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Oh-oh, Traeger Trouble

Chili Palmer

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So I'm doing a brisket, I started at midnight and it's coming up on 189 degrees, I'm in the home stretch. I look at the temperature readout on the Traeger and it's reading 130 and falling. The fan is running, but no heat is being made - somehow the fire went out, so I put the temperature dial at SMOKE until the temp comes up and then I'll move the temp back up to 250. But the temp keeps going down and huge plume of smoke starts coming out from under the grille, more than I've ever seen before, but the temp isn't coming up, then I see smoke coming out of the pellet hopper - That's it, I pull the brisket out and I'll finish it in the oven. I turn the temp dial to shut down and see what happens. I pull the pellets out of the hopper to make sure it doesn't backfeed and set those on fire, and I pull the grill, drip tray, and heat shield off and see a mess of pellets on fire in the burner. I let it burn itself out and then I turn it back on to see if the corkscrew is still turning it is and the fan is blowing, so I turn everything off again. When it cools down I'll clean it out and see if it happens again. If the fan is running, why am I getting smoke back into the pellet hopper?

Anybody had this happen to them before? If so, what was it?
 

pkrrvr619

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Pellets may have caught on fire and it worked its way into the hopper?

been known to happen.
 

Chili Palmer

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I usually vacuum the inside out, but I didn't do that this time. Maybe that was the culprit?
 

rickym20

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Every time I have had any problems with my Traeger, it was the result of a dirty burn pit. I take the vacuum and clean the burn pit now before every use, and it has been trouble free for years.
Same experience here, haven’t had issues since vacuuming the pit before each use.
 

River Runnin

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Check the white wires going to the temp probe on the board....
 

Rondog4405

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Auger might be busted ...and not feeding pellets
 

Loony Toon

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As others have stated, the burn pit get full of ash.
Doing quick grilling like steaks, chicken etc. I'll clean it out every two to three times. I clean it out after every long smoking. The ash builds up the pellets are burning above the auger level and will burn back toward the hopper.
 

boat527

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What's the temp setting? Is it cold out? Some pellet smokers aren't happy under 180 or so.. the fire goes out.. temp sensor or ignitor rod as stated if you have a persistent problem of it going out..

Usually they are the cheapest part of the unit
 

Luvnlife

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Every time I have had any problems with my Traeger, it was the result of a dirty burn pit. I take the vacuum and clean the burn pit now before every use, and it has been trouble free for years.
This
 

Javajoe

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Most of your problem will be the hot rod. I keep a spare one around. If it goes out just put some pellets in the can where they burn then add lighter fluid, light it then turn it on and you are good to go
 

DB / HAV

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It is what Plan B and Loony Tune states, the fire pit is too full with either ash or pellets from moving the Traeger around. Clean out the pit prior to cooking and your problem is solved
 

http404

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Finish it wrapped in the oven. You'll need to clean the smoker to get it going properly again.
 

Chili Palmer

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Seemed to take forever to get up to temperature in the oven. The fire pot didn't have too much ash, just a few partially burned pellets. I'll clean it out next week.
Thanks all for the suggestions.
 

Jed-O

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Got a pitboss from the gf Christmas. Pretty straight forward, has a glass door to keep an eye on the goods, seems easy to maintain and it's made in Arizona! 👍
 

Flying_Lavey

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This has happened to my uncle many times (he's a die hard treager guy)..... when someone else uses it. He has found that if you shut shut it off after cooking the pellets stack up in the fire box along with ash. You have to start it on smoke and about every 5 to 10 mins, crank it up a bit til you're at your desired temp, and the reverse to shut it down. At least that's what he does and doesn't have any issues with ash. And he never vacuums it out.

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
 

Racey

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If you get too much ash in the fire box it covers the hot ignitor rod and insulates it from being able to ignite the pellets, like many said above always vacuum it out before a long cook. Really you should vacuum it after every 3 or 4 uses
 

Brian

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Too much ash will cause this. Clean it out and try it again.
 

Waterjunky

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never an issue on the Rec-Tec. Now that I have ran 4-5 bags of pellets through, should I clean out the crucible? Truly a Trager issue it sounds like. Tear the whole thing apart every time? No thank you ...........
 

