Needle Valve advice needed

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by undertow, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. undertow

    undertow Newbie

    Howdy gang,

    Even after poring over hundreds of posts, I'm unable to really pin down what (and possibly where) I should be looking for in a needle valve.

    I have a Smoke Hollow 38" behemoth, and can't get it under 315 degrees. I see that the needle valve is a pretty common mod for propane rigs, however I couldn't nail down any specifics on what I should be looking for.

    1) What specifications would make a needle valve ok for use with propane? Brass and 1/4 NPT? Is that enough? ...or are there other specs I need to know so I don't use something that shouldn't be used with propane?

    2) Am I going to be able to find these needle valves at a Home Depot, or perhaps a specialty grill store? RV store? Or am I best served online...

    3) Any pointers on installation? Teflon tape? Rules I should follow to avoid leaks?

    4) I read some people had issues with needle valves tripping the OPD -- is there an order to "open" the valves? "tank, needle, regulator?"

    Thanks in advance,

  2. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I got mine at MSC industrial supply,

    I have also seen them at Grainger and Barrett hardware in Illinois

    They have a few different styles, I did use 1/4 pipe but 1/8 pipe should be ok as well. My burner/valve is a home brew combinations.

    I picked a brass one and found the other brass fitting that i needed at my local hardware store. I think i paid around $10.00 for mine.

    I am still playing with burners, regulators and valves to get the correct match for my setup, but the needle valve and a larger water pan helped me keep temps around 200.

    I have to agree with others on this forum that adding a needle valve can create a dangerous situation---if the burner does not have enough pressure to keep a flame when you close the door or a slight wind is around, it is not a good setup.

    I never adjust the main control, I leave it on the high setting and adjust the needle valve for preheat to about 250 and then adjust it down to what I need after I put in the meat.

    I would not advise cigaretts untill you get everything dialed in.

    Good luck
  3. aucivil

    aucivil Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Have you contacted the manufacturer about the temps? May have a regulator or valve issue.

    Does this unit have multiple vents? If it doesn't have any in the bottom you could add some (have read where others have added vents).
  4. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I got mine at Grainger's...if you know someone with a business account, you can pick up a 1/4" npt for around 5 bucks.

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