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Old 12-17-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
handoff
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Default Traeger problems anyone else

Sold my lil Tex ( USA made ) big mistake
Never a problem, upgraded to big Tex (china made) and have
Had temp problems told it was old pellets
But never had a problem with pellets in the lil Tex
Replaced the digital controls and now on my
Third RTD are they just junk now or do I have a lemon

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Old 12-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
cptdarel
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

I have the Lil Tex for bout 3 years now installed the digital thermo right out of the box, never has worked well, if i set at 325 it will hold at 300, go to 180 it will hold at 225, i called Traeger he said to pull the switch and turn the pot to #4 still problems, think i will put the manual control in and see.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Bought a Lil Tex last July and upgraded to the digital Thernostat after about 2 weeks of use. Use it several times a week and the temperature stays with in 20 or so degrees from setting. Close enough for me. Did have a paint peeling problem first month we had it, but Traeger took care of it right away. We are very happy with the product and the outstanding warranty service.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Mine wouldn't get hot enough until I took an SOS pad and scrubbed the carbon coating off the thermometer probe that had built up. It is true old pellets tend to absorb moisture and while smoke fine, won't fire up hot enough for the roasting work.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

In cold weather like this you might want to try adding some Oak pellets. That has made all the difference in keeping my temp steady and I have the big Tex. It does make a difference to keep the temperature probe cleaned to.

Good luck, I love my Treager and use it a couple times a week.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

In colder weather when you are smoking something, if you open the lid you will loose heat fast. It doesn't always recoup and the fire/smoke pot may go out.

We have learned to turn the temp up a few clicks before opening the lid.
This forces the burn pot to crank up, keeping the fire from going out.
When we close the lid, I turn it back down to smoke.

We haven't had any issues with the Traeger we have.

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Old 12-18-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

No issues.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Hop on over to pelletheads.com and you'll get a lot of info from Traeger owners, as well as a bunch of other grills. Some of the manufacturers monitor the site.

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Old 12-18-2011, 06:19 AM   #9
handoff
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

I would be happy with a 20 deg difference
But I've experience 100 plus differences
The other day 30 deg ambient, digital readout
37 deg switch on high and dome thermometer
Reading 405 deg frustrating I understNd opening the
Door while cooking like I said I've had a lil Tex 6 years
I only use hickory pellets I will check out the pellethesd site
Thanks I love cooking with traeger and am thinking it may
Be mechanical now so if having same trouble after installing
The third RTD warranty work may be next
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

To stabilize the temp in cold or windy conditions, I took a piece of that foil-laminated insulation that's used to wrap hot water heaters (it's like foil bubblewrap), and cut it to fit over the top. I clamp it to lift-handle, drape it over the top. Works good.

What doesn't work good is the hot-rods. I have to replace it almost twice a year, using the Lil' Tex 1 to 2 times per week. We even buy the American made hot rods.

I'd like a grill that was more reliable...
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyk View Post

I'd like a grill that was more reliable...
That is interesting. I bought mine the second year they came out (back in the 90's). Other than a re-paint, I've never had a single problem.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
That is interesting. I bought mine the second year they came out (back in the 90's). Other than a re-paint, I've never had a single problem.
Not surprising. If you look at all the various online forums it appears there is a strong correlation between the manufacturing site, USA vs. China. I have no evidence that the following is true but having been involved in numerous outsourcing to China efforts, I can tell you as a Quality/Reliability professional that I have not only observed but measured a significant difference in customer reported problems and a measureable increase in warranty costs for China vs. US manufactured products. One of the most significant contributors is that contract manufacturers regardless of country of origin have language in the contracts that allow the manufacturer to use parts that are specified in the Bill of Materials "or equivalent". What constitutes an equivalent part is not clearly defined in most cases. So if the contract manufacturer can find a part they deem equivalent and it is $.25 cheaper that $.25 goes into their pocket... not the company who is contracting them to manufacture the product. Needless to say, if they can substitute numerous parts that are cheaper they can increase their profit by a substantial amount. And they have NO increased expense when warranty/field costs go up, they are working on a fixed contract price to produce the product. The increased costs from increased field failures has to be absorbed by the parent company who is selling the products. The more insidious costs to the parent company is the slow errosion of customer satisfaction and their reputation for a quality product.
I personally believe that the objective evidence supports this is exactly what is happening with traeger... one opinion from a 30+ year quality professional, take it for what it's worth.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Here is some info I found concerning the Traegar thermostat.

