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Author Topic: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help  (Read 21656 times)

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« on: November 09, 2015, 01:39:19 AM »
So I'm all new to the electric smoker world. I had a WSM for years, but tired of the charcoal hassle in the winter up in the northeast and cleanup.

Anyways I have a DigiQ2 that I used with the WSM, so I have the raptor attachment on order so I can use it with the Bradley. Anways my problem is I want to put a higher output element in before using it. I should have the Bradley on Wednesday. My goal is to eithier place the 750 or 900 element in place of the 500. Now I have seen the posts for both installs, I am not handy at all. I can manage the element replacement without fabricating anything. So can you point me to an element that would be a direct swap without moving things around? Maybe the 750 seems best for this? I saw the two 500 method and I probably would screw that up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 07:50:37 AM »
I want to order part ASAP, I have family coming in from out of town and I promised an amazing meal! Please help if you can!

Offline cathouse willy

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 10:30:07 AM »
Welcome to the forum. You can make amazing meals with the bradley smoker just as it comes out of the box. The higher output element won't make them taste any better.You say you're not handy and you promised a smoked dinner in the near future? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. My advice would be (it's free and worth every penny), take the pressure off and learn to use the smoker as it comes.Then once you've got a few smokes under your belt and wowed the family you can change your element. There's a load of info on this site for helping the smoker recover faster. My bradley has it's own cabinet and an insulation blanket and I smoke any weather, all year long with the 500w element so it can be done. Good luck with your new smoker

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 04:18:40 PM »
Thank you for the advice, but it gets to minus 30 below here. I know I will not be satisfied, espically with recovery time. Would love some help with the question about a direct swap
 Thank you all!

Offline Orion

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 07:12:09 PM »
Bradleyincleveland,

I can't help you specifically with a straight element swap but I can offer you the following:

Either way you do this mod requires you to take a small portion of the element assy, reflector and back panel off. There is really no way around that.

Once you have the unit disassembled you are half way to adding a second (original style) element. The time you spend locating, purchasing and receiving an aftermarket element might be more than you expect. IMO the easiest and well proven method is to just add an element. All you need for tool sis a  #2 Phillips screwdriver, a cordless drill, a 3/16ths bit and a die grinder with rotary file and a small wrench or pliers.

You may have seen it but I started a thread in the BDS section and it details how to do it. As I said either way you do this it has to be disassembled to some degree so there is no simple snap it in and smoke solution. If you can sign up here and post threads there is no reason you can't have it done in a couple of hours. Everyone here will gladly help you if you get in a bind. Sometimes you just have to dive in and get it done.   
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2015, 11:54:47 PM »
Thank you for the reply. I do not have a die grinder. I understand there will be dissassembly. I thought though I read somewhere on here where there was a 750 finned element that was basically a swap out from the original. Terminals on both sides of it and everything.

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 01:15:15 AM »
I decided to do the 900 watt mod. I saw on this site refrence to the 900 watt model that has an overall length of 12'' here:http://www.grainger.com/product/TEMPCO-Finned-Strip-Heater-2XEF3?searchQuery=2xef3&op=search&Ntt=2xef3&N=0.

However I also found a 750 Watt with an overall length of 10 1/2'' here:http://www.walmart.com/ip/TEMPCO-CSF00123-Heater-120V-10-1-2-In.-L-1200-Deg-F/43056376. If I go with the smaller length 750, will I still need brackets to purchase to make it fit? Or would this be too small of a length?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 01:22:34 AM by bradleyincleveland »

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2015, 07:57:18 AM »
If you haven't purchased the element yet here's a link to a "how-to" article on adding a second 500W element, complete with pics.  It's not very difficult.  The hardest part is making two new holes in the heat shield.  The thin metal tears easily if you're not careful when drilling larger holes in it.  Borrow a Dremel from someone and grind the holes.

When I added one to mine I mainly followed it except for the wiring.  I just made two short 3-4" jumper wires that go from each end of the original element to each end of the new element.  I've been running it that way for over 3 years.

Additional Heating Element Modification






Offline KyNola

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 12:05:21 PM »
It is absolutely your choice to replace your heating element but the minute you slap a larger element in your Bradley, you have voided your warranty.

Just food for thought.

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2015, 06:59:33 PM »
Ted, thank you. I believe I changed my mind again and will do the two element mod. I am a little nervous about the heat shield. I have a feeling I am going to drill crooked or something and mess it up. Does it have to be high temp wire that I use to jump it from one element to the next? I don't understand the "notching" part. I have the DigiQII, it is my understanding that I have to disconnect the Bradley temperature control correct? I have the new OB Smoker, is that still done by taking the faceplate off? Thank you for all your help!

Oh yeah and what type of wire connection to "jump" it from the other element? What gauge wire as well 14?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 07:17:40 PM by bradleyincleveland »

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 09:12:03 AM »
Oh yeah and what type of wire connection to "jump" it from the other element? What gauge wire as well 14?

The jumper wire does have to be high temp because it is exposed to the high heat of the cooking chamber.  I stopped by a mom and pop appliance repair store and asked the guy if they sold it.  He gave me a foot of it free.  I believe it is 14ga. 

Once you go higher than the single factory 500W element you should bypass the temp control because it was not designed to handle the higher output.  I think I remember someone posted that he did not bypass his and did not have a problem but I wouldn't do it.  I installed an Auber PID controller by following another how-to guide.

I know your smoke generator box is different but here's how I installed mine:



Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 12:37:21 PM »
Thanks Ted, I have the DigiQ2 so I really dont want to buy the PID for the box. So how do I bypass the contrks for the "new" OB smoker?

Offline tskeeter

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 07:07:04 PM »
Thank you for the reply. I do not have a die grinder. I understand there will be dissassembly. I thought though I read somewhere on here where there was a 750 finned element that was basically a swap out from the original. Terminals on both sides of it and everything.


For others reading this who are considering a dual element mod, the best tool I have found for drilling the reflector to accept the second element is a step drill bit, which is also known as a unibit.  (I drill a small pilot hole before using the step drill.). Another helpful tool, for notching the ceramic holders for the original heating element, is a "rod saw" blade for a hacksaw.

Offline bradleyincleveland

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2015, 05:40:31 AM »
The step drill bit seems like it would work great. However I checked prices on them and they are rather pricey. What about just drilling a small hole and then increase drill bit size as I go? Also why does the ceramic need to be notched again?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Newbie 750 or 900 Element Help
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2015, 01:13:26 PM »
If you follow the instructions in the link TedeBear provided, increasing the bit size works very well. I didn't have a step drill, or a 9/16" bit; when I did my mod and just increased the bit size, as I drilled. Make sure you clamp the heat shield down over a board at least 2" thick, so the shield does not twist or spin as you drill. I have a Dremel and an assortment of rattail files, so I only drilled up to a 1/2" hole, then used the Dremel with a grinder bit to increase the hole size to 9/16".

In order to thread the wire through, and for the ceramic cap to fit properly, you will need to notch. If you don't have a rod saw blade, a rattail file works great. A flat file will also work, but avoid making a "V" shape notch. I used a rattail file to notch the ceramic holder.


I should have added that when you drill a slower speed works best on thin stainless steel.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 01:30:44 PM by Habanero Smoker »


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