've read most of the posts about MES30 smokers tripping GFCIs.

I have a unit that is now about 6 years old. After only 5 years and about 20 smokes, it started tripping the GFCI outlet where I plug it in, mid smoke.

I set it aside and am now getting back to it.

Most of the issues seem to point to the heating element. So I replaced that today. It still trips the GFCI. It seems to trip out when it's getting near/at the setpoint temperature, in this case it was 250 F.

Before this started happening, I had done two things. First, I wiped down the interior of the smoker real well using a wet rag. I dried it for a week before starting it up again. The other thing that happened is it sat outside in the rain for about a week - with the cover on - but it was damp underneath when I went to start it up.

I also opened up the bottom panel and nothing looks corroded or greasy. In fact, the unit all looks very clean.

My next step is probably to open the back panel.

Anyone have any ideas or experience with this that turned out to be other than the heating element?

Thanks!
 

Winterrider

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Does it function properly if not into gfci outlet or tried that ?
 

SecondHandSmoker

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Did you replace the old terminals on the wire leads when you replaced the heating element?
Also, the high temp cut out sensor or the controller itself could be the culprits.

tallbm tallbm has excellent instructions on things to do and check. He also has an excellent tutorial on wiring up an Auber PID which might be something you want consider.

Have you tried using any other high amp draw equipment on that GFCI circuit?
 

mooch91

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Did you replace the old terminals on the wire leads when you replaced the heating element?
Also, the high temp cut out sensor or the controller itself could be the culprits.

tallbm tallbm has excellent instructions on things to do and check. He also has an excellent tutorial on wiring up an Auber PID which might be something you want consider.

Have you tried using any other high amp draw equipment on that GFCI circuit?
I took the back panel off, and it looks like the high temp cutout is the issue. The box surrounding the switch had some rusty corrosion on it, and when I took it off, one of the terminals was barely left, both had a lot of corrosion.

I also found that the ground for the heating element was barely connected on the other end by the power cord. The nut was loose and the connector had a lot of movement. I will clean that up while I'm here.

Looks like I'm looking for a new high temp switch and connectors...
 

SecondHandSmoker

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I took the back panel off, and it looks like the high temp cutout is the issue. The box surrounding the switch had some rusty corrosion on it, and when I took it off, one of the terminals was barely left, both had a lot of corrosion.

I also found that the ground for the heating element was barely connected on the other end by the power cord. The nut was loose and the connector had a lot of movement. I will clean that up while I'm here.

Looks like I'm looking for a new high temp switch and connectors...
Sounds like you're getting to the bottom of it.
I do believe replacement cutout sensors are available on Amazon.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember right off hand which one tallbm tallbm recommends.
 

tallbm

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Thanks. I ordered the cutout switch (pack of 5) and the high temp stake-on quick disconnects from Amazon. Should be here Monday.
Hi there and welcome!!!

Sorry for the late replies I was unavailable all weekend.
The KSD301 switches come in 2 different physical styles. One that is in like 2 pieces and the other that is one solid piece. You want the style that is one solid piece and is 150C temp. This one is an exact replacement at the correct temp and correct style:

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Also these switches are super cheap and delicate. If you wiggle the connector tab where it moves in any way at the base where it fastens to the back plastic part of the switch... it will melt down on you at some point. Hell being super cheap Chinese quality switches they will melt down on you at some point anyhow.
If it ever melts down in a smoke and you don't have any additional switches or time is of the essense just make sure the smoker is off and then clip the ends off the switch and wire nut the wires together and you can get by until you can replace it with another switch. Just understand that you have cut out the safety cuttoff switch... which is burned up at that point anyhow lol.

I hope this info helps :)
 

mooch91

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Hi there and welcome!!!

Sorry for the late replies I was unavailable all weekend.
The KSD301 switches come in 2 different physical styles. One that is in like 2 pieces and the other that is one solid piece. You want the style that is one solid piece and is 150C temp. This one is an exact replacement at the correct temp and correct style:

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Also these switches are super cheap and delicate. If you wiggle the connector tab where it moves in any way at the base where it fastens to the back plastic part of the switch... it will melt down on you at some point. Hell being super cheap Chinese quality switches they will melt down on you at some point anyhow.
If it ever melts down in a smoke and you don't have any additional switches or time is of the essense just make sure the smoker is off and then clip the ends off the switch and wire nut the wires together and you can get by until you can replace it with another switch. Just understand that you have cut out the safety cuttoff switch... which is burned up at that point anyhow lol.

