Learned a lesson the hard way

MikeLucky

TVWBB Fan
So, I actually haven't used my WSM for a while so yesterday I bought an 8 pound pork shoulder to smoke tomorrow. As I was bringing it home I remembered that I hadn't cleaned out the WSM since my last smoke. I didn't think too much of it since I rarely clean out my kettle since I empty the ash and brush off the grate when it's hot and I don't have any issues.

Well, I just went out back to clean out and get the WSM setup so I can get the shoulder on the smoker quickly in the morning. I opened it to a moldy mess. The grates were moldy, the lid was moldy, and the sidewalls were moldy. As I took it all apart to clean it up o realized why. My wife cleans off our large patio with the water hose several times a week. Apparently when she does she somehow sprays water into the bottom bowl of the WSM. It was full of old moldy water. Yuck.

So I spread out all the parts on the patio, sprayed them liberally with foam degreaser and am letting them sit for a while before I go spray them off. I guess I'll need to figure out a way to keep it from filling up again. Lesson learned.
 

KToliver

TVWBB Fan
Does your WSM have a cover? I’m thinking that the best way is to ask your wife to stop washing down your WSM! :)

I cannot imagine any water getting into the base unless she is literally washing down the body, where water can slip through the seams, or splashing water into the bottom vents off the patio below it. Do you keep those vents closed?

Not a problem for me...it’s a dry heat here in AZ!
 

MikeLucky

TVWBB Fan
I had all the vents closed. I have the WSM on the edge of the covered patio, but after thinking about it when it rains the water might be hitting the backside and going in through the seam. Only way to explain it having so much water in it.
 

MikeS in Alaska

TVWBB Fan
I flip the center section so the joints shed water, open the vents, and slide a 'custom' fit black garbage bag over it. Works for me.

YMMV
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
If you use water in your water pan when you smoke I wonder if that, too, could be your culprit (or even just leaving contents from your last cook in the pan). I'm not trying to encourage you not to use water but I think doing so can also promote mold unless some precautionary measures are taken during storage. Some folks also store their units with the mid section turned upside down; this can help reduce the likelihood of water entering from the lid end. I store mine with the intake vents open, but mine are kept in the basement.

Chris also recommends a high-heat burn off during the mold cleanup. https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/cleanup-maintenance-storage/#burnout
 

MikeLucky

TVWBB Fan
I didn't use water in the pan but had foil wrapped it and left it with the drippings. I'm sure that contributed.
 
I just recently bought a used 14.5 that had this exact problem. I filled the basket with hot coals, then alternating having the lid on and off. Once that burned out and it had cooled, it got Weber grill cleaner all over and an old nylon brush. That did the trick in my case.
 

MikeLucky

TVWBB Fan
I just recently bought a used 14.5 that had this exact problem. I filled the basket with hot coals, then alternating having the lid on and off. Once that burned out and it had cooled, it got Weber grill cleaner all over and an old nylon brush. That did the trick in my case.
Yeah, I took mine apart and sprayed each piece, including grates with a foam degreaser. I let it sit for about 15 minutes then rinsed everything. Then I went ahead and did it once more. Then put it all together and did a full heat burnout.

Since then I've never had this happen again so it was really strange. I leave the vents open now so maybe that helped, but I still can't imagine how the bottom got actually full of water.
 

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