FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


suggestions needed......
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Cookers
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Hotdog
BBQ Fan


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09 14 8:13 am    Post subject: suggestions needed...... Reply with quote

Im building a RF cabinet smoker. Its going to have a built in water pan 3 inches deep. It will also have a 10 gallon water tank on the outside of the smoker to feed the water pan.

Im wanting something that will trigger the water to flow into the pan and then stop when full. Kinda like a toilet tank. There must be something simple out there that would work...........

Thanks all......
_________________
I have some "wants" but NO "needs"...
So I consider myself a rich man...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
necron 99
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09 14 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A big difference is the water in the toilet tank isn't boiling vs. the water in your smoker water pan. This introduces considerable, but not insurmountable, noise in the measurement / detection of the liquid level.

if grease can get into your smoker water pan, this introduces another complication as the floating oil will have a different density than water.

It doesn't mean it can't be done, but it will be a question of how much do you want to spend, how deep do you plan for your water pan to be in your smoker (deeper is better but tradeoff is room for water pan decreases room for meat), and how much do you want to address control system upsets & failures.
_________________
Let's hope SoEzzy can ditch his heavy hand on photos in 2016!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3148
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09 14 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not let nature self level the water for you?

I saw this on another site but I can't find the picture at the moment. They took a 5 gallon water bottle and inverted it into an external catch. The top of the neck of the water bottle was at the exact height of the desired level in the cooker. The catch was piped into the cooker's water pan. As the water is exhausted in the cooker the level in the catch will decrease then some air is burped into the bottle and it'll find equilibrium once again.

If you run out of water then remove the water bottle and put on another. It's the same principle as the office water bottle cooler.


Edit: I found this. Sorry for posting a competitors site but just trying to help out a bbq brother; http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=696732
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09 14 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will most likely need a normally open switch so when the float drops the circuit closes and activates your pump.
These may work or get you started in the right direction.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
http://www.liquidlevel.com/products_switches_standard_vt_LS-11-040.asp
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hotdog
BBQ Fan


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10 14 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info guys!

This gives me something to think about....... With the hot water it cant be a closed system, never thought about the water pan simmering to throw off the "float".

May just use a drip system with an over flow port running out the bottom....... Not quite to that point yet so have a little time to think about it.

Thanks , Hotdog.
_________________
I have some "wants" but NO "needs"...
So I consider myself a rich man...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10 14 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hotdog wrote:
Thanks for the info guys!

This gives me something to think about....... With the hot water it cant be a closed system, never thought about the water pan simmering to throw off the "float".

May just use a drip system with an over flow port running out the bottom....... Not quite to that point yet so have a little time to think about it.

Thanks , Hotdog.

I doubt the water simmering will effect the float I posted enough to matter.
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SoEzzy
Site Admin


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10 14 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Edit: I found this. Sorry for posting a competitors site but just trying to help out a bbq brother; http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=696732


Don't fret Smokin Mike, good information put on this board can come from any source, if it's spam or faulty information, it will be deleted or pointed out as being faulty.

We don't mind if folks think another site is better, if you like posting somewhere, go enjoy it, just don't go cut and paste the same threads, here, there and everywhere! Wink
_________________
Here's a change Robert.

I still work here!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
missionsusmc
BBQ Pro


Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 633
Location: Rogersville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Why not let nature self level the water for you?

I saw this on another site but I can't find the picture at the moment. They took a 5 gallon water bottle and inverted it into an external catch. The top of the neck of the water bottle was at the exact height of the desired level in the cooker. The catch was piped into the cooker's water pan. As the water is exhausted in the cooker the level in the catch will decrease then some air is burped into the bottle and it'll find equilibrium once again.

If you run out of water then remove the water bottle and put on another. It's the same principle as the office water bottle cooler.


Edit: I found this. Sorry for posting a competitors site but just trying to help out a bbq brother; http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=696732


A little off-topic and not something I'm planning on doing, but can someone explain how this would work. If a 5 gal water bottle is inverted, the neck would be at the bottom, so you would have ~5 gal of water ABOVE your level line, assuming your level line is at the neck of your bottle. Wouldn't that extra ~5 gal of water try to force its way into your water pan? I have a mechanical-type mind. Fluid and flow are a bit confusing though.
_________________
"Never trust a skinny cook."
"Real men pass gas and use hickory."
"Happiness is...a belt-fed weapon."

Mary had a little lamb, a little brisket, a little ribs, and boy she was full!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
necron 99
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both liquid levels would equilibrate to the same height (or overflow the shallower container until the higher container level gets that far down), without some sort of valve apparatus. If the full external jug was 12 inches tall, you would have 1 foot of liquid water head imbalance. If the full container was 2 feet tall, the same 5 gallons would exert a 2 feet liquid water head imbalance, etc. The height of the two liquid levels is what matters for pressure / pressure differences.

The referenced thread is using the funnel only as a reservoir for additional liquid. The liquid level in both the smoker water pan and the funnel will decrease together as liquid water is converted to steam in the smoker's water pan. The pan & funnel are equalized at all times that a free flow path exists between them in this design. By keeping the top of the funnel below the top of the smoker water pan, you can't really overflow the smoker water pan when adding water to the funnel if you add water to the funnel reasonably gently.

