We live in a world that is full of problems and we are the solution to those problems - Julia “Butterfly” Hill
There’s an old adage that says, “Expect the best and prepare for the worst” and it’s this idea more than any other that we cling to vehemently and live our lives by.
It never hurts to be prepared, and if you’re ready to face any sort of catastrophe, no matter how big or small it might be, you’ll be able to greet each morning with confidence knowing that even if things do go wrong, there’s nothing that you can’t handle.
While some of life’s challenges aren’t as easy to face as others, getting to grips with your grill when it starts to malfunction and heading any potential grilling issues off at the pass is something that any of us can do, especially if we already know what to do when, and if, those problems do present themselves.
In all probability, the odds of ever having to deal with any grill based difficulties are extremely low and no decent bookie would ever take a wager based on them.
And if you told your bookie that you had a Traeger Grill while you were trying to make that bet, they wouldn’t stop laughing until you left their establishment.
Traeger doesn’t do problems, the word isn’t in their lexicon, and with the application of science and technology, they’ve done their utmost to ensure that their grills are gremlin proof.
But with all the best will in the world, malfunctions and problems can happen, which is why we’ve put this Traeger troubleshooting guide together, so that if, in the incredibly unlikely chance that something does go wrong with your Traeger, you’ll be ready.
After all, a little knowledge goes a long way, and being forewarned means you’ll always be forearmed.
Welcome to The Future
The good news is that Trager has always been futurists, willingly embraced technology, and made sure that all of their grills did the same.
Almost every Traeger grill is made to connect to the internet and can be controlled by an app and even those that don’t have a digital control unit.
All of which means that when something does go wrong with a Traeger grill, the grill will do the troubleshooting for you and tell you what the problem is.
All you have to do is listen to your grill and fix the issue that’s hindering its performance.
Of course, when we say listen to your Traeger, we don’t actually mean that it will put an arm around your shoulder, make sure you’re seated in a comfortable chair, take your hand, and gently tell you what’s bothering it.
That would be crazy. No, what we mean by your grill will tell you what’s wrong is that it will present you with an error code in much the same way that your car does when it’s connected to a garage computer.
It’ll let you know what the issue is so that you’ll be able to deal with it and get back to doing what you and your Traeger do best; grilling.
The Codes and The Fixes
Every problem has a code and every code has a solution, you just need to know what each code means and when you do, you’ll know to address the problem that’s plaguing your Traeger.
So, let’s work our way through the codes and while we’re addressing them we’ll offer you some solutions to the problems that they’re highlighting.
First things first, you’re going to need to know where to find the error codes that will alert you to the specific misfortune that your Trager is suffering from.
Where will you find it? It’ll present itself on the control panel, and it’ll usually be a three-letter or letter and number combination that’s displayed on the digital readout that under normal circumstances, lets you know the temperature of your grill.
Let’s start with the thing that all grills do best, making heat.
If you see HEr appear on your display panel, it means that your grill has pushed past the maximum temperature setting and is alerting you to the fact that it’s become a little too hot.
In other words, it’s a High-Temperature warning and means that your grill is about to start shutting itself down before the problem gets any worse.
Once the auger (that controls the flow of pellets into the firebox) has stopped and the fan has cooled your grill down, shut it off and let it rest for thirty minutes so that it’ll be cold enough for you to run a manual check and try to ascertain what the problem that caused the issue to manifest itself was.
The first thing you’ll need to check is that your grill is completely clean and that a build-up of grease and ash (from the pellets) hasn’t led your grill going into meltdown.
If it is clean, the problem could lie with the pellets that you’re using to power your grill. Are they up to the task?
Sometimes cheaper pellets and less well-known brands make big claims about their pellets that the wood just can’t cash.
You get what you pay for and cheap pellets don’t burn evenly, which can lead to temperature fluctuations and the HEr error that’ll shut your grill down.
If it isn’t grease, ash, or the pellets, the error probably lies with the temperature probe. If the error code persists after you’re cleaned your grill and changed the pellets, you’ll almost certainly need to have someone take a look at your temperature control unit.
In which case, the best thing you can do is call Traeger and they’ll be happy to help.
You’re probably familiar with the saying “What goes up, must come down”, and having spent your fair share of time in High School science classes, know that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
While HEr is a high-temperature error, LER is the opposite, it’s a low-temperature error.
The rock-bottom temperature for every Traeger grill, while it’s being used, is around one hundred and twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit and if your grill drops below this number for any significant amount of time, it’ll trigger the low-temperature warning.
And if it shows the error, by the time you’ve seen it, your grill will already have started shutting itself down.
The primary reason why your grill might not be able to reach temperature is a fairly obvious one, you’ve run out of fuel. So when your grill is cold, check the pellet feed to make sure that there are still enough in there to keep your grill running, and that the feed isn’t blocked.
If it is, clean it out, add more pellets and fire your grill up again. The secondary reason could be that your firebox isn’t pulling in enough oxygen to help it burn the pellets.
This is usually because the ventilation ports that provide the firebox with oxygen are either fully, or partially blocked by sawdust or ash from the pellets and need to be thoroughly cleaned before you can fire your grill up again.
If neither of these fixes works, the fault almost certainly lies with your temperature control unit, and if the error code keeps appearing, you’ll need to get in touch with Traeger, who will literally move heaven and earth to help you clear the error code.
This is the error code that means that you’re almost certainly going to need to replace a part of your grill, and it’ll probably be the sensor that monitors, measures, and helps to control the temperature of your grill.
Traeger refers to this sensor as the Resistance Temperature Detector, so when you give them a call about it, that’s the part that you need to ask them about so that they can either help you to troubleshoot the issue or help you to get it replaced.
Almost every code that appears on your grill has to do with temperature, and this one like the ERR code refers to the RTD (or Resistance Temperature Detector), but as Trager will happily tell you, it usually means that the sensor isn’t plugged in properly has come loose.
So check your connections and that all the wires are tight, and if something is, or has come, loose, tighten or reconnect it and your grill should fire up and be error code free.
If you see this combination flash up, just ring Traeger. It’s one of those fatal codes that means something has gone seriously gone and needs to be fixed by someone who knows Traeger grills inside and out.
You could spend hours trying to figure out what’s wrong, but unless you’ve got a degree in electrical engineering, we wouldn’t recommend trying to get to the heart of the problem yourself.
Just call Traeger. You’ll be glad you did and you can thank us later.
Then There’s The Ignition Thing…
While the error codes that your Traeger will show you if something is wrong cover around ninety-nine percent of any potential problems, the one thing they can’t help you with is your grill failing to light.
If you’re facing an ignition problem, completely clear the firebox, auger, and pellet feed and take a peek inside the empty firebox while pressing the ignition button.
If you don’t see a faint red glow, it almost certainly means that the ignition unit on your grill has given up the ghost and failed, and the only way to get it replaced is by giving the folks at Traeger a call.
Armed and Ready
And that’s that.
Now that you know what to look out for if, and in the incredibly unlikely event that, something goes wrong with your Traeger grill, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and be up and grilling again in next to no time.