Author Topic: More heating element trouble shooting...and a fire in the cabinet?  (Read 19141 times)

Offline Jaunty

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Hi all. Had my 4 rack Bradley Digital Smoker for 3 years, fairly light use I guess.  Not been able to get the element working today.

1. The digital unit appears to be fine,  smoke tray is fine and the oven controls accept requests
2. The 10 amp fuse on in the control unit appears fine and intact
3. I have pushed and pushed and pushed the short power lead connections in as much as possible
4. I have tried a second kettle lead direct to the cabinet from the mains
5. I have swapped around and jiggled the sensor lead

I have not opened the back and looked at the fuse there. I am not even sure I would know what I am looking for! Before I consider doing this does 4. above not working mean it probably isn't that?? Or does 4. just rule out a fault on power out of the control unit? I can of course contact Bradley in the UK but if I need a new element or cabinet fuse any UK users have experience of sourcing them? And is it as easy as unscrewing the old one and putting the new one on per this thread: http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=21091.0

Thanks for any input and apologies for dragging this  issue up again
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 03:52:39 PM by Jaunty »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 02:21:59 AM »
Since you plugged the cabinet directly into a wall socket and it doesn't work, that narrows it down to a bad element, or a blown in-line fuse, and/or loose wiring inside the cabinet. If you have a multi-test meter, remove the element and test the ohm resistance. You should get a reading of 27 -  31, if it is zero it needs to be replaced. and yes replacing one is easy.

You can't tell if the in-line fuse in the back is blown by looking at it. You can temporarily by pass it with 14 gauge wire, for testing only. If you by pass it and the element heats up; then the in-line fuse needs to be replaced. But don't use this as a way to smoke/cook with your Bradley.



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Offline Jaunty

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 03:40:11 AM »
Thanks for your help, I think I can lay my hands on a multi-meter. My dad will know what he is doing but I'm checking the element, right, not the cabinet?   :)

Offline drunknimortal

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 05:42:10 AM »
Ive had mine for 6 months now, yesterday it quit working about half way through my brisket. Pretty disapointed.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 01:33:50 PM »
Thanks for your help, I think I can lay my hands on a multi-meter. My dad will know what he is doing but I'm checking the element, right, not the cabinet?   :)

If you have the meter, your first step should be to test the element. You need to detach and take the element out off the cabinet to test it. If the element is bad, you will only need to replace it. If it is good, then it could be the in-line fuse or a loose connection. At that point you will need to remove the back of the cabinet to get asses to the fuse and to check the wiring.


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Offline Jaunty

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 10:57:52 PM »
Many thanks. Now have a meter, so will test the element shortly.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 04:49:38 AM »
Many thanks. Now have a meter, so will test the element shortly.

To measure resistance through the element you only have to remove a wire from one end, not both, if you want to make it a bit easier on yourself.

Offline Jaunty

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Update with burned Bradley cabinet
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 04:19:22 AM »
Was not sure if to do a new thread, but here seems as good as anywhere. So I changed the element which was dead. Still did not work so lost interest. With summer arriving here in UK I wanted to get hot smoking working. Took the back off and found this



Changed the inline fuse and the element heats up but I do not think I should use the smoker in this state, and would like to know what went wrong in the first place. I think I may need a new cabinet. I will contact Bradley but wondered if there were any ideas from the forum?

PS Grakka the UK distributors sent me this thing as well as the in line fuse. I can not see it in the Bradley cabinet, and I can not find it on the Yard & Pool spares listings. Can any one tell me what it is?



Many thanks, Sean


Offline sage03

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 05:45:09 AM »
That doesn't look good at all....

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 01:22:33 PM »
I've never seen that part, but I'm not familiar with your voltage system.

I've had some insulation melt in the back of my smoker, but nothing on that scale. That looks as if a fire caused that. Did you determine if that was a fire, and/or what caused that damage.

Here is picture of melted insulation caused from the heating element. Note: this was discovered prior to installing my second element.


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Offline Jaunty

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 03:49:28 PM »
I've never seen that part, but I'm not familiar with your voltage system.

I've had some insulation melt in the back of my smoker, but nothing on that scale. That looks as if a fire caused that. Did you determine if that was a fire, and/or what caused that damage.

