Author Topic: Smoker's busted. What to do?  (Read 7889 times)

Offline EZ Smoker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2012, 09:19:04 pm »
beefman, I should have been more clear.  The low reading I got... It was 107 or maybe just a hair higher... was on the heating element, with the bradley plugged through an extension cord.  The outlets themselves give me a good reading.  Thanks for checking on me. 

Scott

It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.

Offline EZ Smoker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 06:03:47 pm »
Okay,  my foot's better, Thanksgiving's over, Christmas shopping for the kids is done...I'm finally on to the next step.  I disconnected the wire from the right end of the forwardmost heating element.  I got the second multimeter (which I have because, as you'll no doubt recall, the first one was busted and wouldn't give me a correct voltage reading), and ... believe it or not.... the 2nd multimeter wouldn't work.  I set it to measure resistance, and it would just flash a 1 and a negative 1.  Couldn't get anything else from it.  Man, it's like a conspiracy against my smoker.

So I got another multimeter... again.   This one works.  So I tested the element... with the wire still off the right side.  And you know what?  It measures a 1.  It should be  27-32 from what I read here (and elsewhere on the forum.)  Does that mean the element's bad?  Both elements?   I didn't measure the other one because I couldn't get to it and didn't have time to get a driver and unscrew the screws to get to it.  But for now, it looks like at least 1 of the elements is bad?   Does that sound like I'm right? 

Where should I get another element.  This thing was under warranty when I started this thread, but not any more.   My main concern is to get this smoker workin' again.  Life without brisket is killin' me!

Thanks,
Scott
It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,621
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2012, 03:04:28 am »
If Bradley knows you modified the smoker, they may not honor the warranty. The easiest place to purchase an element is from Yard & Pool.

The one element you tested is bad. The one you did not test could be either good or bad, but more than not it should be good..


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

buttburner

  • Guest
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2012, 04:05:05 am »
I really doubt you know how to use the meter correctly. If you dont you will be chasing your tail.

Is this an analog or digital meter?

If its digital-

Make sure the meter is on the Ohms setting. Touch the 2 leads together, you should get "0" That means zero ohms resistance. When you seperate the leads, depending on the meter, it should show "OL" which means open link (open circuit)

If its analog, touch the leads together, the meter should swing to zero. if it does not then it needs to be zeroed out. There is a trim screw for this

When you are testing the heater, you need to make sure that the connections between the heater and the meter are good also. there could be dirt or whatever on the terminals.

All this aside, I would first be looking at the installation of the second heater element. Since the smoker is fairly new.

I would make sure all those connections are tight, and proper, with no corrosion on the terminals.

I would also verify that the proper type of wire (high temp) was used and its wired correctly.

It could be the element, but i would check all the other stuff out first. I would also check the resistance of the other element, just so you will know what a good one tests at (assuming its good)

my guess is the wiring is loose or bad where the second element was added since that the only thing that was messed with in that area

« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 04:22:00 am by buttburner »

Offline EZ Smoker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 11:20:25 pm »
Thanks, Habs and Buttburner.  I did indeed have it set for ohms, and I tested it by touching the two leads together.  I got a zero when I did that.  This all took place the other day.  There was no corrosion that I could see anywhere.  But tell me this... where do I put the leads exactly.  I was putting them at the very tip ends of the heating element.  Is that correct? 

You mentioned that I should verify that the proper type of wire was used... how would I do that?  It was modified by classicrockgriller.  I suppose I could ask him about the wiring. 

As for the connections being tight, I did find one that was loose.  The little metal eye that attaches to the end of the wire and hooks over the end of the 2nd element... that eye came off the wire.  It looks like it's designed to just crimp back on, so I should be able to make that happen.  But that can't be the whole problem because neither element heats up, and because the element it attaches to gave me a bad reading.  The meter is digital, to answer your question. 
 
Thanks for the help; I really appreciate it. 
It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.

buttburner

  • Guest
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2012, 04:12:01 pm »
Thanks, Habs and Buttburner.  I did indeed have it set for ohms, and I tested it by touching the two leads together.  I got a zero when I did that.  This all took place the other day.  There was no corrosion that I could see anywhere.  But tell me this... where do I put the leads exactly.  I was putting them at the very tip ends of the heating element.  Is that correct?  Yes

You mentioned that I should verify that the proper type of wire was used... how would I do that?  It was modified by classicrockgriller.  I suppose I could ask him about the wiring. 

As for the connections being tight, I did find one that was loose.  The little metal eye that attaches to the end of the wire and hooks over the end of the 2nd element... that eye came off the wire.  It looks like it's designed to just crimp back on, so I should be able to make that happen.  But that can't be the whole problem because neither element heats up, and because the element it attaches to gave me a bad reading.  The meter is digital, to answer your question.  this needs to be fixed, all connections need to be clean and tight
 
Thanks for the help; I really appreciate it.

Once everything is clean and tight, take your meter and set it for AC voltage. Turn on the unit and carefully check for voltage at the terminals on the new element by touching the test leads to each end of the heater connections. If you see approx 110v ac, then its most likely the element. Just be careful!!!
The other thing to know is, how was the 2nd element wired in? Is it wired in parallel? (jumpered to the original heater) or another way? If it was another way, the problem may lie there someplace, if you are not getting proper ac voltage. Hard to say without actually seeing it
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 04:25:14 pm by buttburner »

Offline EZ Smoker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Smoker's busted. What to do?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2013, 03:05:01 pm »
Okay, here's the update on my still busted smoker:

It turns out I had measured correctly.  Both elements were indeed bad.  I got two new elements from Y&P, set all 4 elements on the bar in my kitchen, measured all 4, one after the other, and got 27 ohms from each of the new ones, and a reading of 1 on each of the old ones.  I put the two new ones in, turned it on, and it started heating up.  Then a very stupid person took over my body and started controlling me. 

My wife and I were working on it together, and I told her it was okay to put the metal back panel on.  I wasn't looking at it when I said this, and it had slipped my mind that I had removed the shielding from over the fuse when I checked it.  And I hadn't put the shielding back yet.  She put some screws in the back panel, and tightened up against the (also metal) fuse.  Then when she plugged it in, I heard a dishearteningly recognizable electronic FFFTTZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZOP!

There was no light on the front panel anymore, and there was no power at all. 

I can't tell you how stupid I felt in that moment.  I mean, I may not be mechanical, but electronics I'm okay with.  Or at least I used to be.  Anyway...  I bought a few fuses and replaced the fuse to make sure that wasn't the whole problem.  It wasn't.  Still have this new problem.   Should I replace the electronic circuit board that's in the front panel.  It doesn't look expensive.  Anything I need to know before I do this? 
 
It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.