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Traeger Auger Jammed With Wet Pellets? (Here’s Why)

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Traeger auger jammed with wet pellets

If your Traeger is jammed, it is most likely due to wet pellets.

Very rarely, an outside object, like a screw, will somehow wind up in the pellet hopper, but this is unusual. 

How do you un-jam an auger on a Traeger?

There are several steps to clear a jammed augur on a Traeger.

A youtube video by Traeger customer service provides detailed instructions, which are summarized below: 

You will need a Phillips and a regular screw driver, as well as a 7/64” allen wrench key, and a pipe wrench.

You may also want to have a set of pliers and some tool which has a flat edge on it to clean out the jam.

A hammer claw might work, but a small pry bar or putty scraper might also serve well.

You will also want to have a shop vac to clear out the debris in the firepot and hopper.

The pellet hopper is located on the right side of the Traeger.

This will need to be removed to gain access to the grill itself.

First, the controller must be removed from the door.

The controller is held on by two screws, top and bottom.

Unscrew these.

There is no need to remove the controller completely by pulling out the wires.

Rather, set it gently inside the mounting hole it came out of, so that it is protected from being bumped or damaged.

Next, the hopper needs to be removed.

There are four screws which connect it to the body of the grill.

Two are in the front, and two in the back.

When the last screw is removed, be sure to provide some support to the bottom of the hopper, so that it does not fall off.

Lift it up gently and pull it out.

As you pull, the controller will be pulled through the body of the hopper and out.

It will hang by its wiring, but this shouldn’t be a problem.

The augur is now accessible and can be cleared. 

The shear pin connects the augur motor to the augur shaft.

Use the pliers to hold the nut in place, and use the allen wrench to unscrew the bolt from the shaft.

Take the motor off and set it aside.

A bushing covers the augur shaft.

This may be either a regular flat head or a Phillips screw.

The augur shaft should be able to turn.

Very wet pellets can hold it tightly in place.

If you are unable to turn it by hand, you will need to use the pipe wrench to turn it.

Keep turning the augur until you have pulled it out completely from the hopper.

Once the augur is out of the augur shaft, you can use your flat tool to start clearing the pellets and debris from the hopper.

Sometimes, you can use the augur to drill the debris out. Simply move it into and out of the shaft, using the point to help clear the pellets.

Clear up the debris in the fire pot and hopper with a vacuum cleaner.

Once the augur shaft and fire pot are cleaned out, reassemble everything by reversing the steps above.

Why does my Traeger keep jamming?

Pellets will hold moisture and expand, like little sponges.

The pellets will bind together as they expand, and prevent the augur from turning properly.

As a result, the augur will jam and stop delivering pellets into the fire box.

Eventually, the fire will go out, and the grill will begin to shut down. 

Pellets must be stored in a dry place and must never be allowed to come in contact with any moisture.

A sealed container like a plastic tub could be a handy way to store bags of pellets before they are used.

Similarly, the grill should be kept in a sheltered place so that rain and snow cannot get into or be blown into the hopper.

What do you do when your Traeger gets wet?

You can use a Traeger grill in the rain, but you need to remember some key points.

The control panel is designed to be somewhat water-resistant, but water-resistant is not water-proof.

It is an electronic item, and can be damaged if exposed to water for a long period of time. Also, the grill is made of steel and can rust if exposed to moisture over time.

If the grill gets wet, you should dry it properly. However, do not close the lid on it right away.

That will trap the moisture inside the grill so it cannot evaporate properly. Instead, wipe up all the visible moisture with a towel.

Then leave the grill open for at least two hours for any remaining moisture to evaporate.

Cover the grill with a grill cover to prevent any more water damage.

As a rule, it is better to use the grill on a dry day.

However, if you must grill in rain or snow, you should look for a protected place not exposed to the weather, or a shelter such as a porch or pavilion that is not exposed to the rain.

Final Thoughts

A Traeger is designed to be used in any climate or environment, but the weather will affect its performance.

A wet grill can lead to wet pellets, pellets jamming in the augur, and temperature issues.

If you do use a Traeger grill in bad weather, a little thought before hand and a little care afterwards can make sure that it is able to go on providing excellent grilling service to you indefinitely,.