How to hotrod a Bluestar RCS model

mojaveanMarch 4, 2011

For those of you with the older RCS model Bluestar ranges with the single 18k btu burner in the right front hob, you can upgrade that burner to a 22K Ultranova by simply replacing the burner orifice (sometimes referred to as a spud.) with one with a tiny bit larger hole. The 18k Supernova burner has a 48 gauge drill size orifice and the Ultranova 22k uses one with a 47 gauge hole. You can find the equivalent drill sizes in both metric and English via Internet search engine.

The newest models of RCS ranges do not have the 18K burner. In that case, owners will have to order an upgrade kit from Bluestar. The parts are as follows:

Burner #729801 $77.57

Gasket #734301 $3.52

Orifice #709548 ~$11.00 (it's ten and change and I can't remember the change!) Note, this is the 18K - 48 gauge orifice. If you want the 22 then tell them to send you that instead.

NOTE: THIS ORIFICE IS FOR NATURAL GAS ONLY! Do not order this orifice if you use LP. The orifice will be a different size.

There are some service videos on this page that will show the general layout of the burners and how to remove them for the swap.

The videos don't cover replacing the orifice, but it is easy. The burner feed tubes fit right over the orifices, so they are fairly easy to see if you peek in from the top looking toward the front of the machine.

You need a 7/16" deep well socket and about a 6" extension.

Slide the socket over the orifice until it is captured. Attach your ratchet and unscrew it. Note how hard it was to remove the old orifice. (not hard)

Next, put the new orifice in the socket and using only your fingers and the extension, finger tighten the new orifice on the gas nipple. Only after the threads are started correctly should you use the ratchet to finish tightening the new orifice. Don't over-torque. The orifice is brass and you do not want it deformed or or the threads damaged in any way.

With that burner head you will be able have either an 18 or 22kbtu burner, depending on the orifice.

If you choose the 47 gauge example you will be doing the Ultranova, Baby.

By the way, I would like to add that I do not insist that anyone modify their stove if they do not want to. I am simply relating something I did that worked pretty well. Use it and enjoy if you feel it might be something you are interested in doing, otherwise, don't! We'll still be pals!

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Very clever- how did you realize that you could upgrade the burners?

Is it necessary to don your blue suede shoes while completing the retrofit?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 6:35AM
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He Got the idea from me, as I'm always "Hotrodding" my Dodges. I believe He "Lost" those Blue Suede Shoes ----
Due To---- See Picture Below


    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:11AM
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The snapshot is from "Bossanova Baby" from "Fun in Acapulco." The name "Ultranova" always reminds me of that song.

I put in an order for the orifice after confirming that the burner heads on the 18 and 22 were identical. I got the sizes of both from stampings on their sides.

Also, the reports of Gary's injuries are somewhat premature; we aren't planning any explosions until July!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Did you adjust the air shutter as well to get good flames? Usually you need more air to go along with more gas.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Yes, you just loosen the little setscrew on the shutter and move it until you get the bluest flame. Tighten the setscrew and you are done. There is a video on the page I linked to showing how to do it.

Oh, by the way, WHOOPS!

I gave the wrong socket size, too. (It's been awhile since I carried a toolbag for a living) You use a 1/2" deep-well socket to swap the orifices out, not a 7/16". I had a nagging feeling that I had misremembered that one and so I took my old orifice out to the garage and checked it this morning (please, no impertinent comments or easy cheap shots - thanks!) and it takes a 1/2" socket.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Flame on,

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:14PM
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mojavean - great information, as always. Since you say the 18K and 22K burners are identical and the only modification needed is the orifice I am wondering if I could easily COLDROD one of my 22K burners on my RNB....not to be ungrateful but I often want a bit of a lower simmer and 1 22 K is enough for me. I like the 15K burner a lot but it seems to me that the 18K would give me just that bit of extra low simmer without sacrificing too much heat. Any info? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:39AM
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Yes, you certainly could follow the same steps to replace your #47 burner orifice with a #48. That would give you the "Supernova" burner.

The only thing is I am not sure you will see a great deal of difference at the low gas flow side. When I have the flame dialed down (with the new orifice) it looks pretty much like it did when I had the old orifice in the range. The difference I am seeing, subtle as it is, is when I have the burner going full tilt. At super low flows, the limiting factor seems to be the number of ports in the burner head itself determining the heat produced. I can still dial back the gas to the point where the flame goes out, just as I could before.

So I am not sure you are going to gain much at the low end by switching back, but it would be a cheap experiment if you want to give it a go. HTH, Scott

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I can see that the smaller orifice will make most difference for the high flow end. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:13AM
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Before doing this "upgrade" you may want to check with your home owners insurance.
When you modify a range (or any product) and it no longer meets the UL or AGA approval for that model and serial number, you, the modifier, can be held fully and legally liable for it.
If you were to ever have a fire in the home that was even remotely in the area of your range, and your insurance company investigator finds that the range has been modified, your insurance could possibly be voided and you would get 0 payout.

But it gets even better... If you sell your home and the next owner has a fire in the same manner as above, you again could be found liable and would have to pay for their house to be rebuilt. Pray that no one dies or gets injured as this could lead to manslaughter charges.

This is why a servicer will not do these types of upgrades unless it is fully approved by the company in writing along with step by step instructions.

If Blue Star has documented approval and instructions for this upgrade then go for it. Make sure you save the approval and instructions in a safe place for your own protection.

