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Author Topic: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap  (Read 25616 times)

Offline pmmpete

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How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« on: February 24, 2012, 12:24:43 am »
I decided to add a fan to my smoker in an effort to even out its temperature and smoke levels, but the fan kits which are available are pretty expensive, so I figured out how to add a fan for less money.  I bought a replacement motor for a bathroom vent fan for $15 at Home Depot.  Replacement motors are available for about the same cost from Lowes and Ace Hardware.  And I ordered a 3.5" aluminum fan blade from Grainger for $4.66, plus $9.23 of shipping.



Before you buy a motor, measure the thickness of the back of your smoker and confirm that the shaft of the motor is long enough to hold the fan blade, with enough clearance between the fan and the back wall of the inside of the smoker to allow air to circulate.  The fan blade I bought is supposed to move 100 cfm of air.  A bigger and/or higher volume blade will fit in my smoker, but I decided not to go overboard.  The fan blade blew air back at the motor when I tried it, so I dismantled the motor and reassembled it with the rotor facing the other direction.  Note the difference in the location of the copper wire in the picture above and the picture below.  Now the fan blade blows air away from the motor.  Grainger shipped the fan blade to me in a padded envelope, and it got slightly squished in transit, so I had to realign the blades.  If you order a fan blade, ask the supplier to ship it in a box.

Then I rooted around in my workshop and found a power cord, a power switch, and a galvanized framing angle, I picked up about $1.00 of miscellaneous hardware at a local hardware store, and I assembled the fan.  The total cost of the parts was about $30.



Then I drilled holes in the back of my smoker for the shaft of the motor and two mounting screws, and mounted the motor on the back of my smoker.



The fan works pretty well, although it doesn't seem to blow as much air as it did before I mounted it, probably because the blade is pretty close to the back wall of the smoker.



I'm going to catch some Lake Trout this weekend and smoke them, so I can see if the fan improves the performance of my smoker.

« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 10:47:14 pm by pmmpete »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 02:02:15 am »
I like the idea of the toggle switch.

The motor is a good deal. Is there any specs. listed on the box so that members can compare that motor with the one from Grainger that goes for $50.

Is there more information on the:
HP:
RPM:
Shaft Length:
Rotation direction:


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline pmmpete

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 07:12:20 am »
The motor I bought is a Broan BP50 replacement ventilation fan motor and blower wheel.  The only specification on the box is "50 cfm." The shaft is 3/16" in diameter and 1.5" long.  The shaft originally rotated counter-clockwise as you look at the shaft.  I couldn't find the part on Broan's website, so I don't have any other specifications for this particular fan.  You can go to your local hardware store, locate the replacement ventilation fan motors, and pop open the boxes to see if they contain specifications for the motors.  The motors come with a standard electric plug on the wires, so to determine which direction the motor rotates, you can bring it over to a wall plug in the store and plug it in.

The replacement motors which were available locally all came with a "blower wheel," which is a 4.5" plastic disk with eight fins sticking out from it at right angles.  A picture is shown below.  I didn't like the idea of putting a plastic fan in my smoker, so I invested in an aluminum fan blade.  But if the plastic blower wheel is acceptable to you, you could add a fan to your smoker even cheaper.

« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 10:49:56 pm by pmmpete »

Offline TMB

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 07:40:48 am »
Nice fan mod!   I like the price as well.   I hope it works the way you want it to
Live, ride, eat well and thank God!

Offline rsherman24

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 07:50:28 am »
Nice find.  I just ordered the fan kit from SmokeAndStuff after contemplating building my own mod for some time.  After reading every post I could find during research, it seems that everyone adds an additional fan blade to the outside of the smoker wall to cool the motor.  Obviously this requires a motor with a longer shaft and an additional fan blade. 

Have you had any issues with the motor heating up while running and attached to the oven?

Offline JZ

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 07:59:22 am »
Nice job.

Please let us know how it does with the fish and if you still have to rotate the racks. I see your smoker is a different brand but assume you had uneven heat distribution in the cab too.

Offline pmmpete

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 09:03:31 am »
I decided not to worry about the motor heating up, because the shaft of the motor and the two mounting bolts shouldn't transmit very much heat from the inside of the smoker to the body of the motor, and because the body of the motor is entirely exposed to the outside air and should dissipate any heat transferred along the shaft and the bolts pretty well, particularly in cold weather.  I'll let you know if this theory turns out to be correct.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 12:56:17 pm by pmmpete »

squirtthecat

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 09:06:43 am »

Could you bend the tips of those fan blades in a bit?  Perhaps that would 'push' a little more air around?

Offline mikecorn.1

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How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 10:59:06 am »
Nice find.  I just ordered the fan kit from SmokeAndStuff after contemplating building my own mod for some time.  After reading every post I could find during research, it seems that everyone adds an additional fan blade to the outside of the smoker wall to cool the motor.  Obviously this requires a motor with a longer shaft and an additional fan blade. 

Have you had any issues with the motor heating up while running and attached to the oven?
The smoke and stuff kit comes with two blades. One for inside the other for outside the smoker.


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Mike

wipf9994

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 01:24:47 pm »
The motor I bought is a Broan BP50 replacement ventilation fan motor and blower wheel.  The only specification on the box is "50 cfm." The shaft is 3/16" in diameter and 1.5" long.  The shaft originally rotated counter-clockwise as you look at the motor.  I couldn't find the part on Broan's website, so I don't have any other specifications for this particular fan.  You can go to your local hardware store, locate the replacement ventilation fan motors, and pop open the boxes to see if they contain specifications for the motors.  The motors come with a standard electric plug on the wires, so to determine which direction the motor rotates, you can bring it over to a wall plug in the store and plug it in.

The replacement motors which were available locally all came with a "blower wheel," which is a 4.5" plastic disk with eight fins sticking out from it at right angles.  A picture is shown below.  I didn't like the idea of putting a plastic fan in my smoker, so I invested in an aluminum fan blade.  But if the plastic blower wheel is acceptable to you, you could add a fan to your smoker even cheaper.


I did the exact same thing. picked up a motor from Home Depot and went to a local Grainger and ordered a 900w element and a fan blade. thought i would be able to pick it up but no such luck. they dont stock it.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 01:38:50 pm »
Thanks for the feed back. Looking forward to it's performance.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

NePaSmoKer

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 01:42:43 pm »
I aint never seen these small motors at Homepeepot or Lowes. Mind filling us in on what isle or area.

Offline pmmpete

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 02:00:50 pm »
The replacement motors will be with the bathroom ventilation fans.  Find somebody wearing an apron and ask them where the bathroom ventilation fans are located.

wipf9994

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 02:26:02 pm »
The replacement motors will be with the bathroom ventilation fans.  Find somebody wearing an apron and ask them where the bathroom ventilation fans are located.
they are in the bath isle. you cant just buy the motor itself u have to buy the complete motor and bracket it comes in

Offline pmmpete

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Re: How to add a fan to your smoker cheap
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 02:32:40 pm »
Several local stores I checked stock just the replacement motor and blower wheel, without any bracket or other parts, manufactured by Broan and another manufacturer which I can't remember.