2nd Element, Fan and Burner Mod

Started by Orion, November 01, 2015, 07:55:41 PM

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Think about a defective heating element! In that situation you have no hot element and may check what's wrong. But you still have mains voltage at the contacts, when heating is on.


I'd think that would make it all that much easier to diagnose a bad element by touching your multimeter probes to the exposed terminals and check for voltage at that point.  115V at the terminals and still no hot element pretty much narrows down the reason.


Regarding hazards and safety when operating and trouble shooting.

Never attempt to trouble shoot with unit plugged in unless you are 110% confident you know what you are doing. An element can be diagnosed easily with no power on using the ohms function on a meter.

Life is full of hazards and if you go looking for them all the more chance of getting 'burnt'. Ever notice the warning tags on various items... radio tag says DO NOT OPERATE IN BATH, lawn mower says DO NOT TOUCH MOVING BLADE ect ect ect.

Once you alter or modify a product the onus is on you to know what you are doing and how to operate and maintain it in a safe manner.

I suggest that unless someone is fully aware and confident in what they are doing they either get the professional help needed or refrain from making changes. For those that are knowledgeable and able to maintain a safe work practise they are quite capable of dealing with the inherent hazards and carrying on without hurting themselves. If you don't put your hand on a hot stove it won't burn you.

I understand both sides of this discussion and would remind people that some are capable of making changes without creating a threat to their safety whereas others might do well to leave things as they are.

Either way. I hope everyone has plans to smoke some great foods this summer.   
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


Quote from: Orion on November 02, 2015, 01:10:30 PM
The clamps I used are: two 3/4" with the rubber sleeves removed. These I positioned and centered over the ceramic end caps on the 2nd element to more or less locate it correctly. These two are a loose fit to allow the ceramic ends to expand with heat and not crack.

The 3rd clamp is 3/8" and it is a snug fit on the element itself to ensure it does not shift. The attach hardware and standoffs are all 3/16" .
You should put an second fusible link inline with the second element to ensure it's current is disrupted in the event of an overheat or fire.

What wires do you use at each end of the second element to the first element? Where do you get them? Also, do you remove some of the ceramic material that holds the heating element in place (not on the heating element itself) to make way for the wiring?



Excellent questions Gorillamotors.

To connect the second element to the terminals on the first element you must use high temperature wire of at least 14 gauge.

I salvaged wire from underneath the stove top of a used range. The wires supplying the stove tops elements with current is what you want. It is easily recognized by the fibrous sheathing it uses for insulation. Not the wiring that is found in the back of the range which has a plain plastic insulation. If you look carefully you can find lengths of the appropriate wire that already has ring terminals on one end. Just undo the existing terminal and cut yourself a piece about 4 inches long. Then find another the same and salvage that in the same way.

Once your second element is roughly located in the smoker you can then cut your salvaged wires to the correct length and put a second ring terminal on each salvaged wire and there you have your jumpers.

Yes in regards to notching the ceramic blocks. While they were apart I used a die grinder to grind a small notch in both halves of each block assy to allow the new wire to pass through from the original element to the second element. Each half was notched half moon and when the two blocks were then reassembled it formed a small hole for the jumper wire.

Find yourself an old stove or go to an appliance repair shop and they will fix you up with 12 inches of high temp 14 gauge wire to create your jumpers.

I can tell by your wording that you totally grasp the concept and should have no problem finishing your mod. One thing I did was mark the ceramic blocks with a jiffy marker before disassembly to simplify reassembly. Take a picture or two if you feel its needed. Good luck GM and don't hesitate to ask any more questions. Happy smoking!   
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


One note, don't overtighten the tiny nuts on the element terminals. Just snug ... probably about 15 inch pounds only.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


Hi Orion.  I am late to the party but hopefully not too late.    :)   

I have only had my OBS for a year but purchased a PID and am looking to do the 2nd burner mod.   Couple of questions and some of them pretty obvious.   

