Glass lining in a water heater tank

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by bryano, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. bryano

    bryano Newbie

    I have a 50 gallon water heater I want to make a bbq/smoker out of. It has the glass lining. Do I need to remove the glass lining or can I just leave it? Will it shatter with the heat? If so, what is the prefered method for removing it? Any advice is appreciated.
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First off welcome to SMF there bryan. Will you please stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself properly and we can give you the welcome we like to give to new members. Now as far as you hot water heater tank it's glass nowI have never seen or heard of that before. Now as far as a smoker it will be awful small won't it. Did you look at the tank or is the glass that they are saying the fiberglas insulation that the tank is wrapped in ???
  3. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It indeed is glass lined, hep'd prevent rust. Yer gonna wanna remove that cause heat an cool cycles is gonna crack an chip it an will be fallin on yer food all the time.

    Never tried removin it, but I'd guess if ya heated it up an sprayed the glass with a hose it might come outa there. I'd be mighty carefull an wear some eye pertection cause it gonna go everwhere.

    Good luck.
  4. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its gotta come out. I would burn out the tank several times to see if that will loosen it for brushing out, or it might actually burn it out itself. I've made some wall tents stoves out of these tanks, and just burned them good outside after construction, not had much trouble. You will have to remove any of the glass that is in any area that needs to be welded or it will foul your weld.
  5. JohnnyM

    JohnnyM Newbie

    The porcelain lining is a very tough baked on coating and you will not be able to easily remove it, even using an angle grinder. Normal cooking & smoking in the unit will not cause it to separate from the metal. The reverse flow smoker I made I tried to burn it out even used the cold water cooling to try and separate it and it didn't budge. I had a very difficult time grinding enough of it away just to get to bare metal for welding. I would not worry about trying to remove it. You will find that it is more of a benefit by keeping it. First off, it helps prevent heat loss, particularly important since water heater tanks are thinner than the more commonly used propane tank. Second, it will prevent your firebox and cook chamber from rusting from the inside out. Fire and rust are both forms of oxidation (rust) and fire will rust from the inside out, the coating will protect it and it will last for decades.

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