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Auger jam?

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    Auger jam?

    Hey folks,
    I ran into a problem with my relatively new OG shutting down in mid-cook. The fire goes out after reaching temp of 300 or so. I think it’s the auger jamming.
    I’ve been vacuuming the fire pot and area under the drip pan after each cook.
    I’ve read some sift pellets to remove dust and small pellet fragments to avoid this.
    Do you recommend doing this?
    Thank you-

    #2
    I don't have a pellet grill, but I used to have a pellet stove for heating. Dust would build up in the bottom of the hopper and prevent the auger from picking up the pellets. I'd have to hand remove the pellets in the hopper and vacuum out the chute opening. I eventually solved the problem by going with a stickburner, so to speak!

    I might add, that after the first few times of having to dig out the pellets, i learned that it was easier to prevent by occasionally letting the stove run out of pellets and then vacuum before the build up got to the point it wouldn't pick up pellets.
    Last edited by ComfortablyNumb; January 3, 2021, 04:11 AM.

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      #3
      Personally if my auger stopped feeding during the middle of a cook while loaded with pellets when its relatively new, I’d be on the phone with the manufacturer. You might have an issue more than dust and I’d want to establish a history of issues for any future warranty coverage.

      I store my pellets in 5 gallon buckets. When I open a new bag to pour into a bucket I always make sure that any crumbles or dust in the bottom stays in the bottom of the bag and gets thrown away.

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        #4
        When I first read the title, I thought auger jam sounds disgusting but then I realized you were talking about pellets jamming in the auger...

        Comment


        • IowaGirl
          IowaGirl commented
          Editing a comment
          I was trying to figure out what "auger fruit" was and how a person would make jam from it. And wondering why it was mentioned in a thread here on AR -- like maybe is it tasty in BBQ sauce?

        #5
        you can sift pellets if you want, but I only do it when I get a bag full of exceptionally dusty pellets. Sounds more like the brand of pellets you are using might be too long or too hard for the Grilla or there is something wrong with the auger.

        You say it's happening around 300, if this is multiple times it's doing this... to me that suggests it might be the auger or auger tube warping from the heat and not a pellet issue... also something I've never seen a Grilla owner complain about so definitely not normal. I'd get Grilla on the horn and ask them, they have great tech support.

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          #6
          Thank you friends

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            #7
            I haven't heard of this issue. I have more issues with temperature spikes caused by excessive pellet fines (I think). I don't sift the pellets until I get to the very end of the bag. Also I only scoop from the bag to add pellets to the hopper instead of pouring directly from the bag.

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            • DrJimmy2112
              DrJimmy2112 commented
              Editing a comment
              Good idea.

            #8
            I had this problem with a Traeger, and I ended up dismantling the thing to clean it out. Since yours is new, I agree with giving Grilla a call. They are good folks and I am sure they will straighten it out for you.

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              #9
              Thank you folks. There has been several odd issues with this of late. It is less than a month old. First several cooks went well, all lower temps about 300 degrees. First sign of anything amiss was it sitting down abruptly, as if the electricity was shut off. Power indicator on the display was completely dark. This has happened a few times during warm up phase. Each time the power at the outlet was fine. I would restart ignition and try again.
              Then on a cold (10 deg F) evening, NY Eve, we wanted to try out the pizza stone for homemade pizzas. I set the temp for 450 degrees, waited for what seemed like hours, and it could not get over 305 degrees. Perhaps the cold ambient temps were too much for the fire, I have no prior experience with pellet grills so maybe that is the best it can do. Had to resort to the kitchen oven to salvage dinner.
              Now the fire goes out intermittently. Argh. I cleaned and vaccumed out the fire pot and chamber below the drop pan after each cook. So while I have had some very nice cooks, I have had multiple very frustrating experiences.
              I will reach out to Grilla and try to get some help. Thank you all for your advice. And jokes.

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                The Grilla should have no issue reaching 450F, even in cold outdoor temperatures. You may have a controller or auger issue. I would have called Grilla myself, or emailed them, after the first incident. They have some of the most responsive customer service I've ever seen, and I was just emailing them pre-sales type questions when considering a purchase a couple of years ago. The OG is on my wish list some day, based on their responsiveness.

              • jerrybell
                jerrybell commented
                Editing a comment
                I think the same as jfmorris, the cooker should not have an issue getting to that temperature. You'll consume more pellets to hold that temp than you would if outside temperature was 90, but hitting the temp should not be an issue. It sure sounds like you have a bad controller if the display is blinking out in the middle of a cook. Is this plugged into a gfi outlet? I seem to recall someone having issues with some device, maybe not a cooker, and it was related to a gfi outlet.

