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Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Posted by deleomeyer (My Page) on
Fri, May 27, 11 at 16:12

There's an interesting post on Chowhound about tweaking a Wolf stove to increase the BTUs. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/786974

Here's a bit from the post:

Tip for Wolf Stove owners - More BTU's

Unscrew the little brass jet tip and drill the 1/16th hole to 5/64th. Replace and that burner is now converted from 16,000 BTU's to 20,000 or 22,000 BTU's.

Safe and easy. I did it to my Wolf stove years ago and finally got around to doing it to my Rangetop. The low, simmer and medium settings still work just fine, but you'll get big juice on high.

It's great to have one very hot burner for Wok cooking, boiling big pots of water for Lobster or Crab, etc.

Has anyone ever tried this? I must say, it is tempting, but would not want to do it if doing so was hazardous to me or my stove!

Don


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Can't speak to the Wolf, but I have done the exact same thing (in principle) to my Bluestar and I can say with certainty that it works like gangbusters. Enjoy and use your Wolf in good health. Every day we survive is happy testimony that we can make reasonable modifications to our appliances if we know the risks and know what we are doing.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Thank you for getting back to me on this! It makes me wonder why they just don't make the stove with the bigger 5/64th hole in the first place!


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

There are several variables at play, here. The burner orifice, the thing you are drilling out, must be matched with *many* things. First of all, the burner itself. If the ports in the burner head are too small or too sparse, then all you are going to do by increasing the orifice diameter is cause improper mixture and "jetting" at high flow settings.

Next, you have the air inlet or shutter. If this is not adequately designed for higher gas flows then you will not be able to adjust your mixture correctly.

Next, is the directional design of the gas ports on the burner head. If they are all emerging horizontally, then the extra flame could be wasted shooting out around the sides of the pan.

Lastly, there is the variable of the burners and rangetop themselves. Can the burners withstand the higher heat? Can the ignitors and the underlying burner supports take more and bigger fire? Is the bigger flame going to hit something flammable, or that should not be heated?

The answer to every single one of the above, in the case of my Bluestar, was good-to-go. Largely due to the design of the range. The gas ports go up on the Bluestar, not sideways. The burner head is designed for higher flows than the orifice provided for my range. Mixture adj. was good. I was not worried about cranking my range up a few notches. And since I am very accustomed to performing mods on engines, vehicles, and machinery of many sorts, the simple nature of a gas range is not, to me, very daunting. Your mileage may vary.

Since I am not familiar with the Wolf, personally, I cannot answer about the performance of the units after hotrodding them, but it certainly sounds like an interesting experiment so long as you don't burn your house down because you weren't careful.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

At the very, very least make sure the color of the flame is right.

Here is a link that might be useful: What the flame should look like


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

deleomeyer, did you try this? Did it work? Any problems?


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

monjavean, How does the Venturi shape on the rear burner tubes effect the flame? I know it means higher speed and lower pressure, but what does that do to the flame??


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

mojavean: Do you think you could also hotrod the griddle or oven burners on a Bluestar?


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Ignoring the safety or not of hacking gas burners, if I had a gas burner and wanted to hack it, I would use a set of number drills covering the range of drill dimensions in the OP's post. I would open the jet by one drill size at a time and attempt to scale up any port relief shapes present. I would observe the effect of the larger port on the factors mojavean described above. If some effect suggested that the drilling had gone too far, I would buy another jet and drill out to one size smaller.

(Historically, one wouldn't up-jet carburetors by large steps unless someone else has determined that the large step meets requirements for that particular motor configuration.)

kas


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

deleomeyer:

You have my interest. What specific little brass jet are you talking about? I assume you're talking about an AG Wolf? I've reworked the wok grate and more flame along with that could be a major improvement, or perhaps burn the house down . . .


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

On the end of the gas feed tube, there is a small brass fitting that looks like a domed hex-nut with a small hole in the center. I believe this is the jet. (I have an AG Wolf). Part two of this mod would be to adjust the air flow. I assume, but don't know, that this is done by loosening the clamp on the aluminum tube the jet shoots into, and rotating it to adjust the air shutter.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

The gas jet, sometimes called a "spud" or "orifice" sits between the valve and the feed tube that supplies the burner. Its job is to increase the speed of the gas flow right before it passes by the mixture "shutters" resulting in a venturi effect. At max open valve, the orifice serves to limit the gas flow to achieve optimum mixture and pressure at the burner ports. If the orifice is too big, the gas flow can blow itself out at the burner. All of this is a balance. Burner port angle, if mostly horizontal, will just shoot the flames out from under the skillet if you turn the burner up too high. If the burner ports are too few, or too small in diameter, then an overly large orifice will cause "jetting" at the burner and could result in poor mixture/inefficient burn, or even extinguishing of the flame.

On my RCS, the burner was designed for double duty, either as a 22K burner, when paired, with a #47 drill size orifice, or as an 18K burner with a #48 drill size orifice. I did some experimenting and settled on a 46 gauge orifice, which yields me around 24K BTU/hr performance and still a decent blue flame and great performance with my cookware. It is important to note that the Bluestar burner configuration is like a commercial unit in that the gas ports in the burner arms are angled up toward the pan and not horizontally out away from the center. I get a nice pile of fire when I light up the big boy, it rocks a wok about as well as I could ask, and it will never heat a pan as fast as Gary's induction cooktop. So it is always good to keep things in perspective!

As far as the griddle, grill burner performance, I simply cannot answer without seeing the range and examining the flame pattern. I do know you do not want to increase the spread of flame outside the design limits of the system without a careful evaluation of danger. Are there wires in the flame path? Gas piping? Plastic, insulation, frequent contact surfaces you will burn yourself on. The list is endless. I am comfortable engineering stuff around my house because I have a long history of doing that.

All I would say is that if you are interested in hotrodding your range, do it carefully, in small steps, and make sure that what you are doing

1. Helps.
2. Won't burn your house down.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Mojavean is correct about the top burner.

I would not recommend fiddling with an oven burner. Why? There's a careful balance of burner size (BTUs) versus cavity size versus flue (where the products of combustion exit the oven cavity) size. Sure, you can easily hop-up the oven burner in the same manner that mojavean explained above regarding the top burner but unless you are able to test the air exiting the flue with a combustion analyzer, you may not get the right mix and get bad combustion--in other words too much carbon monoxide. Really bad combustion will smell acrid--but if you are borderline ideal combustion, it's not really noticeable and could be very dangerous.

My .02.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

Not wanting to be a party popper, but anyone who drills out an orifice, should know that Wolf range and range top has UL Approval for 16k btu only. As stated above by increasing the size of the jet means more gas more heat.

It should also be noted that should a fire start in your home that is related to the range your home insurance may well not cover the damage or loss of everything, should they somehow they find out you as the home owner changed a range to take it out of UL Residential approval.

The reason I know this is I had a Bluestar customer a few years ago asked to increase from 22k - 30k I asked the factory for an oven orifice (30k btu)to do this and was told they would not do this due to approvals.

Chances of the above happening would be really really slim, but the consequences are now known, Just a word of warning.


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

What about drilling out one of the orifices from the lp conversion kit?


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RE: Hacking a Wolf stove to increase BTUs??

samsungstuff , it would work the same. I guess your question is, if you drill out the lfp conversion kit, can you go back and use the natural gas orifices, yes you can. It is slightly more work, because the lp orifice is slightly smaller than the natural gas as supplied by the manufacturer, but once it is drilled out to the same size, it won't know that it was an lp orifice to begin with.


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