Thanks for your post and picture. It looks like a fire to me too but I do not know how or why it happened. I will contact Bradley and see what they say.

Offline Jaunty

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...and a fire in the cabinet?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 09:18:05 AM »
Out of interest and in case of any benefit this is my exhange with Grakka, the Bradley distributors in the UK. They are saying if the unit works it is fine to use, which somewhat surprises me...

PS I stiill have no clue to what the metal rod thing I have been sent is, someone must have an idea?!


-----Original Message-----
From: Grakka Limited Sales <Sales@grakka.com>
Sender:
Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 10:31:32
To:
Subject: RE: Fire in back of Bradley Cabinet?

Hi Sean


There is no way that the Cabinet can overheat as the heating element is not powerful enough to do this.
The lining will change colour as you use the smoker. It starts to look like lasagne.
The sensor is found on the back wall of the cabinet (inside). It is half way up and looks like a small knob about the size of a 50p. If this was faulty, then the cabinet element would not heat up at all. So this is obviously not the case.
The cabinet is also fused so any sign of an electrical fault, it would fuse the whole house.
I would suggest you test run the smoker before you use it again. Just the cabinet, unplug the generator and put it to one side, then put the main power cable into the back of the cabinet.
The cabinet element should glow red after a few minutes and the cabinet will heat up. I would run it for about half an hour as a test. If you have no problems, then carry on and use it as normal.
If you do have problems, get back to me.

I'm afraid we do not sell the cabinet separately. I do have new doors if you want to replace your door. The Bradleys are very safe and simple machines so this should not affect the use of the smoker.

Let me know what you wish to do


Kind regards

xxxx
Grakka Limited


-----Original Message-----
From:
Sent: 14 May 2013 12:57
To: Grakka Limited Sales
Subject: Re: Fire in back of Bradley Cabinet?

Hi xxx. There has been no sign of any fire at all inside the cabinet and there has never been a build up of fat.

As you can see from the picture the cabinet has overheated or there has been a fire in the sealed  part of the cabinet, to the extent that the fire resistant lining has melted.  This makes me believe it was an electrical fault in the wiring in the cabinet or a failure of the heat sensor to turn off the element (I believe there is a heat sensor? Can I check or change this?). This is not caused by a fat flare up in the cooking area. 

I have changed the heating element already and it is working. My concern is whether  the cabinet is actually safe to now use with the damaged lining? Is it possible to get a replacement 4 rack digital cabinet, to be safe? The smoke generator is fine.

Finally, what is the other spare part I have been sent by you (see photo of it in the linked thread).

Thanks a lot.

Sean.


------Original Message------
From: Grakka Limited Sales
Sender:
To:
Subject: RE: Fire in back of Bradley Cabinet?
Sent: 14 May 2013 09:45



Dear Sean


The only way a fire can be started is if the hot meat fats are not regularly not cleaned out, or the bowl catching the burnt bisquettes is not full of water.

Fires are very rare in the Bradley and are only caused by user error.

If you wish to purchase a heating element for your cabinet, please contact us. They are £9 + postage.


Kind regards

xxx
Grakka Limited

Offline GusRobin

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...and a fire in the cabinet?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 09:42:56 AM »
I would contact Bradley home office and send your picture to them.  I am sorry, but I have a hard time believing that the picture represents any close to normal operation.
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Offline KyNola

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...and a fire in the cabinet?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 10:45:08 AM »
It strikes me that indeed you did have a fire within your cabinet that ran up the interior back wall of the cabinet thereby super heating the back wall to the point of scorching the insulation sandwiched between the interior and exterior walls.  Assuming my theory is correct I would venture that the fire was caused by fat running down the interior back wall on to the heating element.  Thankfully it apparently extinguished itself after the fat burnt off and didn't involve the remainder of your cabinet.  That's just my theory mind you.  :)

As for the unknown piece they sent you, that looks like a fire rod used in a pellet burning grill to ignite the initial feed of pellets.

NePaSmoKer

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Re: More heating element trouble shooting...and a fire in the cabinet?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 01:19:49 PM »
Ditto with Larry

Looks like a hot rod for pellet ignition