The last thing you want to see on the control panel of your pellet grill/smoker is an error code. However, due to how pellet grills work and the number of components involved, from time to time, things can go wrong. Understanding what the codes on your pellet grill/smoker actually mean is obviously vital. Products from Green Mountain Grills (GMG) are no different. So let’s go through all the error codes you may come across on any GMG pellet grill/smoker and how to correct the problem to get you going again, let’s begin…
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Introduction To Green Mountain Grill Error Codes
Green Mountain Grills (GMG) have been offering pellet grills since 2008, nearly as long as I’ve been in the pellet game. There are three sizes of GMG pellet grill/smoker, which were originally branded as the Davy Crockett, the Daniel Boon and the large unit, the Jim Bowie.
A couple of years ago, GMG rebranded their products as the Trek (Davy Crockett), the Ledge (Daniel Boon) and the Peak (Jim Bowie). I’ve never actually gotten around to asking GMG what the reason was for the rebranding. I suspect it was because GMG now sells in other markets outside of the US, and the previous product names were US-centric.
On some GMG models, there are also different grades from Choice to Prime models, with Prime models featuring WiFi and a few other improvements. When it comes to error codes, no matter the name/grade of the GMG pellet grill/smoker, the same codes apply.
FAL: Failure to Ignite or Firmware Update Failure
There are two potential meanings for the FAL error code on your GMG pellet grill. Either the fire failed to be established, or there was an issue during the firmware update process.
First, let’s discuss a potential failure to ignite issue, which could be due to a couple of potential problems.
- Does the hopper have pellets in it? (obvious one to start)
- Is the auger able to feed pellets into the burn pot?
- Is the burn pot full of ash covering the hot rod igniter?
So first off, make sure the burn pot is clean of a build-up of ash. If there is excessive ash in the base of the burn pot, this can insulate the hot rod igniter from the incoming pellets, which means a fire cannot be established.
To do this, you will have to remove all the cooking grates, grease tray and heat deflector to get to the burn pot. Once its clean through don’t put those components back in, you now want to see if the auger is able to feed the burn pot with pellets, after you check the hopper actually has pellets in it obviously.
Potential Auger Jam/Blockage
Auger blockages on pellet grills/smokers are not an uncommon issue, especially if rain previously got into the hopper and caused the pellets to expand and create an auger jam. Therefore, if you don’t see pellets dropping into the burn pot on start-up, you’ll need to investigate further.
Now, unlike most other pellet grill/smoker brands, when an auger jam occurs, and you have the ‘fun’ time of removing the auger on a GMG, you potentially won’t have to, as per the video above.
GMG fits powerful DC motors to their pellet grills, and the connection between the auger and motor is stronger than on several other brands of pellet grill. Therefore, as shown in the video above, the auger motor itself can potentially clear through an auger blockage/jam.
Hot Rod Igniter Failure
So you have pellets in the hopper, the auger is working properly, and you have cleaned the burn pot. Before you put all the cooking grates etc back in, start up your GMG where you can still see the burn pot.
During the start-up procedure, you want to see if the hot rod is getting, you know, hot. If not, its obviously not going to be able to start the fire, and it will need to be replaced.
Now, the installation process of the hot rod igniter will change a little depending on your specific GMG model/how old it is, as discussed in the video above. What the video also discusses is how you can manually start a pellet grill fire if you don’t have a new igniter to hand.
Firmware Update Failure
The last scenario that can lead to the FAL error code is a firmware update failure. This can either be caused by the name or password of your WiFi network being incorrect, or you are simply outside of WiFi range.
NFD/NoFD: No Food Found
An NFD error code (NoFD on the Davy Crockett/Trek) meaning No Food Found must surely be an interesting one to get with a grill full of food. However, really it just comes down to two potential issues.
First, check that the food probe is fully inserted into the port of the control panel. If its only part way in the control panel knows its there but doesn’t have a full circuit to actually read the probe, leading to the NFD error code.
However, if you checked that your food probe is fully inserted and you are still getting the NFD error code, well unfortunately, that means you have a broken probe, and you’ll need to source a replacement.
SEN: Sensor Failure or Overheat
The SEN error code has another potential dual meaning, just like the FAL error code above. A SEN error code can either mean the RTD temperature probe has failed or your GMG pellet grill/smoker has overheated.
