Pirates Sulfur Vaporizer for Dummies
Well............I was only several hours away from buying a commercially built sulfur vaporizer for $150.00 (plus the cost of sulfur....that’s bullshit !!) when I ran across a blown up cutaway photo of a commercial unit. I had been searching the net for a DIY tutorial for months and to my dismay............I found nothing........... NOTHING !! I can't believe no ones posted a DIY Sulfur Burner Thread. And if they have..........I can't find it anywhere on any site. And what I found to be the most crazy is how freaking simple it is to build one. I had a working test model with 1 hour. I would have done it sooner but I wasn't sure how they were made...........Until I saw that cutaway photo. Within 60 seconds of seeing that photo I was out in the garage digging for parts. (Man I love the web !!)
After dealing with Powdery Mildew for several months and trying every "Witches Brew" in the book except burning sulfur, and reading how so many commercial greenhouses use a burner to eliminate and prevent Powdery Mildew........I figured this was the way to go to be done with it once and for all. Some of those "household remedies" work well to stunt or prolong the growth rate of Powdery Mildew when sprayed, dunked or applied to plants but it always comes back and those methods require a lot of work when I am already to busy with other stuff (Like Growing)...........I wanted something that will kill Powdery Mildew in every corner of every wall and every leaf surface (Top and bottome) in the room.(with a big plus............IT KILLS BUGS TOO !!) A Sulfur Vaporizer is the only method I know to treat every single surface in the room without having to remove and clean EVERY piece of equipment or mix up some kind of "Ungodly Concoction" to spray on my plants. Removing and washing down the whole room and everything inside is totally unrealistic for someone runnin a perpetual harvest when there is no down time in between or after harvest. My grow never stops so I need a "during grow" remedy. Then there are the "Solution Dips" that some suggest. Yeah well..........Let me see you dip 10 - 4 foot tall by 2 foot wide plants into a bucket every 5 days to break the PM spawning cycle. Not Me. I wanna plug in a device and walk away !!! (Like a microwave oven given up tasty treats within minutes)
Now.............I'm not gonna go into a bunch of details with this as the photos will pretty much do most of the talking and it's pretty strait forward to get the idea on how these things work. My narratives and photos should give ya enough info to go out and save yourself quite a few bucks. I used scrap parts I had laying around the garage. The only thing I bought was the actual Sulfur itself. I had a test burner up and running within 1 hour of getting the idea. Total time to build the final working unit was approx. 2.5 hours. And I had never built one before and had to design the damn thing as I went along. I ran it and adjusted most of the day to make sure it was right before I actually used it in the room though. Sulfur must burn (Vaporize) at a certain temperature and I wanted to verify it stayed in that range. With this tutorial...........you should be burning sulfur within several hours and not spend more than $30.00 or so (Total).
Lets get to building:
Use your imagination and use alternate parts with what you have already if that's what works for you.The idea is to save some cash. This is just the misc crapola I had laying around. You know...........The kind of crap my "Wench" is talking about when she says "Your such a pack rat". Yeah, whatever...........SHUT UUUUPPPP !! My junk just saved ya 150 buckaroos Biatch !!
Here are the materials you will need.
- 2 large coffee cans (or ???)
- 1 - 3 foot minimum piece of electrical cord with male plug end
- 1 - 1/2 inch Romex connector
- 1 - 6 inch recessed can light (for parts) (or an old light socket)
- 2 - wire nuts
- 1 -100 watt GREEN light bulb (outdoor type with a flat face)
- 2 - 8/32 1 inch long bolts (or ???)
- 2 - 8/32 washers and nuts (or ???)
- 4 - 1 inch long pan head screws
- 1 Coke Can or POP top soup can.
- 1 small piece of jack chain or wire to hang burner with
- 1 small roll of Foil Tape (heat resistant) NOT REGULAR DUCT TAPE !! (the heat will make a mess of the glue)
OK…….Here we go…………
This is the burner I built.
