Replacing the Heating Element in the Masterbuilt Electric 40" Gen 2

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cman55, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. cman55

    cman55 Smoke Blower

    Yep, mine went out one fine weekend morning. Right when I was going to smoke a slab of cured Pork Belly for some buckboard bacon. Turned on the box, set the temps.. then nothing.. Nada.. 

    Well, Masterbuilt was pretty good about it. They sent me a replacement heating element soon as it arrived from China free of charge including free shipping. Last thing was to install it correctly and not ruin a $400 investment..

    Went online and found a great video on how to do this right. Its really easy. All you need is a Drill, phillips head bit and a 9/32" socket. If you're lucky, its only the heating element but in my case, it was corrosion on the heating element AND the wire connecting it to the controller. Great... Considering I baby this thing with a cover when not in use and a few mild winters, I don't know how this could have corroded after 3 years so quickly but it is what it is..No time to bitch about it. Just time to fix it..

    Use the Yellow sized spade connectors. .25" with the appropiate crimper.

    here's the video...

    Really easy fix folks.  You could actually upgrade the connections to the heating elements. I used shrink tubing over the lead to the spade connector as reinforcement. From the factory, they used some cumbersome rubbery covering that looked like a hot mess. I removed that as I am a tech by profession and hate ugly installs by nature. Once I put everything back together, the unit came up to temp quick as new. Smoked my pork belly without a problem. Actually, I was surprised by the amount of smoke it put in the meat by the time the IT reached 150F. 

    I'm not going to say make sure the unit is unplugged because if I have to, you have no business doing this repair in the first place.. [​IMG]

    Smoke On!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Good video. Hopefully that helps people fix their units instead of spending $400 to replace them.
  3. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I had to replace mine as well, it was out of warranty, but wasn't expensive to get a replacement element. Removing the old element was very easy, but I think I lost a tiny nut that is used with the ground wire, luckily I had a spare from the chip tray upgrade I did that worked perfectly. Putting everything back together definitely required a second person, but once my buddy showed up to assist it went very smooth and I haven't had any issues since. I'm not sure how moisture got in there as the unit is always kept in the back of my garage right next to the house, and is never left out in the elements. At least they made them easy to work on, and thank goodness they made the element terminals accessible by screws so you don't have to drill it out like the old models.
  4. Hi Cman

    If you used a connector with a nylon or any other insulator on the connector you just replaced the connectors with the same temperature rating as the factory ones. 

    You have bought your self some time. They will fail. You need high temperatuer connectors.

    They are not sold in big box stores they are a specialty item. You can buy them at appliance repair shops or In my case I found them at a ACE hardware store that sells stove elements. When you go to crimp them on your regular crimpers won't crush them. I used a set of vice grip pliers slowly tightening them after each crush.They cost .50 each.

    When it happens again you will know the symptom's.

    I included a shot of the parts I replaced when mine went. Even the ground connector was damaged.   Jted 
  5. cman55

    cman55 Smoke Blower


      Thanks for the info about the high temp spade lugs. I melted the yellow plastic covering that came with the lug, crimped down the bare metal, then I covered with shrink tubing. It would be nice if this fix lasts. I am very disappointed that the connector on the heating element corroded so quickly. No way should that have happened so quickly and I hope this new element has better protection.

      I will look up those ht spade lugs just to have them in reserve if and when this fix goes bad. The nice thing is that I know what to look for first if the box doesn't heat up. 

  6. Cman 55,
    I just watched your video. You did a good job. I took notice of Masterbuilts new design compared to my 30" it is superior concerning the element and chip tray removal. Thanks. Jted
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015

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