Pellet grills/smokers, due to how they work provide a lot of time savings and convenience to the user. However, as all pellet grills are electric and are fitted with range of electrical components, occasionally, things can go wrong. Sometimes its due to user error (poor quality pellets, improper cleaning) however, sometimes, components just fail to work properly. With this article, I wanted to be able to direct every type of Traeger owner to a fix to their problem, whether you own a previous or current generation unit. Let’s begin!
Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Traeger Error Code Troubleshooting Introduction
Ok, so before you can find the solution to your particular Traeger error code you need to understand which type of Traeger control panel your particular pellet grill has.
If you have an older Traeger such as Pro Series Gen 1 it will have a control panel that looks like the one on the left in the image above. Traeger now refers to this as a ‘Non-WiFire Grill’ and they have their own set of error codes.
If you have a more recent Traeger such as a Pro Series Gen 2, Ironwood or Timberline Gen 1 you will have D2 control panel that looks like the one on the right in the image above. Traeger will generally refer to these as ‘WiFire Grills’
If you are still in any doubt about this, I have a separate article on which Traeger grills have WiFire. However, there is now a third possible scenario, if you have purchased a Timberline Gen 2, that grill uses its own control panel with, you guessed it, its own set of error codes.
Therefore, depending on which of the above is applicable to you, please click the links below which will jump the page to error codes applicable to your particular Traeger control panel.
- Non-WiFire Pellet Grill Error Codes & Fixes
- WiFire Pellet Grill Error Codes & Fixes
- Timberline Gen 2 Error Codes & Fixes
Non-WiFire Pellet Grill Error Codes & Fixes
The Traeger pellet grills/smokers where these error codes are applicable are their previous generation models, such as the Gen 1 Pro Series 22 or 34. However, there is also a selection of other models such as the Renegade and portable pellet grills such as Tailgater and Ranger/Scout.
The error codes you may see are associated with high and low temperature warnings, a bad connection in the control panel or, unfortunately, it may also be a sign the control panel itself needs replacing. Let’s begin.
HEr (High Error Reading)
Many people also commonly refer to this as the ‘High Temperature Error’. Essentially the pellet grill control panel believes the internal temperature inside the grill is beyond its safe operating condition (550°F).
If this is the case, once the HEr appears on the control panel, it will begin the shutdown cycle. In other words, the auger will stop feeding the fire with pellets, and fan will run for around 20 minutes to burn up all remaining fuel in the burn pot.
Why might the internal temperature inside the pellet grill have reached 550°F or above? Well, the most common cause would be a grease fire from insufficient/infrequent cleaning of the grease tray etc.
However, that might not always be the case, and the HEr error could be due to the grill not previously going through its complete shutdown cycle, maybe due to a power cut. The internal temperature probe (RTD sensor) may even be faulty.
I’ve provided a link below directly to the Traeger support pages on this particular issue so you can troubleshoot to find out the reason why your grill ended up displaying this error code.
LEr (Low Error Reading)
This issue is commonly referred to as the ‘Low Temperature Error’. In other words, it means the temperature inside the Traeger has been below 125°F for more than 10 minutes.
The most common cause of this particular issue is, you guessed it, the hopper ran out of pellets. However, if that is the issue, don’t think you can just fill up the hopper again and expect the pellet grill to continue. I’ve got an article on what to do if you ran out of pellets mid-cook.
However, if you have been using the smoke setting to get additional smoky flavour into your food, this is also a common reason why an LEr error may end up appearing eventually.
The reason is, on the smoke setting, a very small fire is being maintained in the burn pot smouldering away. Well, a strong gust of wind at the right angle can actually blow out the fire, leading to the LEr code.
If you’re going to try and cook on the smoke setting, you need to make sure your P-Setting (Pause Setting) is dialled in perfectly for your specific temperature/wind conditions. My linked article explains what the P-Setting is and how to adjust it if you have no idea what I’m on about.
When cooking in winter, you may also need to consider an insulated blanket to avoid the LEr issue. It’s also important to make sure you’re using good pellets with a high density and low dust/fines content.
Err, Er1 & Er2 (RTD Probe Issues)
Ok, so if you see either the Err or Er1 codes on your Traeger display, it means there is an issue with the RTD probe.
RTD stands for Resistance Temperature Detector, and its the tinny thin shiny metal pole you can see inside the cooking chamber. It reads the temperature inside the grill and tells the control panel that information.
