or Connect
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Supplies & Equipment › Smoker Builds › Northern Tool Heavy Duty Burner question...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Northern Tool Heavy Duty Burner question... - Page 2

post #21 of 31

Drilling new holes in the current configuration still leaves you with a possible propane bomb.....  But, do what you wish.....  We can't force you to do things in a safe manner, only point out the deficiencies in your design...  Install a flame sensor so the propane shuts off when the flame goes out....

 

 

Man killed when meat smoker explodes

 

Colleen Kottke, The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter 4:49 p.m. EST December 15, 2014

 

(Photo: The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter)

TOWN of LAMARTINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin man using a homemade meat smoker to cook turkeys and chickens died when the smoker exploded, police said.

Richard L. Zabel, 55, was found dead Saturday afternoon inside a machine shed.

"The North Fond du Lac Ambulance and Lamartine first responders were called to the scene for the initial report that someone had fallen," said Lt. Cameron McGee of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. "When investigators arrived on scene, they discovered that a 55-year-old man was dead inside the building."

Zabel, a town of Lamartine man, did not live at the building's location, but lived nearby.

"Evidence indicates that the flame on the LP burner went out and as a result the gas continued to accumulate inside the smoker," McGee said. "And when (Zabel) went to relight the burner, the spark from the lighter caused the gas to explode."

McGee said the force of the explosion caused the heavy duty door of the smoker to blow open, striking Zabel in the head, killing him instantly.

"When something explodes, it's going to blow open at the weakest point which was the door, which was triple-latched," McGee said.

McGee said the smoker was larger and better constructed than most store-bought models.

"It was about 4-feet tall and about 3-feet wide and built really solid, including the door. Someone really put a lot of thought into building this thing," McGee said. "We were told that they had been using it for the past three years without any problems."

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

Drilling new holes in the current configuration still leaves you with a possible propane bomb.....  But, do what you wish.....  We can't force you to do things in a safe manner, only point out the deficiencies in your design...  Install a flame sensor so the propane shuts off when the flame goes out....

 

 

I am not sure why my smoker is any more dangerous (or deficient in design) then the multitude of smokers I have seen individuals build and show on this forum. I inherited the smoker and have used it without issue for the last couple of years. 
I recently changed the burner and installed a needle valve.  So, my original question was to inquire on how most folks, that use the Northern Tool burner, have the settings adjusted to.
I do appreciate you taking the time for sharing information you have posted.  It is educational and good reference material to have at hand.  
Good day to you.
d1
post #23 of 31

Well, I wouldn't want the entire bottom of the smoker open...:icon_biggrin: Gas smokers are no more dangerous than a gas grill. Common sense goes a long way, but you can blow yourself up with either.

 

If you're going to use holes, make them decent size. 2" or more would work. Or make something like a 6" opening below the burner.

post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mazz View Post

Well, I wouldn't want the entire bottom of the smoker open...icon_biggrin.gif Gas smokers are no more dangerous than a gas grill. Common sense goes a long way, but you can blow yourself up with either.

If you're going to use holes, make them decent size. 2" or more would work. Or make something like a 6" opening below the burner.

I drilled one 3" hole under the burner last night. It seemed to help. If I drill more holes, do you recommend openings in the floor or sides?
post #25 of 31

My Masterbuilt 44 inch has a 9.78 cubic foot cabinet. The 'as built' hole in the bottom is 8" X 14". That's 112 square inches. The exhaust flue I installed in the top is 6 inches in diameter. That's 28 square inches, one quarter of the bottom opening. I can throttle the exhaust by means of the damper I installed in the flue.

 

I'm just sayin'.....

post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly Jim View Post

My Masterbuilt 44 inch has a 9.78 cubic foot cabinet. The 'as built' hole in the bottom is 8" X 14". That's 112 square inches. The exhaust flue I installed in the top is 6 inches in diameter. That's 28 square inches, one quarter of the bottom opening. I can throttle the exhaust by means of the damper I installed in the flue.

I'm just sayin'.....

Compared to your smoker, my setup is definitely lacking air intake. I currently have one 3" hole and two 2" holes. The exhaust openings are two 6" holes. Do you happen to know the appropriate ratio for intake to exhaust? Thanks for your reply.
post #27 of 31

No Sir, can't help you with any ratios.

 

I installed the 6 inch flue in top of my smoker because the original vents only equated to a 2, 1/2" diameter hole. Not NEARLY enough. I put a damper in the flue so I could choke it if I wanted. That has paid off as there have been situations where a wide open 6 inch flue was too much exhaust.

 

When fuels gas is burned, the cubic feet of exhaust is greater than the combined cubic feet of air and fuel gas prior to ignition. I would rather have a bigger inlet to avoid starving the fuel of air.  And, with a nice big exhaust outfitted with a damper, you can always choke it down for whatever reason.

post #28 of 31

With the burner you have the air intakes are inside the CC with the burner. If you look at mine, combustion gas and air is supplied at the rear of the burner which is open to air. You need to make sure your burner is getting plenty of air so I would drill more holes in the bottom, near the gas inlets. Better yet would be to section it off from the CC entirely.

post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mazz View Post

With the burner you have the air intakes are inside the CC with the burner. If you look at mine, combustion gas and air is supplied at the rear of the burner which is open to air. You need to make sure your burner is getting plenty of air so I would drill more holes in the bottom, near the gas inlets. Better yet would be to section it off from the CC entirely.

Ok I installed a shelf surrounding the burner (I cut a hole for the burner). It is not 100% sealed off from the CC, as there is a gap between the shelf and door. I also drilled three 3" holes in the floor under the burner.

I started burning propane and got it up to temperature and regulated the flame height with the needle valve. It seemed to work well.

I did have an observation though. With my old burner setup the temperature at the top of the CC was about 5-7 degrees higher than the lower portion of the CC. With my new burner/setup, the top portion of the CC is 5-7 degrees cooler than the lower portion.

Any ideas on why there was a change?

d1
post #30 of 31

Switch the therms position...   the therms aren't reading the same...

post #31 of 31

I wouldn't worry about 5 or 10 degrees difference anyway.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Smoker Builds
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Supplies & Equipment › Smoker Builds › Northern Tool Heavy Duty Burner question...