• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Surprise, MES 40" not heating and Masterbuilt is no help

7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
I am new to this forum so I am sure there are several threads here that can help me. My MES 40" is only a couple of years old and the unit is in good shape. However, it will not heat when the control panel lights are on. Masterbuilt, in their generic email suggested a new heating element. So, I bought one and replaced it and surprise, it still does not heat. This makes me think it is the circuit board on the bottom of the unit, but I have no idea how to test that or if it's even replaceable. I was hoping someone here has a solution on how I could use the "shell" of my MES but use an external control to operate it and bypass the MES junk. I did see a thread here on a PID controller, but it wasn't clear to me if that would solve my problem. I will never buy another MES, but right now I don't want to pull the trigger and get a 1k Camp Chef either. Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated. I am trying to get ready for the holidays so my MES crapped out on me at a bad time.
 

postmeister

Newbie
17
5
Joined Aug 20, 2020
If it wasn't the heating element,it's more likely the safety roll out switch. tallbm is well verse in this area, he has some detail info that will get you going again.

If you really need to get going in short order, bypass the safety switch.
 

normanaj

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,740
1,083
Joined Feb 2, 2014
Get a hold of tallbm tallbm here on the forums,he's the electronic genius on the forums when it comes to the MES.
 

Brokenhandle

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,751
3,431
Joined Nov 9, 2019
I would seriously consider getting an auber pid controller for your mes 40... there are threads here on how to do the rewire. It will make it a totally new smoker, being able to hold temps within a degree or two! Also I believe chopsaw chopsaw is knowledgeable about them also.

Ryan
 

cmayna

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,446
1,116
Joined Jun 23, 2012
Back when, I bypassed all of my dead smoker's wiring and connected a power cord directly to the heating element via new high temp connectors. Plugged this power cord to my Auber WS-1510elpm PID controller. Never looked back. Very reliable.
 
Last edited:

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,750
2,749
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I am new to this forum so I am sure there are several threads here that can help me. My MES 40" is only a couple of years old and the unit is in good shape. However, it will not heat when the control panel lights are on. Masterbuilt, in their generic email suggested a new heating element. So, I bought one and replaced it and surprise, it still does not heat. This makes me think it is the circuit board on the bottom of the unit, but I have no idea how to test that or if it's even replaceable. I was hoping someone here has a solution on how I could use the "shell" of my MES but use an external control to operate it and bypass the MES junk. I did see a thread here on a PID controller, but it wasn't clear to me if that would solve my problem. I will never buy another MES, but right now I don't want to pull the trigger and get a 1k Camp Chef either. Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated. I am trying to get ready for the holidays so my MES crapped out on me at a bad time.
Hi there and welcome!

I'm positive we can figure this out and confident it's a simple fix.

The likely culprit is your roll out safety limit switch. It's wired in so that if your smoker ever just kept heating and got to hot it would cut the power off to the heating element.

This area is one of the major failure points on the MES because Masterbuilt uses the crappiest connectors known to man hahaha. So the connectors have gone bad and/or the switch itself has melted down.

This is the switch:

Inside, looks like a circle around this area of the inside back wall.
1637285907597.png




If you are luck the back of your smoker has a panel and you can get to it. If not you will have to pull the back off or cut a panel back there without cutting too deep into the metal to cut insulation and wires if they are around.
full?d=1507244320.jpg


Once you get to the switch from the back of the smoker it will look something like this. It can also be horizontal instead of vertical.
upload_2019-4-12_21-26-45-jpeg.jpg




So the connectors have corroded and fell apart. And/or the plastic switch has melted.
If the switch is failing you can cut the 2 ends, wire nut together, and wrap in electric tape so if it comes loose you don't hit metal. Simple.

Here's high temp connectors that are much better than the trash MB uses.
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Here is a replacement switch... GET THIS EXACT ONE! There are two different styles that look the same but are not the same so get this exact one if you want to replace a melted down one. Also these things are super delicate. If you wiggle the tabs at all from the back of the switch it will fail on you within months and you will be back at replacing it again.

