Author Topic: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer  (Read 3196 times)

Offline svenr

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Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« on: January 10, 2014, 04:14:03 pm »
Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum, but have been reading posts for the last few weeks.  I'm planning to add a second element to my OBS and use the Auber dual PID.  I'm adding the stock safety features to the new element including the high-temp sensor and thermocouple, and on/off switch and got everything from YardandPool.com.  I found lots of great pics, templates, and wiring diagrams - thanks to Habanero Smoker and everyone else who took the time to post them.

I saw two different methods to add a second heating element. 

The most comment way is here:
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?572-Additional-Heating-Element-Modification

But I also found a second method here:
http://www.smoked-meat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7247

Does anyone see anything wrong with using the second method?  I know the element may be a bit closer to the drip tray, so it may get hotter, but I think the finned element mod puts the element pretty close to the tray also.  What do you guys think?  Any pros or cons you can think of?

-- Sven

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 05:13:26 pm »
In my case I think adding the element on top (the second method) would interfere with the drip tray.
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Offline KyNola

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 06:08:48 pm »
"Does anyone see anything wrong with using the second element", not if your Bradley is over a year old but if you have a brand new Bradley as I suspect, the minute you add the second element your warranty is void.  That warranty covers a lot.

You decide what is worth more.

Offline svenr

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 07:05:39 pm »
Agreed.  I understand it voids the warranty and am OK with that.  I really meant to ask if anyone saw anything wrong with the second method.  I like that it doesn't involve grinding the porcelain insulators, and would make changing elements (when needed) easier.  Changing elements with the first method involves bending the heat shield to get the element in or out.  Those are the only real downsides I see to the first method.

I believe the drip tray will just clear the insulators with the second way.  If there's interference with the drip tray, then I agree that's not ideal.  I like the stock look and think *maybe* the porcelain insulators provide a bit of extra safety margin for the wire.  Probably not much though since the temps are so low compared to the rating of the wire, but in theory at least.



Offline KyNola

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 07:31:50 pm »
Long as you're good with voiding your warranty, then by all means drive on!

Welcome to the Forum!

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 02:21:06 am »
Hi svenr;

Welcome to the forum.

The original idea of installing a second element was posted by Mr Walleye. I looked at the post, although rather quickly, and he doesn't give many details, so I can't give an opinion of which installation is preferable.

If there is any concern, I would think it would be two 500w elements directly connected to the back of the cabinet. If you look at the below picture. That is damage caused from the heat of a one element Bradley. Keep in mind, my smoker was almost 5 years old when that picture was taken; so you are looking at 5 years of use.



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  ::)

Offline svenr

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 07:04:02 am »
Thanks for the warm welcome. 

Habanero Smoker, I saw those pics of the heat damage, and was thinking of adding some high-temp insulation to the back wall of the smoker about 8-10" up.  There's not a lot of room there, so I'll see how it goes.  However for 5 years of use that's not too bad and the wires look to be in good shape.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Adding 2nd heating element, which do you prefer
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 01:04:57 pm »
Besides the foam insulation, Bradley also installs a section of a very thin insulation; right behind the area where the element is located. I'm not sure what type of insulation it is. It reminds me of the material a fireman's blanket is made of, but thinner.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)