Burnt out heating element?

Started by pwaldman, November 01, 2010, 06:18:08 PM

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Just bought the OBS 3 weeks ago, worked great.  Bought an Auber dual probe, love it.  Used it for the first time last weekend and 4 hours into the smoke the heat in the main box stopped working.  Finished the meat in my oven and it turned out OK.  Next day went to troubleshoot.  Direct connect to the main element; cold.  Took it apart and checked front slider, in-line fuse and finally the element itself.  Element is showing open.  OK, it happens.  Called today, was walked through troubleshooting - guess what, bad element!  New one on the way.  However, the lady I spoke with said elements should not burn out unless there is a voltage spike that causes it to go open.  Always thought that what fuses were for?  Anyway, my question is could it be the Auber unit or something with the slider in the front that would make a good heating element go bad?  I'm a little concerned that it went open so quickly!  Every couple of years with a fair amount if use I can live with but not knowing what to expect when in the middle of a smoke is a bit disheartening.  Love to hear reinforcement from this great group to put my mind at ease.   :-[


Mr Walleye

Hi pwaldman and welcome to the forum.

A burnt out element is not really a common problem, or a least in my experience. I would suspect you just got a bad element. I also highly doubt the PID would have anything to do with it as well. To my knowledge there's no way for the PID to amplify the voltage.

My Bradley is about 4 years old and has never burned out an element to date, as well I run a PID.

Keep us posted how you make out.


Click On The Smoker For Our Time Tested And Proven Recipes


Thanks Mike, appreciate the feedback.


Bradley (Head Office)

Hi Pete

Like Mike has stated the elements normally last for years, but with that being said it is a heat element and they can burn out at anytime with no warning.

We have some new Ladies in the office being trained for customer service, I think she may have mixed up the information
voltage spikes should blow the fuses in the smokers.



Lol just came online to post that mine died as well today.   Same thing open in the heating coil. I got one on warranty. And I've paid for second one. Just incase they have gotten a bad run going. Or just in case I decide to install the extra element for quicker recovery.
Woman from Bradley went through the troubleshooting but I already has the element in my hand. Ohm meter showing it open.


Thanks Mike. 

Cleaver - I guess an extra heating element on hand makes sense, just hope we don't have to make it a routine thing.



naw I already have decided to install the second one in the smoker.  Mr. Walleye had given me his old PID.  Now its a perfect time to set it up.


hello pete and welcome to the forum

as others has indicated voltage spikes can blow fuses and  damage the heating  elements, with that  said Bradley is  taking  care of you and they  have good customer care



Welcome to the forum. My element is 7 years old and has not been replaced, but I do have a spare just in case. What happened to yours is probably an oddity. My Bradley keeps on ticking.

Enjoy, Brad


I hate to say it, but I guess I'm number 3 this week.  Was cooking a turkey breast at 225 today and all looked good.  after about 4 hrs into the smoke, I noticed that the temp had dropped to 195 and the digits were slowly dropping.  Took the breast out and finished it in the oven.

Called Bradley and they walked me through some trouble shooting.  Looks like a bad element, and they are shipping me a warranty replacement.  I received the OBS last Tuesday and this is only my 3rd smoke.  Maybe they got a bad batch of elements from a sub par supplier.


lol sorry to hear about yours as well.  We shouldn't start a rumour though I guess.  These smokers can sit in a store for months before they are purchased
I just think we all come here to post the gone bad senerio or the awesomest (daughters word).  Most ppl just drop in once in awhile.  Where a few are here everyday, from those few we learn.

God I love this forum!  And yes I do have a life ;D


My element went out after a few months.  Replacement has lasted several months now.


I must have got a good one, mine is 2 years old and I have not had a bit of trouble with it. I guess I am missing out on the great service Bradley gives. ;) For every one that has a problem there are hundreds that have no problems. Love my OBS.

Original Bradley Smoker
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The thing with a voltage spike is it would likely have taken out the PID also. If you have a history of spikes in your area you should try installing a surge protector.
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

One Big Easy, plus one in a box.


I used a PID and I'm very confident there was no voltage spike.  I'm happy with Bradley's immediate response by sending me a new heating element - hopefully from a different supplier.  Thought about purchasing a 2nd for a spare, but decided I didn't need to do that while the unit is still under warranty.  After the warranty ends, I'll think about the duel element mod.  Still have a year to go.