As much as we love and rely on the machines around us, we have to realize that they’re machines. They’re made of lots of different parts and technical components, where even a small loose screw could cause trouble. However, they’re easier to fix than they are prone to breaking. Therefore, if you’re facing Traeger Pellet Grill problems, it doesn’t mean your beloved grill needs to go in the junk.
Traeger Grills, especially smokers, are designed to provide you with the ultimate grilling experience. Accordingly, they include various unique features and technologies to help make it possible. However, sometimes, some people can experience some malfunctions with Traeger Pellet Grill error codes coming up. So, today, we’re going to tell you exactly how you can quickly and efficiently deal with those errors and breakdowns.
Traeger Pellet Grill Problems
With these quick fixes, you never have to let your grill ruin your BBQ.
We all know a perfectly cooked steak or smoked brisket is all about the right temperature. Therefore, it can get pretty annoying when the set temperature starts fluctuating on your Traeger Grill. You might think this is a sign of a problem within the grill, but some fluctuation is entirely normal. According to Traeger Grills, you will experience temperature swings of about 20 degrees during your cooking.
However, even these 20 degrees are dependent on some ideal environmental conditions, such as a typical sunny day and no wind. So, if you are firing up your grill on a rainy day with strong winds, you can expect the temperature to fluctuate beyond the 20-degree range. It doesn’t necessarily signal a grill problem. Other than that, the temperature also has a lot to do with the pellets you’re using.
Speaking of ideal conditions, Traeger recommends their own manufactured pellets because they can guarantee its performance. Anything other than those will work. However, the varying quality can affect how the pellets burn and, consequently, how steady the temperature remains. Moreover, since we are dealing with fire and intense heat, there can be some corrosion along some parts.
If you don’t clean or replace these parts timely, it’ll start affecting the temperature inside your grill. Some of these parts include the fire pot, drip pan, and heat diffuser. These are regularly exposed to high heat and moisture, too sometimes.
Solution: While some fluctuation is entirely alright, if the temperature starts swinging beyond the 20-degree range, it is a problem. To solve this problem, you first need to think about the pellets you’re using. Are they Traeger pellets, are you storing them correctly, do they have excess moisture, and so on. If the pellets are okay, take a look at the fire pot and similar parts to evaluate their condition.
Whether they need cleaning or replacement, do it right away. If everything is fine and the temperature is still fluctuating, it could be the temperature probe. Thankfully, those are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace, as well.
Have you ever spent the entire day waiting for your meat to finish cooking on the grill, only to find the fire out and the food raw and uncooked? As heartbreaking as it sounds, it does often happen that the fire in your grill suddenly goes out. Even if it happens in front of you and you’re there to relight it, it can become a hassle.
This problem of the fire going out stems from some of the same issues as the temperature swings. Namely, some parts such as the fire pot needing cleaning or replacement because it’s not able to maintain the fire. There could be too much ash or corrosion inside the fire pot, which is blocking airflow and causing the fire to die.
Similarly, other causes of this problem could be that there is something wrong with the induction fan. This fan is supposed to provide oxygen to the fire to keep it going, and if it doesn’t, the fire will extinguish. Moreover, another common and obvious issue is the pellets running low in the hopper due to which there’s nothing to keep the flame alive.
It could also be that the pellets aren’t of good quality and are producing excessive ash that is blocking the airflow for the fire. The temperature probe could be reporting incorrect temperature due to which the auger isn’t feeding enough pellets. Additionally, it could be that it’s just extra windy that day.
Solution: As mentioned earlier, if you start noticing any deterioration in any parts, replace it right away. To ensure a long life, clean the grill grate every time you use it, clean out the ash after every two or three sessions, and do a complete cleaning of the entire grill at least two to three times a year.
There can be many reasons and solutions for when the fan isn’t running, and we’ll discuss that in a bit. With the excessive ash problem, you can choose to use different pellets and make sure you store them correctly to preserve their quality. Using better quality pellets will ensure that your grill isn’t burning too much of it in a shorter time.
More importantly, you can leave the grill unattended for longer periods without worrying about the pellets running low. If the problem lies solely with the temperature probe, a simple replacement will do the job.
Pellets Not Moving
Just so that you don’t have to stand at the grill and keep adding pellets constantly, the Traeger Grill comes with an automated auger and hopper that can do the work for you. However, another problem that many grilling enthusiasts face is that of the pellets not moving from the hopper to the fire pot. This could be due to two main issues.
Either the problem lies with the auger, which is not spinning and moving the pellets, or the auger is fine, and it’s a simple auger jam. In the case of the auger, it could be that one of the gears is broken inside the auger motor, or the motor is not receiving adequate power to work. Besides that, sometimes moist pellets can accumulate inside the auger, preventing it from moving freely.
