I’ve been there before. You’re trying to smoke a nice rack of ribs, but your Traeger keeps shutting off. It’s frustrating, but don’t worry.
In this troubleshooting guide, you’ll learn how to quickly resolve this issue and get back to barbecuing.
If your Traeger keeps shutting off, ensure the electrical outlet is working. Next, check you haven’t activated the shutdown cycle in the app. Lastly, ensure there aren’t issues with the internal components.
Check These Things First
Consider the potential culprits below before looking at the parts inside your grill.
1. Ensure Your Grill Is Plugged Into a Reliable Power Outlet
If the electrical outlet is tripped or unstable, it can cause your Traeger grill to shut off. Check the GFI and ensure it’s not tripped.
You might also consider testing the outlet with another device (that you know works) to ensure the outlet is functioning correctly.
If you must use an extension cord, ensure it’s capable of handling high-powered electrical devices. Many aren’t.
2. Inspect the Power Cord for Any Signs of Damage
Look for bends, singeing, or fraying, as these can all be major red flags. If you observe any of those issues, replace the cord immediately to avoid further complications.
3. Verify You’re Using Dry, Quality Wood Pellets
Make sure you’re using high-quality pellets specifically designed for Traeger grills. Or pellets designed for pellet grills in general. Don’t add random wood chips you’ve made yourself.
Low-quality or wet pellets crumble easily, clogging the auger and leading to unexpected shutdowns.
Lastly, ensure the pellet hopper is full, and there are no blockages hindering the flow of pellets into the grill.
4. Check the App to Ensure You Haven’t Accidentally Changed a Setting
If you have the Traeger WiFIRE Grills app, then you should open that app and check the settings to ensure you haven’t unintentionally activated or deactivated anything.
For example, verify that you haven’t activated the shutdown cycle. There’s a dial on the grill to put the smoker into its shutdown cycle, but you can also achieve this from the app.
5. Keep Your Pellet Grill Sheltered From Heavy Wind
Surprisingly, cold weather doesn’t impact your Traeger pellet grill as much as you’d think. However, heavy winds can disrupt the airflow inside the smoker, causing temperature fluctuations.
To combat this issue, you can shield the smoker with a windbreak or move it to a more sheltered location.
Lastly, adjusting the smoker’s intake and exhaust vents can help regulate the airflow and maintain a consistent temperature.
6. Address Error Codes on the Display Screen
Both the Traeger app and the display screen on your grill will display error codes when they arise. These provide helpful insight as the device is attempting to troubleshoot itself.
Common error codes include:
- HEr: High-temperature error causing the auger to shut off
- LEr: Low-temperature error causing the grill to power off
- ERR/ER1/ER2: All issues relating to the temperature sensor
Components That Can Cause Your Traeger to Shut Off
It’s time to investigate further. Remember to exercise caution when troubleshooting and power off the unit before fixing anything inside.
7. Ensure the Fuse in the Control Panel Isn’t Blown
The controller is the grill’s brain, regulating temperature inputs and controlling other components like the auger and induction fan.
A fuse located in the control panel (controller) protects the unit from electricity overload or a short circuit. So if the fuse is blown (blackened), you’ll need to replace it.
Don’t forget to assess the cause of the blown fuse. Ensure your electrical outlet is safe before using it again.
8. Clean the RTD Temperature Sensor
The RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) sends information to the control panel to maintain the desired temperature.
There are two things you should check on the sensor:
- Ensure the probe is clean: Wipe away any grime, as a dirty sensor may not interpret the temperature accurately.
- Verify the probe is connected: A wire connects to the control panel. Check that the seating hasn’t become loose.
Both events can cause inaccurate temperature readings, causing your Traeger to keep powering off.
9. Ensure the Hot Rod Is Red When Igniting
The hot rod is responsible for igniting the wood pellets in the firepot, providing heat and smoke for your grill.
Here are two things to check on the hot rod:
- Ensure a tight connection to the controller: If the wire connecting the rod to the controller becomes loose, it won’t heat up.
- Inspect the hot rod for damage: If you observe a cracked rod, purchase a replacement part from Traeger.
You’ll know the hot rod is functioning correctly when its tip is red.
10. Confirm the Auger is Rotating
The auger is responsible for moving the wood pellets from the hopper to the firepot. It ensures a consistent flow of pellets for the desired temperature.
Ensure the auger is functioning correctly and confirm there isn’t a jam or obstruction.
11. Clear the Firepot of Excess Debris
The firepot is where the magic happens. It houses the burning wood pellets that generate heat and smoke for cooking.
Regularly inspect and vacuum the firepot to keep it free from ashes and debris that may disrupt the fire. Too much ash prevents the new pellets from burning.
12. Verify the Induction Fan Is Circulating Air
The induction fan circulates hot air (arising from the fire pot) throughout the cooking chamber.
Check the fan for the following:
- Stable connection to the control panel: Like other components, an unsecured wire means the fan won’t rotate.
- No obstructions to the blades: If you’ve made modifications, ensure nothing is blocking the blades from spinning (like loose wires).
- No resistance on rotation: Lightly spin the blades manually to assess if there’s a build-up of grime preventing them from turning properly.
A properly functioning induction fan ensures even cooking. It also contributes to fuel efficiency by maintaining a consistent temperature, reducing the need for frequent adjustments and pellet refills.
Clean Your Traeger to Prevent Power Issues
Keeping your Traeger grill in excellent condition ensures it works well and also extends its lifespan.
Here are some tips on how to properly maintain your Traeger grill.
- If you live in a state that gets cold in the winter, store your Traeger inside. While you can use it in the cold, I don’t recommend letting it sit outside all winter.
- Put a cover on your grill to protect it from rain and other weather conditions when it’s not in use. You can purchase covers made specifically for Traeger equipment.
- Regularly clean your grill by taking out the removable parts, scraping the inner walls, and vacuuming the interior.
If you notice a part beginning to wear down, I recommend replacing it before it causes damage. You can purchase replacement parts from the Traeger website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check out the FAQs below if you still have questions about your Traeger turning off.
Why Does My Traeger Keep Sleeping?
If your pellet grill is set to on, but the control panel screen is off, then your grill is in sleep mode. This happens after extended inactivity. You can turn the dial to wake it up.
How Do You Stop the Shutdown Cycle on a Traeger Grill?
Press the center button to cancel the shutdown cycle while “OFF” is flashing. However, you only have several seconds.
Do You Have to Restart a Traeger if It Runs Out of Pellets?
If your Traeger runs out of pellets but is still at the set temperature, you can add more pellets without restarting the grill.
Can You Use an Extension Cord With a Traeger?
You can use a 12 or 14-gauge heavy-duty extension cord (if approved for outdoors) to power your Traeger. It shouldn’t be longer than 25 feet.
If your Traeger smoker keeps shutting off, it’s not necessarily broken. Following the troubleshooting steps in this guide should resolve the issue.
Mainly, check for error codes, ensure you haven’t accidentally activated the shutdown cycle in the app, and confirm there aren’t other issues with the interior components.