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Troubleshooting K22 Help with Maintaining low temp (digital controller)


JWheeler
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Hello All,

Let me thank you in advance for posting suggestions to my issue.

 

I have the K22 (new in Summer), and I replaced the top vent with the Cast iron one with the smoker control dial from Vision Grills. 

I have a Flame Boss 300 digital controller. 

I have also used some gasket material to "tighten up" the seal around the bottom vent (including the fan adapter)  and top vents.

I am trying to maintain a 225-250 pit temp.  I use nothing but Royal Oak Charcoal and light with 1 fire starter.  the top vent is completely closed but the smoker dial is slightly open. 
Bottom vent has the adapter and fan. 

 

The lowest I can maintain is between 300-320

 

Has anyone experienced this or something similar?  What was the issue, solution, etc

 

 

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I can easily run and maintain low temps on my K24, the only time I have any issues with temperature (hi or lo) control is when I don't have a "clean" firebox. Knocking the ash through the grate and dragging it out of the vent slot is the most critical thing I do to control temps. For L&S I use the volcano shape to build lump prior to lighting and light a couple alcohol soaked cotton balls in the center. I am careful to not allow the temps to run wild and begin shutting down vents around 50* lower than my target L&S temps and then dial it in as it approaches the target.

 

My K24 has the added felt to the top vent and lower door to tighten things up.

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I have had the same experience as @EZ smoke. I have a K22 like yours, and added felt to the bottom & top vents. I don't have any problems keeping 225, but it is hard to get the temp back down if you overshoot.

 

Were you able to get 225-250 before you installed the Flame Boss? Also, is the Royal Oak you are using lump or briquettes?

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thanks for the suggestions.

 

I do normally clean the ash each cook, but may have forgotten on this one.  I too have added extra gasket around the top and bottom.

 

I use lump, never briquettes.  I light with one fire starter in the middle but will try the "volcano" shape next time.

 

I have been able to keep low temps with and without the Flame Boss so I don't think its the controller.

 

As it was cold this past weekend, I made sure i ramped up the temp slowly before putting the meat on the grill and when i did it was a real short time it took to put it on.

 

As everything in life its a trial and error process, I appreciate the suggestions.

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Can you close off the fan opening some on your FB.  I have the same grill and a Guru Cloud and had temp issues until i realized I needed to adjust the fans damper to just below half and the top just cracked a hair and it will keep 225 for several hours at a time.

 

Good luck

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Hope the picture shows up.....

FB set at 225, followed by 250, followed by 265.  Each reset the Pit temp climbed 20deg above the programmed temp.

Before starting, vacuumed the entire PitBoss, cleaned grate, and set up charcoal volcano style, and lit with 1 fire starter in the middle. i re-taped up my fan adapter plate with new gasket material to better seal it and prevent drafts.

 

 

image.thumb.png.072905ff888fd977639b4b67428173cf.png

 

I can not figure out why the temp is always climbing 20deg higher, so I started a controlled test using my sous vide unit

 

image.thumb.png.5fd0da768f9dc63dc981abc300fd2ad3.png

9:00pm Testing Temp, Pit and Fan using ANova Sous Vide set at 155 deg.  Temp of FB is 155 deg

9:20pm Since fan was running, reset temp to 154deg @ 9:23 left Sous Vide at 155deg - fan continued to run at low percentage

9:30pm set Sous Vide to 165deg, FB to 165deg

9:38pm Sous Vide hit 165deg

 

So I thought I either have a problem with the pit control reading the temp and not stopping the fan, seeing that the fan is not stopping at 1 deg under the set temp.

BUT, during the actual cook, the fan never ran and my PitBoss continued to climb exactly 20deg each temp reset.

 

I am hoping there is a simple fix for this, seeing my son who owns a BGE does NOT have this issue, and I don't want him to say you should spent the extra money for a BGE

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Close everything down. It is getting a draft thru there somewhere so close off everything you can. Another thing that I have had issue with on my FB, is in the winter time, the opening to the fan faces the north (built in table) and the wind basically blows right into it...your fan isn't running so that could be what is stoking your fire. I block mine off a bit with a terra cotta flower pot around it as suggested by someone else on here. 

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Thanks, That might explain the issue with 20deg over the set temp, since it was around 60deg outside which might have increased the draft effect.

 

 I was also thinking that it might the positioning of the pit probe.  It was set in the middle on the bottom grill above the deflector.  I though as it was strung across the space between the shield and the side of the open pit it might have been affected by heat, but its supposedly shielded from that.

 

I am leaning more towards the fan opening and cooler temp affecting the draft.  I may also look to see if i can come up with a better seal for the top vent.

 

 

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Alright, Thank you all for the suggestions.

I did another test today and discovered the following.......... 

 

I set the temp to be 225deg.  Cleaned pit of all ash, set up charcoal in volcano and placed 1 starter on top.  Deflector plate on and both racks were placed in grill.  To prevent drafts, I wrapped a beer coozie around fan and made sure it did not impede the flow of air. Top vent was set the same as yesterday.  Pit temp clip was on the bottom rack in the middle as it was yesterday. 

 

I started the test.....  I found that it did the same @#@%#^& thing, it went up to 20+ above the set temp.  I looked at the dome thermometer and it was reading 225deg same as what I was set at.  I then opened up the PB and clipped the pit temp clip onto the upper rack.  I went to 225deg and stayed there for 6 hours only with only a few ups and downs, but not more then 2degs variance.

 

So since the racks sit on the three legs of the deflector plate, is this a normal thing that it varies 20+ deg ?  Maybe that much heat is transferred from the plate to the bottom rack?

 

Maybe this was a know issue that I am just learning this?

 

In any event, the problem is solved, it holds 225deg fine for a good 6+ hours and the only reason it stopped was it ran out of charcoal.

 

Thanks again for the help

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I'm confused. It shouldn't matter where the probe is placed. Its going to read what the temp is and adjust accordingly. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm on my whatever Bourbon at the moment so maybe its me 8...9...I don't remember.

 

 

Changing the position will change its reading but it shouldn't change how it reacts to that reading. From what I found....even when I thought my vent was closed enough...I realized it needed to be just open a sliver.My controller was overshooting too due to the vent being open more than it needed. I had it set to what I thought was barely open. It needed to be closed even more. When I did that everything was fine and only fluctuated a few degrees. Your working under a starved fire situation where the controller compensates for that and feeds it the necessary air. If the vent is open just a sliver too much then the controller along with natural draft doesn't allow for the controller to do its thing because you have too much natural draft.

 

Now if you have excessive air leaks beyond what the vent is set too then the controller will seem like its over compensating when actually you have too much natural draft. 

 

Starting with a full firebox vs one that is half full or whatever only effects how long the fire will burn. Also these PIDS learn the more you use them. If you set everything up the same then the controller will improve as it learns your pit.

 

 I'm half in the bag but .....What am I missing here? One more thing....my dome temp is 25 degrees or more off of what the controller is set at. I don't even bother with the dome temp.

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If the pit probe is overly shielded by the deflector, the fire may be getting too hot before the probe sees that in its sheltered location.  The probe should be placed where it gets good airflow, not too close to cold meat or ceramic, and not sighing line of sight of the coals if you are doing an indirect cook (the IR from the coal bed with throw it off). 

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