Traeger grills, particularly smokers, are built to provide you with the best grilling experience possible. As a result, they incorporate various unique features and technology.
However, some consumers may encounter Traeger Pellet Grill error codes that cause them to malfunction. So, today, we will show you how to deal with those faults and breakdowns swiftly and effectively.
Traeger pellet grill problems
With these simple fixes, you’ll never have to worry about your grill ruining your BBQ.
We all know that the temperature of a well-cooked steak or smoked brisket is important. As a result, it might be aggravating when your Traeger Grill’s set temperature starts to fluctuate. You would think that this indicates a problem with the grill, but some fluctuation is normal. According to Traeger Grills, temperature swings of roughly 20 degrees are expected while cooking.
Even this 20 degrees is based on ideal environmental conditions, such as a regular sunny day with no wind. As a result, if you fire up your grill on a rainy day with heavy gusts, you might expect temperatures to rise above 20 degrees. It doesn’t always mean there’s an issue with the grill. Aside from that, the pellets you use have a lot to do with the temperature.
Traeger recommends using their pellets for optimal conditions to guarantee their performance, but anything else will work in their place. However, the quality of the pellets can alter how they burn and, as a result, how stable the temperature stays. Furthermore, some parts may rust, because we are dealing with fire and high temperatures.
If you don’t clean or replace these parts regularly, the temperature within your grill will start to deteriorate rapidly. The drip pan, fire pot, and heat diffuser are examples of these parts. These are subjected to extreme heat and moisture daily.
Solution: While some fluctuation is acceptable, it becomes an issue when the temperature begins to move over the 20-degree range. You must first consider the pellets you’re using to fix this issue. Are they Traeger pellets, are you properly storing them, do they have too much moisture, and so on? Inspect the fire pot and other related parts if the pellets are in good condition.
If they need to be cleaned or replaced, do so right away. If everything appears to be in order but the temperature fluctuates, the problem could be with the temperature probe. Thankfully, they’re also quite easy and inexpensive to replace.
Have you ever waited all day for your meat to complete cooking on the grill, only to discover the fire had gone out and your food was still raw and uncooked? As distressing as it may sound, it is not uncommon for the fire in your grill to die out unexpectedly. It can be a hassle even if it happens right in front of you and you’re there to relight it.
The cause of the fire extinguishing is similar to the cause of temperature fluctuations. Some parts, like the fire pot, need to be cleaned or replaced because they can’t keep the fire going. There may be too much corrosion or ash inside the fire pot, obstructing ventilation and causing the fire to go out.
Other possible reasons for this issue include a malfunctioning induction fan. This fan is designed to keep the fire going by providing oxygen; the fire will go out if it doesn’t. Another typical and obvious problem is when the pellets in the hopper run out, leaving nothing to keep the flame going.
It’s also possible that the pellets aren’t of good quality and produce too much ash, obstructing the fire’s ventilation. Because the temperature probe displays an incorrect temperature, the auger may not be feeding enough pellets. It’s also possible that it’s just a windy day.
Solution: As previously said, if any parts begin to deteriorate, replace them immediately. Clean the grill grate after each usage, clean the ash after every two or three sessions, and clean the entire grill at least twice or three times a year to maintain a long life.
Using higher-quality pellets will prevent your grill from burning too much in a short period. More importantly, you won’t have to worry about the pellets running out if you leave the grill unattended for prolonged periods. If the problem is only with the temperature probe, it can be easily replaced.
Pellets not moving
The Traeger Grill features an automated auger and hopper that can do the work for you, so you don’t have to stand at the grill continually feeding pellets. However, several grilling enthusiasts have reported that the pellets do not go from the hopper to the firepot. This could be due to one of two factors.
Either the auger is broken and not spinning and moving the pellets, or the auger is fine, and there is a simple auger jam. It’s possible that one of the gears within the auger motor is broken or that the motor isn’t getting enough power to run. In addition, moist pellets can sometimes build up inside the auger, preventing it from moving freely.
