MES tripping GFCI

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by buckman52, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. >>>> ! ! ! PLEASE ! tell us what dimmer switch you used for this !  THANK YOU

    Ernie in Iowa....WAØAUU
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic


    Just my 2 cents worth but this is UK Sparky info not US but may help. Whenever we get a trip at an electrical outlet in a home it is usually down to a faulty piece of equipment going to ground or shorted, an element in a kettle for example. However I have had occasions where there is nothing faulty but the breaker trips on load say when you switch on the lights with a series of halogen down lighters (not LCD). The problem is the circuit breaker itself. In the UK we use B rated circuit breakers but on occasion lift them to C category. This so that there is a slight delay or allowance for the initial electrical surge. You may have heard of anti-surge fuses (glass type) in some electronics, well same thing. So if you have tested the heating element and its not faulty and nothing else is wrong i.e. going to ground (try it in a neighbours house too) then this could solve your problem, just over sensitivity.

    Hope it helps
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    My money says you have a bad connecor /connection at the heating element or a bad element. Mine did the same thing. everything looked good when i removed the back panel. But after i tore into it and got to the element connections i had one wire burnt off

     replace all wires w/  12 gauge high temp wire and all connectors w/ stainless stel
  5. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is a photo from Saturday, I hire refrigerated trailers, delivered Friday morning to site and positioned it next to the bin right of picture next to trash can.

    Lady said that one of their Fridges had failed its test that morning.

    9.30 Saturday morning fridge went up in smoke, taking building with it, Fire Brigade say it was a fault with main distribution board and fault went to fridge and set it on fire.

    Food for thought!

    Smokin Monkey
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  6. davemhughes

    davemhughes Newbie

    SO mine was trip the GFCI also. I took the panel off and looked it all over real good. Only found one of the contacts to the heating element rusty. I cleaned it and plugged back up still popping the GFCI. I wonder if the electronic control panel on top of my Gen 1 is bad? No idea what the issue is .........

    I can get a Universal replacement Heating element for about $40 and just you my digital temp probe to monitor heat?
    • 1300 watt, 110 US volt Heating Element with adjustable mounting bracket and element support feet
    • Fully Adjustable and Detachable UL Listed 110 volt thermostat Controller

    I do not think if I can not fix it i would buy another Masterbuilt.....just should last longer than it did.....
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
  7. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    You should confirm if its actually the element first or its connections. Heating elements are usually the first thing to go and are notorious for tripping boards. By their nature they drag power so degrading through excess heat at the termination point does occur as well as shorting or going open circuit. But it does sound like a short.

    Do MES not have spare parts?

    Easiest way is to get a Sparky to test it for you.

    But If you do not have access to a Sparky or a meter to test the element, you could (if you feel competent enough) disconnect the element making the cable ends thoroughly safe. Plug in the Smoker if it doesn't trip the GFI/RCD then its the element. If it still trips the GFI/RCD then you may have a circuit fault in the smoker, so try it in a neighbours outlet. If it still trips his GFI then its the smoker, if not its your circuit board. Its just a process of elimination.

    Hope that helps
  8. Hi, There are a couple of checks you can do before you invest in a element.

    If you insist in buying a element buy from master built. Give them a chance to help you .They may just send you one or a controller free . If you do check the element you will need a multi meter to check the smoker and element with.  You will get help with  the testing if you desire. The first thing you might do is plug it into a non GFCI wall socket and see if it heats.You won't have to run IT long just long enough to check the element.  Jted
  9. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Don't think you want to plug it into a Non GFI outlet!!!!! - Do you have them in the US?

    You could cause more damage!!!!! that's why the GFI is there and tripping. It is not only there to protect you but also the wiring circuit. Use safer methods.
  10. We have regular receptacles that are not a ground fault. In fact most receptacles in our houses are non ground fault receptacles. The GFCI are only put in damp or in locations that can have water around . Those include bathrooms kitchens garages . The NEC revises that list every few years. Our ground faults are not designed to protect equipment. They measure changes amperage leaking to the equipment. It is all about the operators safety. They trip at very low levels like .6ma. Our equipment has it's own types of GFCi. I don't recall those right off the top of my head. I do remember there being 3 types of protection.   Jted
  11. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Its exactly the same in the UK but its not the recepticals (appliances) i was mentioning its the home wiring circuit itself.
  12. Although I don't know anything about the box you are referring to, I had a similar issue with a basic electric started to pop the GFCI....After talking to an electrician, he recommended I plug it into a non-GFCI outlet and see if it did. He said that GFCIs are so sensitive that any moisture in the heating element will cause it to trip...after an hour of heating, I tried it in the GFCI again, and it worked fine...just a thought.....
  13. Does it trip the circuit breaker if not plugged into a GFIC receptacle?
  14. My MES 40" Gen 1 finally quit working on me. I've had it since 9/2011. It initially began tripping the GFCI a few smokes ago but the element quit completely during my last smoke on the 3rd of July. I had bought the extended warranty from Sam's and luckily as a Sam's Plus Member I get an extra year on the warranty or otherwise I would be SOL. I shipped it off today for repair or replacement. My concern is they are going to try and give me a Gen 2 to replace my unit.

    Has anybody had any experience with the extended warranty service from Sam's Club on the MES 40" Gen 1? 
  15. To those who have a MES unit tripping the GFCI I would recommend checking your connections at the heating element and if you see any corrosion or burnt wiring there replacing the wire with 12 gauge high heat wire and stainless steel connectors. I think tripping of your GFCI is a warning of things to come. Just saying. I experienced the same thing before my unit quit altogether but I just changed to a non-GFCI outlet and it seemed to work fine. I just worry that it may be a fire or shock hazard to do that. I know that means drilling out all your rivets to access the heating element connection box but better safe than sorry. Be sure to unplug the unit before you start working on this!!!
  16. davemhughes

    davemhughes Newbie

    Well its just not a functioning unit. I am seriously just thinking of upgrading as I just should got more life out of the MES I believe. Looking at a SI or Tex and save the MES for pure cold smoking.....Buy once, cry once mind set right now.
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you take the corroded connection apart.... sand it, brush it.... re solder it to try and fix it.....
  18. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    Please be very careful I have seen a pair of  gen 1 masterbuilt where the wire for the heater developed a bad connection and came loose and could have touched the case.

    The unit had the symptoms you described buckman52.

    If the broken heater wire were to touch the case and the ground pin of your cord, outlet or extension cord are broken and you use a non GFI receptacle. The possibilities of an electrical shock or death are very high.

    I will not operate any Masterbuilt product unless I am sure

    1 The outlet will light 2 yellow lamps on the tester I have linked to

    2 The ground pin of the smokers cord and any extension cords are in good condition.

    3 The circuit is GFCI protected.

    I am stunned these smokers have not been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Council.

    Coconuts please post a link to your “stainless steel connectors” I personally do not think they exist as stainless steel is a poor conductor.

    I filed the heater down the good metal and solder high heat wire to the heaters terminals.

  19. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Here Here (UK Sparky)!!!!!
  20. Hi, it only makes good sense to have good grounded cables on both or   either or the extension cord or smoker cord. It is essential to have the receptacles wired with the right polarity.

    You are right as far as I know about the construction of high temperature connectors The typically are  made of copper coated in nickel steel. Normal connectors with nylon insulators are only good to something in the 300 degree range the non insulated approach 900 degree's The big box stores sell the low temperature connectors rather cheaply at about .10 or .15 cents each where as the non insulated are not available at the box stores and are harder to find and are .50 each.  Another case of you get what you pay for.  Jted

Share This Page