Intakes: Single 1" Ball-valve or common 3/4 x 3 set-up?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by trig, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. trig

    trig Fire Starter

    What should I do? It would be easier to install just one intake, and I see that most people with the three piece set-up only use about 1/2 the air intake, so what's best?

    For those that have gone with whatever choices, would you do it differently next time?
  2. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I went with 4 3/4" intakes with gate valves on 3 of them. When I do it again I will go with 3 3/4" intakes with one ball valve.
  3. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm curious to know too. I'm planning on building a UDS over the winter. My thought is that I'm comfortable with the Minion Method. That said, I think 3 air intakes are better that way you get more even air distribution coming in to the charcoal basket. Whereas with just one, all of the air is coming in at a single point. I dunno.
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The only time I ever use 3 of the intakes is just for start up. After temps have been reached I have one around 1/4 to 1/2 open to maintain 240°.
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Three intakes seems to be the "standard" if there is such a thing.

    You generally start with both caps off and the valve wide open. As the drum warms up, you can put one cap on and/or close down the valve to get the desired temp. Most drums seem to run around 240ish with one cap on and the valve 1/2 to 1/3 open. Mine likes to run at 240ish with both caps on and the valve 1/2 open.

    The caps are just there because they are cheaper than the valve. If you thought of the drum "throttle" opening in a numeric sense from 0 (both caps on and valve closed) to 3 (both caps off and valve wide open) you can achieve anywhere from 0 to 3 with a combinaton of caps and the valve. One and 1/2 would be one cap off and the valve 1/2 open. Two and 1/2 would be both caps off and valve 1/2 open. It's an easy way to achieve infinite levels of air control without having to buy three very expensive valves.

    Having the air enter at just one side of the drum doesn't seem to make much difference. You are just burning a very small portion of the charcoal at a time anyway.

  6. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Got 3 3/4" intakes, 2 caps an a ball valve. Wouldn't do nothin different.
  7. trig

    trig Fire Starter

    I suppose I'll just go with the 3 intakes, 1 ball/2 cap set-up. A quick look at home depot and it seems like I'll be out about $15 bucks for the intakes.
  8. trig

    trig Fire Starter

    Just found a 1" gate valve. Looks like I'll be incorporating that into my build.

  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The gate valve imo is a pita. That's what I use and next time I'll go with a ball valve instead.
  10. michchef

    michchef Fire Starter

    I didn't want my ball valve sticking straight out of my UDS, because I'm clumsy and I just know that sooner or later I'd be bustin' my ankle on it, so I opted on adding an elbow fitting to it and running it parallel with the drum. I'd read somewhere that putting an elbow in the air intake restricts the flow somewhat, so to compensate, I upped the ball valve to a 1". So I have 2 3/4" open vents and a 1" ball valve. I paid $10.00 for it at Harbor Freight ($5.00 cheaper than Home Depot).
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd be willing to bet that if you measure the distance between the drum and the outside of the valve, you're farther away than if you would have done just the valve. Mine is 2.5" from the edge of the drum to the end of the valve body. With the handle straight out it is 5" though.

    Either way, I don't think you'd have a problem because I guaran-damn-tee, your not as clumsy as me. [​IMG][​IMG]

  12. smokin' dick

    smokin' dick Smoking Fanatic

    I agree that a gate valve will be a PITA. My first UDS has a 3/4" ball valve = not enough air flow. The second has a 1" ball valve, much better. The valves are on a 24" vertical riser pipe. No tripping and easy adjusting. Next time a
    1 1/2" valve will be there. Both barrels also have two 3/4" close nipples with caps. Here is a pic of the riser pipe.

    Oh, don't forget the mounted bottle opener on the side. It's necessary for the Sweet Blue!
  13. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    Watch the gate valve, the characteristics of it will be different that a ball valve. Gate Valves are designed to restrict more on the bottom end than the top. Just my $0.02
  14. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    i paid 599 for a 3/4 ball valve at harbor freight don't buy at home depot for ten each

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