I ran it for 2 hours and it filled my room with a cloud of Mold / Bug killing vapor. I could have made it prettier but I was gung ho about getting it done and it works great so............SHUT UP !!!! (Imagine an Adam Sandler voice with that)
Can #1 and The Electrical Connections:
- Drill a 1/2 inch hole in the side of ONE can at the base.
- Attach the electrical cord using the Romex connector
- Drill a 1/8Th inch hole for the socket bracket bolt.
- Attach the Light socket bracket and secure
- Adjust the bracket so the socket sits very low in the can
- Connect the power wires. White and Black to socket
- Attach the GROUND to the bracket bolt with the second nut. Keep it Safe !!
- Tuck the wiring down under the socket so it doesn't touch the lamp.
- Install the bulb. Use a green bulb since you will be running this when the lights are off.
You can buy a 6 inch recessed fixture and take the bracketed socket out like I did or build a bracket out of any scrap piece of metal you have. I'm sure you can think of something. Be creative. A 6 inch recessed fixture should cost less than $10.00 at any home improvement store. OR
If ya have an old fixture laying around.........By all means.........scrap that fucker and steal the socket and attach it any way you can. In fact........There's your cord as well !!!
Back up photos for the inept:
This was the bottom of Can #2
- Drill a hole using a Hole saw, jig saw or Tin snips (much harder) big enough into the bottom of can #2 so the Sulfur cup you'll use (a coke can) will fit THROUGH the hole. My Hole is 2 3/4 inches across. Slightly bigger is better. I'll explain later. (make sure you cut this hole BEFORE step 2. Otherwise you'll fight the next step.
- Using a can opener........Cut the bottom out of the can that has that Hole in it. (Can #2) The top can.
- Drill the 4 tapper screws into the side of can #2 approx. 3 or 4 inches inches above the top of the bulb face.
- Attach the 2 cans together using the Foil Tape OR anyway you want. Maybe using screws or whatever NO REGULAR DUCT TAPE !!
- Drop the "Sulfur Cup / Heat Retainer ring" into can #2 so it sits on the 4 screws. Again - it should be 3 to 4 inches above the lamp face or height adjusted to the cup your gonna use.
Drill hole and cut from can. SAVE IT !!
Foil Tape the 2 cans together. I also covered the screws with tape to help secure them. The can wall is very thin and the screws WILL work loose if you don't tape em.
2 cans taped together........Bulb installed..........4 screws into side wall:
Setting the "Sulfur Cup support / Heat retainer into can #2 This was the bottom of can #2:
Set In Place:
Now for the Sulfur Cup:
I'll give ya 2 options with option #2 being the best. But option #1 works just fine as well. (And its cheaper)
File the top off:
Edge is smooth:
- Grab an empty can of Coke, Beer or whatever
- Run a file back and forth across the top OR scrape it on a concrete sidewalk (back and forth with top down
- The top will lift right off and the edge will be smooth and not cut ya. (Old prison trick)
- Using the butt end / handle) of a hammer or ???? whatever tool ya want, flatten the base of the can from the inside. You want the bottom of the can flat. Look inside and see its DOMED. Flatten it or the heat will not disperse properly.
- Set can into Burner on top of Bulb
One more Shot for the hell of it:
Option #2. The better method:
Eat a can of soup !!
Try and use a POP TOP type soup can. The reason is that these types of cans are made from aluminum and the older type that require an opener are made from tin. Now I assume the tin type would work (I have not tried one) but the POP TOP type is ideal IMO. The base is actually made like a good set of cooking pots with the ridges in em. Thicker than a coke can and the built in ridges provide good heat disbursement throughout the whole base. I tested this theory with a thermometer against a coke can and the soup can has a more even heat distribution. But again……..The coke can works as well. But the soup can will last far longer since it’s thicker.
I made a nice bracket for the soup can using a strip of Plumbers tape. See the photos below. This allows the can to be raised and lowered to adjust the amount of heat the can gets. I adjusted mine to within ¼ inch of the bulb and it works great. Next run I will use ½ inch since the ¼ inch heat was at the top end of the ideal heat required to “Vaporize” the sulfur. (140 to 190* C) (285 to 375*F). My Soup can was running around 350*F (175*C). I want it to be around 300*F range so I will raise my can ½ inch the next time I burn it. (tomorrow actually).
