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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DCS Grill Repair Secrets: Control Valve Adjustment

dcs control valve adjustment
DCS Control Valve
When Dynamic Cooking Systems started manufacturing gas grills over twenty years ago the owners and designers met with several different manufacturing companies and gas grill technicians.  The features and benefits initiated by DCS are still copied by high-end barbecue companies today and some features are still advanced beyond barbecues designed recently.

This image is a DCS control valve as installed in a DCS Model BGA27.  The 27" gas grills were discontinued many years ago.  This is one of the later iterations evidenced by the venturi tube seen in the image attached at the back of the valve.  The original DCS grills used cast iron burners but the venturi tube in this image is stainless steel.

Today's grill technician secret is to disseminate a feature of the control valve that should be common knowledge among DCS owners and grill technicians alike.  Unfortunately most grill owners and many barbecue servicers do not know the features of the DCS control valve.

Notice there is a small screwdriver being inserted into the opening in the valve stem and extending into the valve body.  There is a small set screw inside the valve stem that allows the valve to be adjusted.  This is usually not necessary but every once in awhile a valve becomes damaged or a client wants to have the ability to alter the movement (hence the heat) of the control.  This small set-screw allows the control to be adjusted in tiny increments.

Also notice where the valve stem goes to the valve body is round.  There is a screw on the left and right and just to the right of the top of the curve at the top of the valve body there is a small notch.  This looks pretty useless and is easily overlooked; it could even seem a coincidence that the notch is a perfect size to insert those  tiny red straws that come with canisters of lubricants and many cleaning products.

When a DCS barbecue grill hood is closed to build up heat to grill or while cooking on the barbecue the closed hood creates a horizontal vent along the back of the BBQ for venting heat, carbon, smoke, grease, etc.  On occasion the wind can blow (this is described in the DCS user's manuals)
 at this vent and cause the inside the the grill to overheat.  Heat that should be circulating and escaping gets stuck in the grill and the control panel can be overheated.  If the chef is not paying attention the knobs will eventually melt off the grill.  Even when the cook is watching the heat can cause damage to the electrode wires, plastic rotary module, battery module, switch and other grill parts not intended to get hot.

When the heat is too intense inside the DCS gas grill -- and this is Very Hot as DCS that was the hottest barbecue grill on the market for many years -- the lubrication in the valve body can overheat and become gritty.  Eventually a small piece like a grain of sand can become ledged in the ball-valve and the valve will "freeze" which means the valve stem will no longer turn.  This little notch allows a degreaser or lubricant to be sprayed into the valve.

I usually spray the outside of the valve while pushing the stem in and out to get some of the degreaser into the sliding mechanisms and also spray into the notched opening allowing the moisture to push through all the pieces of the valve where movement occurs.

For assistance and additional information you can always contact us at Majestic Grill Parts via email at:

Service@Grill-Repair.com

through the telephone at:

954.247.4552 which is also 954-2-GRILL-2.

And we publish various tips and trick for repairing gas grills and gas fireplaces on our primary blog site at:

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog

If you have found some useful information on this post or on this site Please let us know.  Leave a comment below.  Your comments -- or your lack of comments -- will let us know if we should continue to post information about DCS gas BBQ grills, replacement parts for DCS gas grills and technical service suggestions about DCS Grills.








Friday, August 3, 2012

The DCS Model - And Parts - That Changed The World Of Grilling.

DCS D Model with Rods, Finger Grates and Rotary Modules.
Gas grills by Dynamic Cooking Systems were the most popular and sought after gas grills on the planet until about 8 years ago because the quality, workmanship and performance was unrivaled in high-end gas grills.  Although barbecues like charbroil, weber and jenn air win awards from consumer reports and other sources none of those companies has ever manufactured a barbecue that would grill as well or last as long as a DCS.

DCS really came out ahead of anything previously manufactured with the D model shown in this picture.  The D model refers to the numerical designation in the model number that tells us when the barbecue was manufactured.  The D model copied some features that were already in use in previous models of DCS like the smoker drawer with dedicated burner for adding wood chips for extra flavor and the infrared rotisserie.

The D model made a lot of changes to the DCS grill parts that made the grill much better than anything previously available.  Earlier versions of the DCS had a confusing architecture to the manifold and control valve connection to the igniters and burners.  The later version was clean and easy with a simple pipe (that eventually because stainless steel!) with the control valves screwed into the threaded openings for gas flow.  Instead of the cast iron coated rectangular burners in the original DCS grills the D model introduced the stainless steel U burner with the life time warranty.  Because the lava tray sat on top of the cast iron burner the conduction layer had to change when the burners were updated so DCS started using the hollow porcelain rods that locked into a stainless steel tray.

