heat control

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by mriversinco, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. mriversinco

    mriversinco Fire Starter

    Hi there,

    I'm sure this has been asked before but I can't seem to find a good thread on it.  I have a smoker I made out of an old blanket warmer.  I took the bottom and put a 1500W U shaped heating element in there similar to this:

    Then put a thermostat on it and mounted it in the wall of the unit.  The probe is then about 10" above the heat unit on a bracket on the wall.

    Here's my problem.  Lately the smoker only gets to 160 or 170 degrees tops.  I took the probe out of it's bracket and put it outside the door and the smoker got to 240 or so.  Obviously it's the heat control but wondering what I should do?  

    I've never liked the temperature control of this unit so should I switch to a digital unit?  What's recommended, and how do you wire it?

  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does it have a thermal limit switch?  Most of these things do. 

    That is why you cannot take a $15 wallmart counter top heating element and pop it in a smoker.  Once it get's hot enough, the limiter shuts your power to the element off (its a safety device).  If your probe is shutting off the power when it hits 160 to 170, but lets it get to 240 when the probe is outside the pit, that sounds like there is a limiter somewhere in the circuit.  Inside the pit, it hit the limit, outside the pit at room temp the probe never hits a high enough temp to limit out, so that sounds just like a limiter.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  3. mriversinco

    mriversinco Fire Starter

    I have no idea about the limiter.  Basically the heat element was one off from amazon that was a universal smoker heater element.  It worked fine for a year or so and lately isn't going up past 170 until I take the probe out of the smoker.

    Simply, what do I do to set up right and have it the way it should be?


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