MES40 element/wiring repair question!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ats32, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys! My MES40 hasn't worked in a while and I finally decided to pop off the access panel on the back and take a look. The cap had disintegrate and the wire was no longer connected. Now when I (maybe stupidly?) decided to check what would happen if I touched the wire to the connector it sparks much larger than what I expected. I haven't bought a cap and reconnected yet as I am not sure if there is more long like the element or something else? If anyone has any advice please let me know. Below is a pic of the access! 

    Thank you in advanced 

  2. walta

    walta Smoke Blower

    Do you make a habit of touching live electrical wires?

    Please understand all the black stuff you see is carbon and can conduct electricity.

    Please be careful!

    If you call masterbuilt they should have a repair kit.

    To me it seems clear the number of failures is too high. Masterbuilt needs to redesign this smoker.

    I for one have filed a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  If Masterbuilt were going to change on its own it would have done so by now.

    If you have had a similar failure consider filing a complaint.

    Not everyone has GFCI outlet that will detect bring this problem to your attention. It is only a matter of time before a MES a failed is operated without a GFCI and no ground and somebody get hurt.

    I think everyone that uses a MES needs to test their outlet with something like the outlet tester the one in this link seems to be in stock at most Home Depots most hardware stores will have something like it in stock


    If you were file the heater termanals down to clean metal and solder on the wires that type of repair has held up well.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ATS, morning.... unplug the smoker.... using sand paper and a small SS wire brush, clean the terminal on the element... if the lug is OK, that's a good thing....
    Clean the lug on the wire... You will probably have to cut it off... strip the wire back to good wire...
    Here is where you have a choice..... tin the lug and tin the wire... then solder the wire onto the lug... wrap the connection with high temp electrical tape and you are done forever.... You can get some "no-ox" paste to cover the stuff before taping.... It prevents future corrosion.. It is conductive so apply sparingly ONLY where you want it... It has many uses around the home... read the link...

    The connection failed because it was not a good connection... heat is generated in a poor connection.... soldered connections are the best there are....

    Other choice, replace the lug on the wire and put it back together... no guarantee of how long it will last... I did mine this way and it still works after 4 years... I used the no-ox on the connection and taped with fiberglass electrical tape... and I crimped the lugs together...
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My Connector corroded completely on my MES 40, after 5 years.

    All I did was remove the corroded pieces, clean the jack with sandpaper, crimp a new High Temp Flag connector on & solder it too.

    Works Great again.

    I went by this Link, but I only replaced the connector, and left the old wiring intact:

  5. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    That sounds more up my alley! I may even pick up the solderless high temp connectors. 
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We used the 90° angle high temp flag connector, and it worked great in that confined area in the little box.

    It didn't need solder, but my Son said he thought it would make it even better.

    Since I don't know about that kind of thing, I said "Go for it".[​IMG]

  7. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    I'll give it a go and update this afternoon or tomorrow. I've had the smoker for around 5 years if anyone is wondering how long it lasted. 
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm glad to hear that. A few years ago there was a batch of MES smokers that had this problem in their first year. I haven't heard that about any new ones since, that I can think of.

  9. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    It's not available in stores.  I found it on Ebay.  I've spent an hour looking up dielectric non conductive grease and conductive grease.  I'm more confused than helped.  I spent another hour and figured out that dielectric grease eliminates oxygen and moisture (insulating the connection) to keep the connection from corroding. eliminating connection failure.  With dielectric grease during the connection process the grease is pushed/scrapped away so there's good metal to metal contact and any void will be filled with this insulating grease, eliminating corrosion/shorting/arching .  With spade connections the dielectric grease can be applied after the connection is made.  With butt splices, pin connections and other sealed connections the grease has to be applied in the connectors first.  If your far enough from another connection to not short circuit, use conductive grease which does inhibit corrosion as well as maximize the conductivity of that connection (which would apply to the heating element on the MES.)  All that being said, I'm not confident that grease is going to hold it's viscosity being connected to a heating element, let alone vaporize.  If it does vaporize maybe the residue is enough to prevent corrosion.   

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I bought some at home depot.... Sorry I made this so confusing for you.... It was supposed to be a lesson in corrosion and what can be done about it.. dielectric or conductive was a tutorial in the different philosophies... again, another learning experience...
    About heating elements... in theory, there is no heat at the connecting point of a heating element... I have checked the heating element in my MES 30 and the ends are fairly cool, inside the smoke chamber... Look at the heating elements on an electric stove top... where they bend to go through the top, they do not get hot.... it is the nature of the beast....
  11. ats32

    ats32 Smoking Fanatic

    I crimped the flag connector on and connected everything. It seems to be working but it's a little touchy. I have some beans and a small butt going on it now for testing but I will solder it to have the best connection. 

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Alright !!!

    Back in Bizzzzzz!!!!![​IMG]

  13. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    There was nothing that you said that was confusing.  It was the electrical internet forums that contradicted themselves on dielectric grease.  I found Ox guard conductive grease at all the big box stores.  It's weird dielectric grease is five times more. 

  14. I seem to have the same issue.  Here are some pics.  Do I need a new element, or just do as perscribed with new connector and wiring?  Also it looks like there are two wires and nothing going to ground, is that normal for a MES 40? 


    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Clean the connector...  New wire ends and some new wire....   you're golden...
  16. Thanks Dave,

    So is that really only one wire, just split in two?  Looks like I also need a connector that does a 90 degree bend.  So my element should be good?
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is one wire...  Don't know what happened to it...   That is the hot leg that come in from the right...   Also the one that burns off...  The power is always on to the element when plugged in...   MES uses the "neutral" leg to make and break the power....   That's why they corrode so easily...  always electrons running loose...   At least on my older unit that's what's happening...
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The Flag Connector fits in there the best-----The one I used was like below:

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    mtbken likes this.
  19. Big thanks to everyone, especially Dave and Bear.  I dont have the oxy on the connector yet, but initial dry run seems to have been successful! I did solder the connector (only on the flag connector side)  and I did not notice if the heat was going to melt the solder. Just used 60/40. I did touch the connector after use and unplugging and it did not seem overly hot!  Just need to apply the oxy and shrink tube it. 


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