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Phrede

Disappointed , is this normal?

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Greetings from the Newbie.

I just purchased a 22"  Pit Boss ($596 from Wal-Mart.com)  I've had a number of issues with it and Dansons has said the best thing to do is return it to the seller.  To do so I need to order a 2nd one first to get the packaging and go thru the hassle of disassembly and repacking.   The last thing I need is a repeat performance of my issues:

·        Screw on stand broke with very little torque during assembly. CS has sent a replacement.

·        Chip on front of bottom appeared during first use

·        Stand uprights shaped incorrectly causing metal to touch ceramic at top while leaving a gap at the bottom.

·        Poor glazing on about ½ of right side lid lip.

·        Poor fitting lid that is tight on right but leaves a gap on the left. This leaks smoke / air and prevents shutting off air completely.

·        Lid handle can not be attached since screws are loose and too long making tightening the nuts impossible.  Other items attached at the factory on the same band have either two lock washers                  stacked (defeating the purpose) or two flat washers stacked to compensate for too long screws.  Even if screws were the correct length there is no way to hold the to tighten the nuts.

·        Dampener brackets attached with washers that are too thin letting them bend.

·        Fire sparks exit out of the grill thru the open vent creating a fire hazard.  (not expected to be different on a replacement, I can fab up something and fix the loose fitting vent.

see video 


In addition, I'm disappointed in how the heat deflector sits with the grill resting on it with no space underneath.  It also can not be used with both levels of the grill installed.  Is upside down the answer?

The big question is, are these issues common?  

Thoughts?  Comments?


 

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I dont own a pit boss YET however it is on my I plan to buy lists once i got the funds saved up... Ive done relentless research to boil down to this decision comparing to other kamado's as well as read reviews / experience from just about anyone that wrote about it online (not just on here) 

 

Sorry for the long reply but ill reply to the best of my knowledge...

 

They use stainless bolts and im fairly shocked they dont recommend anti seize on all bolts while assembling (odds are because it would pose to food safety issues)   however SS bolts do strip / break easy without it and can seize from past experience on atv's and stuff. All that aside you can get weak / bad bolts right out of the box that will break / strip. (crap luck on that one) 

 

The chip that happened afterwards could of been due to shipping / handling even if it didn't show upon assembly.  on your curing round the ceramic could of "swelled" (forget proper term) just enough so that part finally let go where it got dinged.  not much you can do about it unless you return it or cover it up. From what ive seen online again not partial to just this kamado they can chip if your not careful and ive seen a lot of floor models in stores end up with a chip or two.  I mean they can take some abuse but if you end up hitting it at a right spot... it dont take much

 

The stand touching the top of the ceramic I can see happening to just about any brand name... that part should be fairly easy to pull back 1/8" if not less just to say its got space. I can imagine no 2 kamado's are the same either and the factory not bending the tab far enough back as little as yours is easily missed and fixed..  From experience nothing is ever 100% perfect every time, there's always a small variance

 

Poor glazing - Havent heard or seen anything online about your issue in question that other then people complaining about the "hairline fractures" in the glazing however that has been confirmed to be normal and apparently seen on most other kakamdo's.   SO on that part thats just poor quality control on the manufacturer. - i'd return it for sure.

 

The poor fitting lid I have heard of a couple issues from various people....1st issue I read about is the lid not lining up with the bottom and that the bands around the lid where not adjusted properly the person needed to loosen the bands and align the lid to the bottom half 2nd issue I read about was that the bump stop caused the lid to sit too high the solution they came up with was just removing it. 

 

 

The loose bolts for the handle I never paid attention to but I havent heard or seen anyone complain about the assembly out of the box other then the few that had issues with the lid.

 

Now the rest of your issues.... 

 

A LOT of it looks like you just got a kamado from someone on the assembly line that gave 0 care and just threw it together before quitting their job, just looking at how they assembled it could very well answer a few of your issues with the lid being heavy, not sealing, handle being loose ect....

 

 

Last but not least.. the bottom and top vent being loose and not sealing is a known issue.  There's a few posts on here with write ups on how to fix that, people adding that felt gasket around the top chimney part to create a tight seal as well as put some felt around the sliding door to tighten it up and also create a tight seal.  The sparks flying out is going to happen seen it various of times in youtube videos... 