Solution: In both scenarios, you’ll need to get your toolbox out and open up a part of the grill, preferably the hopper side. If the problem is with the motor, you’ll need to fix or replace it once it’s open; if it’s with the jam, you’ll simply need to clear it. You’ll need to reassemble it after that, and you may use the grill however you like.
Firepot not lighting
After you’ve gotten the pellets moving, the next challenge is the fire in the firepot not lighting up. There are three possible explanations for this. It’s possible that the firepot isn’t getting enough pellets to burn, but we’ve already addressed that issue, so we’ll move on to the next. It could also be that the igniter or hot rod may be faulty.
One end of the igniter should be visible inside the fire pot so you can check whether it’s glowing to see if it’s working; although reaching this igniter under the pan, grates, and heat diffuser requires some effort. If the igniter is working properly, the third possibility is that the fan responsible for delivering oxygen to the fire is malfunctioning.
An extensive buildup of ash, which requires regular cleaning, could also cause the fire not to start.
Solution: Whether it’s the igniter or the fan that’s broken, you’ll have to fix them both if you can. If not, you can replace them with higher-quality stainless steel parts that will last considerably longer.
Grill not powering on
Sometimes you’ll have problems turning on the grill, a common yet basic and straightforward problem. The Traeger Grill, unlike other charcoal or gas grills, requires electricity to run. Electricity is required for vital parts like the induction fan and auger motor to work and allow you to use your BBQ to its maximum potential.
But a tripped GFCI, a blown fuse, or just a defective power outlet can cause the grill not to turn on.
Solution: The only method to solve this issue is to repair or replace the specific component causing the problem.
Another common problem is the induction fan not working, which is linked to many other areas and impacts the performance of other components. There are three reasons why the fan may be turned off or not working. To begin with, it’s possible that the fan is in perfect working order and that a foreign object is preventing the fan from spinning freely.
Secondly, it’s possible that the controller isn’t providing enough power to the fan for it to work correctly. As previously said, electricity or power is an important component of the Traeger Grill, and the fan will not run if the orange cables are not powered.
Finally, if you haven’t used the grill in a while or it has been left out in the cold, this can happen. The grease on the shaft may have clung to the fan, preventing it from moving.
Solution: As you may have guessed, the induction fan is an important part of the grill. You won’t be able to do anything with your grill if for any reason the induction fan doesn’t work. As a result, if the fan isn’t spinning because of an obstruction, you can remove it manually, and the fan should start working.
If the problem is with the electricity, you should inspect the wires for any loose connections. Otherwise, the issue may be with the controller, which you may either repair or replace. Aside from that, if the fan is clogged with grease, a few manual spins should loosen it up and get it functioning normally in no time.
The auger is usually to blame when you hear a clicking sound coming from the grill. This device is in charge of feeding pellets into the firebox. Therefore, it’s an important component. The grill will not heat up properly if the Traeger auger is not turning.
A clicking auger could indicate a twisted or bent auger screw. Remove the auger and roll it on a flat surface to see if it’s working. It’s in good shape if it moves smoothly. It must be replaced if this is not the case.
If the auger screw isn’t causing the problem, the gears are most likely to fault. This necessitates the purchase of a new auger motor.
Pellets aren’t moving into the firepot
There’s probably a pellet jam if the auger motor isn’t broken and the pellets aren’t fed into the firepot. Turn off the machine and take out the hopper to address the problem. There are several instructional videos online that can guide you through the process.
As previously stated, tunneling occurs when the auger feeds all of the pellets from the center of the hopper, leaving massive stacks on either side. It’s particularly common in grills with smaller cavities, like the Junior or Tailgater.
Check the pellets every time you watch the grill’s progress to avoid this problem. To keep the pellets moving smoothly through the hopper, stir them around. Inspect the interior of the hopper as well to ensure there are no blockages or structural damage.
Tunneling regularly could suggest an underlying problem. If this occurs frequently, contact support service.