The design was genius!  The biggest maintenance problem for stainless steel is grease and dirt but locking the rods into the trays meant the entire assembly could be lifted from the barbecue and sprayed with a degreaser.  With briquette trays and lava rock grates most people do not clean the material because removing and replacing the assembly is such a messy, filthy job.  DCS made cleaning these trays easy and gave the owner the ability to make the stainless steel last  a lot longer before replacement parts would be needed.  

The new rod design also added to grilling by  providing more evenly-distributed heat radiating off the rods.  Normally we light the burners and close the hood while the burners slowly heat-up the air trapped in the bbq hood.  This hot air -- convection -- surrounds food and slowly cooks.  With true barbecuing charcoal and wood add flavor so as the hot air pulls moisture from the food the food suck-in the flavor from burning charcoal and wood in the surrounding air.  Adding a source of conduction meant the lava rocks in the original DCS would also get hot and speed-up the time from ignition to being hot enough to cook.  As an added benefit lava rocks also radiated additional heat just below the cooking grates so the area where food is positioned was slightly hotter than the convectional heat inside the entire hood.  The evenly distributed porcelain rods were hotter and radiated a lot more heat and were positioned closer to the cooking grates for a lot more radiant heat at the grilling grid area.

The combination of a cleaner manifold and valve design, more effective burner and greatly improved conduction source meant the DCS could not only barbecue at lower temperatures for broiling and smoking but it also gave the DCS the ability to grill at temperatures above 800 degrees.  Grilling above 800 degrees is considered restaurant-quality searing which locks the outer layer of the meat to force moisture to stay in the food instead of dripping while cooking.  Cooking with gas would often dry-out foods but at 800 degrees juices get locked in the meat for amazing juicy steaks, burgers and fish -- even well-done.

The final improvement was the best feature of the grill and was a direct result of the additional heat generated by the burners and rods.  The new cooking grates were referred to as "finger grates" because each grid was made of 4 concave reversible grids.  Grilling at such high temperatures limited the amount of moisture dripping from the food.  The concave channel of the grill grates would hold an dripping grease, sauce, marinades or bastings so the flavors were retained.  Moisture would no longer drip into the grill to flare-up but would fall into the grate channel and be vaporized to add flavor and texture to the food.  When later grills using infrared technology made it common to grill at temperatures above one-thousand degrees the DCS concave channels were copied by every high-end grill that used infrared burners.

DCS added a feature the the grates called a grease management system.  The drip tray that slides in and out under the grill had a secondary drip tray that mounted in the front of the normal drip tray.  The cooking grates had the ability to lay flat or at an angle by lifting the back of the finger grates to rest on a stainless rod at the back of the grill.  At an angle we can force moisture to channel off the grilling grates towards the front of the grill where an opening dropped directly to the secondary drip tray.  Grilling rib-eye steaks can generate a tremendous amount of grease as the fatty parts of the meat cook and the flat channels could be filled with flammable grease.  Adding the incline to the grid design meant it was easy to get rid of the grease and easy to clean up afterwards.

The DCS D model was the most technologically advanced gas grill of its time and allowed a greater versatility than any other appliance -- commercial or residential.  The only improvement that was not made to the D model was the ignition.  The next iteration of the DCS design was the E model and the E model was the first gas grill to install glow-plug electrodes.  This model had to be plugged into a wall outlet and the glow plug electrode glowed like a lightbulb when activated.  The benefit was the gas would ignite in strong wind or rain but it was not common then to have an electrical outlet outdoors.  Today that has become common place and high-end grills like FireMagic, Lynx and Alfresco all have to have electrical outlets to ignite.  DCS discontinued the glow plugs quickly.  The model that followed the D model was the BG model and DCS used a nine-volt module then that is still used today.  The 9 volt module replaced the rotary modules used on the D model and is a reliable design.

With Fischer and Paykel at the helm DCS is no longer defining the cutting edge of barbecue grill evolutions.  The new implementation has been handed off to companies like FireMagic and Alfresco who are always adding new, untested features that make the models more useful and more expensive.  DCS gas grills stopped evolving when the company was sold.  Fortunately DCS was so far ahead of the competition for so many years DCS grills today are still among the best grills in the world even as the competition adds new features and benefits that DCS grills do not have.

