My Traeger continually trips the GFCI, how to fix?

kb5zue

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Location
Fortuna, CA.
Grill
Trager Grill #BBQ07C.03
We have a Traeger grill Model #BBQ07C.03 with Serial #07C.03BBQ-1503-XY-02474. The grill has been working great in the past but today we went out to fire it up and it trips the GFCI. I used some of my tools to verify it was not the break and thru process of elimination determined the GFCI is fine and that the grill has a problem. Now I'm not an electrician by any means but I can tell the difference between a black, red, or white wire and I know how to read a voltmeter.

My family and I would really appreciate it if someone could give me someplace to look for a problem. I'm a 70 year old veteran and money is tight living on my V.A. pension, so, if I can fix it myself or need to purchase some part like the igniter or something I don't mind doing the work myself.

Really appreciate any ideas that you folks might have.

Thanks,

Dan
 
Friend of mine owns a different brand grill and has this issue every couple years. Each time replacing the igniter/hot rod fixes the issue. I don’t hear it much on heat but some brands seem to go through igniters every couple seasons.
 
I am an electrician and I would start by opening up everything and isolating each component. Might be as simple as a bad cord.
 
It could be a bad cord, a bad power switch, a bad controller, or a bad component. I had mine trip when a rain squall occurred during a cook. Water got into the connector between the power cord and an extension cord I was using to reach the power outlet. You also might have an issue if the power cord is not securely plugged into the bottom of the hopper.

Try to disconnect all of the wires from the controller going to the auger, fan and hot rod. Be sure the power cord is unplugged while you are doing this. I would highly suggest taking a picture of the controller connections before disconnecting wires to make sure you reconnect them properly. Then plug the power back in. If the GFCI does not trip you know it is not the power cord or switch. Now turn the controller on. If the GFCI does not trip, the controller is good. Now, one at a time, plug in the wires going to the auger motor, fan motor, and hot rod. Make sure you unplug the power cord before reconnecting any wire. When the GFCI trips as soon as you turn power back, you will have identified the offending part.

The hot rod is considered a consumable, consumer-replaceable part. You can usually find replacements locally at Ace Hardware and Home Depot locations or online.
 
Any update on diagnosing the problem?
 
I am trying to take it apart now. Unfortunately, I filled the pellet box before I realized I had a problem. My wife has given me the deadline of the 4th of July to get it fixed. Cross your fingers.
 

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