NOTE: Always start your grill in SMOKE mode with lid open and if you are going to use SMOKE mode, don't even think about shutting it for at least 10 minutes, unless you want a huge temperature overshoot from your target. Give it time to burn the excess fuel from the firepot.

There are 3 modes the controller operates in:

1. Start-up mode.
2. Smoke mode.
3. Thermostat mode.

Start-up Mode - This occurs every time the switch is turned away from OFF. The controller goes through a start-up cycle routine which lasts 4 minutes. The igniter, fan and auger are energized, for 4 minutes continuously.

At the end of this 4 minute start-up cycle, the controller goes into SMOKE mode (with auger at rest), as that is where you started it. Of course the igniter shuts off, the auger shuts off for an adjustable period, depending on P-setting and of course the fan continues to run until the unit is shut off.

Smoke mode. The auger runs 15 seconds (always) and is at rest for a period determined by your P-setting. Default is P-2. P-2 results in auger running for 15 seconds and resting for 65 seconds, on for 15 seconds, resting for 65 ........... Increasing the P-setting to P-3 will change the rest time to 75 seconds, P-4 to 85 seconds.........P-9 to 135 seconds. P-1 yields rest period of 55 seconds and P-0, 45 seconds. This is what determines the temperature of the pit. The thermometer and DTR do not come into play in smoke mode. Control of the unit is controlled by the timing routine only. To lower the pit temperature, raise the P-setting and of course to raise the pit temperature, lower the P-setting. You're simply changing the fuel rate the auger delivers.

Thermostat mode - This is where the thermometer and DTR probe enter into the equation. One thing you must keep in mind is that the smoke mode timing routine is running in the background and operating at the same timing as running in smoke mode.

Control works the same at any temperature setting. Let's use 225* to explain how it works there. Your pit is running in smoke mode at ~170*. You turn the dial to 225*, at that point the auger starts to run and runs continuously until the display indicates 225*. At that point the auger ceases, and the controller returns to it's smoke routine, starting with the auger resting. As long as the temperature on the display remains above 222*, the controller continues to run in the smoke mode. Think of it as being in maintenance mode, in other words keeping the fire alive.

When the temperature drops to 222* (target minus 3*), smoke mode is deactivated and the auger energizes and runs until the target temperature is reached (225*). At this point the controller returns to smoke mode (auger in rest mode initially) to maintain the fire. And the process continues.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
To lower the pit temperature, raise the P-setting and of course to raise the pit temperature, lower the P-setting. You're simply changing the fuel rate the auger delivers.

One word of caution, you could end up putting out the fire in the pot, lose your smoke and eventually fill your Traeger with pellets. That could lead to a large fire if you don't confirm that everything is cleaned out before starting up again. In the early fall, I was able to increas mine to a setting of 5 in order to lower the smoke temp to where it bottomed out at 145F and peaked at 155F.

Setting the P setting higher lower (0 or 1) will shorten the lag time that dons2346 noted and should help reduce the swing in temps on a cool day.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:31 AM   #15
cptdarel
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

lot of pellet info at Pellethead dot com forum, here is some p info.

Smoke Setting Auger Timing

P-0 15 sec on 45 sec off
P-1 15 sec on 55 sec off
P-2 15 sec on 65 sec off
P-3 15 sec on 75 sec off
P-4 15 sec on 85 sec off
P-5 15 sec on 95 sec off
P-6 15 sec on 105 sec off
P-7 15 sec on 115 sec off
P-8 15 sec on 125 sec off
P-9 15 sec on 135 sec off

When you set the controller to a specific temp the auger runs continuously until that temp is reached. Then the controller goes into smoke mode based on the above table. When the grill's temperature drops 3 degrees below target temperture, the auger will run until the setpoint is again reached.