First, let’s discuss the overheating situation, it means that the internal temperature inside your GMG pellet grill exceeded 600 degrees around the RTD temperature probe. What could have caused such a high temperature? Well, if it happened, you would know about it, most likely a grease fire.
Grease fires most likely happen on pellet grills with a dirty grease tray when direct-flame access is being used. You can only get direct-flame access on a GMG by ordering a separate grease tray that allows it, specifically because GMG (rightly) wants to make owners aware of the grease fire risk.
If you managed to get a greasefire on your GMG without direct-flame access you must have had a really dirty grease tray. Therefore to avoid an overheating issue/SEN error code please clean your grease tray more regularly.
RTD Probe/Thermal Sensor Failure
If you didn’t have a grease fire and you know your GMG didn’t overheat that means there is an issue with your RTD temperature probe which sits inside the cooking chamber and it needs to be replaced.
RTD stands for (Resistance Temperature Detector), however GMG in their literature simply describe it as a ‘Thermal Sensor’. RTD probe/Thermal Sensor they are the same thing, it works by passing an electrical current through a thin wire inside the sensor.
The warmer the sensor gets the harder it is for the electrical current to pass through it. The control panel can then read the changes in electrical current and give that as a temperature reading.
So to fix the SEN error code you are going to need a replacement thermal sensor. Now, its easy to get hold of pellet grill/smoker parts on sites such as Amazon etc.
However, you need to be careful, make sure you are getting an RTD/thermal sensor designed for GMG products. They are not the same as RTD probes which are used on Traeger, Pit Boss and Camp Chef products etc.
PGA: Control Board Failure
The worst error code to come across on your GMG pellet grill is PGA as unfortunately this means you will need to replace your control board. How much that’s going to cost no only obviously depends on where you source it from but do you need a control board with WiFi? If so it will cost you more.
Additional Davy Crockett/Trek Error Codes
The GMG Davy Crockett/Trek is one of the most popular portable pellet grills currently on the market. Therefore, if you do own a GMG, there is a high likely hood its a Davy Crockett/Trek.
Well, there are a couple of additional error codes that you may come across…
OUL: Electrical Short
This indicates there is a poor connection/damaged wire on either the hopper or combustion fan which needs to be investigated/resolved. Or the OUL error code can be caused by an excessive amount of dust on the back of the control panel.
E01, E02 or E04: Power Overload/Intemitment Power
All of these error codes relate to the same issue a power overload, sometimes due to an unstable power supply. E01 is a fan motor overload, E02 is an auger motor overload and E04 is an igniter overload.
Now, an itemittment source of power can cause these error codes, and that’s where the cord lock below can potentially help to address this issue.
E08: Low Voltage
If you are seeing the E08 error code it means your Davy Crockett/Trek is not receiving 12 volts of DC power. Hence, if you are running the pellet grill from a battery and its getting low on power.
Check out my article on portable power for pellet grills to look into various options/solutions if you are finding you need a more stable source of power that will last longer etc.
Seriously Consider Cord Lock For Your GMG Pellet Grill/Smoker
As a GMG owner I’m sure that you’re aware that your pellet grill/smoker works on 12V DC power, not 120V AC power. There are various benefits to running on 12V DC power, such as more powerful auger motors etc and more flexibility when sourceing power when out and about, tailgating for instance.
However, when at home to power your GMG pellet grill/smoker from your houses electrical supply you are using the AC to DC inverter provided by GMG. As part of that setup there is a push connection adapter as part of the power cord.
Well, I’ve been informed by GMG owners that its easy to knock/trip over the power cable and for the push connection to either come apart completely or partly and create an unstable connection which can actually cause error codes.
Furthermore, loosing power in the middle of a cook is by no means ideal with a pellet grill/smoker and can create various issues. So what’s the solution to this problem? Well, its the Cord Lock.
My Final Thoughts On GMG Error Codes…
Compared to the extensive list of Traeger error codes or Pit Boss error codes, there are by no means as many GMG error codes. As such, with a GMG pellet grill you can have error codes such FAL & SEN which could potentially mean multiple things.
Therefore, when it comes to GMG error codes following the above info you have to be systematic when it comes to these error codes. The code meaning above narrows down the issue to a couple of components, then check each component in turn before purchasing replacements.
That’s it! I hope the above information on Green Mountain Grill error codes has been useful. I would also strongly recommend the Cord Lock above based on the advice I’ve received from GMG owners. For more articles please check out my Wood Pelelt Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂
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