As a pellet grill owner, I know how frustrating it can be when your Pit Boss suddenly stops feeding pellets.
A well-functioning auger system is crucial for consistent temperature control and proper cooking temperature.
Through troubleshooting many pellet feed issues over the years, I’ve discovered some common reasons why Pit Boss Won’t feed pellets.
In this blog post, I’ll share the top reasons based on my experience, like jammed augers, defective heating rods, and broken auger motors.
I’ll provide actionable tips to diagnose the problem and return your grill to peak pellet-feeding performance.
Whether you’re encountering error codes or simply no pellet feed, read on to learn what causes a Pit Boss auger jam and how to fix it yourself or know when to call in a repair technician.
What Causes My Pit Boss Won’t Feed Pellets And How To Fix?
Causes of Pellet Feeding Problems
1. Pellet Quality:
The quality of pellets used plays a significant role in the performance of your grill. Poor-quality pellets or those exposed to moisture can easily clog the auger, disrupting the smooth flow of fuel and heat distribution.
2. Hopper Maintenance:
Neglecting the cleanliness of your hopper can lead to pellet accumulation and bridging. Bridging occurs when pellets clump together and obstruct the feeding process, causing uneven heating.
3. Checking Air
Flow: Ensure the fan blade is operating correctly and that the interior firebox and exhaust system are free of excessive ash buildup and obstructions. Clean out any accumulated ash.
4. Auger Motor Issues:
The auger motor, responsible for transferring pellets from the hopper to the fire pot, can suffer from wear and tear or electrical glitches. A malfunctioning motor can hamper pellet delivery.
5. Temperature Settings:
Operating the grill on the “Smoke” setting for prolonged periods can reduce the feed rate, as this mode prioritizes smoke production over generating heat.
Effective Solutions to Restore Pellet Feeding
1. Choose Quality Pellets:
Opt for high-quality, dry pellets from reputable brands of pellets. Investing in good pellets can significantly reduce the risk of clogs and ensure consistent performance.
2. Regular Hopper Cleaning:
Make it a habit to clean the pellet hopper after each grilling session. This prevents pellet residue buildup and maintains proper airflow, minimizing the chance of bridging.
3. Prevent Moisture Accumulation:
Ensure proper ventilation around the hopper to prevent moisture from affecting the pellets. Moisture can cause pellets to swell and become difficult to feed.
4. Bust Bridging Gently:
If bridging occurs, tap the hopper gently or use a thin tool to break up the pellet clumps. This will restore the flow and allow for uninterrupted grilling.
5. Auger Motor Maintenance:
Consult the user manual for guidance on troubleshooting auger motor issues. A motor replacement might sometimes be necessary, but simple maintenance steps can often resolve the problem.
6. Mind the Temperature Settings:
When using your grill, be mindful of the temperature swings settings. If you’re looking for more heat, avoid using the Smoke setting for extended periods.
What Is An Auger, And How Does It Work?
An auger is a drill-like mechanical device that moves material through a hollow tube. Augers are commonly used in cooking, mining, construction, and farming.
The critical component of an auger is a rotating helical screw that fits inside a cylinder or tube. When the auger screw rotates, it conveys material along its SPIRAL flighting.
This effectively pushes the material through the tubing in a rotary, screw-like motion. The rotation of the auger can be powered using an electric motor or other mechanical drive.
The screw shape enables high torque to move even very viscous or compacted materials. Augers are optimized for different applications through variations in the pitch and diameter of the screw flighting.
For example, a large pitch and diameter allow efficient transport of large volumes of material. The screw design can be customized based on the type of material being moved along the tube.
Overall, an auger’s elegantly simple working concept revolves around using a rotating screw to translate rotational motion into linear motion.
This enables all materials, from sand to livestock feed, to be horizontally or vertically conveyed through enclosed tubes with minimal input power. With only basic maintenance, augers can provide years of reliable material transport.
What Are The Two Types Of Augers?
The two main types of augers are single-flight and double-flight.
Single Flight Augers
Single-flight augers have one continuous spiral blade wrapped around a shaft or within a tube. The blade rotates to move material through the tube in a corkscrew motion.
Single-flight augers excel at transporting light, dry materials like grains, powders, and pellets. They take up less space than other designs and have simple mechanics.
However, single-flight augers have limited throughput capabilities when handling dense or damp pellets materials.
Double Flight Augers
Double flight augers have two parallel spiraled blades turning within a tube. The space between the flights allows the material to move quickly, as both blades convey.
Double-flight augers are ideal for moving dense, compact, or damp materials more efficiently. The dual-bladed design delivers more torque and faster throughput.
Double-flight augers well-suited for wet cement, compost, chemicals, and thick slurries.
In summary, single-flight augers are more compact and better for light, dry materials. Double-flight augers take up more space but can efficiently move heavy, moist, or dense materials. The needs of the application determine which auger type works best.
How To Clean Your Pit, Grill Auger?