When the 225 controller reaches the set temp it starts the smoke mode with 15 sec on. That's why it has such large temp swings. Example P-2 on 15 sec - off 65 sec.

When the new 180 controller reaches the set temp it starts the smoke mode with the off setting. Example P-2 Off 65 sec - on 15 sec.

Manual for the 180 Digital Controller (BAC227)
Manual for the 225 Digital Controller (BAC233)
Discussion of the 180 controller on Pelletheads
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Um.....

What is "p"?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

P is the the time the auger feeds then turns off allowing the pellets to burn. P-0 will give you high temps P-9 more of a smoke setting.



Smoke Setting Auger Timing

P-0 15 sec on 45 sec off
P-1 15 sec on 55 sec off
P-2 15 sec on 65 sec off
P-3 15 sec on 75 sec off
P-4 15 sec on 85 sec off
P-5 15 sec on 95 sec off
P-6 15 sec on 105 sec off
P-7 15 sec on 115 sec off
P-8 15 sec on 125 sec off
P-9 15 sec on 135 sec off

When you set the controller to a specific temp the auger runs continuously until that temp is reached. Then the controller goes into smoke mode based on the above table. When the grill's temperature drops 3 degrees below target temperture, the auger will run until the setpoint is again reached.

When the 225 controller reaches the set temp it starts the smoke mode with 15 sec on. That's why it has such large temp swings. Example P-2 on 15 sec - off 65 sec.

When the new 180 controller reaches the set temp it starts the smoke mode with the off setting. Example P-2 Off 65 sec - on 15 sec.



The problem with the cold temperatures is that the heat loss is greater than what the controller can handle which at least from what I have learned causes the large temp swings.

Seal your lid I noticed an immediate difference after doing this and it keeps more smoke in the BBQ.


I placed fire bricks in the bottom similar to the picture below to help stabilize temps.

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Old 12-19-2011, 07:53 AM   #18
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

just remember these four things

1. outside temp will effect grill somewhat ,

2. the higher the number the less pellets will drop in hopper,
3. the lower the number the more pellets will drop

4. also keep grill clean ie:firebox JMO

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Like others have said Pelletheads is a great place to get a ton of info on Traegers and other brands as well.

Some pretty cool mods.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:02 PM   #20
handoff
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Update on problem new rtd installed and I'm cooking
Meatloaf and 4 bake potatos switch is set at 350 and digital display
Is between 345-355 took a week to get the part but that's ok
And I'm using 1year old pellets last bag outside temp 38
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #21
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Great news old wood is still reat tasty
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:11 PM   #22
cptdarel
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by handoff View Post
Update on problem new rtd installed and I'm cooking
Meatloaf and 4 bake potatos switch is set at 350 and digital display
Is between 345-355 took a week to get the part but that's ok
And I'm using 1year old pellets last bag outside temp 38
Is that with the new digital 180* controller, from what i read the new one has a hole in the front to change the P settings.
from what im reading on pelletheads, the Traeger controller is a poor design, why do you have to keep playing with settings, make it once make it right. there is an aftermarket controller in the works right now for a Traeger, much more stable than the traegers unit.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptdarel View Post
Is that with the new digital 180* controller, from what i read the new one has a hole in the front to change the P settings.
from what im reading on pelletheads, the Traeger controller is a poor design, why do you have to keep playing with settings, make it once make it right. there is an aftermarket controller in the works right now for a Traeger, much more stable than the traegers unit.
That unit is already available.

It's called the Ortech controller and it's on my short list of things I really need.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:22 AM   #24
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The Ortech is on my to buy list for next month.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:54 AM   #25
handoff
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I believe my problems have been with the RTD or combination
If it's mechanical I can fix it, electronics
I'm lost, I'll defiantly look at the new controller
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #26
cptdarel
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Default Re: Traeger problems anyone else

the one I'm referring to is the Savannah Stoker, guess pelletheads make it??

mods this is only a like for reference
http://blog.plein.org/2011/12/12/sav...k-start-guide/
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