Bradley Smoker Heating Element Not Working [2 Easy Solutions]

Your electric smoker not heating up or not getting hot enough can directly be linked to your heating element. There are two common failures with a smoker’s heating elements. The first failure mode is easier to spot.

The spade terminals that connect to the heating element are completely burnt up and disintegrated and these terminals will need to be replaced. The second type of failure is when your heating element fails. Read our Bradley smoker heating element not working troubleshooting guide to fix this issue ASAP.

Bradley Smoker Heating Element Not Working [2 Easy Solutions]

In this section, we’ll guide you through replacing the Bradley smoker parts that are needed to get your smoker up and running again. Let’s get started…

1. Replacing Spade Terminals

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to replace your spade terminals easily.

Step 1: We’re going to start at the back of our smoker. Unscrew the plates behind which are the terminals for the smoker’s heating element. But before we replaced the spade terminals we need to test our heating element to make sure it’s still good while we have access to the heater terminals.

Step 2: Go ahead and grab your multi-tester. If you don’t have one you can pick one up online for super cheap. If you remember your high school physics we can figure out what the Ohm resistance reading for the heating element should be. Here’s the formula that we’ll use to find the Ohm resistance of your heating element.

P= V^2/R

For example, let’s say your heating element has 800 Watts of power and your unit runs at 120V, that means,

800W=120V/18Ω

So your tester should get the reading of 18Ω. 

Step 3: If your heating element test is okay, we can move on to just replacing the spade terminals. To replace spade terminals you’ll need a crimping tool and some spade terminals. You can pick up a pack of female spade terminals at your local hardware store for just a few bucks. For just a couple of dollars more you can get a whole set of these online that’ll have both male and female for various wire gauges and sizes in different current ratings. 

Step 4: The red terminal is rated at 10 amps, blue at 15 eighths, and yellow at 24 amps. So based on your model’s amp rating, choose the appropriate one. The thicker terminal should hold up a little better to heat the current and should hopefully last a little longer. 

Step 5: To install the new terminal you simply cut out and remove the old one, strip the wire and then crimp on the new spade terminal using a crimp tool.

2. Replacing Heating Element

Even though your heating element may not need a replacement yet, if you’re replacing the spade terminals, it is a good idea to replace the heating element as well. It’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run as the burnt-up terminals mean your heating element is wearing out.

Step 1: Start by taking out the chip loader and then remove the three screws around the outside of the CIF loader. These screws are what are holding the train guard assembly to the side of the smoker. So moving to the inside of that smoker we have two screws to remove to get the trade and guard assembly completely out. 

Step 2: Get the chip tray up and out of the way and then remove the first screw and brace on the front with a Phillips screwdriver. Then, around to the left side in the back there’s another screw that needs to be removed using a stubby Phillips screwdriver. After both have been removed you can work for the train guard assembly out to access the heating element so that it can be removed. 

Step 3: On the backside of your electric smoker, you have two nuts that need to be removed to get their heating element out. We’ll use a seven-millimeter deep wall socket to remove these nuts. Take out the heating element.

Step 4: You can reuse a rubber gasket from your old heating element and install it onto the new heating element. After adding the rubber gasket and inserting our heating element, we’ll connect the ground terminal in the back and then tighten down the heating elements with both nuts. Next, you’ll need to reinstall the cup gasket into the terminal area and press down on the spade terminals.

Step 5: Before reinstalling the terminal access plate, redo the flexible silicone gasket around that access plate. The red stuff around the outside of your plate is RTV red silicone gasket. Replace this to keep water out and protect the terminals because the old gasket is no longer going to be useful. 

The RTV red silicone gasket is made for high temp applications. You don’t want to skip this step if you want the repair to last. 

Step 6: Re-install the six-panel screws and you’re done. Now you can fire up a smoker and make sure that heats up as expected. You can expect to see a bit of smoke at first. This is going to be an immediate indication that your heating element is good to go.

Note: You can also read our Bradley smoker troubleshooting and error codes fixation guide.

FAQs:

How many watts is a Bradley smoker element?

There are two heating elements in it. The element of cooking and the ingredient of smoking. 500 watts for the cooking element and 125 watts for the smoking element.

Why is it taking so long for my smoker to heat up?

Smokers built of thick metal take longer to heat up, but once they do, they keep the heat for longer. Grills constructed of thin metal, on the other hand, will heat up quickly but lose heat just as quickly.

What are Bradley Smoker Bisquettes made of?

Their briquettes are made entirely of natural hardwoods and include no paraffin or wax. This indicates that it is completely natural.

How do you insulate an electric smoker?

You can insulate your smoker in many ways. Insulation jackets are one of these options. They are often constructed of an aluminum-covered cloth or silicon. These two materials help to insulate by trapping heat inside.

Can you use tin foil in a smoker?

Yes, you can use aluminum foil in an electric smoker if we ignore the larger health concerns about aluminum seeping into food and just assess its safety in electric smokers.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can now easily DIY replace both your heating element terminals and the heating element itself. Enjoy your meat! In case you have any questions, leave us a comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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