The bottom of charcoal may weaken due to wear and tear and develop a hole eventually. Obviously, it will hamper your barbeque plans, as the cooking may not be uniform. However, as the saying goes, there’s a solution to every problem, and this issue can be resolved too.
However, you must attend to this problem immediately after noticing it. Because the hole in the bottom of a grill can be troublesome. It allows the heat and smoke to escape, leading to uneven cooking. A large hole may result in dropping out the coals, causing a hindrance to the ongoing fire.
The hole in the bottom of your charcoal grill can be fixed effortlessly, just with a few steps. You can again use your grill to have a great barbeque with evenly cooked food which the charcoal grill is meant to cook.
Let’s dive in further to understand how to tackle this problem.
How to Fix a Hole in the Bottom of a Charcoal Grill?
Fixing a hole in the bottom of a charcoal grill is relatively easy. Despite being a first-timer, you may find it easy and doable. You will first have to clean the grill to work on the hole-fixing.
1. Materials needed for repair
Let’s look at the materials you need to keep ready for repair.
- Epoxy Putty Repair or Welding supplies.
- Wire brush.
These materials are readily available in local shops. So it gets easy to procure them.
2. Step-by-step instructions
Fixing a hole in the bottom of your charcoal needs a disciplined and organized approach.
Preparing the grill for repair
A recently used grill has ash accumulated on it. You first need to get rid of the ashes. You may use a brush to dust off the cash. Due to the dusty nature of the ashes, it is advisable to repair the hole on the exterior.
Cleaning the area around the hole
A clean grill makes fixing the hole easy. Start brushing the grates using a wire brush. Remember to put gloves on to keep yourself protected. Gently scrape off all the stains stuck onto the grates. Use a wire brush gently without applying pressure, resulting in the grate surface having scratches, making the inside surface vulnerable to rust.
Once done with the grates, it’s time to clean the bottom area of the grill. Clean it with the same wire brush and remove any dust accumulated there. Ensure you tidy up to have a clear dust-free surface. Now that you have identified where the hole is, it’s time to fix it. Use grease or oil, or any solvent to rid the rust. Keep your grill user manual handy.
Fixing the hole by welding or applying a patch or sealant to the hole
There are three tried and tested methods to fix the hole. Let’s have a look at those.
If you have welding equipment and know using them, you can fix the hole in your charcoal grill using this method. After cleaning the area as mentioned above, herewith are the steps.
- Placing a metal piece over the hole is the first thing. The metal piece can be a wire mesh too.
- The next step is to weld the metal piece to cover the hole. Ensure you weld the hole’s area appropriately to cover the hole and seal it firmly from all sides.
No worries if you aren’t equipped with welding supplies. Or you don’t know how to use them. Amongst the other options, patching is an ideal procedure to fix the hole.
Let’s have a look at the steps after cleaning the grill.
- Procure a metal piece that fits tightly over the hole to patch it. Ensure the metal piece is larger than the hole to cover the hole area completely.
- Paste a high-temperature epoxy onto the back of the patch. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the best result.
- Set the patch onto the hole and press it tightly. Leave it for a few hours for the epoxy to set and dry naturally.
Herewith are the steps to seal the hole.
- Get the epoxy putty repair, preferably blue magic quick steel.
- Fill the hole entirely with the epoxy putty repair.
- Scrape off the excess epoxy putty repair, if any. Ensure you do this before the putty dries up.
Allowing the repair to dry
Let it dry naturally for about 20 to 30 mins. Epoxy tends t become hard after drying, making it easy to paint on it after dealing with the hole fixing. Painting on it hides the hole repair making it unnoticeable.
You can also opt for BBQ paint to give it a steel-like appearance. You must ensure the material withstands high temperatures of around 240 degrees. It’s advisable to ignore the pricey part here, as the focus must be good-quality in such cases.
