Anyone ever use a water pressure tank?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by luter, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. luter

    luter Newbie

    I have acess to 4 Water pressure tanks approx 6 1/2' high by 3-4' across. They seem to be about the right size but they also seem to be built out of a thin gauge metal. Will there be heat loss issues with these or does anyone have any experience with them?
  2. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If they are thin guage metal, you may be better off waiting and looking for something heavier. They would work, but cold weather and winds are going to strip the heat from them sooner than it would a thicker tank. But if your in a warmer climate, heck down South like Louisiana, I've seen some pretty think skinned smokers at them BBQ joints.
  3. I used a water pressure tank to make a gravity feed cold smoker.
  4. luter

    luter Newbie

    Here are a couple of the tanks I have picked up. Without checking yet it appears they are either 12 or 10 gauge. Is that sufficient for building a big rig out of?
  5. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You can use them, but heavier steel is preferred. I made mine out of 12 guage but mine was really just a test to see how cheap of a smoker I could make. Whole rig cost less than 50 bucks. There are a few ways around it though. If you make a reverse flow like I did, I added 1/4 inch plate on the bottom for the floor/drip tray. The heavy plate helps in absorbing heat and releasing it slowly. On windy days, the wind will strip the heat from a thin walled smoker, thats why I have to do mine in our barn when the winds howling. You also going to go thru a bit more fuel trying to maintain the steady upper temps and the heat will disipate more than thicker walled units. If you were to use them, I would run them like HELL FIRE GRILL did below, a vertivle smoker. That way the heat has no choice but to go by the meat, I think that would work better that a horizontal design unless of course you added some heavier steel inside the cabinet. I think if I had to redo mine, knowing what I know now, I would have made it into a verticle smoker like HELL FIRES.
  6. You could always combine the two into one. Take the second tank, cut it in half, use it to surround the first with insulation in the middle and fill in the gap in the center of the two pieces with a strip of the same gauge steel. That way you could use what you already have, with just the addition of a couple of pieces of metal, and some insulation. Just my two cents worth.

  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Make a couple nice verticals with them.
  8. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If its the kind that had an air bladder in them, yeah they are a bit thin. Also, be sure they aren't lined with any kind of material like a hot water tank. I've built wall tent stoves out of old hot water tanks that were lined with fiberglass resin which I've just burned out. I'd be a lot more diligent with one if I was doing a smoker.
  9. luter

    luter Newbie

    That is a great Idea Chris, thanks for the input. The more research I have done on this the more insulating the two tanks sounds like a great Idea. I do believe that if the tanks were sandwiched together with insulation between layers and the firebox was also insulated with thermofiber that it would also be very efficient.

    Has anyone ever insulated an entire grill in this way?

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