MES40 isn't heating up anymore

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moachaser

Newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2015
5
12
Western PA
I have the Masterbuilt 20070311 40-Inch Top Controller Electric Smoker with RF control. It worked perfectly until recently, it started to heat up, got to about 125°, then just stopped heating. The temperature slowly fell until it reached ambient temperature; now the heating element doesn't react at all.
I have disassembled it so that I can test the resistance of the heating element, it seemed to be OK, and I replaced the connectors as one was rusted (but I believe it still worked).

I am thinking it might be the controller but I'm not sure what should be delivered exactly to the heating element voltage/amp wise... so I think I need to figure out if the top controller is bad? The element has 12 ohms of resistance, and I'm seeing 65V AC delivered to the element.

Also... is it possible to get a newer, Wi-Fi enabled controller so that I can just upgrade this smoker rather than having to buy a whole new one? I'd love to have access to the smoker from anywhere.

I'm hoping to avoid re-doing the whole thing (PID, etc) and would like to fix it up as close to original if I can, at least for now.
 
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Yes upgrade with an Auber WIFI PID controller and get a back up element through MB. The dime sized safety thermal snap disk switch on the back wall maybe failing and opening at too low of a temp and resets when cool. I have the 20070311 Gen 1 Mes 40 and cut an access in the back with a Dremel cut off wheel to bypass that sensor with a wire nut and use my pit probe on my digital therm set to 145-290 for an alert. I put the cut piece back in place with foil jacketing tape. I suggest bypassing it to see if it's failing even if you want to keep it in circuit and now you can access it.
 
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Thank you! I opened up the back and found that one of the connectors was corroded off of the high temp safety switch. I bypassed it with a wire nut and it's heating up now. I have one ordered from AliExpress, $9.99 (Masterbuilt was sold out, and other places were $25 if they even had them in stock).

This bought me some time to think about switching to the Auber in the future. I like the idea of being able to warm up my smoker remotely and monitor it besides using my inkbird thermometer. One question about the Auber... the Masterbuilt doesn't allow you to set a temperature above 275°. Can you achieve higher temperatures with the Auber? If so, what's the upper limit for these?
 
You can run temps up a little higher for a short period of time. The insulation can't take the higher temps, that's why the safety switch. The auber PID will make that an A-1 smoker, well worth the investment of $150
 
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Thank you! I opened up the back and found that one of the connectors was corroded off of the high temp safety switch. I bypassed it with a wire nut and it's heating up now. I have one ordered from AliExpress, $9.99 (Masterbuilt was sold out, and other places were $25 if they even had them in stock).

This bought me some time to think about switching to the Auber in the future. I like the idea of being able to warm up my smoker remotely and monitor it besides using my inkbird thermometer. One question about the Auber... the Masterbuilt doesn't allow you to set a temperature above 275°. Can you achieve higher temperatures with the Auber? If so, what's the upper limit for these?
The cheap Aluminum lugs on copper wire and slid onto steel male spades create the alum oxide from opposing metals and corrodes, gets looser, creating resistance and heat till it's just a bare wire with crumbles of the lug below. Supco T1113 horizontal barrel lug and T1111 vertical are on Amazon that are 900* nickle plated steel appliance lugs I solder to the wire at the heating element and if you have the snap disk in circuit . I just tinned the wire with a torch and slid the wire through the uncrimpable steel barrel and heated the end sticking out of the the other end and added solder as it melted. Clipped the excess wire and done. No air no oxidation and nickle plated high heat steel lug on steel male spade.
 