At Majestic Grill Parts we have been servicing gas barbecues, grills, smokers and gas fireplaces for over 10 years and we also ship replacement parts all over the world.  I can personally attest to the fact that DCS gas grills last  longer than any of the barbecues made at that time.  It is common for us to ship lava trays or cast iron burners for A models from the first version of the DCS barbecues manufactured 25 years ago.  A lot of barbecues do not have replacement parts available at all.  If a valve goes bad or a burner rusts the owner has no choice but to buy a new BBQ.   Most DCS grill owners know they have a very special product that is worth repairing because the grill will be performing well as long as they choose to keep it.



Friday, January 14, 2011

DCS, Dynamic Cooking Systems Gas BBQ Grill History and replacement parts for long term DCS repair


Currently, the DCS grills offer eight stainless steel models. In addition, customers have the choice from a number of different features and options. Overall, DCS continues evolving. DCS, Dynamic Cooking Systems have experienced a large number of changes with innovative grill designs and its owners. Currently, the company now sells grills to more than 40 countries and DCS gas grill replacement parts are available for every DCS model ever made -- even barbecue models long discontinued..
DCS custom outdoor kitchen

The Beginning of DCS
Surjit Kalsi pioneered the concept of professional ranges, in addition to all stainless steel BBQ grills. Originally, Surjit started working as a lab technician for England's Main Gas Company. After creating the first dual-flow burners on the market and self-cleaning oven, his success quickly excelled him to the top of the corporate ladder. After experiencing overnight success in 1985, he started his own gas appliance manufacturing company in India, which was short-lived.
Meanwhile, he started work on developing the first residential qualified commercial gas ranges in Los Angeles, CA. The Viking ranges became the first successful development in 1986. Following the ranges successful launch, Surjit once again decided to try his luck on forming a company. Therefore, he began recruiting various highly skilled individuals. They became the company responsible for the founding of Dynamic Cooking Systems (DCS). Following the companies startup, they started creating all stainless steel Barbecue Grills.
DCS 36 on cart with lp tank slide and access drawers, all 304 stainless steel.
The company eventually became one of the leading manufacturers for Professional Quality Gas Ranges for the home. In addition, they became one of the preferred Equipment Manufacturers for private labeled companies, as Costco, William Sonoma, Thermador, Jennair, and GE. Within twelve years, sales for the company grossed over $100 million. During the peak of the company's success, Sujit's son Rich Kalsi joined. Following this, his son made the decision to make two of the DCS engineer's partners by giving them control of 1/3 of the company's shares.
Eventually, both partners decided to sell the company, which forced both Roberto Bernal the engineer partner and Surjit to sign a non-compete agreement for the period of five years. In the meantime, the other engineer partner changed his mind and decided to stay with the new company owners. In the end, both Surjit and Roberto were forced out of the company. Subsequent to the sale of DCS In 2001, Capital Cooking Equipment formed. Even so, Surjit and Roberto could not participate in the companies functions until their release from the non-compete agreement in 2004.
The Fisher & Packel DCS Acquisition
Fisher & Paykel, the New Zealand based company first established themselves in 1934. Starting in 1999, the company started preparation for a split with the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, Ltd and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Ltd. In November of 2001, the split became finalized and both companies listed as separate. They were the first to innovate the idea of heavy-duty stainless steel grills.
The Innovation of the DCS grills
Originally, all of the DCS grills consisted of cast iron parts. One of the favorable characteristics with cast iron has to do with how the material retains heat well. Therefore, heat spread more evenly when cooking. In addition, cast iron is thick and strong and one of the reasons for their durability and ability to withstand the test of time. However, cast iron tends to rust and is one of the reasons for them moving towards the porcelain coating.
By coating the grates in porcelain, this made the finger grates easier to clean in addition to protecting the cast iron from rusting. This combined with the concave design, allowed people the option to cook at both high and low temperatures. Cooking on the concave part of the grate contributed to high heat temperatures, while additionally adding to the flavor of the food. Positioning the grates on an incline reduced the temperatures at which the food was cooked. The incline helped to move the juices away from the food and therefore lowered the cooking temperature.
The other side of the finger grate revealed a non-stick cooking surface. One of the reasons for DCS moving away from the cast iron concept has to do with their interest in the environment. In addition, the porcelain coating tends to offer a delicate protection surface. In most cases, the porcelain coating would scratch or chip and would lead to the cast iron rusting.
Even so, DCS pioneered the first grill with the ability to sear steaks over 800 degrees. This started with them introducing the use of lava rocks within the grills. This worked by the use of a stainless steel heat plate, which held a bed of lava rocks over the cast iron BBQ grills burners. At this time, a 27-inch model of the grill was made. Lava rocks helped to evenly distribute the heat while cooking. This helped the grill to obtain heating temperatures as high as the ones we get today.
At one time briquettes were used, but were short lived and ended after the discontinuation of the 24 inch, which many did not like due to the lack of a cooking surface. Later on the cast stainless steel finger grates replaced the cast iron porcelain coated grates. It was not long however before they started making the stainless steel grates thinner. Much of the reason for this has to do with the introduction of the ceramic radiant rods. Most of the reason behind their change had to do with the effectiveness of the heat distribution. Although the lava rocks tended to work well, using the rods cut down on the amount of waste put into the environment.
In general, the idea behind DCS appliances is reduce the amount of waste put into the environment. In addition, the company has worked to avoid combining metals that are not easily separated. Much of this has to do with their interest in the health of the environment. Currently, they continue to make all 304 gauge stainless steel grills with a lifetime warranty. They come in 30, 36, and 48.
Custom outdoor kitchen with built in dcs 36 inch gas bbq grill

