Masterbuilt 30" smoker power cord repair

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by baton420, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. baton420

    baton420 Newbie

    Hello to all,
    This is my1st post so please don't throw pitchforks and rocks at me if something is unclear.

    So for 8 months i was a happy MES owner until one day I've out some marinated ribs in my smoker and discovered this:

    A squirrel ate my MES Power cord. I was very angry at that squirrel. Even tho it won't eat no more cables (ever) but that didn't solve the problem.
    Masterbuild customer support informed me of no known repairs and that i must buy a new body which was 115$ us + Shipping + Import fees (i'm in Canada). So before buying a new smoker, i decided to give it a shot even if i am not a handy man and as my dad says my "hands grow from my ass". I've figured i couldn't do any worse.

    So i've moved the MES in the living room because it live in a condo, have a small balcony and it was around 0celsius (32F) outside.
    I've put the MES on a rug that i found in the closet and started to pray


    Initially i wanted to drill the rivets on the back and open the back of the unit, even removed the wheels when i noticed 2 more little panels at the bottom. They were screwed to the body with 6 and 7 screws.Not sure if it's on purpose but few of the screws were hexagonal stars :S luckily i had the whole set

    I think GOD answered my prayers because there it was! the power cord was easily accessible. This is how the power cord was attached to the electronic board with connectors

    Since i was using my MES with an extension cord. (I know it's wrong, SHOOT ME, but i don't have en electrical plug on the balcony) I have decided to just connect the shortened original cord.After this, everything was relatively quick and painless. I took off the black and white cables which had connectors at the end. I've cut them off, picked up a bag of new connectors from my local electronic store (a bag of 10 connectors for 1.99$).
    This is how it all looked when everything was prepared for the final battle

    So i have put new connectors on the wires, reconnected them and VOILA!
    And one last thing. The original power cord had a stopper located on it to prevent the cable from being pulled out. ANd i am not talking about that screw on cap.  I am referring to the tie-wrap. :)

    I did improve it by putting some electrical tape around the wire before putting the tie-wrap where it's supposed to be.

    The rest is plain simple: Screw back everything you have unscrewed and that's it.

    I am writing this while giving my MES a blank run just to make sure it's in good condition after passing the cold Canadian winter on the balcony.

    Thank you fellow smokers for reading this and i hope it will help some1.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Looks like you did the job correctly . Only thing i would add is when you are using the unit please grab the cord every now and then to check for over heating. MES uses 14 gauge wire which is borderline good for the short cord.that is on the unit. When i had to replace my cord i went up to 12 gauge and stainless connecters .

      If the cord seems to be getting hot you may want to open the unit back up and go to a larger size wire.

     @110 v. the 800 watt unit draws 7.57 amps  110 v 1200 watts is close to 10 amp draw.

    14 gauge is rated for 15 amps. so as long as nothing else is drawing from that circut you should be okay but i would still check the cable the first few times you use the MES.
  3. baton420

    baton420 Newbie

    Thank you for advice, i did not think about that to be honest. Will absolutely keep an eye on it
  4. While there is nothing wrong with going a size bigger on your power cord. But there is no reason to upsize. Size 14 gauge wire will always be more then enough; assuming it is made correctly (think inferior material). 8 amps nominal will never heat your cord up, assuming there is no arcing is going on. Even if you plug your unit (using a constant 8 amps) on 15A circuit, and you start using other devices on the branch circuit, it won't affect the smoker. As it is only using the 8 amps needed. The outlet would be the only concern. As it it common practice to to run 12-2 wire on a 20A circuit, but only use a 15a device. Granted, they are/typically rated with a 20a feed through/pass through rating. You would be surprised how many service calls we get because outlets fail because of this very reason.

    If your cord is heating up (I'm not talking about being in direct sunlight. Granted a heavy duty jacket will solve that problem. Or a jacket/coating with a uv rating will help with deterioration), it's because of arcing/shirt circuiting or at/or over the amperage/voltage rating. While there are other factors that won't come into play here (derating because of ambient temps, temperature rating of wires, multi conductors in the same pathway, etc etc) that can cause wire over heating.