 

 

All in all I think you did get a lemon to some extent but I also wouldnt expect it to be 100% perfect all around out of the box,  I would open the replacement in the store and look at it before even loading it up... you know the main areas to look for now so it wouldn't take long...  (you wont be able to verify the lid alignment but looking at the ring bolts and how their assembled should tell you enough.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the reply RRL2. 

I too did a lot of research before the purchase and thought I was going in a good direction.  The chip is not a huge deal and could be touched up, but Dansons has no touch up.  The crazing was expected and is not listed.  I can handle the lower vent issues with retrofitting a screen and felt. 

The biggest things are not being able to install/tighten the handle, the poor fitting lid, and the poor glazing coverage. All the things stacking up, including the poor heat deflector design, are what put me over the top more than any one or two things.  Some of these things look like they could be design issues. The product issues and the fact that Customer Support did not respond to my calls, messages or emails leaves me guessing how creditable the company is.  

Once I did make contact their only option is "return it to where you bought it"  So much for the warranty.  

I had hoped for replies from actual owners to see if mine is a lemon or if this is typical prior to dropping another $600+. But not so even after 92 views. Oh Well. 

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51 minutes ago, Phrede said:


I had hoped for replies from actual owners to see if mine is a lemon or if this is typical prior to dropping another $600+. But not so even after 92 views. Oh Well. 

 

I imagine almost all of the 92 views are people like me. We wanted to read it, we all probably have an opinion but since we've never owned one we felt it best to not comment. 

 

I do wish you the best of luck in getting these problems resolved. 

 

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2 hours ago, Phrede said:

I had hoped for replies from actual owners to see if mine is a lemon or if this is typical prior to dropping another $600+. But not so even after 92 views. Oh Well. 

Can't say if you got a lemon or not, but it does have issues mine did not have.

As far as responses, please keep in mind the PB is fairly new to the scene and there are not a lot of members here that own one.

Best of luck getting a resolution.

 

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but Big Green Eggs may be the oldest type of kamado  on the market and that forum is, from what I've seen,  the least responded to.

 

There are some folks here (a few...bless them)  that respond to almost any post and any legitimate question that is asked regardless of the type of cooker and some that seemingly aren't that interested.

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The finish on mine wasn’t perfect, the hinge needed some adjustment, and my 2016 k24 also did not come with a lower vent screen like the newer k24’s.  Yours may have more issues than normal, or it may be fixable with a few simple adjustments. Hard to say.  When you buy a Pit Boss for less than half the price of the big guys in the market, you have to expect it is going to be less than perfect and might need some mods or adjustments.  That said, if the lid won’t close that is a problem. 

 

You can try losening the hinge and bands to get the lid to sit flat. If it won’t, you have a dud and it will be hard to control the temps. That is something you cannot fix easily and would cause me to return it.  FWIW, while the band is lose you should be able to tighten the handle. 

 

Sparks don’t come out of my lower vent since the airflow is going in and the vent is mostly closed off.  Other than startup, my charcoal doesn’t really spark at all. 

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On 3/24/2018 at 4:57 PM, ckreef said:

 

I imagine almost all of the 92 views are people like me. We wanted to read it, we all probably have an opinion but since we've never owned one we felt it best to not comment. 

 

I do wish you the best of luck in getting these problems resolved. 

 

 

+1 :)

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1 hour ago, m-fine said:

The finish on mine wasn’t perfect, the hinge needed some adjustment, and my 2016 k24 also did not come with a lower vent screen like the newer k24’s.  Yours may have more issues than normal, or it may be fixable with a few simple adjustments. Hard to say.  When you buy a Pit Boss for less than half the price of the big guys in the market, you have to expect it is going to be less than perfect and might need some mods or adjustments.  That said, if the lid won’t close that is a problem. 

 

You can try losening the hinge and bands to get the lid to sit flat. If it won’t, you have a dud and it will be hard to control the temps. That is something you cannot fix easily and would cause me to return it.  FWIW, while the band is lose you should be able to tighten the handle. 

 

Sparks don’t come out of my lower vent since the airflow is going in and the vent is mostly closed off.  Other than startup, my charcoal doesn’t really spark at all. 

Thanks for the reply.

 

So the newer 24" have a screen in lower vent?  I'm not worried about that so much as I can make one.


