How to troubleshoot hotrod

oregontrail

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I'm on my 3rd hotrod in 3 weeks. The first one died in about a week. The next two never worked. The 2nd one was a knock-off, but the third one is a traeger brand. Any ideas? Where should I start troubleshooting? Thanks!
 

ronnasboy

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one thing to check: there is a second plug to the hot rod inside the tube, and it is possible to unplug that if you pull on the wires under the hopper hooking it up. Make sure both plugs are well connected. to change the hot rod, you usually need to loosen the tie-wrap under the hopper on the two little white wires going to the hot-rod to be able to pull the hidden plug into the grill. If you pull to hard on them putting a new tie-wrap on, you can unplug the hot rod again. Tape that connection inside the tube.
 
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oregontrail

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So are you saying downstream from where the hotrod plugs in (purple connector) check the next connector as well? The model of my Traeger is BBQ400.04, I believe it was only sold at Costco. Does anyone know if I can troubleshoot this issue with a meter?
 

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ronnasboy

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I have a Gen 1 Timberline 1300, so I can't say for sure they are all the same, but my own experience: Traeger sent me a new controller, because with trying to re-program the Wifire, the whole thing died. to replace the controller, you HAVE to drop the panel under the hopper, which Traeger never tells you. the wires over to the hotrod (yes, you are right, purple/white) are tightly tie-wrapped under the hopper. to replace the controller, you have to release all the tie-wraps, and then hook them up again, to keep the fan from hitting them under the hopper. HOWEVER, what I did was pull on the purple/white wire to get enough slack to install the new controller. when it was all back together, it didn't light, because he hotrod was "dead". When I unhooked the firepot/hot rod assembly and pulled it out into the pit, I found another purple/white connection in the middle of the tube that had become unplugged because I had pulled on it. unless you release all the tie-wraps in the purple/white wires, there will be tension on that connection, which s buried it the tube, and may cause it to become unplugged. Once I found it, I taped it so that it wouldn't happen again. have not seen Traeger even mention this, but it s obviously to make it easier to replace/install the hot/rod-fire pot.
 

ronnasboy

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I am looking at the pictures that yo sent.
After that quick connect from purple/white to two white heat resistant white wires: the 2 white wires will go up into the tube, going to the hot rod/fire pot. there is another quick connect plug in the middle of the tube for those 2 white heat resistant wires going to the hot rod/ fire pot. Make sure it's not unplugged.
 

ronnasboy

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unscrew the thumbscrews holding the firepot down, and pull out the firepot/hot rod like you were changing out the firepot. this should let you know if the wire is hooked up. to be sure, loosen up the purple/white wires under the hopper to make sure there is no tension on the wires when you try to pull the firepot into the center of the grill
 

ronnasboy

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by the way you, or somebody else, asked about using a meter to test the hot rod. Basically, it is nothing more than a fancy light bulb: if it's working, you should read resistance. (I'm not sure exactly how much, but it shouldn't matter--it's either on or off). If it's open (no resistance) it's either unplugged or no good
 
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oregontrail

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Thanks for all the info! But my hotrod, plugs directly into the purple connector and then you thread it directly to the firepot and the thumbscrews. There is no connector to come loose in between.
 

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