PlanB

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never an issue on the Rec-Tec. Now that I have ran 4-5 bags of pellets through, should I clean out the crucible? Truly a Trager issue it sounds like. Tear the whole thing apart every time? No thank you ...........
It's very easy to get to the burn pit on the Traeger, no big deal. Mine has been reliable for many years now. If I was really serious about smoking, I would buy a Yoder.
 

Howardflat

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Another tip: my heating element took a crap right before we were going to start the turkey on thanksgiving. Youtube'd a fix and it said to hold down a certain button (green mountain grill) and the fan would kick on and use a propane torch and get the pellets lit good and it would just take over feeding pellets and running the fan. Worked great in a pinch.
 

RVR SWPR

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Charcoal lighter will light up the pellets.Removing grill & other parts getting at the burn pot & pellets pia.
 

Chili Palmer

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Update:
I talked to Traeger and they say the motor will stop then start again as to not overfeed the firepot. I did a quickie tritip the other night and it seemed like everything was good to go. So today I'm doing a pork butt and when I get to 160* I put it in a foil pan, spray it with apple cider vinegar, and cover it until it gets to 200*. About an hour goes by and I notice that the temperature has gone down a couple of degrees. Maybe because the temp probe is in a different location, or it's in the stall. So I look out about a half an hour later and I see Ltr on the temp display and everything is off and it's cool in the smoker. I pull it out and currently it's in the oven finishing off.
In the meantime I look up the Ltr code and the unit will do that when the temp gets down to 110* for more than 10 minutes - sometimes caused by running out of pellets or an auger jam, or over accumulation of pellets in the firepot. The last item is what happened. The firepot was heaping over with unburned pellets. I cleaned them out, and fired it back up and took it up to 400* and it seems to work fine now.

What could have caused this? Could my igniter be going bad? I'll have to call Traeger again on Monday.
 
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SixD9R

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I’m of no help to the OP’s problem but I had a little issue with my Traeger this morning that I thought I would pass along in case this happens to anyone else. Turns out to be operator error but.....


I started her up like normal and a few seconds later I realized that it had been a while since I cleaned the burn pot. Knowing that I would need the same extension cord as the Traeger was using for the shop vac, I simply pulled the plug instead of doing the regular shutdown process.

After cleaning it out, I plugged it back in and tried to fire it up, but everything was completely dead. I pushed all the buttons and there was no sign of life. I reconfirmed the extension cord still had power but there was no life in the Traeger at all.

Turns out the culprit was the other end of the Traeger cord had come loose from its plug. Where the power cord connects to the grill is a 3 prong plug like a desktop pc uses. Only difference is it plugs in from the underside of the pellet/ electronic area. I know I said it was operator error but but why the hell would they use a plug like that for a vertical arrangement🤬
 
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River Runnin

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I’m of no help to the OP’s problem but I had a little issue with my Traeger this morning that I thought I would pass along in case this happens to anyone else. Turns out to be operator error but.....


I started her up like normal and a few seconds later I realized that it had been a while since I cleaned the burn pot. Knowing that I would need the same extension cord as the Traeger was using for the shop vac, I simply pulled the plug instead of doing the regular shutdown process.

After cleaning it out, I plugged it back in and tried to fire it up, but everything was completely dead. I pushed all the buttons and there was no sign of life. I reconfirmed the extension cord still had power but there was no life in the Traeger at all.

Turns out the culprit was the other end of the Traeger cord had come loose from its plug. Where the power cord connects to the grill is a 3 prong plug like a desktop pc uses. Only difference is it plugs in from the underside of the pellet/ electronic area. I know I said it was operator error but but why the hell would they use a plug like that for a vertical arrangement🤬
They're not called slant eyes for nothing! :D
 
