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Traeger Grill Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Traeger Grill Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Traeger grills incorporate technological-advanced features that set them apart from their competitors. Also, the use of wood pellets in these grills adds flavor to the food.  But as good as these grills maybe they can have issues just like other appliances or devices. If you are having problems with your Traeger grill, it helps to perform some basic troubleshooting steps before contacting service. You may end up saving a lot on repair costs. The following is troubleshooting and how-to-guide to get you through some common Traeger grill issues.

How do you reset a Traeger grill?

To factory reset a WiFire grill:

  • On the controller go to menu> settings> about the grill
  • Then hold IGNITE button until the Traeger logo appears.
  • Power off the grill, wait for 5-10 seconds and power back on.

To reset the Wi-Fi network settings on the grill controller:

  1. On the controller: Go to Menu> Wifi information
  2. Hold “IGNITE” for 10-15 seconds. This resets the Wi-Fi settings and allows you to start over with a fresh initial pairing process.

Note that this only works on D2 grills that already have V2.00.01 firmware or later. This “Network Reset” function is not available on AC Timberline grills (1st gen Timberline) or D2 grills with V2.00.00 or V1.XX.XX firmware.

Why is my Traeger not igniting?

If your Traeger residential pellet grill won’t ignite:

  1. Verify power at the electrical outlet. If the power cord is connected to a GFI(Ground Fault Interrupter), check and reset if necessary.
  2. Turn the switch off and disconnect the power cord.
  • Remove the control and check the fuse on the back. Replace the fuse if it blown. Reinstall the control.
  • Unplug the hot rod connector (purple/white wire pair), plug the power cord into an appropriate, grounded electrical outlet, and turn the switch on.
  • Check the draft inducer fan and the auger drive motor for operation. If both are operating, the hot rod needs to be replaced. If one or both are not operating contact Traeger technical support for additional troubleshooting assistance. Contact your Traeger dealer to place an order.
  1. If the problem is identified to be a failed hot rod, the grill can still be used to cook and smoke by manual lighting.

How do I start my Traeger for the first time?

Follow the steps below on initial firing or anytime your Traeger BBQ075.02 residential pellet grill runs out of pellets:

  1. Open the door and remove the porcelain grill, grease drain pan, and heat baffle from inside the grill.
  2. Make sure the switch is in the “OFF” position. Plug the power cord into an appropriate, grounded electrical outlet.
  3. Open the pellet hopper lid and locate the auger. Make sure there are no foreign objects in the auger. Turn the switch ON and the temperature/dial to smoke. Look into the pellet hopper to confirm the auger is turning. At the same time, place your fingers over the firepot and feel the air movement from the draft inducer fan. Look to see if the hot rod is getting hot (it will start to turn red), but do not touch it. Turn the Temperature/dial to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.
  4. Fill the pellet hopper with pellets. Turn the Temperature/Dial to HIGH. Note that during the initial charging of the auger, it will take time for the pellets to travel from the pellet hopper to the firepot. When the pellets begin to fall into the firepot, turn the Temperature/Dial to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.
  5. Set the Temperature/Dial to SMOKE. Let the pellets come to full flame. Once you see flames come out of the firepot, turn the Temperature/Dial to SHUT DOWN CYCLE, and let the Grill cool down.
  6. With the door open set the Temperature/Dial to SMOKE. In approximately 2 minutes you will notice whitish-gray smoke coming out of the grill as the pellets ignite. After assuring the pellets have ignited, close the door and set the Temperature/Dial to any cooking setting desired.
  7. Before cooking the first batch of food in your new grill, you will need to season the grill. Turn the Temperature/Dial to HIGH and run for 45 minutes at this setting with the door closed. This must be done before cooking any food on the grill.
  8. Allow the grill to preheat for approximately 20 minutes with the door closed before placing food in the grill.

How to manually light a Traeger grill

If the hot rod only is not operating,  your Traeger BBQ075.02 grill can still be used to cook and smoke using the following manual lighting procedure:

  1. Turn off the switch and disconnect the power cord. Allow the grill to thoroughly cool if it is still hot. From beneath the pellet hopper, disconnect the hot rod (purple/white wire pair). You will need to remove the hopper bottom panel to access the wiring. Once the hot rod is disconnected, replace the hopper bottom panel and plug the power cord back into an appropriate grounded electrical outlet.
  2. Open the pellet hopper and fill with the recommended pellets.
  3. Remove the Porcelain Grill, Grease Drain Pan and Heat Baffle to expose the firepot in the bottom of the grill.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup of pellets into the firepot.
  5. Squirt 2 tablespoons of alcohol gel firelighter into the firepot on top of the pellets.
  6. Carefully light the alcohol gel with a Fireplace Match or long-reach butane lighter.
  7. Let the alcohol gel and pellets burn for approximately 4 minutes.
  8. After assuring the pellets have ignited, install the Heat Baffle, Grease Drain Pan, and Porcelain Grill back in place.
  9. Turn the switch ON and the Temperature/Dial to any setting desired. With the door closed, let the grill preheat for approximately 10 minutes before placing food in the grill.