Now, potentially, this issue/error code can be resolved by just tightening up the connection for the RTD probe on the back of the control panel; not a hard job, and it should be your first attempt to resolve the issue.
However, let’s say you have rechecked the RTD probe connection on the back of the control panel and you’re still getting the Err or Er1 error. Well, in that case, it means the RTD probe is faulty and it will need replacing.
If you are seeing the Er2 error it means that either the RTD probe is faulty or the issue could be with the control panel itself. As replacing an RTD probe is a much cheaper option, start there first.
However, if you install the new RTD probe and you’re still getting either the Err, Er1 or Er2 message well, then the issue is with the control panel, then you’ll want to check out the link below.
WiFire Pellet Grill Error Codes & Fixes
The error codes below relate to any Traeger pellet grill/smoker based on the D2 Direct-Drive platform and fitted with a D2 WiFire control panel. As stated above, that includes, for example, the Pro Series Gen 2 , Ironwood and Timberline Gen 1 products. However, there are a few others.
Now, as these are WiFire (WiFi/App enabled) pellet grills, there are potential issues which are applicable to how the grills operate, but there are also potentially separate issues with the WiFire app or WiFi/phone connectivity.
High Temp Error
In this scenario, the temperature inside the Traeger has exceeded 550ºF for more than just a couple of minutes. Hence, the internal temperature is significantly above the 500ºF maximum temperature setting.
If this error occurs, a Traeger WiFire grill will go through its shutdown cycle. The most likely causes of this issue are a grease fire within the grill or an excessive amount of pellets in the burn pot.
To correct this issue after the grill has completed its shut down process and is cool, you will need to remove all the internal components and clean the grease tray along with the fire pot.
Upon restart, if you still see the High Temp Error, you will need to go into the settings and clear the notification via the following Menu > Settings > Clear Notifications.
Low Temp Error
If your Traeger WiFire pellet grill runs at 120ºF or below for more than 10 minutes after the preheating process, then the Low Temp Error will display. It will eventually go into the shutdown cycle. However, it may actually try and reignite the fire first.
While this issue can be due to running out of pellets etc like the causes for the LEr error message on non-WiFire pellet grills, with WiFire pellet grills there can be more to the potential causes.
WiFire pellet grills are running a PID temperature algorithm, hence computer firmware is involved in maintaining and regulating the temperature inside the grill. If you are experiencing the Low Temp Error you should check your grill is running the latest firmware.
Preheat Complete (But Its Not At Temp)
You may have seen on your Traeger the display stating ‘Preheat Complete’ when it has not actually achieved the temperature you set it to in the cooking chamber.
In some cases, this is just the grill being a bit preemptive. In other words, the temperature inside the grill is just 5°F on either side of the set temperature.
However, you can also get this message when the grill is not within 5°F of the set temp. The reason is, the grill actually presumes it will get to temperature within 10 minutes of the ignition sequence ending.
Now, if its a really cold day, the Traeger will understandably take longer than usual to get up to temperature. To speed up the Preheat sequence, you can fit a thermal blanket in some cases.
Auger Overcurrent (Blocked Auger)
If you see this error message, its typically due to a blocked auger. Now, the auger motor could have failed, but you’ll be able to test if that’s the case.
The most common reason for a blocked auger is wet expanded pellets which can set like concrete. Though its not completely unheard of for people to try putting wood chips or lump charcoal in the hopper (don’t do this, its a really bad idea).
Anyway, on Traeger WiFire pellet grills, there is actually a Clear Auger function that will run the auger forwards and backwards to try and clean the blockage.
If on the Clear Auger function you don’t see or hear the auger moving, then it could be more serious, and the auger motor may need replacing.
Failed To Download Certificate Files
Now, this issue is going to happen if your Traeger was in the middle of downloading a new Firmware update, but it got interrupted, dodgy WiFi or a power cut being typical causes.
As a result, the Firmware download was incomplete and the Traeger will need a new download to get back up and running again.
There are quite a few steps to this process, including checking the current Firmware number against the new Firmware update, therefore, please check out the information in the link below.
Traeger To Phone Pairing Issues
The Traeger WiFire App is still one of the best in the business for its features and functionality. However, that means absolutely nothing unless you are able to successfully pair (link) your Traeger to your phone.
Now, there is a host of potential complications that can occur when pairing due to the range of phone hardware and software (iOS or Android). Therefore, discussing every possible scenario here just isn’t viable.
Please check out the information in the link below and you can find the solution to the particular notification error that has been displayed.
