MES Element Truly Broken

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tomk, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    I have a Masterbuilt smoker that I've used the heck out of. I've had a charcoal smoker before this one that never got used much because I just didn't have the time to babysit it. I used this one all the time and unfortunately, it has stopped working.

    I've removed all the rivets off the back and removed the heating element. I was hoping that only the wiring was in need of repair. Unfortunately, the heating element has what looks like a melted hole in it. It's out of warranty. Does anyone know where I can get another element or get a similar element what will wire in to the existing box? The stock element goes through the middle of the box and turns to the side. I don't mind moving the location of the element if an exact match can't be found.

    Thanks for your support,
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How old is it? Usually if you have the reciept and it is less than 1 year old they may stand behind it.
  3. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    It's probably getting close to three years. I really can't complain much. We really enjoyed almost everything that I cooked in it. I'd just like to get it going again.

  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know you can order a new body for it with the new element. Not sure if the element is sold seperately.
  5. Hi there. I can confirm that as of last week they did not sell the element seperately. The element on my 40" MES broke on Friday. :-(

    I called Masterbuilt, they explained that they did not sell the element by itself, only the body...and they were out of bodys.

    But, they did offer to sell me a complete new unit for $150 plus shipping. I would have rather paid $25 for the element, but I did not mind getting a new MES for about half what I had paid 3 years earlier.

    Unit arrived on Tuesday...looking forward to breaking it in this weekend.

  6. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cool, glad you worked out something. They have great CS.
  7. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    I'm still looking for a way to find an element. I really hate throwing away something that is perfectly fine except for an easily replaceable $25 part.

    Has anyone tried hooking up another manufacturers element to this unit and was still able to use the automatic timer and heat control?

  8. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would check around where you live. I know there is aplace in my town that custom make elements and branding irons. You can also check out . Hope that helps.
  9. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    Good idea! I'll come at it from that angle. I'm guessing that having someone make a custom one-off heating element probably isn't cheap but I'll look around and post what I find. Maybe others have a smoker out of warrenty and just can't bring themselves to throw a (almost) perfectly good smoker away for the lack of a replacement heating element.

    As you can tell - waste like this really bugs me.

  10. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I believe the MES heater is a tubular heater formed to their specs. Omega sells them, but they need to be bent into shape. I've used them a few times and you have to be careful bending them. Once you get the shape and you heat it up there is no going back, the sheath is now annealed and cannot be reformed.

    Here's a link to their page with a possible close match.

    The heater model TRI-3048/120V is a .315 diameter (guessing this is close to the MES diameter), 800W, 120V. Will run $65. You would need to pull the MES heater and bend the new heater to match the basic shape.

    Here's a pic of one I bent up to add an extra heater to my MES.


    Maybe you can poke around the net for a cheaper option, but this will give you an idea of what to possibly look for.
  11. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think you can get a complete body from mes for 80 dollars, not sure though. Check with CS.
  12. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    DaveNH - That's a good idea that points me in the right direction. I'll see what I can find. I already found a few tubes (new and unbent) on ebay for $5 but they aren't the correct wattage.

    I cleaned the grease off of the element bracket and found the name of the manufacturer (Tamman) and that it's 120V and 650W.

    Stay tuned!
  13. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    Ronp - I called MES last week and they said that they would send me a box for $60 plus shipping. I can't imagine shipping would be cheap.

    I'd just rather fix mine and end up with a solution that I can use in the future if it breaks again. Hopefully I'll find an element on the cheap.

  14. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    Just an update. I ordered an element that I think might work. Hopefully, I'll get it installed this weekend or early next week. I'll post my results.

  15. Could you just use a different heater element?
    Perhaps from a Hot Water heater or maybe use one of those Charcoal starters and fitting it up.

  16. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    I believe that a water heater element will burn out if not submerged. It's really about voltage, watts, and element position.

    The problem with the MES is that is projects from the center of the box and takes a 90 degree turn to the firebox. I've given up trying to find a similar looking element. Instead, I've purchased a round element (120V/1000W and 7" diameter) for around $20 that does not have a right angle to it. Hopefully, I will be able to cut a new hole in the back of the box behind the firebox and place it correctly underneath. It all depends upon the length of the "cold" side of the heating element.

    I'll also need to do some wire splicing because the stock wires on the MES won't be long enough to reach the new element position.

    If it works and I get through a few smokes, I'll print pictures and instructions. Should be interesting...

  17. rambler

    rambler Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

  18. tomk

    tomk Newbie

    If it were only that easy...

    Unfortunately, while they list the replacement part they do not sell it.


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