Pellet/Hopper Feed Issues

JeepSmoker

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Not sure of other models of Pit Boss horizontal smokers, but the Lockhart leaves me less than satisfied with the way pellets feed down to the auger! I think the engineers/promotional staff may have been more interested in quantity of pellets loaded than the way they feed to the auger. I don't want to have to get up 3 or 4 times a night to push pellets to the bottom and have tried a number of different fixes with varying degrees of success. I've searched all kinds of forums for solutions and some have worked but none well. For anyone with the same problem, I'll share these with you and tell you what has worked for me.

1. Wax the hopper with auto wax. The Lockhart should not have a texture-painted hopper. It should be as smooth as a baby's bottom. Waxing it didn't help much!

2. Glued PTFE (Teflon) paper to the sloped surfaces of the hopper. This helped some, was a royal pain to cut it to fit, and as everyone knows, nothing is supposed to stick to a non-stick surface! Contact cement seemed to work the best, the results better but marginal.

3. Time to get serious. I read on one foru!!m where a guy jokingly suggested taping the biggest vibrator you could get from an adult store to the hopper...a real conversation piece but not really practical :oops:. I ordered a variable industrial machine vibrator and variable delay time from Amazon, attached it to the inner surface of the OUTSIDE of the hopper bin, and set the timer to run for 10 seconds every hour. Works perfectly! No more overnight cook worries!
My biggest concern was the vibration affecting the smoker components mounted in the area. After RTV'ing all the wire connections (because of previous connection failures), I have high hopes for the longevity of this setup. If anyone shows any interest in this, I'll post pics and part #'s of what was used in the mod.

Cheers, ALL
 

Jug

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Hi JeepSmoker. bring it on. very interested. best thing for over night smoking yet.
 

DaveXDm9

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Not sure of other models of Pit Boss horizontal smokers, but the Lockhart leaves me less than satisfied with the way pellets feed down to the auger! I think the engineers/promotional staff may have been more interested in quantity of pellets loaded than the way they feed to the auger. I don't want to have to get up 3 or 4 times a night to push pellets to the bottom and have tried a number of different fixes with varying degrees of success. I've searched all kinds of forums for solutions and some have worked but none well. For anyone with the same problem, I'll share these with you and tell you what has worked for me.

1. Wax the hopper with auto wax. The Lockhart should not have a texture-painted hopper. It should be as smooth as a baby's bottom. Waxing it didn't help much!

2. Glued PTFE (Teflon) paper to the sloped surfaces of the hopper. This helped some, was a royal pain to cut it to fit, and as everyone knows, nothing is supposed to stick to a non-stick surface! Contact cement seemed to work the best, the results better but marginal.

3. Time to get serious. I read on one foru!!m where a guy jokingly suggested taping the biggest vibrator you could get from an adult store to the hopper...a real conversation piece but not really practical :oops:. I ordered a variable industrial machine vibrator and variable delay time from Amazon, attached it to the inner surface of the OUTSIDE of the hopper bin, and set the timer to run for 10 seconds every hour. Works perfectly! No more overnight cook worries!
My biggest concern was the vibration affecting the smoker components mounted in the area. After RTV'ing all the wire connections (because of previous connection failures), I have high hopes for the longevity of this setup. If anyone shows any interest in this, I'll post pics and part #'s of what was used in the mod.

Cheers, ALL

The hopper conversation has been going on for a long time now. The major Pellet grill manufactures fix there issue with the hopper and Pit Boss still has not addressed it. The hopper is too wide and too square, but I found a person in another forum that is doing this.

He took a piece of 2 inch thick plywood and cut it enough to fit in the hopper and layed the cut out piece on top of his pellets in the hopper then placed a small weight and he said the weight cannot be too heavy where it will put too much pressure the pellets causing the auger to jam up.

Have not tried, but he said it worked for him.
 
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JeepSmoker

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The hopper conversation has been going on for a long time now. The major Pellet grill manufactures fix there issue with the hopper and Pit Boss still has not addressed it. The hopper is too wide and too square, but I found a person in another forum that is doing this.

He took a piece of 2 inch thick plywood and cut it enough to fit in the hopper and layed the cut out piece on top of his pellets in the hopper then placed a small weight and he said the weight cannot be too heavy where it will put too much pressure the pellets causing the auger to jam up.

Have not tried, but he said it worked for him.
Sounds like that might work until it gets stopped at the sloped part of the hopper. At least it would help with 2/3 or so of the pellets. Sounds like they must have glued up 2 or 3 thicknesses of plywood to get that done. I might try a 2X12 first to test it. It wouldn't cover the entire hopper but at least give me a good starting point.
 

DaveXDm9

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Sounds like that might work until it gets stopped at the sloped part of the hopper. At least it would help with 2/3 or so of the pellets. Sounds like they must have glued up 2 or 3 thicknesses of plywood to get that done. I might try a 2X12 first to test it. It wouldn't cover the entire hopper but at least give me a good starting point.
He did not provide video and others were questioning if it actually works. I thought the same thing and the issue is that Pit Boss wanted bigger hopper. They should have made it taller and than wider or instead design a round funnel type inside the hopper instead.
 
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JeepSmoker

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Here are some pics of the mods I made to the hopper and some links to the parts I used.
20200903_145822.jpg20200903_145830.jpg20200906_152039.jpg20200906_152059.jpg20200907_112602.jpg20200907_112616.jpg

The first couple of pictures show the end off of the vibrator. It can be adjusted by loosening the nut and setting the eccentric. It has this on both ends so almost infinitely adjustable. 3rd pic is the timer which can be set from seconds to days on and off. 4th and 5th an alternate timer, easier to install, plug & play but limited to max 1 hour on or off.

Here are some links to these items on Amazon and a link to the Smoke Daddy Magnum which I highly recommend if you're looking for a smoke ring and serious flavor in those long cooks!

RzeruiH Vibration Motor Concrete Vibrator AC110V 30W 60HZ 3600RPM Used for Shaker Table Screening (30W)


GAEYAELE GRT8-S Asymmetric Cycle Timer SPDT Relay 220V 16A AC/DC12V-240V Electronic Repeat Relay(GRT8-S1,AC/DC12V-240V)

Short Period Timer

Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator
 

DaveXDm9

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Let us know how it works out and hopefully your technique does the trick.
 
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