6 Months and my MES is Broken!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dom, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. dom

    dom Newbie

    I am in the process of cooking some spareribs today, as well as the wicked beans.

    30" mess that I bought in June 2009.

    I've used it at least 10 times since then, last time was thanksgiving when I smoked a turkey breast (came out awesome).

    When I started up my MES earlier this morning, the digital display did not display correctly (i.e., the numbers do not all light up). Wasn't too much of a problem, and I was able to set temp and time.

    Then, during cooking, the system just shut down. Don't know why, but it happened a couple of times. Luckily, I was around and monitoring closely. I was able to unplug the unit and restart each time, and it has been OK for the last hour or so.

    I figured it probably has something to do with the electrical wiring as described in the sticky. OK, I thought, maybe I'll rewire the unit when I get a chance.

    Then, I opened up the door to the unit, and the latch broke off!!

    Just not my day. I still need about another hour on the ribs, so right now, I have the door duct-taped shut.

    I tried to call Masterbuilt, but they are closed. Will try again tomorrow, but I am thinking I may just need to wait until Monday when everyone is back from the holidays?

    Anyone have their latch just break off? It looks like it should be an easy fix, but what with the wiring and the latch all going on me in one day, I think maybe Masterbuilt needs to make something right here.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, and hope your day is going better than mine.
  2. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic

    I hope tomorrow is a better day for you! From what I hear, Masterbuilt is pretty good about their warranty service, just hang in there.
  3. jamminjimi

    jamminjimi Meat Mopper

    If it is the two rivets that hold the latch together. Yes one of mine broke within a day. I was able to finish the smoke. Went to Ace hardware and picked up a split rivet. This worked real good. I did call Masterbuilt and they are sending a replacement.
  4. dom

    dom Newbie

    I called Mastebuilt this morning, and spoke to a very nice lady who is going to be sending me a new controller and new latch.

    I figure in the meantime, I will try to get a hold of some high-temp wire and redo the connections to the heating element, per the sticky. I checked Radioshack and Home Depot this morning, and neither had the high temp wire. My guess is I may just have an easier time finding some online and ordering it.

    Does anybody know what guage wire they use for the repair? I'm guessing 12ga?

  5. jdsmith

    jdsmith Smoke Blower

    Good luck getting a hold of Masterbuilt on the phone.
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Check with local your electrical suppliers for Hi Temp Wire... You should be able to buy it by the foot...
  7. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    After the holiday should be no problem, they treated me well when mine went down
  8. dom

    dom Newbie

    No problem getting them on the phone. They picked up right away.
  9. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you using an extension cord?

    When you unplugged the MES did you do a hard reset? This requires that once you start the MES and the light is on, you power down the MES using the controller then unplug, wait a few seconds then replug and switch MES back on.

    I had problems with the MES controller during the first couple of weeks, it seemed to not be working, I had to get rid of the extension cord, I did the unplug thing but not a reset. Then I finally read about the hard reset steps, and haven't had a problem sense, don't ask me why. However there has been a couple of times I thought the MES wasn't heating correctly, and as a precaution I do the hard reset. Otherwise personally have had zero problems with my MES (purchased June 08).
  10. dom

    dom Newbie

    Today I did take off the back cover and inspected the connections to the heater element. Believe it or not, everything looked good. I cleaned it all up, and ensured that everything was tight, and replaced the back using stainless steel screws.

    I do use an extension cord, but it is a 10ga cord, and short (10 ft, IIRC). Hasn't been a problem, and I searched this site before using it, and have seen that others have been OK with a 10ga cord. I've used the cord since the unit was new.

    Hopefully, I'll get the new controller from Masterbuilt and that will solve my problems. Now that I replaced the rivets with screws on the backing, should be easy enough to take apart next time.

    I was even thinking about fabricating some sort of quick access door to the heater element connections- may do that sometime when I get a chance.
  11. dom

    dom Newbie

    Today I received a new controller and latch from Masterbuilt. Very happy. Can't wait to install and use it.
  12. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Where did you get a 10' x 10ga ext. cord, I have been looking for one locally for some time?

    Thats great, hopefully this is the solution, I anxious to hear how it works out.
  13. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    sounds like a good ending to the story.[​IMG]
  14. dom

    dom Newbie

  15. cruizer

    cruizer Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So how do you feel about their service now? [​IMG]
  16. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I needed some good connectors and better grade wiring for a refurb on my MES so I cruised the nearby alleys . The first alley I tried I Found an old electric stove waiting for the garbage pickup.

    The Oven element looked brand new. In fact the old guy who threw it out gave me a hand loading the thing onto my truck and said that everything on it worked and that a week ago he had just paid a repairman $120.00 to put that new element in for him. He just hated the avocado color. After he spent all that money His wife told him she wanted a new stove so they ordered a new white one. He was going to call the electrician to come and wire up the plug in for him. Probably anothe $120 so I wired up his new stove for him. ( just installed the new 220v required cord and plug in it only took me about 30 minutes tops.) Seemed like a fair thing to do. Plus made a new friend.

    I took it home and cannibalized it for spare elements, wire, connectors, controllers, racks and all sorts of useful things. I considered making an oven smoker out of it by drilling a hole in the side of it for my smoke daddy and setting it up in the back yard near the garage which is wired for 220v but SWMBO quickly put the kibosh on that idea.

    I took the cannibalized body of it to the dump they took it for free so all I was out was gas money. On appliance pickup days which happen twice a year in our town there are always lots of old stoves being tossed out.
  17. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    You can also check out local appliance/repair stores. They often have old stoves for discard. That's where I was able find my suppy of high temp wires and connectors.

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