Problem with the Bull

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
I’m wondering if anyone else has had issues with the heat deflector and/or drip pans “warping” and found a fix. I’m talking to the point where the drip pan is teetering left to right if you touch it while it’s hot and even touches or moves the grate, or to where it causes grease to just pool up instead of drain. I got my RT-700 in November and have had this problem. On thanksgiving, with two 14 pound spatchcocked turkeys on my Bull I noticed the grate was pushed up and grease had slightly pooled up. Once the turkeys were done and I shut it down and it cooled everything was back to normal. I thought it was a one off this. After that I did some chicken thighs and had the same thing happen but it didn’t push the grates up that time. I did a lot of testing after that and couldn’t tell if it was the heat deflector or the drip pan that was warping but found out it started happening somewhere around 275 degrees. I took some videos and I contacted RT customer service. They eventually called me, they were super friendly, and thought it was probably the heat deflector so they sent me a new one, and a new light lens because mine was already cracked for some reason, UPS ground. It arrived a week or so later and I immediately tested it out. Same problem persisted. I reached back out to RT and a few days later I heard back. They had me send them a new video to show what was happening. I did and they sent out a new drip pan UPS Ground. That finally arrived the day before yesterday and I installed it and tested it right away. Still having the same problem where after about 275-ish the drip pan starts rising or warping to the point of teetering when touched. It appears that it is now mainly the right side that starts warping or getting pushed up. I took a new video and emailed it to them right away and am just waiting to hear back after the weekend. I’m at a loss and am not sure what to trouble shoot next so I figured I would see if anyone else experienced something similar and found the cause/fix. I attached a short video to give an idea of what I’m talking about.
 

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Uncle Bob

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Military Veteran
Messages
533
Location
Salado, Tx
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Stampede
Yes, other folks have had heat distortion to the burner deflector on units that have been purchased within the past 9ish months. None that I've seen have gone to the extent you have in documenting the action, and most say it hasn't affected their drip pan. I applaud you for going to RT first instead of just coming on the web and whining about it. Some have gotten a "replacement" shield sent out by RT that has the same issue, just as happened to you. Some of us who purchased earlier haven't experienced the distortion thing. I have guessed before, and still contend, that their supplier in China has made a process and/or material change that RT may not have been aware of at the time. There are a number of other member comments here, use the search function and you'll find their posts. We're only a small portion of their customer base represented here, but have now seen enough of these incidents to know it is a definite and repeatable issue. RT has tried to say it's not a problem, but your video demonstrates that if it's not a problem it is certainly an irritant, and undermines any perceptions of a quality product.

Someone will post up the company who makes an aftermarket deflector that has smoke adder chambers on it. It's made of heavier material and supposedly doesn't warp. Personally that's a kludge in my eyes and is only the way to go if you believe the smoke adder ability is of value. RT used to be able to supply properly functioning deflectors. It's time they took this issue seriously and figure out what has gone wrong and make it right. If I'm correct that the fault lies with their supplier then they need to fix that. It would take some time to complete the loop on remediating that so the cooker owners would need some patience, but first RT needs to get on board. If I were one of the owners with a problem like this I'd be mounting an online "army" to inundate RT with calls, emails, and postings until they took action...............but then, I'm a rabble rouser. You folks do what you think is best.........
 

Kim

Well-known member
Messages
113
Grill(s) owned
Stampede
For some reason I can't view the movie but can hear the sound.
 

Buckeye smoker

Well-known member
Messages
502
Grill(s) owned
Bull
That's a interesting video. To be clear it does set normal when cold?.(drip pan)..I'll have to check mine now when hot. I've always felt it didn't drain the way others here do. My heat shield warp the same as yours when I got my Bull, but doesn't touch the drip pan (last I checked)...I didn't ask for a replacement, as I knew it wasn't a fix. Hoping the company corrects these issues along with the app ones. And makes it right for those that have the faulty versions. I'll place another call this week.
 

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
That's a interesting video. To be clear it does set normal when cold?.(drip pan)..I'll have to check mine now when hot. I've always felt it didn't drain the way others here do. My heat shield warp the same as yours when I got my Bull, but doesn't touch the drip pan (last I checked)...I didn't ask for a replacement, as I knew it wasn't a fix. Hoping the company corrects these issues along with the app ones. And makes it right for those that have the faulty versions. I'll place another call this week.
It’s solid when cold. Both with the old parts and the new. The old drip pan got worse and is kind of wavy now when hot or cold, and causes pooling with the grease or any other liquid. If my heat deflector was flexing/warped but it wasn’t causing an issue with the drip pan or performance I wouldn’t really care much, but it is and does. Im hoping they can figure it out. I’m bummed.
 