Steam production is something I have some experience with, this discussion involves producing atmospheric pressure steam (0 PSIG steam). A reverse acting differential pressure sensor is typical for a steam drum installation in industry, however in this case the HP (high pressure) leg would simply be water filled externally and not connected back to the smoker since the smoker isn't pressurized.

Level Instrument Technical Document

So the shallower the water pan, the more difficult to sort signal from noise in a pan or vessel with boiling water in it.

Bubbles in a liquid reduce the density of the liquid. This definitely affects floats designed for a simple liquid / vapor interface allowing the float to sink to a level free of bubbles (if possible) before 'floating'.
_________________
Let's hope SoEzzy can ditch his heavy hand on photos in 2016!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greasyfingers
Newbie


Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 6:19 am    Post subject: weld a pipe through the smoker wall Reply with quote

I am going to start adding a 12.6mm pipe into my next smokers that directs the water it to the water pan.

So then when I open the smoker to check the water I do not have to mess around leaning in trying to fill the pan through the grates.
Then use a screw on cap to block the pipe.
Also I will place my waterpan to the side of the grates to stop it filling with grease and creating such a mess to clean up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 6:33 am    Post subject: Re: weld a pipe through the smoker wall Reply with quote

Greasyfingers wrote:
I am going to start adding a 12.6mm pipe into my next smokers that directs the water it to the water pan.

^^^^^^^^^
That is right at a 1/2" for those of us that live in the real world. Wink Razz Laughing Very Happy
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3148
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For non-believers, nay sayers, and those with morbid curiosity I present my mini-version of an auto-refill system. I have inverted a 16 oz. bottle of water into a Pyrex measuring bowl to illustrate the principle.



Necron explained the phenomenon in scientific terms, but quite simply the water in the bottle will remain until the level in the measuring bowl dips below the neck. At that point some air will burp into the bottle, some liquid will evacuate until the seal is re-established by the rising level in the measuring bowl.

necron 99 wrote:
The referenced thread is using the funnel only as a reservoir for additional liquid.

That is correct. I'm suggesting a cradle of some sort (larger funnel perhaps) to support a 5 gallon water bottle and the system now becomes self sustaining... that is until the water is exhausted from the water bottle.

SoEzzy wrote:
Don't fret Smokin Mike, good information put on this board can come from any source

Thanks boss! I couldn't remember the policy. Some sites get squirrely if you mention a competitor. Go figure???
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
For non-believers, nay sayers, and those with morbid curiosity I present my mini-version of an auto-refill system. I have inverted a 16 oz. bottle of water into a Pyrex measuring bowl to illustrate the principle.



Necron explained the phenomenon in scientific terms, but quite simply the water in the bottle will remain until the level in the measuring bowl dips below the neck. At that point some air will burp into the bottle, some liquid will evacuate until the seal is re-established by the rising level in the measuring bowl.

necron 99 wrote:
The referenced thread is using the funnel only as a reservoir for additional liquid.

That is correct. I'm suggesting a cradle of some sort (larger funnel perhaps) to support a 5 gallon water bottle and the system now becomes self sustaining... that is until the water is exhausted from the water bottle.

SoEzzy wrote:
Don't fret Smokin Mike, good information put on this board can come from any source

Thanks boss! I couldn't remember the policy. Some sites get squirrely if you mention a competitor. Go figure???

Well color that water red and call me a Humming bird. Very Happy
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hotdog
BBQ Fan


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW.....loads of info here Laughing

smokin mike....that idea would work but Im afraid that with a 10 to 12 hour cook on a hot summer day the hot water may work its way back to the water tank and then have an pressurized water tank from the hot water. If I have an air opening in the top then the system above would not work....water would continuously run I do believe.

Thanks..... Hotdog

PS..... my external water water tank is a 10 gallon spun alum. fuel tank....the kind ya see on sand buggys.....should be cool Laughing .
_________________
I have some "wants" but NO "needs"...
So I consider myself a rich man...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3148
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hotdog wrote:
If I have an air opening in the top then the system above would not work....water would continuously run I do believe..


Yep, can't be vented or you'll have Niagara Falls in your cooker for sure. Laughing

Do what you got to do boss. Hopefully this idea will help someone else.

Kevin, you're a hummingbird Wink Laughing Laughing Wink
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Hotdog wrote:
If I have an air opening in the top then the system above would not work....water would continuously run I do believe..


Yep, can't be vented or you'll have Niagara Falls in your cooker for sure. Laughing

Do what you got to do boss. Hopefully this idea will help someone else.

Kevin, you're a hummingbird Wink Laughing Laughing Wink


_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
necron 99
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Aug 2007
Posts: 2594
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like where Smokin' Mike went with this - I honestly didn't see this coming until he posted his picture. I was focused on what the poster in the linked thread had done. Good thinkin' dude!

