Masterbuilt tripping breaker when reaching temperature

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by gohogs, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. gohogs

    gohogs Newbie

    Hi all,

    I have a masterbuilt electric smoker model #20071917 that I have used probably 10 times.  The problem I'm having is when the box reaches temperature and the element shuts off, it is tripping the circuit breaker.  It works fine as long as the element is on, but the instant the box reaches temperature (225 for example) and the red light goes out, the circuit breaker trips.  I have tried multiple different circuits with the same result. 

    Any advice on what to do to fix this?

    Note my house has arc fault circuit breakers, not ground fault outlets.  I don't think that matters here, because they have never tripped in the past 6 years, and the smoker worked fine for the first 8-10 times I used it.

  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  3. What Sarge said.  There's no shortage of threads on MES not working as they should--all you need do is plug into the search engine and see.  Please don't take this personally, but with all the bad press these get, I don't know why anyone puts up with the problems these have for an endeavor that's supposed to be relaxing and fun.  Best of luck, Soooeeeee.  And thanks for taking Bielema out of WI:  we are still laughing hysterically and thanking you all these years later.   [​IMG]
  4. gohogs

    gohogs Newbie

    Thanks for the info.

    Update: I took the smoker to  neighbors house without gfci outlets or arc fault breaks and....the damn thing won't shut off!  When the box reaches the set point temperature the red heating light goes out but the box temperature continues to rise as long as the unit is plugged in. 

    Must be the controller and not the element?
  5. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    One guy had a smoker with the same always heating when plugged in problem. He had a little hole in the element and it was the problem. He replaced the relay in the bottom circuit board but that wasn't the fix. I guess unplug the smoker and access the back panel where the element connectors are and disconnect them and check Ohm reading. Closely inspect the element. When the Mes is plugged in and you turn on the green power light one element leg has a hot wire to it when it's not even programmed with time and temp to heat up.
  6. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    There are several things you can or should do.

    You should not use the smoker as it is. 

    You should call Masterbuilt and describe the problem and ask for all parts necessary to repair the smoker or have them send out a new smoker.

    You could start looking for an electric smoker without a history of electrical problems.  There are plenty of smoker manufacturers producing smokers at various price points with few reported problems. 


    Also  you can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission and let them know using the link below if you believe the problem to be significant.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Unfortunately, you got one of the smokers with demons in the circuit....    Fortunately, for less than a new smoker, you can make one of the best smokers with an Auber temp. controller....   They have plug and play units available that out perform all the "smokers" on the market except for TSM maker smokers...

    If your element is OK...  hook it up to the element, bypass all the crap electronics you have experienced, and you will have a sweet running smoker...   SS lined interior, insulated, and perfect temperature control...   After that is done, you know for sure you will have great technical support and a smoker that controls and smokes well... 

    Well, that's just me....  others would dumpster a smoker because an electric control failed...  Not Dave...  I'd make it better than original...
  8. uprr

    uprr Newbie

    sounds like controller issue to me too.
  9. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Call MB customer service, having only used it 10 times. How long have you had it? Do you cover it if stored outside? My flag quick disconnect heating element lugs didn't last my first full year. That was an easy fix that MB could of fixed for me for free but I would be replacing pure crap with pure crap vol. II. So I got high heat nickle coated brass that probably weighs 5x's as much the Chinese aluminum or whatever lugs. The OEM lugs that came with the smoker are probably fine just the wrong application for them on a heating element. They're just not substatial enough for hours of 10 amp cycling in close proximity to heat and initial heating and shutting off for the lowest cooling temp repetitively.
  10. bill1

    bill1 Smoke Blower

    Appears to be 2 threads going on the same topic.  There are little leakage paths to ground that is causing only ~5mA out of over 1000 times that amount of normal heating current to be shunted to ground.  Almost certainly it's the filament itself, in particular cracking of the potting surrounding the filament inside an element.  (Things in the control circuitry don't see high temps and so don't see the cracking forces a hot filament does.)  That element probably has metal supports that then complete this circuit to ground and the 5mA on the ground wire is sensed as dangerous by GFCI/AFCI.   One relatively SAFE fix is to find these metal supports, cut them off and support the filament on insulating brick or tile instead.  (Assuming the connection to the element is 2-wire, not 3-wire.) 

  11. [​IMG]
    gr0uch0 likes this.
  12. gohogs

    gohogs Newbie

    Update: I called MB and they are sending me a replacement element.  Any tips on changing them out?

    I do keep the unit on my covered back porch and use a grill cover when not in use.

    I must have started two threads.  After my first post I went back into the forum to make sure I posted correctly and could not find the original, thought maybe I exited out before hitting submit, so I started another one.  Moderators can delete the duplicate if desired.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
  13. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    When you change out the element, look closely at the connectors and the wiring. You may or may not need to do a little more work.  No telling till you get the box opened up.

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