I hope this info helps :)
Ahh rats. The ones I received today are the two-piece design. I will take a look at the ones you sent the link for. Though I don't think they will be received until next Wednesday. Maybe I'll contemplate cleaning up the connectors on the existing one and putting it back in temporarily (it does appear to have shorted from water and the stake-on was the failure point). Thanks!
 

tallbm

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Ahh rats. The ones I received today are the two-piece design. I will take a look at the ones you sent the link for. Though I don't think they will be received until next Wednesday. Maybe I'll contemplate cleaning up the connectors on the existing one and putting it back in temporarily (it does appear to have shorted from water and the stake-on was the failure point). Thanks!
If you are open to suggestions I would simply cut a hole/panel into the back sheet metal so you can easily access the safety rollout limit switch.
I would just cut the wires off the existing switch and wire nut them together.
Use a piece of sheet metal/aluminum to cover the hole and screw it in with sheet metal screws.

Then when you get the correct switches in I would take off your panel, undo the wire nut, and put the new switch in with the wire and spades all hooked up properly.

The problem with trying to use the existing switch is that they are super cheap switches and with the corrosion you noticed the switch was overheating causing the smoker to shut off. Those plastic backed switches do not live long especially if it was heating up to 300F internally.
That switch cannot live for long so you may as well set it all up to be changed once and setup to change easily again in the future :)

I've fought with this stuff a bit so I speak from experience here hahaha. You will save yourself a lot of time and grief taking the approach I am recommending.

I hope this info helps :)
 

mooch91

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Joined Oct 28, 2014
If you are open to suggestions I would simply cut a hole/panel into the back sheet metal so you can easily access the safety rollout limit switch.
I would just cut the wires off the existing switch and wire nut them together.
Use a piece of sheet metal/aluminum to cover the hole and screw it in with sheet metal screws.

Then when you get the correct switches in I would take off your panel, undo the wire nut, and put the new switch in with the wire and spades all hooked up properly.

The problem with trying to use the existing switch is that they are super cheap switches and with the corrosion you noticed the switch was overheating causing the smoker to shut off. Those plastic backed switches do not live long especially if it was heating up to 300F internally.
That switch cannot live for long so you may as well set it all up to be changed once and setup to change easily again in the future :)

I've fought with this stuff a bit so I speak from experience here hahaha. You will save yourself a lot of time and grief taking the approach I am recommending.

I hope this info helps :)
Thanks tallbm tallbm , I will probably just over-ride the switch if I need to do a smoke before the new one arrives. I just wanted to get this thing buttoned back up, it's been all over my basement for a couple of weeks now.

In terms of the new stake-on connectors - is it advised to heat shrink around them? I know the existing ones have some sort of insulation on them, but I wasn't sure if heat shrink would be appropriate for the temperatures. I imagine the switch is of lower potential temperature than the heating element. Thanks.
 

tallbm

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Thanks tallbm tallbm , I will probably just over-ride the switch if I need to do a smoke before the new one arrives. I just wanted to get this thing buttoned back up, it's been all over my basement for a couple of weeks now.

In terms of the new stake-on connectors - is it advised to heat shrink around them? I know the existing ones have some sort of insulation on them, but I wasn't sure if heat shrink would be appropriate for the temperatures. I imagine the switch is of lower potential temperature than the heating element. Thanks.
I was able to find some 300F working temp heat shrink insulation. Electric tape would work as well and usually has a higher working temp.
Pro tip, gently tap the the connectors onto the tabs of the safety switch but starting a connector on both tabs and then tapping with the hammer and rotate until the connectors are on. This keeps from wiggling and bending the tabs at the base where they connect to the plastic of the switch, u want no wiggling!
Next connect the wire to the connectors.
Finally fasten the switch to the MES.

If you do things in that order you greatly reduce the chance of wiggling or moving the switch's tabs. I'm telling you if you cause them to move at the base at all then that switch is not gonna last very long lol. Expect to replace at least 3 or more of those things in over the next 2-3 years.
Hence the need to cut a panel if one doesnt exist :)
 

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