Traeger grill temperature problem

Many things can affect the temperature of the grill; frequently opening the lid, cold weather, heavy food load, poor airflow circulation, changing set temperature often, etc.

If your grill has temperature swings, consider the following:

  • If you have a connected grill, ensure your grill is on the latest firmware.
  • Make sure you are using the correct start-up procedure. An incorrect start-up can cause the flame to go out even hours into a cook.
  • When shutting down the grill after use, allow the grill to run its whole shutdown cycle, and then it can be powered off.
  • An excess amount of ash can block the rod from igniting the pellets or block airflow.
  • If you are cooking using a large pan, ensure there is at least 1 inch of clearance on all sides. Cooking with a large pan can prevent proper airflow causing the grill to run cooler or have some drastic temperature swings.
  • Make sure your pellets are of good quality. Pellets should be stored in a dry, airtight container to prevent moisture and humidity from compromising pellet quality.
  • Having a dirty grill can affect the temperature of the grill in multiple different ways. Clean the firepot and ensure it is undamaged.
  • Check RTD/Thermocouple. Ensure the orange protective cover was removed from the thermocouple before use. Ensure the RTD probe or thermocouple is reading the ambient temperature with +/- 100F by comparing the outside temperature to the internal temperatures of a cooled down grill.
  • Be wary of cold weather. Sometimes it is too cold outside, which makes it difficult for the grill to reach temperature. In this scenario, use an insulation blanket. This is not necessary on insulated grills like the Timberline.
  • Check the lid. The lid should sit flush against the barrel. A small gap is ok as long as it is less than a quarter of an inch (0.65 cm).
  • If you are using a drip tray liner, ensure you are using the correct one. Ironwood liners have an indentation on one side. Pro liners are smooth along both sides with no dents.
  • If you are using foil, ensure it is flush to the drip tray liner and not sticking out, as this may restrict airflow.
  • Check the induction fan. You should be able to hear it when starting the grill. If you can’t hear it, or it sounds weak, try to manually spin the fan. This can help break up any dirt or grime build-up.
  • Make sure the auger is spinning and feeding pellets properly.

Check this too: Charcoal vs Gas Grill Health Issues

The Traeger grill turns off after a few seconds

If your D2 grill is experiencing issues turning off unexpectedly or not powering on at all, follow these troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem:

  • If the grill is not getting power, try and plug another device into the outlet to ensure the outlet works.
  • If the grill is plugged into a power strip or extension cord, try plugging it directly into the outlet.
  • Check the power cord connection to the grill to make sure it is plugged in all the way to the grill and is undamaged.
  • Check to make sure the light on the power brick is on. A green light means the power is working.
  • If the power outlet is a GFI outlet, check if the outlet tripped (the button in middle has popped out). If it has tripped, reset the outlet by pressing the center button.
  • Check internally for a loose connection or wires. Sometimes the wires may be loose and/or damaged.

To troubleshoot power issues on an AC grill, follow these instructions:

  • Check to see if the grill is plugged into a working outlet. Try the grill on a second outlet. Try plugging another device into the outlet to make sure it has power.
  • Check to see if the outlet is GFI. If so, check if it has been tripped. Reset the GFI if it has tripped and tried again.
  • Check for damage to the power cord. This also includes power strips or extension cables. If you are using a power strip or extension cable, try plugging directly into the outlet.
  • Check to see if any other components are working.
  • Check to see if the fuse on the back of the controller is popped. A popped fuse may have burn marks, or the filament may just be broken like on a lightbulb.

Traeger fuse location

Traeger fuses are typically found on the back of the controller in one of two locations. Either in a grey box with a lid (may have an additional fuse zip-tied to it) or in a black tube with a screw-on cap. D2 grills do not have fuses.

Traeger auger not turning

The auger should be spinning and feeding pellets properly. It does not cycle on and off. If your Traeger auger is not turning, follow these steps to troubleshoot:

  1. Disconnect the RED wire’s Molex connector from the RED and white Molex connector.
  2. Reconnect the RED wire’s Molex connector with the other RED and while Molex connector.
  3. Turn the grill on and check if the auger motor is now working (check if the fan on the back is spinning). If not, proceed to the next step.
  4. Disconnect the RED wire’s Molex connector and the ORANGE wire’s Molex connector.
  5. Reconnect the wires by using the other component’s Molex connector.
  6. Plugin the grill and turn it on.
  • If the induction fan turns on- the controller is fine, and the auger motor is bad.
  • If the auger motor turns on and the induction fan does not-the controller is bad, and the components are fine.
  • If neither component is turning on-the controller and the auger motor need to be replaced.
  1. Plug the components back into their corresponding wires until you are ready to replace the defective part.