1)  Where did you pick up the Aluminum Alloy standoffs?   Just local hardware store?  Online?  or Scrapped from another appliance?   
2)  On you eye connections and to the ears, did you simply just crimp the wires to the terminals or did you do any soldering?   I usually solder but thought about that being in the cooking area and not sure it would be food safe. 

I plan on running parallel wires to the back plug with its own inline thermal fuse for the second element.  I really love the standoff mod but have not found the hardware yet.   Also was only able to find 12 Gauge wire that had the fabric insulation but that should not be an issue. 

All of your posts, pictures, and comments have helped me plan this like you would not believe.  Also all of the dialog from everybody else has been beyond helpful!  Thank you all very much!



Never too late to get questions answered.

Regarding the standoffs; any steel or aluminum tubing will do the trick provided the inside diameter of the tubing will allow the attach bolt to pass through. I happened to have some old aluminum spacers from years ago. My attach bolts were 3/16ths diameter x about 1 1/4" long and my spacers have an inside diameter of 3/16ths. Think old brake line or hydraulic tubing ect and cut to size.

Technically you don't even need the spacers. You could purchase or salvage 3 machine screws that are 3'16ths thread,  (course or fine) and about 1 1/2" long and threaded for their entire length. You can find these in any hardware store in little plastic 10 packs for about $3 Then using multiple nuts on each screw you can secure the clamps under the head of the screw and then secure the screw to the surface in the Bradley by double nutting it. Hopefully you follow what I'm trying to explain. Each screw would require 3 nuts; the clamp goes between the head of screw and one nut and the lower section of the screw is attached to the structure with 2 nuts thus eliminating the need for the spacer.

12 gauge wire will be fine provided it is the high temp type. Good to run it from the back panel like you plan to do. As long as you have decent crimpers that is all that is required in attaching the terminals to the wire. If the terminals have little plastic sleeves (usually red, blue or yellow for size designation) remove the plastic sleeve. If you choose to solder the connections after crimping I don't think it will cause any concerns regarding health. Its just a tiny drop of solder and the smoker will never get hot enough to cause it to off gas.

Sometimes you have to get creative and work with what you have. Keep in mind that the intention is simply to get the element located correctly , secured 1" or so above the structure and solid so it doesn't shift around. There is more than one way to skin a cat so work with what you can get.

Hope it all goes well for you as once you have the second element in you will no issues with slow to heat, slow to recover or an inability to get to proper temps for smoking/slow cooking. Good luck.     
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


Thank you Very much for the Reply Orion!  I should have it done and tested by Saturday!   ;D Thanks again!


I just stuck my head into Home Depot and they carry a good selection of steel tubing that can be cut to your desired length.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


Again another too late...a question on how the plate was cleanly notched
I tried to notch the plate with a metal nibbler and was impossible to take any bite from the metal.  Could you share your technique on how you did the clean circular notch??  Many thanks


Never too late. It's tough material ...stainless steel. I used a die grinder with a good fresh and sharp rotary file in the chuck. Use eye protection and watch out, it gets hot. Try to be careful when handling the burner and chute assy as the little rails that guide the puck are easily loosened if not careful.
If you're lowering the burner plate at the same time as reshaping the chute I suggest only two washers or 1/8 inch. Some pucks disintegrate more than others when burnt and if the burner plate is too low the next puck has trouble pushing the odd one off and into the bowl.
The chute and burner mod was one of the best ones I did as I get much better complete combustion and less effort to clean the chute.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.


Thanks again for the great ideas and support. 2 mods work beautifully   I am also in Edmonton and would like to do the fan mod. Are you still happy with the  fan mod improvement? Not having any luck finding a scrap oven and parts from any sources here.  Can you please PM me with suggested places to try, here in Ed.?  Again thanks!!


Try the eco centres. They take appliances. Having said that, the fan mod is not life altering . If you got the first two done and working you're in good shape.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.