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
For now to get you up and running you can wire nut those two ends together and bypass the switch but understand you safety switch is gone. Chances are you never will need it but it's there for a reason so it's up to your discretion.


Now if you want to turn this MES into a beast you can do a simple rewire (cut 4 wire ends, splice to make 2 wires) and use what is called a PID Controller ($150) and it will be like turning a golf cart into a Ferrari!!!!
Best electric smoker out there is an MES you get for cheap or free, rewire, and throw a PID onto. It's 50X better than anything Masterbuilt makes brand new and you will keep yours running forever once you change those connectors to hi temp ones and with the fact that you have a backup heating element should your new one go out :)

I hope this info helps :)
 
7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
Hi there and welcome!

I'm positive we can figure this out and confident it's a simple fix.

The likely culprit is your roll out safety limit switch. It's wired in so that if your smoker ever just kept heating and got to hot it would cut the power off to the heating element.

This area is one of the major failure points on the MES because Masterbuilt uses the crappiest connectors known to man hahaha. So the connectors have gone bad and/or the switch itself has melted down.

This is the switch:

Inside, looks like a circle around this area of the inside back wall.
View attachment 516724



If you are luck the back of your smoker has a panel and you can get to it. If not you will have to pull the back off or cut a panel back there without cutting too deep into the metal to cut insulation and wires if they are around.
View attachment 516725


Once you get to the switch from the back of the smoker it will look something like this. It can also be horizontal instead of vertical.
View attachment 516726




So the connectors have corroded and fell apart. And/or the plastic switch has melted.
If the switch is failing you can cut the 2 ends, wire nut together, and wrap in electric tape so if it comes loose you don't hit metal. Simple.

Here's high temp connectors that are much better than the trash MB uses.
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Here is a replacement switch... GET THIS EXACT ONE! There are two different styles that look the same but are not the same so get this exact one if you want to replace a melted down one. Also these things are super delicate. If you wiggle the tabs at all from the back of the switch it will fail on you within months and you will be back at replacing it again.

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
For now to get you up and running you can wire nut those two ends together and bypass the switch but understand you safety switch is gone. Chances are you never will need it but it's there for a reason so it's up to your discretion.


Now if you want to turn this MES into a beast you can do a simple rewire (cut 4 wire ends, splice to make 2 wires) and use what is called a PID Controller ($150) and it will be like turning a golf cart into a Ferrari!!!!
Best electric smoker out there is an MES you get for cheap or free, rewire, and throw a PID onto. It's 50X better than anything Masterbuilt makes brand new and you will keep yours running forever once you change those connectors to hi temp ones and with the fact that you have a backup heating element should your new one go out :)

I hope this info helps :)
Hi there and welcome!

I'm positive we can figure this out and confident it's a simple fix.

The likely culprit is your roll out safety limit switch. It's wired in so that if your smoker ever just kept heating and got to hot it would cut the power off to the heating element.

This area is one of the major failure points on the MES because Masterbuilt uses the crappiest connectors known to man hahaha. So the connectors have gone bad and/or the switch itself has melted down.

This is the switch:

Inside, looks like a circle around this area of the inside back wall.
View attachment 516724



If you are luck the back of your smoker has a panel and you can get to it. If not you will have to pull the back off or cut a panel back there without cutting too deep into the metal to cut insulation and wires if they are around.
View attachment 516725


Once you get to the switch from the back of the smoker it will look something like this. It can also be horizontal instead of vertical.
View attachment 516726




So the connectors have corroded and fell apart. And/or the plastic switch has melted.
If the switch is failing you can cut the 2 ends, wire nut together, and wrap in electric tape so if it comes loose you don't hit metal. Simple.

Here's high temp connectors that are much better than the trash MB uses.
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Here is a replacement switch... GET THIS EXACT ONE! There are two different styles that look the same but are not the same so get this exact one if you want to replace a melted down one. Also these things are super delicate. If you wiggle the tabs at all from the back of the switch it will fail on you within months and you will be back at replacing it again.