Problems with digital thermostat
Contact Traeger’s customer care department if you’re having trouble with your Traeger Digital Pro or Digital Elite controller. Some of the most common problems are a blank screen, dim or missing numbers, a readout consisting of either “—” or “888,” or physical damage like cracks or dings.
Check to see if power is being supplied to the unit if there is no evident damage. If the rest of the grill functions properly, the problem is with the controller alone, and you should contact customer care.
If the grill isn’t working at all, you’re dealing with a connection problem. Advice on dealing with this can be found in the section above titled “Grill Won’t Turn On.”
If you’re having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of phone do you have? The iPhone 5S, iOS 12, and all models higher are compatible with the app.
- Do you have the most up-to-date version of the Traeger app? If you don’t have it, download it right now.
- Is your phone now connected to a 2.4GHz wireless network? To continue, you’ll need one.
- Is your grill currently cooking, preheating, or cooling down?
This useful device allows you to monitor the pellet level in your grill using the Traeger app. If the pellet sensor fails, you will not be notified when it is time to refuel.
Check the connectors on the sensor to see if they’ve been damaged. Next, check for any obstructions that could interfere with the sensor’s ability to function.
You may also power cycle the grill using the switch on the back of the hopper. You’ll need to clean the cache if it doesn’t calibrate properly. To do so, turn off the grill and detach the sensor, then turn it back on and off. Reconnect the sensor, switch on the grill, and repeat the calibration process.
When you unplug the sensor, be sure the grill is turned off. If the sensor is still connected when the grill is turned on, it will not work.
Replacing the controller
Before replacing the controller on a Timberline model, you’ll first need to remove the Wi-Fi antenna. Remove the lower panel with a Philips head screwdriver once the grill has been switched off and disconnected. Remove the lower nut by detaching the lower part of the antenna and holding the upper part of the coaxial antenna connector. Remove the antenna mount’s coaxial connector, and you’re good to go.
Remove the plastic connectors and screws from the old controller on all Traeger grills. Replace the screws and plug the plastic connectors into the replacement controller. The grill should then be plugged in and turned back on.
Timberline follows a somewhat different procedure. Before putting the connectors into the new controller, thread the Wi-Fi antenna wire through the controller hole. Replace the screws and reattach the coaxial connector to the antenna mount. The lower panel will be replaced as the final phase.
Traeger grill error codes
You can count on the grill to offer you some hint when you can’t figure out what’s wrong. The following errors will appear if you have a specific problem:
HEr – High-temperature error
This error will appear if the grill temperature rises beyond 550 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 45 seconds, and the grill will turn off the auger and fan.
Here are a few more common culprits.
- Opening the Lid
If you open the lid too often, the sensors will become confused. You’re allowing smoke and heat to escape, causing the grill to compensate for the lost heat.
- Improper Startup
When you turn on the grill, the lid should be closed as well. Otherwise, the fire may get too hot too quickly.
- Too Many Pellets in the Firepot
If the firepot is already brimming with pellets, flare-ups may occur at the start of cooking.
- Missing Internal Components
Check if the firepot, drip tray, heat baffle, and thermocouple are all in good working order.
- Defective Thermocouple
Before firing up the grill, did you remember to remove the thermocouple’s protective orange cover? You’ll need to contact customer care if this isn’t the case. The lid will have melted, obstructing the sensor and resulting in inaccurate readings.
It’s also possible that the thermocouple is wired backward. When the grill is meant to be heating up, the temperature will drop dramatically. You can even get a negative reading occasionally.
Remove the controller before rewiring the thermocouple. Take a look at the connection’s symbols. The “+” and “-” symbols must be aligned with their corresponding symbols.
Alternatively, you can follow the instructions specified in the section above labeled “Inspect the RTD Sensor.” If everything else fails, get in touch with Traeger right away. A faulty thermocouple can wreak havoc on your grilling experience. Using a pellet grill is pointless if you can’t get precise temperature readings.
LEr – Low-temperature error
This error will appear if the grill temperature falls below 120 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes, and the grill will shut down. You can resolve the problem by restarting your grill.