If you have a free flow path between the water reservoir and water pan, any volume expansion due to temperature increase should just put more mass in the water pan. Thermal relief systems for (essentially) non-compressible fluids need to make just a little room for the pressure to drop. So as long as your water pan isn't capped and pressurized, Smokin' Mike's idea is OK in terms of water thermal expansion. There's a free expansion path to the pan that's open to the (smoker) atmosphere.

The potential downside I see to Smokin' Mike's design is when it does its thing and 'burps' some water into the pan. If the level of water in the pan is pretty low, you could have some rapid boiling from the newly introduced water hitting parts of the pan that are dry and hot until the 'burp'. This can be addressed by how you choose what level to put things at, the opening size of the water reservoir to the water pan, and a bit of real-world experimenting to see how far from steady-state the system deviates when the transient 'burps' occur. The goal would be to make a longer series of small burps as opposed to shorter larger burps, and not let the floor of the pan be covered in just a puddle or worse almost go dry before 'burping' water back into the pan.

I think that without some sort of other pit control, there could be a (slower, more gradual) temperature increase as the pan level drops followed by a more sudden temperature drop when replacement water comes back into the pan. This can be minimized by minimizing the distance between the top level you want the water pan to operate at and the level the 'burping' occurs.

Overall - doable!
_________________
Let's hope SoEzzy can ditch his heavy hand on photos in 2016!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26016
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

necron 99 wrote:
I like where Smokin' Mike went with this - I honestly didn't see this coming until he posted his picture. I was focused on what the poster in the linked thread had done. Good thinkin' dude!

If you have a free flow path between the water reservoir and water pan, any volume expansion due to temperature increase should just put more mass in the water pan. Thermal relief systems for (essentially) non-compressible fluids need to make just a little room for the pressure to drop. So as long as your water pan isn't capped and pressurized, Smokin' Mike's idea is OK in terms of water thermal expansion. There's a free expansion path to the pan that's open to the (smoker) atmosphere.

The potential downside I see to Smokin' Mike's design is when it does its thing and 'burps' some water into the pan. If the level of water in the pan is pretty low, you could have some rapid boiling from the newly introduced water hitting parts of the pan that are dry and hot until the 'burp'. This can be addressed by how you choose what level to put things at, the opening size of the water reservoir to the water pan, and a bit of real-world experimenting to see how far from steady-state the system deviates when the transient 'burps' occur. The goal would be to make a longer series of small burps as opposed to shorter larger burps, and not let the floor of the pan be covered in just a puddle or worse almost go dry before 'burping' water back into the pan.

I think that without some sort of other pit control, there could be a (slower, more gradual) temperature increase as the pan level drops followed by a more sudden temperature drop when replacement water comes back into the pan. This can be minimized by minimizing the distance between the top level you want the water pan to operate at and the level the 'burping' occurs.

Overall - doable!

Or just use a float switch like I posted, not much guess work involved there. Wink Very Happy
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3148
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11 14 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

necron 99 wrote:
The potential downside I see to Smokin' Mike's design is when it does its thing and 'burps' some water into the pan. If the level of water in the pan is pretty low, you could have some rapid boiling from the newly introduced water hitting parts of the pan that are dry and hot until the 'burp'.


Your "burpage" (is that a word Question ) can be controlled by the size of hole in the neck of the bottle. Big hole = big gulp; small hole = little sip So if you're using a 5 gallon water bottle for example, put a cap on it and drill out a small hole to control the amount of air that's allowed to enter the bottle when the water level goes below the neck.

I don't think the level of the water pan would or should get so low that it flashes steam when water comes in... unless you designed it that way. If you set your water pan level to a reasonable height and your water reservoir entry point is the same height then you'll always maintain that level as long as water is in the reservoir. Design it so that it takes small sips and you won't be shocking the system.

Anyway, it sounds like Hotdog is wanting to use this dune buggy tank for the coolness factor and since it's vented then we're back to the toilet tank level control scheme. I think a simple fill valve would work but I would shy away from anything with much plastic on it. I would mount it external and perhaps allow a couple of feet of pipe between it and the water pan in the cooker to buffer it from the heat. If I have some time later I'll sketch up something.

While we're pondering on this, Hotdog could you give us an idea of where you're intending to mount this tank.
will it be above or below the water pan in the cooker? If above you can let gravity be your friend. If below then a level switch and a pump would have to take care of business, per k.a.m.'s suggestion.
_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3148
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12 14 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my concept drawing on a gravity fed system using a brass fill valve. You would also use a brass extension rod and metal float to actuate the valve. The water in the float box could be hot and steamy... not sure if it would be boiling but none the less the components should be rated for 225° minimum. Also to consider is the weight of the 10 gallon tank when it's full. You could have 80 lbs. of water sitting up there so your structural design needs to accommodate that. The other option, if you don't like this one, is to mount the tank below the level of the water pan but that would require some type of pump and electrical float switch to control the system.

You had mentioned some kind of constant drip / overflow method but I personally don't think that's a good idea. It seems that one of the biggest complaints about water cookers is trying to get the thing up to temperature and keeping it there. I guess it all depends on your flow rate but I could see temperature control problems if things were not exactly right. I would only add water on demand if it were me.




_________________
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
The Ultimate New Braunfels Makeover
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Cookers All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group