Hot Water Tanks: Galvnaized?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by silverwolf636, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. silverwolf636

    silverwolf636 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    This neighbor behind me collects junk. He has a lot of hot water tanks. Are the tanks inside galvanized? I wouldn't think they would be because of human consumption. Is there a reason why I could not use a hot water tank for a smoker? I've never torn one apart to check out the tank itself.

    Thanks gang,
  2. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    It may be possible, but I don't think they have very thick walls...that may be the stopper.
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you talking about a hot water heater? For some reason I seem to remember someone asking the same question a while back and I seem to remember someone had a reason that you shouldn't use a hot water heater. HMMMMM Now you have me thinking. I will have to do some searching for that thread and see if am thinking right or not.
  4. silverwolf636

    silverwolf636 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for the reply. I don't think it would be too much worse than the smoker I'm using now; a 55 gallon drum. I could be wrong.

    Yea, hot water heaters.

  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I did find some posts from the past when I do an advanced search for Hot water heaters in the title only. It seems most of them have a glass lining that have to be removed I think that is what I was thinking about. Check out the posts but I think it could be done but it sounds like between the glass lining, fiberglass wrap on the outside and all the insulation it could be a big job. But if you have the tools and the time go for it. Hopefully someone else will have some better information as I know nothing about hot water heaters.
  6. greechneb

    greechneb Fire Starter

    I think most of the new ones have a glass lining of some sorts. There are some that have a rubber bladder lining as well. They really aren't too thick though. If you're gonna do it, I'd go with a propane tank or something similar, unless its one of the really old uninsulated water heaters.
  7. silverwolf636

    silverwolf636 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info and links gang. I'm checking out the links now. Propane tanks are hard for me to get a hold of. It's just that I noticed this guy has a lot of old hot water heaters just sittin there.

    thanx again,
  8. muleskinner

    muleskinner Newbie

    I pulled apart a 40 gallon water heater a few months ago. The tank is pretty thin, mine is only 14ga. Its 16'' diameter and around 5' tall. I guess it would be a little thicker than a barrel, but the diameter is a lot smaller.

    Edit: mine was about 9-10 years old and did not have any kind of a liner in it. (however, it did have about a foot of calcium deposits in the bottom) It had about 3-4 inches of spray foam stuck to the outside of the tank I had to scrape off.
  9. sawruff

    sawruff Fire Starter

    i hear that the gas hot water heater are the one u want thats what ive been told
  10. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I agree with Sawruff.  Try to get a old gas hot water. The others are thin.
  11. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My reverse flow that is trailer mounted has an old water heater tank as the fire box. Its considerable thicker then a drum, much easier to weld on. At least on the outside anyways. The inside was a different story, I had a heck of a time until I figured out what the problem was. The glass lining was dealing me a fit, then I started grounding my welder to the piece I was working on instead of grounding it to the trailer like I always do.

    Not sure if I did right or wrong but after I got the tank all welded up I closed the damper between the firebox and the cook area and built one heck of a fire. After that I just started using it like any other smoker and firebox.

    If you use a gas heater tank, dont forget that there is a pipe right up the center for the fumes and heat to travel up and out the flu. On mine I cut the bottom all the way around and then went to the top and cut just above where the flange started getting skinny. This let the whole center tube and bottom plate come out as one piece. I wish I had pics but I never took any of that project.

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