If you are having trouble with your Traeger pellet grill, there are a variety of potential issues/faults which could be causing the problem. If your grill is lighting but not maintaining the correct set temperature, it could be an issue with the RTD temperature sensor or even the Traegers control panel. But what if your Traeger pellet grill fails to turn on or fire up at all? Well, if we presume your control panel lights up, there are three potential causes for the Traeger not to fire up, the auger motor, induction fan or the hot rod igniter has failed. So let’s look at the process of replacing the hot rod igniter.
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.
Important: Check out my Traeger error codes article if your grill won’t turn on, but you don’t know what the issue actually is.
Introduction On Traeger Hot Rod Igniter Replacement
So with this post, I’m going to reference the official methods from Traeger on how to replace the hot rod igniter on their legacy and currently generation pellet grills/smokers.
If you don’t have a new hot rod to hand and you want to use your pellet grill, I have an article on how to manually ignite a pellet grill without relying on the hot rod igniter to do it for you.
First, you’re going to need to order a new hot rod igniter which you can do through the links below. However, its important to note you need to purchase the right hot rod igniter for your specific Traeger model.
The easiest way to determine which type of hot rod you need is the following. If you own a Traeger without WiFire, then its a Legacy model. If you own a Traeger with WiFire, then your Traeger is based on the D2 Direct Drive platform and needs the applicable D2 hot rod igniter.
Legacy Traegers – How To Change The Hot Rod Igniter
Below I’ve provided two from Traeger on how to safely dismantle a legacy Traeger pellet grill/smoker (non-WiFire) and replace the hot rod. I would encourage you to watch both videos as you get to see the process slightly differently.
Something you will want to do is clean your pellet grill before you start this job. Vacuum out the bottom of the grill and burn pot, as well as empty the hopper of pellets.
I cannot stress this enough, but before you start the process of removing/replacing the hot rod you must disconnect your Traeger from the source of power. Don’t just turn off the switch at the wall, physically remove the cable from the socket.
While in the videos above the hot rod igniter is being replaced on a brand new grill, in the real world that’s not likely the case. You’re Traeger has likely gone through quite a bit of use and the burn pot etc is showing signs of corrosion/rust.
With pellet fires, the combustion temperature at the centre of the fire (around the hot rod igniter) is around a thousand degrees. Hence, over time these very high combustion temperatures denature the metal, and the igniter can become fragile and break.
The same goes for the firepot. Over time the bottom of the firepot will corrode through. Therefore, when some Traeger owners change out the hot rod igniter, they also replace the fire pot at the same time.
D2/WiFire Traegers – How To Replace The Hot Rod Igniter
So if you own a Pro Series Gen 2, an Ironwood, or a Gen 1 Timberline model, then the hot rod igniter replacement video below is applicable to you.
The general process is the same, isolate the grill from the power source and remove all the internal components. To remove the burn pot, you twist off the four butterfly nuts, as shown in the video below.
You will likely need to twist the burn pot before you can remove it. Once removed, you can then loosen the screw that fixes the hot rod igniter into the burn pot.
When inserting the new hot rod igniter into the burn pot, its very important that it only protrudes into the burn pot by around 4mm, as shown in the video above. This is to protect the hot rod igniter from the highest temperatures once the fire is established.
You should also check the condition of the burn pot. Is there a lot of corrosion, is the still at the bottom getting thin? Are the air holes getting wider, letting in too much air? If that’s the case, then along with replacing the hot rod, you should consider replacing the burn pot as well.
Conclusions on Traeger Hot Rod Igniter Replacement
Before you start to strip down your Traeger pellet grill to replace the hot rod igniter, you need to make sure its not the feed auger which is not working or the induction fan. While the hot rod igniter is obviously crucial for the fire to start, so is a steady supply of pellets and air for combustion to take place.
Furthermore, before you order a new hot rod igniter, if you’re sure that is the issue, clean out your grill and inspect the condition of the burn pot carefully. Since you’ll have to remove the burn pot to replace the hot rod igniter, if the burn pot also needs to be replaced, its obviously an ideal time to do it.
That’s it, thanks for reading, and I hope you found this post useful. If you are curious about all the best BBQ grill pellets currently on the market or how Traeger grill pellets are made, these are just a few of my other posts. There are many more posts in my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. Enjoy 🙂