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Ace in the Hole

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So I'm doing a brisket, I started at midnight and it's coming up on 189 degrees, I'm in the home stretch. I look at the temperature readout on the Traeger and it's reading 130 and falling. The fan is running, but no heat is being made - somehow the fire went out, so I put the temperature dial at SMOKE until the temp comes up and then I'll move the temp back up to 250. But the temp keeps going down and huge plume of smoke starts coming out from under the grille, more than I've ever seen before, but the temp isn't coming up, then I see smoke coming out of the pellet hopper - That's it, I pull the brisket out and I'll finish it in the oven. I turn the temp dial to shut down and see what happens. I pull the pellets out of the hopper to make sure it doesn't backfeed and set those on fire, and I pull the grill, drip tray, and heat shield off and see a mess of pellets on fire in the burner. I let it burn itself out and then I turn it back on to see if the corkscrew is still turning it is and the fan is blowing, so I turn everything off again. When it cools down I'll clean it out and see if it happens again. If the fan is running, why am I getting smoke back into the pellet hopper?

Anybody had this happen to them before? If so, what was it?
Just happened on my weber ex4, but worse Ive been having a LOT of temp control issues..new fan, new glow plug, etc. Fucking thing burst into flames the other day..ruined a hundred bucks in meat, cooked a lot of parts too.. There was a mound of pellets in the bottom..no joke 6" high that we put out with a smothering blanket. According to weber they think the "brain is bad" Ive had this thing since fathers day...have been fighting problems for close to 3 months. I want my money back and I was very clear to the lady from customer service...they are making it difficult to get repairs or answers...I've been down two weeks. Mom's visiting and I would have liked to be able to smoke something but.... I think this is it for me and pellet grills.
 

Ace in the Hole

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My Weber has none of these problems
It's not if you will have a problem with your weber it's when. Im anal about cleaning mine, its the biggest piece of shit ever to come off their factory line. Yours will have the same issues everyone elses does eventually...weber released to market too fast.
 

redone76

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It's not if you will have a problem with your weber it's when. Im anal about cleaning mine, its the biggest piece of shit ever to come off their factory line. Yours will have the same issues everyone elses does eventually...weber released to market too fast.
I use a Weber kettle grill...not much to go wrong with it.
62AEED18-E914-441E-9D61-D18A0EC065DE.jpeg

Smoked ribs in it this afternoon
 

Racey

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Update:
I talked to Traeger and they say the motor will stop then start again as to not overfeed the firepot. I did a quickie tritip the other night and it seemed like everything was good to go. So today I'm doing a pork butt and when I get to 160* I put it in a foil pan, spray it with apple cider vinegar, and cover it until it gets to 200*. About an hour goes by and I notice that the temperature has gone down a couple of degrees. Maybe because the temp probe is in a different location, or it's in the stall. So I look out about a half an hour later and I see Ltr on the temp display and everything is off and it's cool in the smoker. I pull it out and currently it's in the oven finishing off.
In the meantime I look up the Ltr code and the unit will do that when the temp gets down to 110* for more than 10 minutes - sometimes caused by running out of pellets or an auger jam, or over accumulation of pellets in the firepot. The last item is what happened. The firepot was heaping over with unburned pellets. I cleaned them out, and fired it back up and took it up to 400* and it seems to work fine now.

What could have caused this? Could my igniter be going bad? I'll have to call Traeger again on Monday.
The ignitor gets covered over with ash over time. Use a shop vac and suck the firebox clean.

I have a little Shop-Vac "hang on" mini vac that i use almost exclusively for this.

It takes about 90 seconds start to finish, pull the grill, pull the heat shield, pull the fire box cap, suck it out, put it back together. Vacuum runs for about 10 seconds maybe.
 

TBI

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Traeger SUX!

The only thing worse than their grills is their "Customer Service"


Here's how I finally fixed mine...

traerger curb.jpg





camp chef 01.jpg
 

Chili Palmer

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The ignitor gets covered over with ash over time. Use a shop vac and suck the firebox clean.

I have a little Shop-Vac "hang on" mini vac that i use almost exclusively for this.

It takes about 90 seconds start to finish, pull the grill, pull the heat shield, pull the fire box cap, suck it out, put it back together. Vacuum runs for about 10 seconds maybe.
I cleaned out everything before I started this cook. It seems like for some reason the pellets went out ignitor didn’t keep the pellets lit.
 
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