I dont have this particular smoker but I do have one that is very similar made by "MasterForge". My smoker tends to hold at about 225 degress with no problem for overnight smokes. My water pan (or as I use it - beer pan) usually holds the liquid a few hours before evaporating. My suggestion is to use a thermometer you can put on the grates next to the meat, that way you can be sure of what the temp. of the smoker is. The built in door thermometers are often wrong. Also double check the meat temperature with an instant read thermometer just to make sure your remote is correct, your meat may have a higher internal than you think. Also as the other guys said, a pork butt or briskett may take 16 to 17 hours to cook, in the mean time you will hit a plateau, where your butt will hit a certain temp. then flat line for up to several hours. I find this usually happens at about 167 degrees or so, then start to climb again, yours may vary. The temp can also actually go down for a bit before rising again. There are several posts in this forum about this from some very experienced cooks, and they explain the science behind the plateau phenomenon. My point is, everything may be working just right, just may need time and patience. Another suggestion is that in you smoker the water pan may sit too close to the heat, try moving it higher up (if yours has several rack positions like mine does.) this may help the liquid last longer. My pan sits about 2 feet or so up from the heat source. I have the burner, then the wood chip pan right above it, then a space, then the water pan.