My MES 30 died on Christmas morning

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by chainsaw, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Merry Christmas everyone,

    Doing very first brisket by Geek's recipe. Got it in about 2:30 a.m. so about 5 hours of smoking. The temperature started falling so into the oven it went (it was already at 170 degrees)  

    Temp outside was about 32 degrees, so I put a cover on it but I gave up when it the temp showed 40 degrees. 

    It has lasted 1.5 years,so now, decision time-

    Fix the old one-get another 30 or find a 40.  

    Cookshack is built here in town but $$$ 

    Lowe"s has the 30 here in town for $199. Unsure if it is improved over my original.

    I am re-reading all the MES articles but your input would be welcome, thanks.

    PS I want to wish everyone a blessed holiday & New Year!

  2. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't use the mes but I can say, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Keep your head up, things gotta get better.
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I can only give you want I would do.

    I would get the new MES 40 with the window, wheels, & remote control.

    Black outside walls & top---Sam's $299

    All stainless, inside & out $399 at Cabela's  (sometimes on sale for $349).

    Then I would fix the MES 30 for a backup.

    I did the same thing (Cabela's), except my MES 30 didn't fail yet.---Just needed a bigger one, and the glass door & remote makes it a dream smoker IMHO.

    Have a great new year!

  4. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry for the MES mishap, however Merry Christmas.

    You now have the perfect illustrative reason to buy a new MES and no reason not to upgrade.

    Personally I would repair the MES, and buy a new 40".  You can use both, and even sell the old one for $75 and recoup a little money.  The 30" would work great as a holding oven, for large meals.  Heck you could really do a super cleaning job on the inside to eliminate the smoke build up, and use the 30 as a holding oven when you have large meals.  I have done this with my 40, but it has all the smoke residue so I have to be careful what I put in there, it is right outside my kitchen door so it is convenient for this non smoking duty assignment.
  5. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What a bummer your smoker died on ya in the middle of a smoke. I know nothing about Mes30 but I would at least check into repairing it. I would venture repair is cheaper then a new unit. I have had smokes go amiss in the middle usually due to me not making sure the spare tank of propane is full[​IMG][​IMG].  I'll think I have a full 1 and some 1 has put it on the grill and not bothered to tell me,[​IMG]  or I have done it my self and just plain spaced it off[​IMG], Like that ever happens. Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
  6. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Mine has died on me three times now.  It lasted three years before the first quit (in the middle of a pastrami).  Then twice more in the past year.  Each time it was the connections to the heating element.  They get corroded and come loose, causing a complete shutdown of heat.  Fortunately I have been able to fix it -- learning more each time I did it.  This last time, I shopped around and got some new connectors which I crimped onto the end of the wires.  Hopefully they will last longer than my previous jury rig fixes.

    A lot of people have posted Qviews and threads on the fix.  You should be able to find them if you go that route.  My MES had the back panel held on with screws -- which is better than what the majority of folks seem to have which has it held on with rivets.  My MES also did not have an access panel to the connections -- newer models do have that, and I would strongly urge anyone to buy only models with that access panel.

    If you have the access panel, open it and take a look at the connections and wiring.  I'd bet that one of the connections has come loose.  You may need to replace it if it is badly corroded, or maybe just put it back on and crimp it a little to make it tighter.

    If it is not your connections -- I don't know how to advise you.
  7. nozzleman

    nozzleman Smoking Fanatic

    Open it and and fix it, it is simple to do following the information on the site. All mine needed was the connectors replaced, I didn't even need to find and splice wire. Cost of screws and connectors was less than 5 bucks.
  8. this idea gets my vote also.couple of wires is a lot cheaper.
  9. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks everyone for the tips. BTW the brisket (my first) came out fine. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would try to fix it first.  If it's an easy fix, you're money ahead.  Could it be the controller?

  11. WHOA, that looks awesum!...
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I have to warn you, If you fix the old one first, you'll lose one of the big reasons to get a new MES 40 !   [​IMG]

    I would wait until you have it in your possession---Then fix the old one.

  13. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic


    I like how you think!

    My garage is pretty cold right now hard to justify doing any work out there [​IMG]
  14. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic


    It showed the temp gradually declining and the red heating light was on (not heating) the whole time. I have a different controller and tried it but it did not show the red light heating (or trying to heat) so not sure yet what the cause.

    When it was under warranty had to get a whole new box minus door, racks, etc. because the controller would go to 300 degrees and not heat. They sent another controller first, which is how I got a 2nd controller. 

    This is what gets confusing when I contemplate repairs. I will try, as this is not a good time (post Christmas) to buy a new one anyway, and there are no Cabelas or other outlets (except Cookshack here in town) less than 6 hours drive from here.

  15. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You don't need to go with MES controller, check into a PID controller.  Yeah it will take some figuring out but you can find a few threads on wiring a PID here at SMF.  The only question, is it worth the trouble for a 30"?  When my MES 40 quits that is what I will be doing, but so far, after 2.5yrs it is still going strong. 
  16. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    Would be more than happy to help you figure out the problem when you are ready.  IMO, it sounds like the heat element or the power relay in the PS board on the bottom.  easy way here is just to test for voltage at the 2 terminals to the heating element when the heat light is on, on the control panel.  Simple as that.  If there is not voltage, you have other problems but I would bet it is there and the terminations just need help. 
  17. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks can use all the help I can get. Everyone is so kind! 

    I was hoping to get into it this weekend sure am lost without it!  [​IMG]
  18. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    I found the "smoking gun" lol wire burnt clean off

    Should be an easy fix thanks for all the advice everyone

    Happy New year!


  19. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Many of the older units ended up with corroded terminal ends.  Lots of instructions on SMF to fix these ends.  Fairly easy fix, if this is the issue on your smoker.


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