Cleaning your pit grill auger regularly is important to keep it functioning correctly. Over time, hardwood pellet residue, ash, and grease tray can build up inside the auger, which can impede the auger’s ability to push new pellets into the burn pot. Here are the basic steps to clean your pit grill auger:
Start by shutting off the grill and allowing it to relax fully. Next, adjust the temperature dial to the ‘Offsetting and then switch it to the ‘Smoke’ function.
Scoop out any old pellets from the hopper. Then detach the auger by removing the bolt that connects it to the motor. Slide the auger out to remove it fully from the feed tube.
Once removed, use a small wire brush to scrub the spiral flights of the auger to remove any residue or buildup.
You can also use a stiff putty knife to scrape along the flights. For stuck-on debris, use a degreaser and rinse thoroughly.
Check the feed tube and clear any jams or debris inside it. Finally, reattach the cleaned auger, replace the access panel, and reload new pellets into the hopper before starting up your pit grill again.
Regularly cleaning the auger allows it to turn smoothly, prevents jams, and ensures a steady pellet feed rate for optimal pit grilling. Always make sure the grill is excellent and unplugged before attempting auger maintenance.
Why Is Your Pit Boss Not Smoking?
There are a few common reasons why your Pit Boss wood pellet grill is not smoking correctly.
The most likely culprits include an ignition failure, lack of fuel, blockage in the auger or hopper, improperly installed diffuser plate, too much airflow, bad pellets, or a dirty burner.
If the pellets are not igniting, the hot rod igniter may need cleaning or replacing if it is malfunctioning.
Also, check that the hopper has enough dry, high-quality pellets feeding into the auger and burn pot as expected. The auger or feed system could be jammed and need cleaning.
Ensure the diffuser plate is correctly installed over the burn pot, allowing the pellets to smolder and produce smoke.
Too much airflow over the diffuser plate can also prevent smoking, so adjust the fan or dampers accordingly. Also, try to avoid grilling in windy situations or direct sunlight.
Burning low-quality, wet pellets or ones with excessive sawdust can negatively impact smoke temperature. Always use premium hardwood BBQ pellets.
Finally, check if ash buildup or grease obstructs the burner, which can affect the smoke created during grilling. Clean the burner as needed.
Try the grill in another outlet or something else in this outlet to ensure that is not the issue. – Inspect the power cord for visible damage that could be causing the issue.
Addressing these common issues should help your Pit Boss grill back to smoking correctly for maximum flavor when cooking low and slow barbecue. If the fuse wire is damaged, don’t hesitate to contact our Pit Boss Customer Care Team for additional support and troubleshooting.
In summary, a few key things could cause your Pit Boss grill to stop feeding pellets properly.
The most common culprits are jammed augers, bad auger motors, electrical issues with the control board screen, airflow obstruction, low-quality pellets, and mechanical failures.
By troubleshooting each potential issue and checking for blockages, motor problems, electrical faults, pellet quality, and grill setup, you should be able to isolate and identify the specific reason your particular Pit Boss model is not feeding pellets.
Addressing the underlying cause, whether clearing a jam, replacing a part, adjusting the grill, or switching pellets, will get your Pit Boss grilling system back up and running at full capacity.
Proper pellet flow is critical for maintaining the correct temperatures and white smoke levels. With a focused, methodical approach, you can diagnose and fix pellet feed problems and enjoy the convenience of your Pit Boss grill for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can identify a jammed auger if pellets or other materials stop flowing out of the end, the auger makes loud grinding noises when turned on, the auger motor strains and slows when running, or you visually see a clog or obstruction in the auger flighting. A jammed auger won’t turn smoothly when rotated by hand. Removing and thoroughly cleaning the auger is the best way to clear jams and restore proper function.
The most common reasons a pellet grill won’t feed pellets are a jammed auger, blocked hopper or feed chute, faulty auger motor, issues with the control panel regulating the auger, problems with the igniter preventing pellet ignition, insufficient airflow, low pellet fuel supply, or poor quality pellets with excessive sawdust. Identifying and clearing the specific obstruction or component failure causing the pellet feed problem is key to resolving the issue.
The lifespan of an auger depends on the environment and materials it handles. Industrial augers handling abrasive materials may wear out in 1-2 years. Augers in cleaner environments can last 5-10 years. Good maintenance like lubrication, clearing jams, replacing worn parts, and using a suitable material for the application can maximize auger life. High-quality steel augers properly sized for the loads can have a working life of 10-15 years or more. But excessive wear, corrosion, and fatigue will limit usable life.
You should replace an auger when it can no longer efficiently move material due to significant wear, permanent jams, or damage. Warning signs include loud noises when operating, frequent clogs, blades worn down by more than 20%, deformed or cracked flighting, auger tube showing heavy abrasion marks or holes, and noticeable decline in throughput. Replacing severely worn augers will improve performance and prevent further damage to the auger system. Regular inspection and maintenance can maximize lifespan.