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
For now to get you up and running you can wire nut those two ends together and bypass the switch but understand you safety switch is gone. Chances are you never will need it but it's there for a reason so it's up to your discretion.


Now if you want to turn this MES into a beast you can do a simple rewire (cut 4 wire ends, splice to make 2 wires) and use what is called a PID Controller ($150) and it will be like turning a golf cart into a Ferrari!!!!
Best electric smoker out there is an MES you get for cheap or free, rewire, and throw a PID onto. It's 50X better than anything Masterbuilt makes brand new and you will keep yours running forever once you change those connectors to hi temp ones and with the fact that you have a backup heating element should your new one go out :)

I hope this info helps :)
Thank you. This was very helpful. I will order those parts to get it up and running for the holidays. Can you please tell me how to turn my POS MES into a "beast". I am almost sure I saw your thread on how to do this during my research, but I cannot find it again (like a dummy, I did not bookmark it). Also, could you tell me the exact Auber? PID controller I need to get and the best place to get them? Again, I really appreciate your (and others that replied) help. Thanks again.
 

postmeister

Newbie
17
5
Joined Aug 20, 2020
I don't have this particular one, but seems like folks prefer this:


Also search this site for PID will turn up quite a few.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,750
2,749
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Thank you. This was very helpful. I will order those parts to get it up and running for the holidays. Can you please tell me how to turn my POS MES into a "beast". I am almost sure I saw your thread on how to do this during my research, but I cannot find it again (like a dummy, I did not bookmark it). Also, could you tell me the exact Auber? PID controller I need to get and the best place to get them? Again, I really appreciate your (and others that replied) help. Thanks again.
No problem!

Here's my simple rewire thread, it is full of detailed info. In short you cut the ends off 4 wires and then splice the proper ends together to make 2 whole wires and then the plug will feed power to the heating element WITH the safety switch still in the mix :)


From there you get an Auber PID. The MES plugs into the PID. The PID plugs into the wall for power and feeds power to the MES. The PID also has a thermometer you drop down into the smoker so it can measure temp. Finally you set a temp in the PID and it cuts power on/off to the MES until it hits and holds the set temp dead on or within 2 degrees or so. Nice and simple :)

P postmeister is showing you the Auber PID I would suggest, get the multi purpose probe:

This one is powerful enough to handle your MES. If you go up in price and features from this model it should be fine but don't go downards into the 12XX models, they are questionable on being strong enough to run the smoker.

A number of guys have been getting the WIFI unit which is more expensive but easier to configure with the phone app.
The Auber PIDs are not hard to configure, it's just that the manual seems like it was written by a drunk 2nd grader hahaha. Once you understand the steps and button presses its not difficult, you just write that down in like 3 instructions and you won't ever have to try and decipher that manual again haha.

So rewire and Auber PID and your smoker will be "beast" for sure and 50x better than anything Masterbuilt makes brand new.

I hope this info helps :)
 
7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
No problem!

Here's my simple rewire thread, it is full of detailed info. In short you cut the ends off 4 wires and then splice the proper ends together to make 2 whole wires and then the plug will feed power to the heating element WITH the safety switch still in the mix :)


From there you get an Auber PID. The MES plugs into the PID. The PID plugs into the wall for power and feeds power to the MES. The PID also has a thermometer you drop down into the smoker so it can measure temp. Finally you set a temp in the PID and it cuts power on/off to the MES until it hits and holds the set temp dead on or within 2 degrees or so. Nice and simple :)

P postmeister is showing you the Auber PID I would suggest, get the multi purpose probe:

This one is powerful enough to handle your MES. If you go up in price and features from this model it should be fine but don't go downards into the 12XX models, they are questionable on being strong enough to run the smoker.

A number of guys have been getting the WIFI unit which is more expensive but easier to configure with the phone app.
The Auber PIDs are not hard to configure, it's just that the manual seems like it was written by a drunk 2nd grader hahaha. Once you understand the steps and button presses its not difficult, you just write that down in like 3 instructions and you won't ever have to try and decipher that manual again haha.