              • DrJimmy2112
                DrJimmy2112 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes there I run it thru the GFI outlet but it has never tripped, so that's not the issue.
                Calling Grilla tomorrow. Thanks folks. My first response is always to question my own user error.

              #10
              Follow up - I called Grilla. They think it is the RTD internal temp probe, and are sending me a replacement probe. If anyone is interested I can post follow up on how that works out.

              Comment


              • MBMorgan
                MBMorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                Please do! As a (very happy) OG owner, I follow such things.

              #11
              Yes please keep us posted. As a fellow pellet cooker user I would be very interested in the outcome. They all work more or less the same so all info is helpful.

              Comment


                #12
                Will do! Love this group, so helpful. Thanks folks!

                Comment


                • Baltimorelger
                  Baltimorelger commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Were you able to sort it all out? Hope your back in the saddle.

                #13
                Sorry for the late reply but here is the report from cheese land.
                I installed the RTD temp probe, which helped the issue with losing fire on start up a bit, but it still was quite slow to get to temp, and fire was struggling. So much back and forth with Grilla by email, in which I had to verify for them all the common sense steps I had taken thus far (good pellets, no saw dust, fire pot cleaned etc.). They said they would get back to me.
                Then I spent a few hours investigating and diagnosing on my own. I found that the drip pain was positioned quite close to the back edge of the vertical wall of the fire box chamber below it. It seemed to choke air flow inside the unit. So I slid the drip pan towards the front of the unit to allow better airflow. I also noticed that the lid closed quite tight when fully closed which seems to cause more back pressure, as the fan seemed to slow and struggle. So, I cracked the door open about an inch. Those two changes resulted in the OG getting up to temp much quicker. I close the door fully when target temp is reached.

                Grilla sent me a video that made several suggestions to work thru. This helped a lot. The problem with drip pan position was not among them, I had to discover that on my own. My last email to Matt at Grilla was to politely suggest that they inform customers of the possibility of having trouble with keeping the fire going caused by back pressure and the drip pan in a more up front way so future customers will avoid the frustrations that I went through.
                Last edited by DrJimmy2112; January 21, 2021, 09:43 PM.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Thanks for catching us up on your Grilla issues, DrJimmy2112 . Let us know how the next few cooks go for you.

                  I've heard such good things about the Grilla products and customer service, that it is on my list should I ever get a big enough push of MCS in the pellet-pooper direction. For that reason, I always pay close attention to Smoke Fire and Grilla posts.

                  Kathryn

                  Comment


                  • Soonerpop
                    Soonerpop commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, I monitor the Grilla posts as well for the same reason.  That MCS thing.  I’m about out of space on the patio, and I don’t THINK she’d kick me and all the cookers to the curb after 50+ years, but you never know. They have a showroom in Dallas now. I’m scared to go.

                  • DrJimmy2112
                    DrJimmy2112 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Will do!
                    Thank you for all the help and guidance here

                  #15
                  FOLLOW UP (LATE) -
                  Folks I thought I'd post a follow up on my OG in case of interest. In February I tried to do a cook that required 400 degrees on a not-too-cold 40-ish degree evening at the end of a long weekend and had a frustrating time.

                  I was trying to get to 400 degrees. At 120 or so, the fire died. I waited and made sure the door was open an inch, that the drip pain was positioned etc. After 10 minutes, fire reignited, and I got up to 390. It took quite a while, longer than I expected.

                  20 minutes later, after opening the door briefly to check on food, the temp dropped to 310. Thereafter, the temp would not increase despite all the tricks listed previously. Dinner which should have taken 15 minutes to finish struggled at 310-320 degrees for another 30-40 minutes before I gave up. I even tried to increase the set temp to 410 to see if that would work. There was fire visible thru the window the whole time, but it would not increase the temp.

                  That resulted in a very late dinner, a bad mood on my part, and a follow up email to the folks at Grilla.

                  Well, within a day the response from Grilla was to send a replacement OG.

                  I did a side by side run with the new vs the old one and there was a difference in time to temp, but as the problem with my initial unit was intermittent, I could not quite figure out why.

                  I sent the first unit back to the company. I asked to be informed if they figure out what the problem was (as I had been on a mission to do the same) but haven't heard yet. It would work fairly well unless set temps were > 325, then at times it would malfunction.

                  Bottom line - I have a replacement unit, at no cost. I was expecting them to send me a component such as the controller, and was surprised that they went thru the cost to send a whole new unit. Very impressive customer support.

                  The new unit works fine, as long as I stay in the strong suit of low and slow cooks. Many cooks including homemade bacon using Meathead's maple bacon recipe have gone well. I get impatient waiting for the cooker to get to > 325 F so don't use it for those occasions.

                  Can't say enough about how much Grilla stands behind their products.



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