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Access to the grates is from the top, yes? I can see how the lower grate would be a pain. 1poorlady also wants to know about how often the water has to be filled (and from where...the side or the top).

Access to the grates is from the top. I only open the WSM once during cooking for Boston Butts (to rebuild the fire or add a chimney of charcoal to the fire), or not at all during cooking for ribs. "If you're looking, you aint cooking."
As for filling the water pan-- if you need to add water, you can do it via the side panel, or just do it when rebuilding the fire or adding a chimney of charcoal.

But she is also asking if I'm going to order from Ace, so that's a huge step forward.

I still think you should consider buying from the virtualweberbullet.com link to Amazon. The price is really good, you don't have sales tax, shipping is free, and Amazon gives a little bit of money to help keep the site up and running (it's an excellent informational resource, even for non-WSM BBQ enthusiasts).
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