Troubleshooting 101: What To Do When Your Auger Isn’t Feeding Pellets

If you own a pellet grill, you know how frustrating it can be when your auger isn’t feeding pellets properly. This can lead to uneven cooking, inconsistent temperatures, and even complete failure to start up.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem and get your grill back up and running.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most common causes of auger malfunctions and how to fix them. From checking for blockages to cleaning and maintaining your auger, we’ve got you covered.

So if you’re experiencing issues with your pellet grill, read on to find out what you can do to get it working again.

Understand the Function of the Auger

Let’s dive into how the auger works and why it’s such an important part of your pellet grill setup! The auger is responsible for feeding the pellets from the hopper into the fire pot, which keeps the fire going and produces the heat and smoke required for cooking.

When the auger isn’t functioning properly, it can cause your grill to malfunction and prevent you from cooking your favorite dishes. The auger is a long, spiral-shaped piece of metal that rotates continuously to move the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot. As it rotates, the pellets move along the spiral and are pushed forward towards the fire pot.

The speed of the auger is controlled by the controller, which regulates the amount of pellets that are fed into the fire pot. This ensures that the temperature inside the grill remains consistent and the food is cooked evenly. If the auger isn’t feeding pellets, there could be several reasons why.

It could be due to a clog in the hopper or the auger itself, or there could be a problem with the motor or the controller. To troubleshoot the issue, start by checking the hopper and auger for any obstructions or blockages. If there are none, then check the motor and controller to ensure that they’re functioning properly.

By understanding how the auger works and how to troubleshoot common issues, you can keep your pellet grill running smoothly and enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked meals every time.

Check for Blockages

When you’re troubleshooting your pellet grill, one common cause of a malfunctioning auger is a blockage in the pellet hopper or auger tube. This can occur due to the use of low-quality pellets, pellets that’ve absorbed moisture, or foreign objects that’ve entered the hopper.

To clear blockages, you’ll need to remove the hopper and inspect the auger tube for any obstructions.

Common Causes

One possible cause of a pellet feed malfunction could be a clogged auger, which can occur when pellets become jammed or compacted within the mechanism. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as using low-quality or wet pellets, overfilling the hopper, or not cleaning the system regularly. Another common cause is a damaged or worn auger, which can prevent it from properly moving the pellets through the system.

To help identify the cause of the issue, take a look at the table below which outlines some common symptoms and potential causes. By understanding the possible causes, you can troubleshoot the issue and get your pellet grill up and running again.

Symptom Possible Cause Solution
Pellets not feeding into fire pot Clogged auger Clean the auger and hopper, use high-quality pellets
Pellets feeding too quickly Damaged auger Replace the auger
Uneven pellet feed Overfilled hopper Remove excess pellets, clean the hopper
Auger motor running but no pellets feeding Blocked hopper or auger Clean the hopper and auger, ensure proper pellet placement
Pellets bridging in hopper Low-quality or wet pellets Use high-quality, dry pellets

How to Clear Blockages

Clearing blockages in your pellet feed can be frustrating, but with these simple steps, you can get your grill back to cooking delicious meals in no time.

First, turn off your grill and unplug it from the power source to ensure your safety. Then, locate the auger and remove any pellets or debris that may be blocking it. You can use a small brush or even a toothpick to carefully clear out any obstructions.

Next, check the hopper and remove any large chunks of pellets that may be preventing the auger from feeding properly. It’s also important to inspect the pellet feed tube for any clogs or blockages.

Here are some additional tips to help you clear blockages and get your grill back up and running:

  • Use compressed air to blow out any debris
  • Soak the auger in warm soapy water to remove any stubborn clogs
  • Check for any damage to the auger or other parts of the pellet feed system
  • Consider upgrading to a higher quality pellet brand if blockages persist
  • Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent future blockages and ensure optimal grill performance

By following these simple steps and taking preventative measures, you can troubleshoot and resolve any blockages in your pellet feed system, and get back to grilling up delicious meals in no time.

Inspect the Auger Motor

First, you need to check the auger motor – if it’s not working properly, you won’t be able to enjoy the delicious taste of your smoked meats.

The auger motor is responsible for turning the auger, which feeds the pellets into the firepot. If the motor is not working, the auger won’t turn and the pellets won’t be fed into the firepot, resulting in a lack of heat and smoke.

To inspect the auger motor, first, make sure the unit is unplugged and the hopper is empty. Then, remove the screws that hold the motor in place and carefully pull it out.