    To put it another way, if 8 amps were to overheat wiring (assuming correct voltage is being applied), they would derate the nominal amperage of 14 guage (14/1-2-3 etc with ground) conductor(s). As house fires would skyrocket. Think attic temperatures. Also should be noted, that 14 gauge wire is actually rated for higher nominal amperage. 15amps is the considered the fail safe for home/appliance usage. You can actually put a bigger load on it, but the code book gives specific examples on these types of usage. But ambient temps, wire temp rating (coating), number of conductors in a pathway, free air usage, etc all come into play.

    This is from my Ugly's book, which is a quick reference guide. The information is taken directly from the NEC code book.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Hmmmm Here we can not use anything smaller than #12 romex in residential and nothing smaller than 12/3 mc or Thhn .in commercial.

     But you are right on the 8 amps not being a problem if nothing else w/ a load is on that circuit. i didn't have a receptical close to where i wanted to cook so i up sized to #12 and use a # 10 25' extension cord.
  6. I think I must have missed something. He said he has a MES 30 I thought they all were 800 watt elements. 800 divided by the nominal 120 volt house current is 6.66 amps. I ran14/3 just to upgrade the 16 AWG  that was on mine. I used a portable pump SO cord that was laying around.

    Baton, Just a word to the wise about your connectors, They may do fine where you replaced the power cord if they are rated for the amperage. They will fail in short order if you use them on your element. There you will have to find High temp. connectors designed for the appliance industry.  Go to a appliance repair shop or a hardware that sells stove elements. I found mine at ACE.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  7. baton420

    baton420 Newbie


    Thanks for hint. I hope nothing will happen to my MES in general but if something does, i will be prepared for it.
    and thank you guy for some great information that might unfortunately be useful with this unit.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You guys amaze me because there is so much to do about electrical repairs to the MES. I just hope I never have to make a repair like this. If I do, I'll be posting a "how-to" request first.
  9. Rick,

    When that day comes you know all you have to do is shout help!   We will just break it down one step at a time. Jted
  10. Rick,

    When that day comes you know all you have to do is shout help!   We will just break it down one step at a time. Jted
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, Jim. I always appreciate your help with these things. I respect your knowledge.
  12. crclass

    crclass Newbie

    I have a MES 30 and 40. When the heating element appeared to fail on my MES30 I started drilling the rivets out of the back panel as others have done. I drilled maybe 6 or 7 then looked at the back panel a little closer. What's that a panel with screws on it right where the element would plug in. Yes it was. seems they finally caught on that elements will get replaced and power cords fail. Unfortunately or maybe not my heating element was on back order. Not being able to do with out while waiting I bought me the MES 40. Now I have both working and keep the 30 at the marina where I live almost full time in the summer and the 40 is at home where it gets plenty of use when venison season arrives!
  13. meatisgood

    meatisgood Newbie

    Can't thank you enough for this post.  My 5 month old Great Dane decided the cord looked like a good chew toy!!!  I look forward to getting this fixed quickly as we enter the summer grilling/smoking season!
  14. vince m

    vince m Newbie

    the white wire in my cord was solder to my board with a two prong plug which I yanked out I can't seem to find that kind of connector any idea what its called?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  15. redoctobyr

    redoctobyr Smoke Blower

    Do you have a picture of the connector/plug? That would probably help people try and identify it.
  16. vince m

    vince m Newbie

    I'll take a pic of it when I get home
  17. vince m

    vince m Newbie

  18. vince m

    vince m Newbie

  19. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Vince can you peel off about 1/2 inch of the black insulation around the "paddle" shaped end?

    I have a sneaky suspicion that the 2 prong connector you are looking at is actually a 1/4 Male spade that simply pulled out of the soldering to the board.  

    I'm thinking that when you peel back the insulation you will see the Male Spade plugged into the Female Spade connector that is currently under the insulation. [​IMG]
  20. vince m

    vince m Newbie

    ok that's what it turned out to be now so I have to solder it back of so will the top of the solder gun hurt the board from the heat I need to go buy a gun or is there a liquied I can use tivhold it in place

Share This Page