Traeger grill smoke settings

The SMOKE setting is for smoking and adding smoke flavor to foods being cooked. The SMOKE setting can also be used to “hold” foods at approximately 180- 200 degrees F.

Why is my Traeger smoking?

It is normal for the smoke to be thicker at the beginning of a cook. The smoke will thin out as the grill gets closer to the smoke temperatures. Give the grill some time for the smoke to thin out.

If after the initial startup, the smoke is still thick, it is likely that the fire is not reaching the proper temperature, causing the pellets to cinder rather than burn. If this is the case in your situation, consider the following:

  • Pellets quality is the most common cause of excessive smoke. If the pellets are holding moisture they will not burn as hot.
  • Pellets may be compromised if they are light in color, dull, dusty, break easily, or if the bag that contained the pellets has a lot of sawdust.
  • Even if you believe your pellets are not the problem, try a fresh batch just to be sure. Sometimes pellets can take on moisture without us noticing.
  • If all seems fine with the pellets but your Traeger grill still smokes excessively, check the induction fan to ensure it is working properly. Remove the drip tray and heat baffle; you should be able to feel the air blowing into the firepot. Be careful not to touch the hot rod when testing this.
  • The induction fan should not make any loud noises, such as scraping or squealing. If it makes such noises, please contact customer service at 1-800-TRAEGER.

Traeger grill complaints

While Traeger has many advantages over other grills, they have cons too that you should know if planning on buying a Traeger grill:

  1. Cost: Traeger grills are expensive. The lowest price you can get a grill like this around $300, and the price goes even up depending on the size and features of the grill you want.
  2. Must have a power source: These grills use electricity, and they require a power source for you to operate them. The fact that you need a power outlet to make use of a Traeger is limiting.
  3. Longer cooking time: You won’t cook food as quickly with a Traeger. Because you are cooking with a lower temperature in many cases, the food will cook more slowly, but delivers a flavor that’s worth the wait.

Can I use my Traeger grill in the rain?

Yes, you can use your Traeger grill in the rain without any issues. But you need to keep an eye on the amount of moisture being collected in the pellet hopper.

Do you have to prime the auger on a Traeger every time?

After you prime the auger once it is good to go every time. Unless you purge and clean the auger tube, then you will have to prime the auger again.

Should Traeger smoke all the time?

You will need to leave the Traeger set to smoke for a longer period of time to get a smokier flavor in your food. The amount of time you want your food to smoke will depend on what you are cooking. While some food only needs a few minutes of smoking, others may need a few hours.

What to do if you run your Traeger is out of pellets

If you have gotten a low pellet notification, your pellets could either be “tunneling” or you could have run out of pellets.

Tunneling is a term used when the pellets on the hopper create a funnel-shaped void while feeding pellets into the grill. The grill basically feeds all the pellets in the middle of the hopper but leaves a large collection of pellets on the sides of the hopper. If you open the hopper and see that it is practically full but has just created a funnel shape in the middle, try the following:

  • If this happens only occasionally, periodically check the pellets when you go out to check your food. Using a long spoon or spatula, stir around the pellets in the hopper, being careful to keep your hand away from the bottom of the hopper.
  • If you notice tunneling happens often, check the inside of the hopper for any damage. Damage can increase the chance of tunneling.
  • Clean out the hopper. A lot of sawdust and blockage in the hopper can also increase the frequency of tunneling.
  • Contact Traeger customer service if you have tried all the above solutions and still find your pellets “tunneling”.

If you have actually run out of pellets during a cook, here is what you need to do:

  1. First, check your grill’s temperature.
  2. If the grill is still at your set temperature, refill the hopper. The temperature may dip in the next few minutes due to a possible empty pocket within the auger, but the grill will get back to your set temperature in a short while.
  3. If your grill has already started dropping temperature already, or if it has already shut itself off, remove your food from the grill, place it in the oven to keep warm, and wait for the grill to cool.
  • Once the grill is cool, pull the grate, the drip tray, and the heat baffle out.
  • Look in the firepot to make sure it is not full of pellets. If it is full of pellets, clean out the firepot.
  • Turn on the grill and set it to a high temperature.
  • Wait for the auger to fill with pellets and then turn the grill off.
  • Replace the heat baffle, drip tray, and grates.
  • Turn back on the grill and resume your cook.

Can you grill without smoke on Traeger?

A Traeger grill is a combination barbecue grill and smoker that uses wood pellets to create heat and smoke. It can be used to both smoke and cook food. The grill is designed to adjust the heat automatically. You operate the grill by setting the temperature that you want.

Can I leave my Traeger outside in winter?

During winter it is too cold outside, which makes it difficult for the grill to reach temperature. To get the fire to escalate, the grill has to burn more pellets. In this scenario, you need to use an insulation blanket.  A Traeger insulation blanket will help counterbalance pellet consumption in temperatures that reach 350F or lower.