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khb

Kamander: leakage

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So a few weeks in, several cooks. Works a lot better than I expected for $270ish. But I am a bit unhappy at the amount of leakage. I can see how to beef up the gasket between the top and bottom. But when it rains (and sadly, in the Greater Denver area, rain during or just after a cook is pretty common), even when the cook is completed ... top and "bottom" vents completely closed .... I'm finding water in the bottom and just inside the "bottom" vent. Due to the lack of air tightness, it's taking many hours for the temp to fall ...so just tossing the cover over it seems dicey (who wants melted material all over? That would be worse than the bloody marketing sticker ....). 

 

Anyone worked out a way to beef up the vent seals?

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12 hours ago, khb said:

So a few weeks in, several cooks. Works a lot better than I expected for $270ish. But I am a bit unhappy at the amount of leakage. I can see how to beef up the gasket between the top and bottom. But when it rains (and sadly, in the Greater Denver area, rain during or just after a cook is pretty common), even when the cook is completed ... top and "bottom" vents completely closed .... I'm finding water in the bottom and just inside the "bottom" vent. Due to the lack of air tightness, it's taking many hours for the temp to fall ...so just tossing the cover over it seems dicey (who wants melted material all over? That would be worse than the bloody marketing sticker ....). 

 

Anyone worked out a way to beef up the vent seals?

 

I do not have a Komander but when I bought my Akorn years ago I had to seal everything up. I bought some Nomex tape and a tube of high temp caulk. I applied the Nomex to supplement the original gaskets and behind the bottom vent. I applied the high temp caulk to all areas that might have let in water. Seven years later my Akorn is still sealed tight. Depending on the state of the top vent, an Akorn is pretty much self-sealing with build-up from low and slows. The added tubing and the location of the top vent on the Komander may prohibit this buildup. You could run a smoke heavy burn to identify all the areas that are leaking smoke and make corrective actions to mitigate them.

 

Good luck.

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I think sometimes people get a little overzealous with the notion of air tightness in a kamado. If I leave my Akorn uncovered in a rainstorm it will most certainly get some water in the bottom. But effectively this means little if anything. I can hold temps and snuff the fire with the vents just fine.

 

The fact that your rig takes a long time to cool down isn't in itself an indicator of a problem. Once you close the vents the only way for the heat to dissipate is through the body of the cooker. And that takes a while due to the insulation of the cooker. The pertinent info is whether the fire snuffs out once the vents are closed. Examine your coal pile when you shut down. Then compare it the next morning once everything has cooled. Or reopen your cooker about 45 minutes after shutdown and see if the fire is out

 

And if you find that your vents aren't able to snuff the fire then proceed to Smoov's excellent suggestions.

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Some tape has helped the primary seal. The top vent is getting better as there's increasing amount of "seasoning". The "bottom" vent remains a water hazard, seems tricky to try to seal that up. Temps seem pretty stable, so perhaps I just have accept that uncovered I'll have to make sure I clear the bottom drain ;>

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