Warped Deflector Shield

AnotherRTUser

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Was replacing the aluminum foil on the drip tray after the 3rd cook. When I took the drip tray out, I noticed something didn't look right. The deflector shield was warped, see picture.

Is this a problem? Since this defects heat, will this now deflect heat more to one side than the other?

Before I decide whether to contact Rec Tec or not, just wanted to check and see if others have had this issue and if it is still ok to use. If it's ok and doesn't affect anything, then I'm good. Thanks...
 

Mike

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@AnotherRTUser I haven't had this issue myself, but have heard of a few others having the issue.

While not terribly common, I do know some people have also used this warping as a great excuse to upgrade their diffuser to a Heavy D Diffuser.

If you're not interested in that, I would contact RecTec.
 

Buckeye smoker

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Mine has done the exact same thing... Let me know if you contact them and what they say. I'm not sure how big of a difference its making in temps, but I don't think it should warp either. I'm wondering if the warp is from the mounting areas being out of level/square combined with the heat?
(Not just heat alone)
 
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AnotherRTUser

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@Buckeye smoker .. I just got off the phone with Rec Tec. They have heard of this (warping) happening before, but rare. They said it shouldn't affect the temperature any, UNLESS it continues to warp to where it actually touches the bottom of the drip tray. If it gets to that point, there is a problem and a new deflector shield will be sent out.

I told them I wasn't sure if mine is touching the drip tray or not, but I would check later today and let them know if it is.
 

dsandersus

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@AnotherRTUser Those deflectors are pretty solid, any chance you can bend it back? I'm a little surprised RT support didn't offer to send out a replacement given such a new unit... I mean, if it warps now, wouldn't it continue to over time?
 

AnotherRTUser

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@dsandersus .. I hear ya... The support staff was super nice but didn't want to push the issue of an immediate replacement.

I'm going to see if it affects the ambient temperature any. Thinking about using the 2 meat probes inside pushed completely thru a half or quarter potato to hold them in place and placing them around the inside to see if the temperature is different at certain places.

If there is a noticeable variation, I will definitely call them back.
 

sctdg

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My deflector was made a little cockeyed, not quite square but does not interfere with performance.
 

Mitch01

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Just my thoughts....When I had my Brinkmann pellet grill, the same thing happened. Of course it was thinner and cheaper material than the BULL. I tried to bend it back into shape... but to no avail. So I just kept cooking with it. It never seemed to affect the heating of the grill in any way that I could tell, and never warped any further either.
 

Uncle Bob

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Based on the title of the thread, is there anybody else wishing that someone named Scotty would respond?:)

Most of the points have been covered, I'd opt for a replacement as well, but I suspect that relatively minor warping isn't much of an issue. It's even possible that it happens to many of us each time we cook (likely temperature dependant) but since it's under the drip pan we don't see it, and by the time it cools it reverts to it's fabricated shape. As long as the drip pan is in place correctly heat distribution in the upper chamber should remain relatively unaffected by minor warping of the deflector.
 

Buckeye smoker

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@AnotherRTUser got a chance to email them some pics and see what the say about mine. I'll let you know when I receive a reply.... Just curious if you measured the warp?..mines on the same spot.
Around 3/4"
00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190723122132839.jpg IMG_20190723_121840.jpg
 

Buckeye smoker

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Copy that Red-leader-.... This group is knowledge, and I do my best to add to that. (Regardless of good or bad) hahaha!
 

AnotherRTUser

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@Buckeye smoker ... No, not yet. I plan on measuring it within the next hour or two. I did, however, try to put my fingers between the drip tray and shield deflector to see if the two were touching. They were not, but it "seemed" the clearance was about 1/4"-1/2". Since you can't fully see the clearance with the drip tray on, I also plan on taking out the drip tray and placing a piece of wood, a level, or something straight across the inside of the grill just to see how much of a clearance there is, if any.

Appreciate you letting me know what the RT folks say about your situation..
 

Uncle Bob

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Another way to measure under the drip tray like that is to use a chunk of clay (do kids still play with clay?) The soft material stays in place, you set the drip tray where it belongs and then press it into proper operating position. Remove and measure the thickness of the compressed (if it does) clay. Tah dah!
 

AnotherRTUser

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@Uncle Bob --- great idea, hadn't thought of that.

@Buckeye smoker --- Looks like our deflector shields are twins. I also get a measurement of about 3/4" on the left side of the shield. (See picture #1 below)

I decided to do a test to see if the warped deflector shield was affecting the temperature inside the grill. I wanted to check the temperature at different locations inside the grill to see if they were consistent throughout and if it matched the temperature I set with the RT Wifi Controller.

In order to do this, I needed a couple more probes, but I don't have any external digital thermometers (ThermoPro, etc.) to use, so I decided to use the 2 meat probes that came with the Wifi Controller. I had already calibrated them and placed them inside the grill using a sliced potato to hold them in place (I don't have the grill "clips" for the probes, so this is what I came up with). You can see how I laid them out in picture #2 below. I put one in the center (probe A) and the other one (probe B) at the right edge. This way I could get a reading from one edge of the grill to the other.

I turned the grill on and set the temperature to 250. You can see in picture #3 that right after I turned the grill on, Probe A and B had the same reading and was a few degrees less that what the RTD probe was indicating.

After the grill reached 250 degrees (according to the RTD probe), I waited 5 minutes to let everything settle down, so to speak. As you can see in picture #4, Probes A and B were in line with the Wifi Controller/RTD probe (Probe A at 249 and Probe B at 250).

So, basically, this told me that the warped deflector shield didn't have any affect on the temperature throughout the grill. I was pleased to see this.

Now, obviously, this was not a scientific method in what I did, but thought at least it would give me an indication if the warped deflector shield might be an issue. As of now, looks like everything is ok.
 

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