Another option to control heat would be to install a lamp dimmer to adjust the bulb intensity. But I’m happy with my method for now. (cheaper and works fine).
Here is a couple more photos:
The soup can with adjustment bracket. The wings keep the can from rocking. The can slides up and down to adjust distance from bulb.
Here is the running Temperature of a coke can sitting right on top of the Bulb: The SOUP CAN RUNS HOTTER !! Thus the need for adjustments.
Here is the Soup can heating up.
It takes approx 10 minutes for the sulfur to start melting. (20 minutes and its really crankin) This can is 1/4 inch above the lamp. NOTE:
One reason I made the hole in the bottom of Can #2 larger than the Sulfur Cup it will hold is for heat escape. I don't want ALL that heat stuck inside the base AND I want some of it to rise up and help disperse the vapor. Like a chimney effect. See the photo and the green light ring coming from around the Soup can. That 1/4 space around the whole can is pushing out heat and taking vapors with it.
Testing Coke Can:
Install some sort of hanging device:
Here is some Sulfur for ya: $13.50 for 2.5 lbs
That is all I spent on my burner !!! Everything else was stuff laying around.
I used 1/4 cup of Sulfur Pellets and after 2 hours it was only half gone.
The Green Bulb:
OK........Notes on the Green Bulb. There are 2 types of outdoor landscape bulbs. One will be very thin glass, Rounded face and is very light weight. Its called a "flood Lamp" NO GO. Get the one that has thick glass, flat face and is heavy. Its called a "SPOT LAMP".
DO NOT RUN THIS BULB OUTSIDE OF THE CAN in your flower room.
When I was searching for some green bulbs to work in my room at night........I grabbed this from Home Depot. ($6.00). After runnin it for several days while I did some major construction in the flower room at night.........I noticed some redish/white light coming from the base right where it screws into the socket. I quit using it right there. Now I never got a Hermy from it and I ran it for 18 hours total but I didn't want to take a chance from that day forward. The light leak in the base is VERY Small and being 2 cans deep into this contraption with the center lid and sulfur can inside.......there is no way it would be a concern for running this in a flower room. I'm running it in mine this weekend after a harvest. (But I still have some in there with 1 month to go) That's how confident I am with it. Just don't run this bulb BARE. Keep it down in the can.
If ya wanna drop $70.00 you can buy a Sulfur vaporizer heating element. I'll stick to the 6 dollar lamp myself. Just thought I would throw that out there for anyone wanting other options. ($70.00 or $6.00 ?? Hmmm.......Let me check my pocket)
UPDATE on July 6th 2009:
The green bulb I suggested eventually loses its green coating/color after 20 or 30 hours of run time. I assume its from being enclosed in the can and getting overheated. SO....if your going to run this in the bloom room during the dark cycle........heads up. I am working on a solution for this and will update when I do.
The 100 watt Green Bulb: Notice the SEMI flat face.
Now.............Go hang your new Sulfur Vaporizer in a convenient spot. Add 1/4 cup of pellets into the cup........Turn that puppy on and step back..............Admire your work.
AHHHHHHHH !!!! You've done a fine job !!!
BY BY MOLD !!!! BY BY BUGS !!!! Hello 150 bucks richer !!
SPECIAL NOTES FOR DUMMIES:
This will get hot !!
DO NOT Touch the outside with bare hands.
DO NOT Hang near combustible materials.
DO NOT Breath the Vapors or let it get into your eyes.
DO NOT Overdo it with run times. (2 hours FILLED a 10 x 8 room with a 12 foot ceiling)
DO NOT Blame PIRATE if you screw it up !!
Use a timer for automatic shut off if you can't babysit this thing.
Keep it safe. Stay smart. Use your head. Don't be a "Dummy" !!
Later On Scallywags !!!!!!........AAAAARRRRRRRRRRR !!!!!!!!