Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bigtex1118, Apr 9, 2008.
Can you turn an old water heater into a smoker? Any concerns with whats inside the heater? thanks
I would be a little concerned about Iron, Calcium, and or Lime deposits in the tank. I would also think that the tank might be a little small( diameter) unless it was a comercial sized one.
Sounds like a great idea Big Tex. What is the size of the HWH you are considering? The one in my house is plenty big for a fine smoker. It would need a good internal cleaning and or sandblasting if you are concerned about the iron,calcium, and lime deposits. A good hot fire will burn all of the nasties away, and give a nice seasoning. Just my 2 cents, I dont sweat the small stuff!!! The air I breath on a daily basis is much worse than any byproduct a homemade smoker can produce. Good luck and have fun with it my friend!!
You guys do realize that the outer skin isn't the tank part, right? The actual tank itself is inside under layers of fibreglass and is about half the diameter of the actual water heater that you see!
Hehehe, OK! I have buddy who made a heater box for his swim pool outta a water heater tank. He pumps water through it, and has a wood fire under it. Run a small pump to get the pool up to temp in the spring. Aaannyyy who, the tanks he has out of a house water heater are only about a 10-12 inch diameter. To me thats too small for a smoker, But thats just me!
What happen Joe, did ya delete your reply? I didn't take it wrong, you didn't need to!
I've made a few cylinder stoves out of hot water heater tanks, and lots and lots of salt and mineral troughs for livestock. Many of the newer ones seem to have a fiberglass resin or epoxy material sprayed on the inside of the tank. For my stoves I've just used a wire wheel on the grinder (wearing a dust mask), then burned off any remaining residue when I fire the stove up (outside) for the first time. Seems to work ok. You would want to be pretty thorough for your application, obviously. I've had tanks up to about 20 in. in diameter. Should make a fine smoker.
My concern was that I learned from another website that some water heaters are lined with glass and that heat and glass do not mix. I thought maybe you could just sand it. The size of the smoker is about 100 gallons. It is very big and maybe it is a commercial one? It is not the size of the regular ones. It is also an old one. Thanks