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Yes, other folks have had heat distortion to the burner deflector on units that have been purchased within the past 9ish months. None that I've seen have gone to the extent you have in documenting the action, and most say it hasn't affected their drip pan. I applaud you for going to RT first instead of just coming on the web and whining about it. Some have gotten a "replacement" shield sent out by RT that has the same issue, just as happened to you. Some of us who purchased earlier haven't experienced the distortion thing. I have guessed before, and still contend, that their supplier in China has made a process and/or material change that RT may not have been aware of at the time. There are a number of other member comments here, use the search function and you'll find their posts. We're only a small portion of their customer base represented here, but have now seen enough of these incidents to know it is a definite and repeatable issue. RT has tried to say it's not a problem, but your video demonstrates that if it's not a problem it is certainly an irritant, and undermines any perceptions of a quality product.

Someone will post up the company who makes an aftermarket deflector that has smoke adder chambers on it. It's made of heavier material and supposedly doesn't warp. Personally that's a kludge in my eyes and is only the way to go if you believe the smoke adder ability is of value. RT used to be able to supply properly functioning deflectors. It's time they took this issue seriously and figure out what has gone wrong and make it right. If I'm correct that the fault lies with their supplier then they need to fix that. It would take some time to complete the loop on remediating that so the cooker owners would need some patience, but first RT needs to get on board. If I were one of the owners with a problem like this I'd be mounting an online "army" to inundate RT with calls, emails, and postings until they took action...............but then, I'm a rabble rouser. You folks do what you think is best.........
Yeah, if it just flexed/warped and didn’t touch anything or affect performance I wouldn’t really care. I even told RT that because they thought that was all that was happening at first. I did read about the other deflector from another company, but there’s no way after spending this much money I’m willing to buy a part from another company to “fix” the issue. I just hope RT can figure it out so I can use my grill as intended. Ive been patient but it’s just starting to bum me out after a month. The people in customer service there have been extremely nice every time so far which is a plus. Just hoped not to have to deal with them so much, if at all.
 

bfletcher

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Just as an FYI, aside from the recommended burn-in I've only done a couple medium-heat cooks on the Bull. Yesterday, I ran it at 325 for 1 hour and then 350 for another hour for the express purpose of observing the drip pan. There was zero twisting and, while I did not pull it to look at the flame deflector, it was not elevating the pan. Received Bull 2 weeks ago.

Hoping for a credible remedy for those with severe warping that affects usage.
 

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Heard back after emailing again on Wednesday. They are doing some testing on some of them there and asked if grease goes anywhere other than the bucket. I told them yes, it stays on the drip pan sometimes and also has flowed into the rear right side of the drum. Waiting to hear back and hoping for a fix. I haven’t cooked on it much lately and am having withdrawals lol.
 

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Got a call today from RT. They said they all (the drip pans) did it a tiny bit but not as bad as mine. So I told them that on Saturday I got bored and started doing my own trouble shooting. I took the old heat deflector in to the shop and bent the top edges down, not in a pretty way because I wasn’t even sure what my plan was honestly. It was barbaric, but effective. I tested it at multiple temps and even seared a tri tip last night with the GG’s in and have had no problems as of yet. It’s a short amount of testing but seems promising. I will continue to monitor and test the temps to make sure it’s somewhat even across the grates. Here’s pics of what I did.254DBFE5-A0A6-4A1C-A783-8725EF493550.jpeg6BB85B20-BEA1-4338-B431-2281E6283559.jpeg

At the end of the call it sounded like they are mailing another heat deflector.
 

Buckeye smoker

Well-known member
Messages
502
Grill(s) owned
Bull
The only thing is , you'll have the same problems though. I wish they'd just redesign it and send them out. A "different same one" just angers you, and wastes their money. And wastes everyone's time.
 

bfletcher

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Messages
64
Location
Ohio
Grill(s) owned
Bull
The only thing is , you'll have the same problems though. I wish they'd just redesign it and send them out. A "different same one" just angers you, and wastes their money. And wastes everyone's time.
Has the possibility of being limited to a certain lot code been ruled out, as possibly suggested in replies 30 and 32 in Kim's "Fire!" thread? https://www.rectecforum.com/threads/fire.789/page-2#post-6804

I've yet to detect any issue with my Bull [received Dec 20] that would point to warping.
 

FrontierAJL

Member
Messages
14
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Has the possibility of being limited to a certain lot code been ruled out, as possibly suggested in replies 30 and 32 in Kim's "Fire!" thread? https://www.rectecforum.com/threads/fire.789/page-2#post-6804

I've yet to detect any issue with my Bull [received Dec 20] that would point to warping.
Received my Bull 11/20/2019. Received the new heat deflector 12/17/2019. Same problem both times. I haven’t seen many complaints considering how many people likely bought new ones around that time. Doesn’t mean it’s not a certain batch of them. All in all I could just have really bad luck. I guess I’ll find out if the problem persists once the new one arrives this month.
 
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