PID question - how & where

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by jjwdiver, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. 2 part question for those who have already installed and are running a PID on an electric element.

    1) I have the wiring diagram and get where stuff connects, but I need to know what is the end purpose of the temp control unit that comes with the element. (the original on/off, low-medium-high control knob that plugs into the wall and connects to the element itself) Specifically, if the PID turns it on & off with a specific temp setting, where do you set the control knob?. Leave it on low, medium, high...keep changing it for desired temp per cook, ??? etc.

    2) I asked this on another thread but I'm looking for other answers, and some others are questioning the same thing: Where did you mount the PID temp probe in relation to the heating element? 1 response made sense, but it was a small smoker. I am in a fridge conversion where the smoke box is 4'x2' and 16" deep.

    Thanks so much and I hope this helps others out as well. My build is a slow process, but the pieces are starting to come together. Hoping to get a test fire by the end of this month - we shall see!
  2. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    I assume you plug your smoker into the pid, and the pid into the 120 outlet - thats how I wired my pid. If thats the case the simplest thing to do is to simply set your original temp control knob to its highest setting, that way it will always be "on" so the pid will really be controlling the temp.

    I thought about removing the original temp control on my smoker, but decided to installed a toggle switch instead.
    In the up position it passes the current through the original temp control so I can use the smoker without the pid.
    In the down position current bypasses the original temp controller. That allows me to get higher temps if I want to when I use the pid, and also eliminates the inaccuracy issues of the original temp controller at its highest settings. (The original control was shutting off even though the pid said it wasnt hot enough.)

    edit: Btw, another reason I chose that setup was so I could still use the smoker when the pid was snatched by the boys for the incubator. :)
  3. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    sorry, didnt see question #2.
    My smoker is about 2'x2'x3', I didnt permanently mount the temp probe. I put it close to wherever the most temp-sensitive food in the smoker will be, or halfway between the racks when I have multiple racks of meat going. In other words - I want to know the temp where the meat is, not where the element is.
  4. Thanks plj!!!!!

    anyone else with their thought?
  5. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    You set it to full blast and leave it there and the PID takes it from there. If you had it set to a lower setting it would just take the PID all that much longer to bring the temp up to the target temp.

    You want to mount the temp sensor as close to the area where you want the temp maintained as possible, i.e. next to where you'll be putting the food you're cooking.

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