Timberline Gen 2 Error Codes
You may own a second-generation Traeger Timberline model, if so, your control panel is different to that found on the first-generation Traeger Timberline. I’ve previously written about Timberline Gen 1 vs Gen 2 differences.
These second-generation models feature more sensors monitoring whether the lid is open and a flame sensor for instance. As such, there is a wider range of error codes which a Timberline Gen 2 can display. This includes the following:
- Bad Probe Error
- Error 0001 – High Temp Error
- Error 0002 – Slow/Low Temp Error
- Error 0006 – Temp Sensor not Detected
- Error 0007 – Grill Failed to Ignite
- Error 0009 – Fan not Detected
- Error 0010 – Ignitor not Detected/Disconnected
- Error 0013 – Auger not Detected
- Error 0014 – Auger Jam Detected
- Error 0017 – Slow Ignition
- Error 0023 – Lid Sensor Error
- Error 0024 – Flame Sensor Error
- Error 0025 – Lid Sensor Disconnected
- Error 0026 – Ignitor Error Detected
- Error 0027 – Ignitor Not Recognized
- Error 0028 – Pellet Sensor Disconnected
- Error 0031 – Flame Sensor Disconnected
- ‘Flame Out’ Error Message
- Lid Open Message
- Low Ambient Temperature
- Pellet Level Notifications
As you can see that’s a lot of different potential error messages which could be showing on your control panel. If you click the link below you will be directed to a glossary of these issues with an individual article dedicated to how to resolve each issue.
Traeger Temperature Swings – Normal or Broken?
Ok, let’s say you don’t have a particular error code displayed on the control panel screen of your Traeger but you think you are getting temperature swings below and above the set temperature that aren’t ‘normal’.
Well, what’s ‘normal’ and what you should expect from your Traeger really depends on how old it is and what type of control panel it has, is it a Non-WiFire or a WiFire Traeger?
A Non-WiFire Traeger has a control panel which is running what’s called a ‘time-based control panel’. In other words, the control panel is running the auger at set timed intervals to try and achieve a set temperature.
A WiFire Traeger on the other hand is a PID control panel which runs on a computer algorithm. It’s constantly comparing the actual temperature inside the pellet grill against the set temperature to make adjustments to the auger and fan speed.
A WiFire Traegers ‘normal’ temperature swing is 5 degrees above and below the set temperature (maybe 10 degrees). Whereas a ‘normal’ temperature swing for a Non-WiFire Traeger is 25 degrees above and below the set temperature.
However, pellet quality does also play its role in how effectively a pellet grill can manage its temperature. Therefore, if you would like to learn more details, please click the link below.
Traeger Starts Dropping Temp Mid-Cook (What To Do)
If the temperature inside your Traeger starts to drop beyond the ‘normal’ temperature swings discussed above the likely cause is the hopper is running out of pellets.
Now if you are able to catch this issue in time you can potentially load pellets back into the hopper and continue with the cook.
However, if a longer period of time has passed and a flameout has occurred then loading the hopper with pellets and expecting to just keep going with the cook as before is not going to happen.
Traeger Not Lighting (Bad Hot Rod Igniter)
When I’ve been told by a reader ‘my Traeger won’t start‘ what they are commonly referring to is their grill cannot get a fire going. They can hear pellets landing in to the burn pot, they can hear the fan running, but nothing happens.
Eventually, they get a LEr or Low Temp Error and their Traeger has shut down, what gives! Well, to start the fire there is a hot rod ignitor in the base of the pellet burn pot. However, they do fail/corrode eventually and need replacing.
Luckily, its not a particularly hard job, and if you click the link below you can learn how to fix this issue. However, if you need to get your Traeger going in the meantime, you should also check out my article on how to manually ignite a pellet grill.
My Final Thoughts On Traeger Error Codes & Troubleshooting…
The highly automated nature of pellet grills/smokers means added complexity when things go wrong, this is one of the disadvantages of pellet grills. However, that doesn’t mean that just because you may have experienced one of the error codes above you’re going to experience many or any more.
All Traegers like any other brand of pellet grill require proper cleaning and maintenance to reduce the number of potential issues/error codes you’ll experience. Proper pellet care is also vital, hence keeping your pellets dry is absolutely essential to avoid issues.
That’s it! I hope you found the above a useful resource to help you resolve any error code or other issue you’re experiencing with your Traeger. If you would like to learn about other pellet grills now available, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂
Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.
Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.