Mes that shocked me and my wife!!!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lintonkennels, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. I have been working out of town the last few weeks and my wife started a pork butt for me yesterday so we could have it for my daughters birthday party today. We'll last night I went out to get the butts out to foil them and when I grabbed the Handel to open it up it shocked the crap out of me. My wife also told me that she got shocked earlier in the day from it. What I was wondering is what is causing this. I was thinking the heating eliment was going bad (kinda like a hot water tank I ran into a few years ago). The mes is about 5 years old 30 inch. What is your guys thought. What should I do try and get a new heating eliment or is it a wast of time and just talk the wife into the new 40 inch mes. Thanks guys
  2. genek

    genek Smoke Blower

    Linton, first I don't have an MES. I had an old Brinkman bullet type electric.

    But coming from a few years in electronics, if the circuit the MES was plugged into is wired correctly you should not get shocked. The safety ground and neutral combined with the circuit breaker should have resolved the problem (tripped the breaker). The best would be if it had been plugged into a GFI outlet which the shock you got would have shut it off..

    Get someone who understands electrical circuits to check your outlet(s) that they are wired correctly. And check the MES wiring is correct and not compromised by moisture or grease or carbon.

    Off top of my head, the fact you felt a shock means the safety ground is defective, either in the house side or the MES unit. What you felt is supposed to go through that and cause the breaker to trip.

    Without physically checking your unit its hard to identify the path that led the hot side to the case of your unit.

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    After 5 years its quite possible the connections at the element have corroded and you have lost ground. Its very common. Check around the forums and here and you'll see this issue. There are tutorials on how to re-wire. Also, think real hard about getting the new generation 2 40's. They are nothing like the reliability of your unit.
  4. Is it the same outlet you always use. I have been shocked because the outlet had reverse polarity. Gives the item a "hot skin"
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    My MES is tripping the GFI, probably would have been zapped if in a regular outlet. I called Masterbuilt and without hesitation the girl said to thoroughly clean the area where the coil is mounted. Over time grease and moisture can cause the coil to short to ground. Next she said to carefully plug the unit in a non GFI Outlet and let it run full blast 3 hours. If this doesn't fix it call back for a new Coil. Maybe you have the same situation...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  6. i would contact Masterbuilt, you can get a complete new cabinet for about 70 bucks (included heating element). i can't imagine a heating element being shorted to the cabinet.  but possible. 

    good luck
  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    This is spot on. A properly grounded outlet should prevent you from getting shocked unless you have bigger problems. You can get a tester for $10 or less to make sure the outlet is functioning properly (check polarity and ground).

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