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Traeger Grill Not Igniting? 5 Causes (+ How to Fix)

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Traegers use wood pellets to ignite and heat the grill. If your grill isn’t igniting, there’s a handful of potential causes, all of which can be solved with a few simple steps.

When your Traeger grill isn’t igniting, these are the most likely causes:

  • There are not enough pellets in the hopper
  • The induction fan is broken
  • Problems with the GFCI or other electrical connections
  • The hot rods are damaged
  • An auger that won’t rotate

Throughout this article, we’ll discuss all of the likely causes of your Traeger grill’s failure to ignite. We’ll also provide quick solutions to help you solve the problem as soon as possible.

Not Enough Pellets for Ignition

Traeger grills burn up to three pounds of wood pellets per hour. If they run dry, the grill won’t get hot or ignite. Trying to light a Traeger grill that doesn’t have enough pellets can be bad for the burner since it sparks without anything to ignite. Furthermore, the few remaining pellets will burn and go to waste.

Quality is another factor you should consider. Traeger grills are high-end cooking equipment, which means they require top-notch wood pellets. If they run on low-quality pellets, they’ll burn unevenly and fail to ignite once the quick-burning fuel source is gone.

How to Fix

If there not enough pellets or yours aren’t the right quality for a Traeger, all you have to do is top it off with high-end pellets. You can try the Traeger Grills Wood Pellets that come with a combination of hickory and signature blend pellets. Two 20-lb bags let you grill between 13 to 40 hours, depending on how big the grill is.

Induction Fan Doesn’t Work

Induction fans circulate the heat, prevent it from overheating the exterior, and maintain the pressure inside of a grill. Traeger grills have a sensor that doesn’t let the grill activate if the induction fan is broken. The fan’s purpose is too valuable, and the grill can break if it’s not running the whole time.

Traeger induction fans are fitted underneath the grill. Rolling the grill around too often can cause damage, but long-term use is typically the culprit. Fortunately, it’s very easy to replace the induction fan if the grill won’t ignite.

How to Fix

Follow this process to replace the induction fan on a Traeger grill:

  1. Unplug the grill from the outlet.
  2. Look under the grill for the orange wires leading to the induction fan.
  3. Unplug the connection between the control board and the induction fan (the white connector strapped to the aforementioned orange wires).
  4. Unscrew the mounting screws attaching the fan to the bottom of the grill.
  5. Place the new induction fan in its place and tighten the screws, then connect the new fan’s orange wires to the same place on the control board.

Review this video for more details:

There Are Electrical Problems

These grills need a power supply to run the induction fan, ignitors, hot rod, and auger. If there’s not enough power going to the Traeger grill, it won’t ignite. Do your best to avoid using extension cables or splitters since they reduce the power flow and increase the chances of a failed grill ignition.

Payless Hardware and Rockery shows another thing to consider is the GFCI the grill is plugged into. Check if it’s tripping when you ignite the grill. An electrical overflow can trip the GFCI or the breaker in the nearby breaker box. If this happens, something on the grill is malfunctioning, or the breaker isn’t adequate for the grill.

How to Fix

Go through this checklist if you notice electrical problems:

  • Unplug the grill, flip the breaker, then plug it in again to see if the breaker trips. If it does, tighten every wire on the grill and look for blown fuses. 
  • If the GFCI trips when you ignite the grill, check the auger, hot rod, control board, and induction fan to see if they need to be replaced.
  • Bring the grill closer to an outlet, so you don’t have to use extension cords.

Broken Hot Rods

The hot rods are responsible for heating the grill. They keep the wood pellets hot throughout the process. If the hot rods are broken or won’t get warm, the grill won’t ignite. It’ll sense the rods are damaged, corroded, or blocked. This common issue usually occurs after a few years of using a wood pellet grill.

The hot rods can also be damaged by excess rain, moisture, direct sunlight, or prolonged grilling and smoking. Using the grill around the clock will strain the hot rods, too.

How to Fix

If the hot rods don’t heat up, they need to be replaced. All you have to do is turn off the power going to the grill, remove the drip trays and grill grates, then unscrew the hot rod underneath. Screw a new one into it and connect it to the previous hot rod’s spot on the control board and you’re all set.

Auger Won’t Turn in the Hopper

The auger turns the wood pellets and pushes them into the hopper. The wood pellets won’t ignite if the auger doesn’t do its job. Most augers last for a long time since they don’t get as hot as the other internal components. However, a jam can lock the hopper, preventing the Traeger grill from igniting.

You might also notice rust and corrosion can jam the auger. If you don’t use your grill too often and it’s left out in the elements, the auger, hot rods, induction fan, and various other parts can lock or break down.

How to Fix

Here’s what you need to do if the auger won’t turn:

  1. Traeger recommends removing the drip tray, grats, and baffle to inspect the auger.
  2. Turn the grill to ‘Smoke’ mode.
  3. Check if the auger is spinning on its usual 15-second cycle.
  4. If it’s not spinning, the auger needs to be replaced by unscrewing it, unattaching it from the control board, and installing a new one in its place.