Solution: In both cases, you will need to take out your toolbox and open up some part of the grill, specifically the hopper side. Once it’s open, if the motor is the issue, you’ll need to repair or replace that, or if it’s a jam, you’ll simply need to clear it up. Then you’ll have to reassemble it, and you can use the grill as you wish.
Fire Pot Not Lighting
Once you’ve got the pellets moving, the next problem in line is the fire not lighting up in the fire pot. There are three reasons why this could be happening. Firstly, it could be that the fire pot is not getting any pellets to burn, but we just solved that problem, so we’ll move on to the next. Secondly, it might be that the igniter or hot rod is malfunctioning.
This igniter usually has one end showing up inside the fire pot, and you can check if it’s glowing to verify if it’s working or not. Although it does take a little effort to reach this igniter under the grates, pan, and heat diffuser. If even the igniter is fine, then thirdly, it could be that the fan isn’t working, which is responsible for providing oxygen for the fire.
Another reason for the fire not lighting could be an excessive buildup of ash, which requires regular cleaning.
Solution: Whether it’s the igniter or the fan malfunctioning, in either case, you’ll have to repair them if you can. Otherwise, you can replace them with better stainless steel components, which last much longer.
Grill Not Powering On
A common yet quite simple and straightforward problem, sometimes you’ll have trouble powering on the grill. Unlike other gas or charcoal grills, the Traeger Grill does require power to run. Crucial components such as the induction fan and auger motor need electricity to work and make it possible for you to allow your BBQ to the fullest.
However, sometimes the grill won’t power on because of a tripped GFCI, a blown fuse, or merely a bad power outlet.
Solution: The only way to deal with this problem is to fix or replace the precise component that is causing the problem.
Another common problem, the induction fan not working, is actually connected to a lot of other areas and affects the performance of other components. If the fan is idle or not working, it could be due to three things. Firstly, it may be that the fan is totally fine, and there’s just some foreign object which is not letting the fan spin freely.
Secondly, it could be that the fan is not getting adequate power from the controller to run properly. As mentioned earlier, electricity or power is a significant component in the Traeger Grill, and if there’s no power in the orange wires, the fan won’t run.
Thirdly, this happens if you haven’t used the grill in a while, or it’s just been left out in cold weather. The grease on the shaft could have taken hold of the fan due to which it can’t move.
Solution: As you must have realized, the induction fan is a pretty vital component in the grill. If it doesn’t work for any reason, you won’t be able to do anything on your grill. Therefore, if you find the fan not spinning due to some obstruction, you can simply remove it manually, and the fan should start working again.
If it’s a power issue, you might want to check the wires as they could have come loose. Otherwise, the problem could lie within the controller, which you could fix yourself or replace. Besides that, if you’re dealing with some grease on the fan, a few manual spins should help loosen it up and have it running normally in no time.
Traeger Grill Error Codes
For times when you can’t figure out what’s wrong, you can rely on the grill to give you some indication. For some specific problems, you’ll see the following errors pop up:
HEr – High Temperature Error
If the grill temperature goes above 550 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 45 seconds, this error will come up, and the grill will turn off the auger and fan.
LEr – Low Temperature Error
If the grill temperature goes below 120 degrees Fahrenheit for more than ten minutes, this error will come up, and the grill will go into shutdown. You can restart your grill to get rid of this error.
Low Ambient Temperature
If the ambient temperature remains below -20 degrees Fahrenheit for more than thirty seconds, you’ll see this error come up. If this temperature reaches -40 degrees, you won’t be able to work the grill without warming up the controller first.
ERR – Bad Probe
You will receive this error if you have connected a bad probe to the controller. The error will go away once you replace the probe with a new one.
Probe Fell Out
You will receive this error when the meat probe falls out of the meat. Once you reinsert it, the error will go away.
ER1 – Temperature Sensor Out
If the thermocouple gets disconnected from the controller for more than ten seconds, this error will show. To remove the error, reconnect the thermocouple.
ER2 – Short Circuit /Defective RTD
If you saw such an error code on a display of your grill, it means there is a short circuit in it. You need to shut power off and call for a technician to insulate all the wires and make all the connections secure.
Sometimes, this error code means there is weak connection in a smoker.
Clean Grease Tray/Clean Grill
These are more reminders than error codes. However, they will come up on the display after you’ve ignited the grill eight times and when it’s been twenty hours since you last cleared this reminder.
You’ll notice that a lot of these problems, and even their solutions, are quite connected with each other. A problem in one area is causing a malfunction in another area. Similarly, solving one issue can often resolve a lot of others. All it requires is some time and patience to understand the problem and then swiftly dealing with it.
The next time you see some Traeger Grill error codes popping up, no need to panic. With our quick troubleshooting tips and fixes, you’ll have your Traeger Grill up and running in no time.