So rewire and Auber PID and your smoker will be "beast" for sure and 50x better than anything Masterbuilt makes brand new.

I hope this info helps :)
Awesome. Again, thank you very much. Your help is much appreciated. I just bought the PID you recommended. I will follow your directions to convert my smoker to "beast" status and let you know how it goes in about a week or so. I will post pics as well. IF I have an issues/questions, I will post those too, if that's ok. Maybe I will like this conversion so much I won't need or want to buy a pellet smoker and save myself a lot of $.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,750
2,749
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Awesome. Again, thank you very much. Your help is much appreciated. I just bought the PID you recommended. I will follow your directions to convert my smoker to "beast" status and let you know how it goes in about a week or so. I will post pics as well. IF I have an issues/questions, I will post those too, if that's ok. Maybe I will like this conversion so much I won't need or want to buy a pellet smoker and save myself a lot of $.
No problem!

I have a sneaky suspicion that you will love what your smoker is about to become and will forget all about a new pellet smoker. Why? All of us PID guys have been like "WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!!!???" hahahha.

Now to set expectations. If you don't already have and use an A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) tray you will very much want to add that to your setup. This is not a negative since all of us electric guys use it whether we have PIDs or not. With the tray you can get 12hours of perfect smoke without fooling with it but you may need to build a simple mailbox mod. I couldn't get mine to run inside my MES40 but I built a mailbox mod and boom 12 hours of smoke heaven! Plus a bag of pellets lasts FOREVER so major bonus on saving money on wood.

FYI, I suggest you make a panel to access your safety rollout limit switch. Those cheap switches can die fast or last a while, this is why they come in packs rather than 1 at a time haha.
If that switch ever craps out on you you can easily access it and wire nut the wires together and keep on smoking. I personally put in a switch that would cut off at 356F so I could do 325F skin on poultry smokes. It's the only time I run my smoker that high and is done well under 4 hours so I don't stress the insulation. Just food for thought since I basically have no limitations with my setup having gone that route. And when my switches die I also wire nut the wires together.

Nothing stops me for more than 20 minutes these days :)
 

Ringer

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
215
157
Joined Sep 10, 2019
+1 on the auber pid. I love mine now. The mb had been sitting 3 or 4 years unused and this makes it a pleasure to use
 
7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
Awesome. Again, thank you very much. Your help is much appreciated. I just bought the PID you recommended. I will follow your directions to convert my smoker to "beast" status and let you know how it goes in about a week or so. I will post pics as well. IF I have an issues/questions, I will post those too, if that's ok. Maybe I will like this conversion so much I won't need or want to buy a pellet smoker and save myself a lot of $.
 

Attachments

7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
Good afternoon and happy early TG. Getting ready to do the mod on my MES 40 as you recommended. My Auber PID should be here sometime today. I have a couple of questions before I change my smoker over. 1- should I worry about the burnt up insulation near the heating element (please see attached)? If I need to replace the burnt up insulation, what should I use? 2- When I convert it to the PID, do I need to worry about the temp control sensor? I did order them like you suggested, but was not sure if that was for the quick fix you suggested or it needs to be done when converting to the PID. Again, happy turkey day and I would expect you will be busy with family and friends, so I will hope for a response early next week. Enjoy and cheers!
 
7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
Good afternoon and happy early TG. Getting ready to do the mod on my MES 40 as you recommended. My Auber PID should be here sometime today. I have a couple of questions before I change my smoker over. 1- should I worry about the burnt up insulation near the heating element (please see attached)? If I need to replace the burnt up insulation, what should I use? 2- When I convert it to the PID, do I need to worry about the temp control sensor? I did order them like you suggested, but was not sure if that was for the quick fix you suggested or it needs to be done when converting to the PID. Again, happy turkey day and I would expect you will be busy with family and friends, so I will hope for a response early next week. Enjoy and cheers!
Here is a pic of my MES 40 control board to make sure you don't see any major issues with your re-wire suggestions. I go really slow with electrical work. I don't like it and it scares me a little :) . I've rewired most of a older house, but I just don't like working with electrical stuff. Makes me feel stupid and jittery!
 