Testing the Repair and Ensuring Proper Function
This is a crucial step that verifies and validates the fixing work. Apart from inspecting with the naked eye, it’s recommended to reassemble the grill and try using it practically. If you notice no charcoal dropping off, it validates the hole has been fixed correctly. In addition, running the grill at high temperatures ensures that the area can sustain through the hotness.
Maintenance and Preventative Measures
Tips for maintaining the grill to prevent future holes
Herewith are a few tips to help you prevent holes in the bottom of your grill and make grill last longer.
- Use charcoal of standard quality. Sub-standard charcoal has fillers that possibly weaken the area to have holes in there, eventually.
- Do not overload the grill. It leads to uneven grill burning, causing a hole at the bottom.
- Cleaning the grill must be a regular ritual. It prevents the accumulation of debris or dust that cause a hole eventually.
- Inspecting the grill at regular intervals will save you from significant damage. It allows the repair of minor issues, avoiding extreme damage.
How do You Fix a Rust Hole Without Welding?
Another way to fix a rust hole is by using fiberglass and metal mesh. Let’s look into the details.
You will require the following materials for this procedure.
- Bond glass fillers/Body fillers
- Fiber glues
- Metal mesh
All the above materials are essential. The process won’t be complete if any one of the items is missing. Therefore double-check your materials before starting this method.
Herewith are the steps:
Remove the rust around the hole using sandpaper
Rub the sandpaper around the hole to remove the rusted area. Wipe the area if necessary to have a smooth surface. You can use orbital sanders if you cannot do it manually. Moreover, the orbital sanders are the best option in larger holes. You can also mount the sandpaper to the drill to wipe out the rust.
Slightly trim around the affected spot
Using a saw or cutter, you can cut around the damaged part.
Use metal sheets to fill the hole
Fill the hole with metal sheets. You can either affix them in the hole or put them over the rusted hole. Grasp the metal sheets as you cover the hole using fiberglass resins. Whenever you use fiberglass resins, ensure you do not operate with bare hands. Always wear gloves, because fiberglass tends to stick to the hands.
Add plastic to add extra strength. It holds both fiberglass and metal sheets together. Over the plastic, add another layer of fiberglass glue.
Use Bondo Glass Stratum
Using a spatula fix the Bondo Glass fillers. Bondo glass is a thick variant of fiberglass. It attaches the fiberglass and metal sheets together and gives them an excellent appearance.
Rub sandpaper on the spot
Let the Bondo glass application dry completely. Set the orbital sander velocity to 100 rotations. This setting will help you to shape the patch as desired and quickly. Use the sandpaper to rub at this speed. After getting the preferred shape, clean off the dust to initiate the sanding step.
Repeat Bondo Body filler
Reapply the Bondo body filler to strengthen the spot. Repeat again reshaping using the orbital sander and then using the sandpaper.
Priming is essential to give a rich appearance to the rusted part.
Painting the Spot
Use metallic paints to apply color to the Bondo filler. Use colors of premium quality. Apply a minimum of two coatings and a maximum of three coatings.
Metal Wax Coating
Use metal wax to apply a finishing touch to the repaired spot. Use a spatula or cloth to polish it to dry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can rust holes be repaired?
Yes, rust holes can be repaired. You can use one of the several methods to get it done.
Why did the bottom of my grill rust out?
If the grill is stationed outside, it may expose to moisture causing rust. Infrequent cleaning or ignoring the cleaning part may cause ashes and dust to accumulate, resulting in the weakening of the metal. Another reason is using cheap quality charcoal which comes with fillers, that eventually weaken the metal.
Though a hole in the bottom of your grill can be repaired, it’s crucial to take care of your grill. Put a reminder to get it inspected at regular intervals to fix any problem then and there.
Using good quality charcoals and cleaning the grill after every use can save you from rusting the grill. It will also extend the life of your grill. However, if there’s a hole in the bottom, it can be repaired with DIY methods to enjoy your barbeque party whenever you plan.