There are as many possible causes to this as there are months in a year. Here’s how to handle the “LER” readout.
- Check the Firepot
Remove the grill from the outlet first. Before you do anything further, wait until the firebox has cooled.
To inspect the firepot, remove the cooking grates, drip tray, and heat baffle. The unit has run out of pellets if it’s empty or if all you discover inside is a mound of ashes. The temperature dropped as a result of this.
Because spaces can occur between the pellet supply and the auger component, this can happen even if you add more pellets to the hopper during cooking. This is known as void tunneling in the pellet grill world, and it’s more common with smaller pellet grills. See the separate section below for more information on tunneling.
Restart the grill after cleaning out the firepot and replenishing the hopper. Everything needs to be in working order.
- Check Pellet Quality
Checking the pellets themselves is also a good idea. They should appear lustrous and cylindrical, not crumbling or cracked. Clean them out and replace them with a new set if they aren’t in good shape.
- Inspect the RTD Sensor
A damaged RTD temperature sensor can trigger the “LER” message. Make sure it isn’t bent or in contact with any of the grill’s other parts. You can also check the readout to see if it truly depicts the ambient temperature.
- Chimney height
If your Traeger pellet grill has a chimney, try to put your thumb between the triangular cap at the top and the chimney. If you can’t, you’ll have to adjust the cap to get more airflow. It’s also possible that the chimney is clogged, in which case it has to be cleaned out.
- Induction fan
The induction fan causes the noise you hear when you turn on the grill. If you don’t hear anything or it sounds weak or squeaky, gently spin the wheel with your fingers to get it going. This should remove any accumulation and allow the component to spin freely once more. Contact customer support if it doesn’t work.
- Ambient temperatures
As previously stated, cold temperatures can impact your grill’s ability to maintain heat. Those who prefer to cook all year should get an insulated blanket for their grill. It’s also a good idea to keep the grill in a sheltered area to avoid getting hit by heavy wind gusts while cooking.
In the winter, waxing the grill can help minimize heat loss. Wait until the grill is cold before applying a protective wax layer if you find the paint dulling or cracking.
- Excessive ash
You may need to clean your grill’s fire pot more frequently if you notice a lot of ash collecting in or around it. Ash buildup is inevitable when using a pellet grill, but it must be cleared regularly. Otherwise, temperature swings and inefficient heating could occur.
If the ash continues to accumulate after you clean the grill regularly, double-check that the firepot and heat baffle are properly attached. The drip tray must also be in the proper place. Make sure that all of these parts are in working order as well.
Low ambient temperature
This error will appear if the ambient temperature persists below -20 degrees Fahrenheit for more than thirty seconds. If the temperature drops below -40°F, you won’t be able to use the grill without first warming up the controller.
ERR – Bad probe
If you connect a defective probe to the controller, you will get this error. The error will go away when you replace the probe with a new one.
Probe fell out
When the meat probe falls out of the meat, you’ll get this error. The error will go away after you re-insert it.
ER1 – Temperature sensor out
This error will appear if the thermocouple is disconnected from the controller for more than ten seconds. Reconnect the thermocouple to fix the error.
Er2 – Short circuit /defective RTD
If you see an error code like this on your grill’s display, it signifies it has a short circuit. You should turn off the electricity and hire a specialist to insulate all cables and secure all connections.
This error code can indicate a faulty connection in a smoker.
Clean grease tray/clean grill
This is more of a list of reminders than an error code. They will appear on display when you’ve lit the grill eight times, and it’s been twenty hours since you cleared the reminder.
You’ll see that many of these Traeger problems, as well as their solutions, are strongly connected. A malfunction in one area is causing a problem in another. Similarly, resolving one problem can often resolve a crop of others. It takes a little time and patience to understand the problem and then act quickly to solve it.
There’s no need to fret the next time you read Traeger Grill error codes. You’ll get your Traeger Grill up and running in no time with our fast troubleshooting tips and fixes.