Help with thermostat and controlling heat

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doggie

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Original poster
Jul 22, 2019
2
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I recently built a new smoker. I have a propane burner out of a pool heater. I added a thermostatic control unit to the burner. It has 5 tube burners on it. I blocked off 3 burners. And I also have a wood stove on the outside for producing smoke.
I like to hot smoke venison sticks and bologna along with venison dry beef.
Problem is, when the burners are on, it gets to hot above the flame which will burn the meat. I'll include pictures
 

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SmokinEdge

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You could use a heat diffuser, a steel plate placed over the flame that is maybe a foot smaller than the smokehouse dimensions, so you would have about 6” clearance all around the walls
 
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choochooman442

Fire Starter
Oct 16, 2015
43
46
The diffuser plate will help. Judging from the photo most likely that pool heater was rated at 500,000 Btus so each burner is 100,000 Btus, about the size of the average household furnace. Way too much heat. Turning down the pressure of the gas can be problematic and cause combustion issues. Propane is normally feed to that type of burner at 11" WC pressure and your flame looks good in the photo. Looks like a Rego twin stage regulator so your pressure is probably correct. Two suggestions I have. You could switch the burner configuration and use the outside only ones to help spread the heat, doing so would require a cross over light tube which I assume the burner rack had. As I said lowering the pressure is not the best way to help your problem, you can reduce the gas volume while keeping the pressure the same. The best way to do that is to replace the oricifes. I am guessing here using your photo. If the burner is 100,00 Btus then the orifice would be a number 31 drill size. You can get new ones that are drilled at #80 and resize yourself if you have the drills needed. the link here will show you the Btus for each drill with LP (propane). https://andersonforrester.com/conversion-chart/
Do know any gas technicians?
Glad to help further if you want.
 

choochooman442

Fire Starter
Oct 16, 2015
43
46
Another issue I forgot to mention is that 20# gas tank cannot safely supply the burners at that Btu load. The gas in the tank is in liquid form and will stay liquid until pressure is released through the piping and regulator. As the pressure drops the liquid will boil (It boils at -44 degrees) to maintain pressure, the "heat" comes from the air in contact with the tank but only heats the liquid not the vapor inside. As the gas boils it refrigerates the liquid and if not sized correctly for the Btu load will cool down and lower the pressure in the tank. A load the is too big can cause the tank to cool enough to stop the flow. A 100# tank or larger would be best. there are charts to figure out the sizing.

Shaun
 
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Fueling Around

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Is your pool heater a natural gas or LPG unit?
NG units have a much larger gas orifice than LPG.
I changed out a water heater that had a NG orifice fed by LPG. The bottom on the WH was very tortured by the excess heat.

Let's put this in another view.
If you have a grill or flat top griddle that cradles the the little 1# bottle at an angle is to keep the propane vaporizing due to more surface area of the fuel under the vapor space.
If you use a hose and feed from a larger tank, the angle is not significant.
 

bill1

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Apr 25, 2015
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If only the lower pieces of meat are burning, add a diffuser as mentioned by SmokinEdge. Then the meat isn't seeing that red-hot infrared source, just the convection heating of the hot air all around.

But I suspect like choochooman that your whole smoker is maybe too hot??? What temp inside were you getting? It appears to me that burner is just too many BTUs for that size space if you want to run at normal smoker temps. Unless you're in awfully cold outside weather.
 

doggie

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Jul 22, 2019
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I work for a propane company. I know that a 20lb cylinder may not produce enough vapor pressure to sustain the burners. I'm just testing my Temps. I have a 100lb cylinder which will be used. And yes, I do have access to other offices and drill bits.
I am also including pictures of the wood stove and piping also.
 

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choochooman442

Fire Starter
Oct 16, 2015
43
46
I work for a propane company. I know that a 20lb cylinder may not produce enough vapor pressure to sustain the burners. I'm just testing my Temps. I have a 100lb cylinder which will be used. And yes, I do have access to other offices and drill bits.
I am also including pictures of the wood stove and piping also.
I was going to comment the nice pipe work and frost proof nuts. I have retired I spent 40 yrs in the energy fields mostly with propane.
 
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