Pro 780 bomb out

Meatwad

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I’ve had my Pro 780 for 10 months. I use it 5-6 nights a week and I clean it twice a week. It’s a staple cooker in our household. Tonight I got the flame-out explosion. The fire pit was filled to the brim with pellets and it wouldn’t ignite - and it caught on fire. I always do a Shutdown after every cook. Don’t know what happened. Using my Weber Kettle now. I’ve never seen this happen. I’m so on-top of cleaning/vacuuming and keeping the grill in tip-top shape.
 

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RealMenDIY

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That sucks, sorry. I’m hoping this day never comes for my 780.
 

Slimpicker

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Just another glitch added to the long Traeger list...
Sorry, hope it didn't damage anything

Did this happen during startup or did shutdown leave it full somehow???
 
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Meatwad

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Just another glitch added to the long Traeger list...
Sorry, hope it didn't damage anything

Did this happen during startup or did shutdown leave it full somehow???
Happened during startup. Got a Low Temp warning. The firebox kept filling with pellets until it caught fire. I took everything out and used tongs to pull the pellets out of the firebox. While they smoldered away I did a shutdown, cleaned and vacuumed. Will try again tonight.
 

RealMenDIY

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Wonder if it was an issue with your hotrod not igniting the pellets at first so it assumed it needed more pellets to get to temp?
 

Slimpicker

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At least tell Traeger about it...
Any chance your pellets got wet/damp?

Traeger is so picky about what we do cuz so many things can go wrong.... i even read you're not supposed to fart and press the 'ignite' button at the same time!!!
 
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RemE

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Failed start for sure, be sure to really clean around the hot rod. At 1 year mine was doing the slow start, then temp spike. Traeger support sent me a new firepot/hotrod assembly under warranty. Problem solved.
 

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My experience with shutdown, it stops the auger, let's the fire burn out, then at the very end of the cycle may pulse the auger to leave a spoonful of new pellets on the hotrod for the next ignition cycle. Traeger support said no, but I've checked a few times and always see some fresh pellets left after shutdown completes. I may open it up and watch just to verify.
 

RealMenDIY

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My experience with shutdown, it stops the auger, let's the fire burn out, then at the very end of the cycle may pulse the auger to leave a spoonful of new pellets on the hotrod for the next ignition cycle. Traeger support said no, but I've checked a few times and always see some fresh pellets left after shutdown completes. I may open it up and watch just to verify.
It def dumps a few into the pot at the end. Whenever I vacuum it out after shutdown there are always a dozen or so unburnt pellets in the pot.
 

davwhite

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I would suggest a clean out after every cook. Have a look at what's in the pot after one cook, imagine what it would be like after a couple.
 

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I have a brand new Timberline 1300. Have had it 3 weeks. @ my getaway house so have only used it three times. This flameout has already happened TWICE in 3 cook's. Both times smoked steaks on 165 with super smoke., then turned the thermostat to 375 to grill them. Kept dumping pellets. I could hear them falling., but no smoke and temp actually went down. Then TONS of white smoke and temp started going up rapidly. Opened the lid and nothing but smoke and a lot of fire in the back. Turned off the power and closed the lid to snuff the fire. When it finally went out I opened it up and looked. There were still flaming pellets scattered around the bottom of the grill, not just in the firepot. The firepot was almost 3/4 full with smoldering and half burned pellets.
I've talked to Traeger both times. No good answer. Think MAYBE it's a fan problem. Of course there are no service people within 100 miles of me. I told them I dont think I should have to lay on my back in 115 degree heat changing parts in a brand new grill.
Has anybody else had this problem?
I told them I think this thing is a fire hazard and they should send me a new one, but so far no luck on that one.
 

RemE

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I have a brand new Timberline 1300. Have had it 3 weeks. @ my getaway house so have only used it three times. This flameout has already happened TWICE in 3 cook's. Both times smoked steaks on 165 with super smoke., then turned the thermostat to 375 to grill them. Kept dumping pellets. I could hear them falling., but no smoke and temp actually went down. Then TONS of white smoke and temp started going up rapidly. Opened the lid and nothing but smoke and a lot of fire in the back. Turned off the power and closed the lid to snuff the fire. When it finally went out I opened it up and looked. There were still flaming pellets scattered around the bottom of the grill, not just in the firepot. The firepot was almost 3/4 full with smoldering and half burned pellets.
I've talked to Traeger both times. No good answer. Think MAYBE it's a fan problem. Of course there are no service people within 100 miles of me. I told them I dont think I should have to lay on my back in 115 degree heat changing parts in a brand new grill.
Has anybody else had this problem?
I told them I think this thing is a fire hazard and they should send me a new one, but so far no luck on that one.
These are not super complex machines, once the glowplug/hotrod gets the fire going, the fire is maintained by feeding pellets into the fire while monitoring the temperature. They can vary the air flow and pellet feed rate.

If the grill is messing up I would check the following things;
1- Air flow, I would really clean the firepot, make sure that the hotrod is clear of all debris and that the air holes in the pot are clear. Personally, I would look under the hopper at least once to make sure that nothing was obstructing the fan intake. Does the fan sound like a normal blower? If you did have to change it, the process is about 5-10 min, super easy. But if it sounds normal it's not the fan, as long as the air passages aren't restricted.