Thursday, July 15, 2010

History and Replacement Gas Grill Parts for Charmglow Barbeque


The Good, Bad And Ugly about Charmglow Grill parts
Charmglow Grills is a name that most people are familiar with.  Models that were produced between 1960 and 1980 could very well still be in use today.  In the old days, if you wanted quality and great construction, Charmglow was the grill that your neighbors would turn green with envy over.
Beatrice Foods Company was one of the first owners that purchased Charmglow Grills during the early1980s and after a string of other owners, they ended up with Sunbeam.  It seemed that every company that touched the Charmglow made some type of changes but all in all, the line of grills remained sustainable and popular.
Charmglow Grills offers magnificent looking models such as the Charmglow 3, 4 and 5 Burner, the Charmglow Firepit, the Charmglow Gourmet, the Charmglow Island and the Charmglow Porcelain.  Shiny and new, these grills will draw your attention in any Home Depot store.  There are models that act as an oven, portable models and those featuring large work areas. 
Brinkmann manufactures some of the Charmglow Grills that are offered at Home Depot.  One of the most charming models is the Charmglow Ducane 3 burner stainless steel grill.  680 inches of cooking space, an EvenPlame system and a side burner for those last minute foods. 
Complaints began surfacing when, in 2004, the name, Charmglow, was sold again to Home Depot and one of the manufacturers was Nexgrill Industries.  In September of 2005, there was a huge recall of 86,000 stainless steel gas grill model 720-0036-HD-05 because the hose that connected the propane tank to the manifold was too close to the firebox, causing damage to the hose and subsequently, causing it to leak gas.  All of these units were sold through Home Depot from November 2004 through June 2005 for around $350.00.
Charmglow Grills are very attractive and inexpensive.  Coupled with the good older reputation of Charmglow Grills, Home Depot certainly thought that they had a winner.  But with a good name comes a standard to uphold.  Unfortunately, the next four years held a lot of disappointment for customers and Home Depot alike. 
Most of the complaints that have been recorded are the poor quality of workmanship that seems to have taken over the Charmglow name.  One of the most noted imperfections are the burners.  Failing to work in less than a year, rusting through beyond use or corroding to worn out pipes.  The grade of stainless steel is less than adequate for a piece of equipment that is expected to be used outdoors.  Also mentioned were welds that broke loose, rusting and flames that shot out of unusual places.  Other complaints include casters that collapse, dangerous loss of propane and totally blowing up.
Nexgrill Industries and Brinkmann are both suppliers of Charmglow replacement parts that can be purchased to totally rebuild your Charmglow Grill and many times the unit is still under warranty, backed by Home Depot.  Unfortunately, the customer is responsible for the shipping fees.  You also have to be sure that the body (which is not stainless steel, only the exterior), will hold together long enough to warrant new parts.
When you decide to shop for the perfect outdoor grill that you expect to last for at least ten years, don't let the brilliance of stainless steel fool you.  There are different grades of stainless steel plus you need to take a look inside and underneath of the model to see what other materials are used.  Knobs can also be misleading if they are of thin plastic that cannot take the heat.  Every model will have a manual that shares the type of parts used.  Go home and do your homework in looking up the manufacturers of these parts. 
Shop at other stores that offer compatible models and compare the differences.  A heavy model as opposed to a model weighing very little should indicate to you that the quality could not be as good.  Parts are going to wear out over time but you need a sturdy body that can withstand years of use.  It is better to settle for a smaller model that costs more than a large model that is not dependable in a year.
A warranty is only as good as what is warranted so be sure that everything is covered.  Necessary parts, shipping and service should not be your responsibility.  Sometimes purchasing a grill that costs under $1000 is not as great as it seems.  Especially when it is broken.    Charmglow Grills are an excellent example of this.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010