Yes upgrade with an Auber WIFI PID controller and get a back up element through MB. The dime sized safety thermal snap disk switch on the back wall maybe failing and opening at too low of a temp and resets when cool. I have the 20070311 Gen 1 Mes 40 and cut an access in the back with a Dremel cut off wheel to bypass that sensor with a wire nut and use my pit probe on my digital therm set to 145-290 for an alert. I put the cut piece back in place with foil jacketing tape. I suggest bypassing it to see if it's failing even if you want to keep it in circuit and now you can access it.
I have a MB20070122. (ES40G1.5DW1) MFg. Date: 112223. I have had it a couple years and it has been working good. I went to use it a week ago and when the controller is on and calling for heat there is no voltage getting to the heater element.
I have been in contact with MB and after sending them several pictures of my meter while testing voltages I was first told to disconnect the controller and all wire going to the circuit board for 30 minutes to rest everything. After doing this I still had the same issue. I was then told by MB that Heater element was bad. Against my better judgement I replaced the heater element, Both the old and new elements omed out at 17. I am still having the same issue of no voltage at the heater element with controller calling for heat. Also I checked voltage at the circuit board on the wires going to the heater element and with it calling for heat and there is no voltage present.
I am getting tired of MB leading me down a rabbit hole.
Guessing the circuit board has failed or maybe the thermal snap disc switch. Does this unit have one?
Any Ideas?
Thank You,
Mickey
 
I have a MB20070122. (ES40G1.5DW1) MFg. Date: 112223. I have had it a couple years and it has been working good. I went to use it a week ago and when the controller is on and calling for heat there is no voltage getting to the heater element.
I have been in contact with MB and after sending them several pictures of my meter while testing voltages I was first told to disconnect the controller and all wire going to the circuit board for 30 minutes to rest everything. After doing this I still had the same issue. I was then told by MB that Heater element was bad. Against my better judgement I replaced the heater element, Both the old and new elements omed out at 17. I am still having the same issue of no voltage at the heater element with controller calling for heat. Also I checked voltage at the circuit board on the wires going to the heater element and with it calling for heat and there is no voltage present.
I am getting tired of MB leading me down a rabbit hole.
Guessing the circuit board has failed or maybe the thermal snap disc switch. Does this unit have one?
Any Ideas?
Thank You,
Mickey
Cut an access in the back to the dime sized safety switch with a dremel or other cut off wheel. The circuit may be open there and that's what makes folk throw away a good smoker. You may have a bad switch or a corroded connector. It's common. I bypassed mine with a wire nut and is great. I use a pit probe set to a range 145-290 for an alert having the safety switch out of circuit. Some of us have a power cord with connectors on the hot/neutral and connect directly to the element with the ground wrapped around one of the six element access screws to isolate the element to see if it heats. I really hate those failing safety thermal switches/connectors that open at a lower that normal 305* temp or failing completely and keeps the circuit stuck open.
 
Cut an access in the back to the dime sized safety switch with a dremel or other cut off wheel. The circuit may be open there and that's what makes folk throw away a good smoker. You may have a bad switch or a corroded connector. It's common. I bypassed mine with a wire nut and is great. I use a pit probe set to a range 145-290 for an alert having the safety switch out of circuit. Some of us have a power cord with connectors on the hot/neutral and connect directly to the element with the ground wrapped around one of the six element access screws to isolate the element to see if it heats. I really hate those failing safety thermal switches/connectors that open at a lower that normal 305* temp or failing completely and keeps the circuit stuck open.
Kurt,
I will be looking into this over the weekend. I would like to thank you for this information it is greatly appreciated.
I also sent to MB customer support that I replaced the element and am still having the same issue. MB response was " Thank you for providing that information. Based on this information, there appears to be an issue within the internal wiring of the unit. Unfortunately, we no longer have the Body Kit (part number 9907170002) that you are in need of. We suggest checking with popular sites such as www.appliancefactorypartsDOTcom to check their availability. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause."
MB customer service is not impressing me much.
Mscan
 
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Kurt,
I will be looking into this over the weekend. I would like to thank you for this information it is greatly appreciated.
I also sent to MB customer support that I replaced the element and am still having the same issue. MB response was " Thank you for providing that information. Based on this information, there appears to be an issue within the internal wiring of the unit. Unfortunately, we no longer have the Body Kit (part number 9907170002) that you are in need of. We suggest checking with popular sites such as www.appliancefactorypartsDOTcom to check their availability. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause."
MB customer service is not impressing me much.
Mscan
Some bodies have the access but I have cut into two smokers and just eliminated the safety thermal switch, seal with cut piece and alum jacketing vent tape and use an alarm range if not outside with it till done.
 
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