2- Fuel, I'd make sure that the pellets were fresh, no swelling or crumbly looking ones. What pellets did you use? Was there any possibility of moisture involvement?

3- Firmware, Do you have current software? They have improved startup performance and general operation with the latest version.

It's certainly not normal to overfill the firepot to the point of them blowing out! I've never seen that. If I did see a big overtemp spike, I would press and hold the power button to invoke shutdown, this halts the auger and keeps the fan running to burn up the pellets.

I would clean the grill and run it with no food, to just go thru different temperature settings and observe its behavior.

Let's see what happens.
 

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Thanks for the reply:
1) fan sounds like it is working ok, and possibly part of the problem, since it somehow blew flaming pellets out of the firepot into the rest of the grill. Had to actually turn the power off to the grill, since the fan just exaggerated the problem by fanning the fire.
2) pellets were new Traeger Gourmet Blend, which come in a resealable plastic bag. Also, I'm in Palm Springs, where the temperature has been 115 and the humidity super low, so I don't think there is a moisture problem.
3) this is a brand new grill direct from Traeger. I'm sure the firmware is as new as it gets.
4) the grill was completely clean both times. Just vacuumed with a Shopvac.
Running it with no food was Traegers suggestion when it happened the first time. So I ran it through three 30 minute cycles and it was perfect each time. It seems to be something involving the switchover from Supersmoke to regular grilling. I have had a generation one Timberline 1300 for over 3 years and have never had this problem with that one. I buy the Timberline for the size and the supersmoke function, so this so far has been a huge disappointment.
 

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I think it maybe a software glich in timing any re-ignition which needs to occur when switching modes, since it seems to pour an excessive amount of pellets into the firepot before igniting them
 

RemE

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I think it maybe a software glich in timing any re-ignition which needs to occur when switching modes, since it seems to pour an excessive amount of pellets into the firepot before igniting them
There is no re-ingnition, once the fire is started, the hotrod is turned off for the duration of the cook. From there on the controller manages the pellet feed and fan to hold the set temperature.

Attach a photo of the "about grill" info in the settings menu. No guarantee that current software shipped since these ship from China. Current version just came out so it's likely that current units are not current on software.

Something "fooled" the controller into feeding too many pellets. It saw a grill temp below the set temp and fed pellets. There is always a delay in set temp and when the grill achieves the setting. Wind can mess with things if really strong. Signature pellets in Palm Springs should be happy.

I go from 185 to higher temps in steps, to help the controller cope. Try 200, then 300, let it settle a bit.

I doubt that the fan can be too strong, but once the pot over filled, stuff happened.
 

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So if I understand it, the supersmoke feature is just a software setting to slow the fan down or keep it off to keep more smoke inside the grill. I know my Gen 1 automatically cancels it when the temp is set higher than 225, but honestly I haven't looked at it on this one. I just know that it seems like the fire goes out temporarily when I make the temperature switch, because the temp actually drops to begin with, and then there are too many pellets in the firepot by the time it gets going again. If I have to do all these temperature changes in "baby steps" it becomes a real pain in the butt and i might as well go back to micromanaging a charcoal grill
 

RemE

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Right, super smoke is just a software cycle that cycles the fan to make a less efficient burn that makes more smoke, while maintaining set temp. It still cancels at over 225F.

The controller is "supposed" to never let the fire go out. It is supposed to also manage big temp setting changes. My Timberline used to badly overshoot when I set high Temps. With the latest firmware T2.00.03, I tested by setting temp to 450F and pressed Ignite. The grill fired up and gently rose to the set temp.

Let's get your software version and update if needed as this looks like a firmware issue.
 

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I think that's the firmware its running but I'll check when I get back there this weekend. Going to try a few test cycles starting with supersmoke. Want to be able to create a cook program to just run supersmoke at 165 for an hour, with a kick up to 375 and a probe alarm for 125. Then I can just put the steaks on and forget them, but I don't want to have to worry about the whole thing, and the pergola, going up in flames.
 

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Forgot I took pictures. This is what it looked like about ten minutes later, when it had cooled down enough to take a look.20200828_183915.jpg20200828_183912.jpg20200828_185007.jpg20200828_185000.jpg
 

RemE

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Interesting, I've had Traegers for almost 10 years and have never seen pellets blown out of the pot. In the end it may turn out to be a bad controller.

From what I see, I bet that the grill would have stabilized eventually. The Timberlines are such heavy gauge steel, and double walled, so I have no fears that they could ever burn up and cause a fire. If the internal temp goes much over 500 the grill will auto shut down, and that small pot of pellets isn't going to do anything but burn out.

The T0.00.03 firmware was rolled out only a couple of weeks ago. I had to leave my grill plugged in and on standby for about a week to get the firmware, and a couple of days more to get the latest config file.

I may be wrong on this but I believe that the latest app and firmware ditched the programmed cooking sequences. I never used them so no loss for me, I do use the app all the time to adjust the grill.

I added a Fireboard2 6 channel WiFi temperature monitor, it has excellent needle probes, and a grate temp probe, coupled with a killer app with temp graphs. I now adjust the grill temp based on the Fireboard's readings.
 

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