Attachments

7
1
Joined Nov 2, 2021
Here is a pic of my MES 40 control board to make sure you don't see any major issues with your re-wire suggestions. I go really slow with electrical work. I don't like it and it scares me a little :) . I've rewired most of a older house, but I just don't like working with electrical stuff. Makes me feel stupid and jittery!
I don't mean to be a pain in the butt (no good deed goes unpunished!). But, I have a few more questions that your re-mod did not address that I could see. 1- you can see in the pic attached that I went to pry the temp control sensor cover off and then stopped. 2- the pic of the temp control sensor is riveted in 4 places. I assume that 2 are for the sensor and 2 are for the cover. I also want to make sure that my next assumption is correct. Do I drill out the rivets to get to the temp control sensor? IF I do, do I reattach both with screws or nuts/bolts?
 

Attachments

cmayna

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,446
1,116
Joined Jun 23, 2012
As I mentioned earlier, I connected another power cord directly to the heating element, bypassing all of the MES wiring mess. Plugged the new power cord into the Auber PID.

Since the Auber PID has it's own temp sensor probe, I really see no sense in monkeying around with the MES's wiring. Just skip the mess.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,750
2,749
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Hi, I have answers to all your questions. Just now getting time to respond :D

Good afternoon and happy early TG. Getting ready to do the mod on my MES 40 as you recommended. My Auber PID should be here sometime today. I have a couple of questions before I change my smoker over. 1- should I worry about the burnt up insulation near the heating element (please see attached)? If I need to replace the burnt up insulation, what should I use? 2- When I convert it to the PID, do I need to worry about the temp control sensor? I did order them like you suggested, but was not sure if that was for the quick fix you suggested or it needs to be done when converting to the PID. Again, happy turkey day and I would expect you will be busy with family and friends, so I will hope for a response early next week. Enjoy and cheers!
1. No need to worry about the insulation you will be ok :)
2. Nope don't worry about that existing sensor it will not work.

Here is a pic of my MES 40 control board to make sure you don't see any major issues with your re-wire suggestions. I go really slow with electrical work. I don't like it and it scares me a little :) . I've rewired most of a older house, but I just don't like working with electrical stuff. Makes me feel stupid and jittery!
Connect:
  • Black to Red
  • White to Blue
You should be good to go there. This will keep the safety switch in the loop to feed power to the element but bypass all other electronics. If the safety switch is burned up or the connectors on it are corroded away you will have to replace the busted pieces or just wire nut the two ends together and not have a switch.
I suggest cutting a rectangle and making a panel with some sheet metal and self tapping sheet metal screws over the hole, then you can get back to it later.


I don't mean to be a pain in the butt (no good deed goes unpunished!). But, I have a few more questions that your re-mod did not address that I could see. 1- you can see in the pic attached that I went to pry the temp control sensor cover off and then stopped. 2- the pic of the temp control sensor is riveted in 4 places. I assume that 2 are for the sensor and 2 are for the cover. I also want to make sure that my next assumption is correct. Do I drill out the rivets to get to the temp control sensor? IF I do, do I reattach both with screws or nuts/bolts?
You're no pain in the butt at all lol :)

1 & 2. looks like you will have to drill out all of those rivets. Start with the TOP and Bottom one first to get the back compartment off. You may need some screws and nuts to refasten it. Maybe some sheet metal screws will work, that's how mine is fastened from the factory.

Now take the compartment off and if the switch is ok then no need to drill it out. If the switch is ruined (you will know from the back of it) then you can leave it alone and replace it later when the parts come it. It WILL need real screws and nuts for the switch, no sheet metal screws since it is a delicate piece of crap lol.

If connectors and switch are ruined I would just clip the ends off the connectors and wire nut it to get going but understand you have no safety switch in the mix. Should be ok if you monitor your smoker temps well with thermometers. I always have a smoker probe or 3 going :)

I hope this info helps.
 
Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.