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gas valve question

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 05:02
by cmunson3
Hello, I'm brand new here and to forums in general. I tried searching a question I had but to no avail. I'm building a new and improved smokehouse and need to hook up my gas valve to a 24v transformer. Thermostat is a ronco 120v thermo that goes directly to the 24v. So essentially the transformer is just switching on and off the valve. can someone help me with this? I'm assuming that I jump from the trans to th and tr and leave the thtr empty, but you know what they say about assuming.....

Thanks in advance

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 05:04
by cmunson3
white rodgers universal valve, btw.

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 14:14
by redzed
Welcome to the forum cmunson3! I know that some of our members do have gas fired smoke houses but it looks like none are around at the moment. Perhaps you can find a friendly gas tech that can set you straight on the gas valve.

If you can find the time, please post pics and plans about your smokehouse. We are all about sharing here and it would undoubtedly help someone else down the road.

Best wishes,


Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 16:20
by el Ducko
My concern is that you must have some sort of pilot light or your valve will shut off, the flame will go out, and then when the controller calls for more heat and opens the valve, BANG! ...although you could rig up a small bypass with a manual control valve, so that the gas flow is reduced but never completely shuts off when the valve receives a "close" signal.

I hate to utter a discouraging word, but I urge you to get professional help on this. Perhaps contacting a local HVAC company...? Out of liability concerns, though, few of them will want to help.

If you continue down the home-built trail, perhaps salvaging the controls and guts out of a gas furnace or water heater would help. (...built-in pilot light!) ...and get your wife to buy a good life insurance policy on you. Natural gas and propane are not for the casual experimenter!

Best regards (sincerely),
El Ducko
Chief Waterfowl Officer

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 00:24
by Butterbean
The fire going out is real in a smoke house. Mine did more often than I felt comfortable with till I enclosed the gas mechanisms in a metal pipe which ran outside the house which allowed the heating system to draw air from the outside. Problem is solved except on real windy days but I've made a patch for that.

Can't help you with the automatic valves because mine are all manual. Really no need to change these much during a smoke

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 18:45
by NorthFork

I really can't help you on the wiring issue for your setup but would like to reiterate the cautions that have been expressed. If you know what you you are doing with the entire project you might come up with a safe and functional unit, if not-stand back when the gas is on! If you have an ignition failure for any reason the propane(assuming you are using LP, is heavier than air) will build up in the enclosure until it either spills out or finds an ignition source. If the latter occurs (it could easily come from a previously heated sawdust or chip pan) you would instantly experience what is known in the field as a Rapid Expansion(not a pretty sight if not planned). You will need some dependable and redundant safeties to ensure this works as planned. If you do have the expertise please let us know how it works out.

Good luck and be careful-

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 19:34
by cmunson3
About got it finished. We had a baby this month, so not much time for hobbies the last couple of weeks... ill post a picture after I successfully fire the burner a couple times. The valve is as much for saftey as for temp control. Its much safer than firing a smokehouse with a cajun cooker or other manual burner, and in fact I'd feel nervous about leaving a smoker un assisted without an automatic valve. Check out sausage im putting together a homemade version of their gas valve system. Wiring is no prob. Simple fix. My father in law assured me that at 24v there is not much risk of burning out the solenoid from miswiring.

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 16:52
by cmunson3
Well, I've finished my burner. Maybe someone building will find this useful. Works great and gets HOT! I messed around building pipe burners for a month and ended up buying the lp orifice and burner from sausage maker and I'm well pleased. I'll try to post photos, but no promises I can figure it out.


Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 16:54
by cmunson3

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 16:55
by cmunson3

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 16:57
by cmunson3

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 17:07
by cmunson3
Basically, Its an easy install/removal. It will run primarily on my main smokehouse, but I can pull it out, put it in the barn when not in use, and take it to the deer lease and smoke and bake in my old 55 gallon drum cold smoker. I got about $250 in it, not including the Ronco thermostat, which I already had. I wasn't sure If it would heat my 4x4x7 foot smokehouse, but after feeling the heat off that burner, I have little doubt.

I bought that burner twice, inadvertently, cutting up black pipe trying to make burners..... the burner is definitely high quality and worth the dough, save yourself the time and material of fiddling around.

Also, be sure you use a LOW PRESSURE regulator.

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 16:28
by redzed
Thanks for posting that. I'm sure that it will help others looking to build a gas fired smoke house. Can you take some pics of of the entire smoke house you built, at 4x4x7ft. it sounds impressive!

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 03:31
by cmunson3
Nothing too fancy, all scrounged materials except for the concrete slab. Thats my smoke generator on the left and on the right is the port for the burner.

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 02:41
by partycook
I don't know if this will help other folks but a while back i bit the bullet and invested into the smoke generator and the smoke house kit from the sausage maker. I used a old freezer and relined it with aluminum . I used oven racks cut down an welded to fit. unit can handle 25-30 lbs. easily. I use a maverick to monitor the smoke house. I am now looking to replace the freezer with a larger stainless reefer that i was lucky to receive from my friend. this unit should be able to handle 50-75 lbs. We have 12 people in our hunting group and the amount of sausage increases every year. This year we made 172 lbs. beer sticks and summer sausage (with cheese) and we will make another 100 lbs. Bottom line is how much time do you have to monitor your smoker and how much product can be ruined.$$$$$