Check for any signs of damage or wear on the motor, such as frayed wires or loose connections. If everything looks good, use a multimeter to test the motor’s voltage to determine if it’s receiving power.

If the motor is not receiving power, there may be an issue with the wiring or control board. Check the wires that connect to the motor and ensure they are properly connected. If the wiring looks good, inspect the control board for any signs of damage or wear.

If you’re unsure about any of these steps, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact customer support for assistance. By inspecting the auger motor, you can identify and fix any issues preventing your smoker from feeding pellets properly.

Check the Wiring

To ensure proper functioning of your smoker, it’s important to check the wiring for any signs of damage or wear and make necessary repairs. The wiring of your smoker is responsible for connecting the electrical components that control the auger motor. If the wiring is damaged, it can cause the motor to malfunction and fail to feed pellets into the firebox.

To check the wiring, start by unplugging the smoker from the power source. Then, remove the cover of the control panel to access the wiring. Look for any signs of frayed or damaged wires, loose connections, or burned out components. If you notice any issues, use a wire stripper to remove the damaged portion of the wire and replace it with a new one.

Once you’ve checked and repaired any damaged wiring, test the smoker to see if the auger is feeding pellets properly. If not, it may be necessary to inspect other components of the smoker, such as the control board or the temperature sensor.

Troubleshooting your smoker can be frustrating, but taking the time to check each component can save you time and money in the long run.

Adjust the Feed Rate

You can easily fine-tune your smoker’s pellet feed rate by adjusting the control panel settings, allowing for a perfect smoke every time. Here’s how to adjust the feed rate:

  • Locate the control panel on your smoker and turn it on.
  • Look for the ‘Feed Rate’ or ‘Auger Speed’ button and press it to increase or decrease the feed rate.
  • Start with a lower feed rate and gradually increase it until you find the sweet spot that works for your smoker and the type of pellets you’re using.

It’s important to note that the feed rate may need to be adjusted depending on the outside temperature and wind conditions. If it’s colder outside, the pellets may need to be fed at a higher rate to maintain the desired temperature. If it’s windy, the feed rate may need to be decreased to prevent the pellets from blowing out of the smoker.

Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and adjust the feed rate accordingly to ensure a consistent temperature and smoke. By adjusting the feed rate, you can ensure that your smoker is feeding the pellets at the right speed, giving you a perfect smoke every time.

Take the time to find the right feed rate for your smoker and the conditions you’re cooking in, and you’ll be rewarded with delicious, perfectly smoked food.

Clean and Maintain the Auger

Now that you’ve adjusted the feed rate and still experiencing issues with your auger feeding pellets, it’s time to move on to the next step of troubleshooting. This step involves cleaning and maintaining the auger, which is responsible for delivering the pellets to the firepot. Over time, the auger can become clogged with debris or pellets, leading to a decrease in performance.

To ensure your auger is functioning properly, it’s important to clean it regularly. This can be done by first unplugging the grill and removing the hopper. Once the hopper is removed, use a vacuum or brush to remove any debris or pellets from the auger. Next, inspect the auger for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any issues, it may be time to replace the auger.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to maintain the auger by lubricating it with food-grade lubricant. This will help prevent the auger from becoming stuck or jammed. By taking these steps to clean and maintain your auger, you can ensure that it is functioning properly and delivering pellets to the firepot as it should.

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5
1 Clean the auger regularly Use a vacuum or brush to remove debris Inspect for damage or wear Replace if necessary
2 Lubricate the auger with food-grade lubricant Helps prevent the auger from becoming stuck or jammed Essential for proper function Do not use non-food grade lubricant
3 Proper cleaning and maintenance Ensures the auger is functioning properly Prevents decrease in performance Saves time and money in the long run

Contact Customer Support

If all other attempts at resolving the issue have failed, consider contacting customer support for further assistance with your pellet grill. Most pellet grill manufacturers have a customer support team that can help troubleshoot any issues you might be experiencing.

Before contacting them, make sure you have all the necessary information about your grill, such as the model number and serial number.

When you contact customer support, be clear and concise about the problem you’re experiencing. Describe the issue in as much detail as possible, including any error messages or unusual behavior the grill is exhibiting.

The customer support representative may ask you to perform some troubleshooting steps, so be prepared to follow their instructions.

In some cases, customer support may determine that the issue is beyond repair and may recommend a replacement or refund. If this is the case, make sure to have all the necessary documentation, such as proof of purchase and warranty information, ready to provide to the representative.

Overall, contacting customer support should be a last resort, but it can be a helpful resource when all other attempts at resolving the issue have failed.