Sorry to throw a wet blanket on this party but to me the liability is not worth the risk just to gain a few extra BTU.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:52AM
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You're welcome, Tina. You know, I completely see where you are coming from on the coldrodding idea. I figure all I really need is the one big burner because when I have it going in blowtorch mode it really takes most of my limited attention span to keep up with it. Anything you put on that burner on high is going to either boil over or smoke, sooner rather than later, so you have to stay attentive when it is dialed to high. I really only need one burner like that. I can keep anything simmering on the 15k burners and things are easy to move around on top of the range. But I really LOVE that one big mohuncher for searing, wokking, or getting things up temp quickly.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Manslaughter?? LOL! You have GOT to be kidding me! I knew I was going to get the lawyers in here on this one, but MANSLAUGHTER?

Talk about melodrama ...

Anyway, just to make it clear, this information is provided for entertainment purposes ONLY! LOL!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:28AM
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No Melodrama... and it's no LOL moment.

But your Honor I was only trying to boil water 3 minutes faster...
( That's melodrama and funny )

Definition of involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without intent. The absence of the intent element is the essential difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Also in most states, involuntary manslaughter does not result from a heat of passion but from an improper use of reasonable care or skill while in the commission of a lawful act or while in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony.

As I said before, If Bluestar approves the mod go for it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Jakvis, have you ever seen an RCS? Do you own a Bluestar at all?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:00PM
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No just an appliance servicer for the last 35 years.

I don't service Bluestar because there aren't many in my area. But I believe RCS stands for Residential Culinary Series and is an all gas range for the Bluestar line. I don't have any axe to grind with Bluestar and from what I hear and read they make a pretty good product.

However me not working on one nor me ever owning one doesn't change any statement I said.
Any un-authorized mods are done at your own risk. If you feel the reward is greater than the risk it doesn't remove the risk or lessen it. If it's a factory approved mod then Bluestar takes all the risk.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:26PM
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Mojavean, what about a 46 gauge burner orifice? Can the burners take 24-25,000 btus?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:14PM
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I think Jakvis brings up an excellent point. It might sound crazy but an insurance company would eat you alive (and your next of kin) if something bad happened.

A slim chance but a good point nonetheless!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:36PM
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Yes, and if you go outside without your tinfoil hat on, you might get hit by a meteor. Or a bus.

But before everyone darts for the cover of corporate servility, remember this: the supports are identical, everything is identical, save the orifice. The burner is designed to use a #47 or #48. No, Bluestar isn't going to send you a frikkin letter telling you you can put an RNB orifice in an RCS. Why would they do something like that? They are charging $2,000 more for the RNB! Jeez!

No, this might be something you just might have to stick your neck out on. But it is YOUR range and your neck. Mine works fine. Decide for yourselves.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:25PM
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You asked about using a #46. I have no idea how it would perform with a #46 but I might just give it a try to see if I can really spool the google lawyers around here up.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Mojavean, I'm not trying to have a battle with you. I've enjoyed reading your comments in other posts and I see you normally try to help people.
Your right about it being your risk. There may be a good chance that nothing may happen. You seem so clear on this I wonder will you also personally take on the risk for maire_cate, kist1, and buffolotina too?

Ask your self these questions
If a fire was to happen in your kitchen, possibly from a pan of grease catching fire, would you be up front and let the your insurance company know you modified the range or would you keep quiet and hope they didn't find out ?
If during the investigation of the range it was found that it had parts in it that did not match your model would you speak up and claim fault or would you let your insurance go after Bluestar or maybe a service tech that worked on your product?

Just asking...

I occasionally get called by insurance companies to investigate fires and flood claims when appliances are involved. The first task is to locate the source of the issue and the second task is to identify all parts of the product and verify that they are the original or original replacement parts for the product. Most of the time this is done with a representative of the appliance manufacturer and we go over everything piece by piece taking hundreds of photos.
Insurance companies are not your friends. Any money they pay out they are looking to suborgate to someone else such as the product manufacturer, the installer, the service tech who may have once serviced the product.

Again, I only wish you the best luck in your endeavors and hold no ill will towards you or anyone wanting the best out of their products.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 4:47PM
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Interesting twist of a thread, if not much of a stretch by Internet chat board standards.

Ok, so the voice of caution may just be right on a couple of basic points. One is that it might be worthwhile or even terribly important to understand one's homeowner's policy before one wants or needs to collect on that policy; two is that gas is combustible stuff -- that's why we have it -- which suggests that mucking about with gas lines and utilities is likely another of many areas in which folks who don't know what they're doing probably ought not to do it.

Which is not to say that anybody in particular doesn't know what he's doing -- not at all.

On a not unrelated point, we might not want to take legal counsel -- on insurance law, tort law, or criminal law -- from an appliance repair expert. Or, for that matter, from a dentist, a fighter pilot, or a tennis pro. Or even a stranger on the Internet purporting to be a lawyer.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:03PM
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I am going to limit my participation in this thread to answering technical or performance questions regarding the upgrade. Jakvis, I appreciate your contributions here very much, but in this case I think you are conceding far too much to the insurance companies. Still, I wish you well also.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:11AM
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mojavean-awesome thread. As far as insurance goes, I would not be scared of that issue at all. We take our lives into our own hands every day that we get behind the wheel of our cars, which to me is way riskier than modifying your stove, plus imho a much larger consequence. Luckily however I have an RNB.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:57PM
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"I am going to limit my participation in this thread to answering technical or performance questions regarding the upgrade. Jakvis, I appreciate your contributions here very much, but in this case I think you are conceding far too much to the insurance companies. Still, I wish you well also."

I think your initial, technical suggestion & follow-up might be very useful to a few folks, even if it's a limited population that tackles such things on their own. For my own part, I found it to be one of the more interesting threads here (before the insurance stuff) even though I tend to hire people to do that sort of thing.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 8:02AM
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