I'm not expecting perfection, but a product that is not functional, at any price, is not acceptable.  The finish is absolutely poor for a $600 item.  Not less than half the price BTW.

I don't see how loosening the band will allow the handle nuts to be tightened.  Only if it is completely removed would the heads of the screws be reachable and the screws are still too log. The nut bottoms out before it gets tight, notice the double lock washers on the screws installed at the factory to make up for the extra length.

My biggest concern is that a second one has the same problems since I will only have one box.

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2 hours ago, Phrede said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

So the newer 24" have a screen in lower vent?  I'm not worried about that so much as I can make one.


I'm not expecting perfection, but a product that is not functional, at any price, is not acceptable.  The finish is absolutely poor for a $600 item.  Not less than half the price BTW.

I don't see how loosening the band will allow the handle nuts to be tightened.  Only if it is completely removed would the heads of the screws be reachable and the screws are still too log. The nut bottoms out before it gets tight, notice the double lock washers on the screws installed at the factory to make up for the extra length.

My biggest concern is that a second one has the same problems since I will only have one box.

I have just purchased the 2018 version of this kamado  and have not had any of the issues you have experienced,  I would return it and get a replacement. The only adjustment I have done to mine is tighten up the lower vent door to ensure air flow is restricted on close off. Looks like you had one that got through Q.C.

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6 hours ago, Phrede said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

So the newer 24" have a screen in lower vent?  I'm not worried about that so much as I can make one.


I'm not expecting perfection, but a product that is not functional, at any price, is not acceptable.  The finish is absolutely poor for a $600 item.  Not less than half the price BTW.

I don't see how loosening the band will allow the handle nuts to be tightened.  Only if it is completely removed would the heads of the screws be reachable and the screws are still too log. The nut bottoms out before it gets tight, notice the double lock washers on the screws installed at the factory to make up for the extra length.

My biggest concern is that a second one has the same problems since I will only have one box.

 

The K24 appeared in Costco in 2016 with bamboo handle and shelves and no lower screen. The 2017 version replaced the shelves and handle with black plastic and added the screen and included the plate setter style deflector. For 2018, they seem to be the same but added blue to the color choices.  My impression is that the 2017 grills were put together a little better than the original batch. I have never seen a K22 around here so I don’t know their timeline of features or quality issues, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your wood shelf version was old stock. 

 

I would see if Walmart will take it back without the box, and if not, ask Dansens for a box. This is not something you can expect people to save the packaging for. If you have a Costco nearby, I would get a new K24 from them for the same $600 or double your budget and get a Kamado Joe which should have none of the issues the cheap grills have.  The bamboo shelves on my 24 are looking pretty bad after just a couple years so I think you may be happier with the plastic, and I cannot see anyone not being happy with a KJ. 

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Yeap.. big reason PB changed the bamboo shelving to the plastic ones... the wooden ones ended up warping and had various other complaints 

 

I am not sure if they did the same updates on the K22 as the K24 but i'd expect they would...

 

I haven't heard anything bad about dansons and the warranty on these but  if you're having issues getting a hold of them  thats kind of a rough start....

 

On that note though most stores from what ive offer a exchange warranty for the 1st little bit.

 

as others said just looking at your issues overall you seem to have the regular common issues + a good chunk of uncomon ones. pain in the ### for sure... i know now seeing this ill be opening mine in the store to make sure I can take a quick look at it before taking it home once I got the cash saved up for one. 

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Forgot to add also the delfector plate a few people didnt like as you need to place your grate on it perfectly or else its wobbly or what not... there's a youtube video of a guy showing that issue.

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I have a 2016 K24 from Costco and don't really have any of the issues you are describing. I did have a decent sized chip in the lid but Danson replaced it. They also recently replaced a heat deflector for me that cracked and broke during a cook. The changes from mine to the 2017 were fairly significant but I honestly prefer the 2016 over the 2017 other then the spark screen and the heavier hardware used in the 2017. I'll take the real wood side tables and handle over plastic any day but I'm a woodworker and have the capabilities to replace them when necessary.  BTW I have not seen a 2018 in person.

 

In any case, I think m-fine is pointing you in the best direction by returning the K22 from Walmart and purchasing the K24 from Costco.

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