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pmillen

Dust Inside a Pellet Pit

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Have you ever left your Traeger, for some reason it goes out and when you come back the auger has filled the crucible with pellets? If you don't take everything out and restart, just relight, that thing goes off like an Amazon fire. Burning all the dust and pellets and sometimes so hot it lights the pellets in the auger, smoke bellowing out of the hopper. When you do clean it before resuming, there can be a lot of dust in the grill. I'm thinking that contributes to the flash fire.

 

When you get to the bottom of the pellet bag, it is full of dust. I am not that deliberate when I clean the Traeger, I will empty the ash in the crucible, vacuum the remainder of the grill with the shop vac/dust buster, or just clean with a counter brush and pan. I definitely try not to dump all that dust in the bottom of the bag into the hopper. I also try to get as many of the pellets out of the hopper as possible. I went on vacay and the grill was covered. Those pellets I accidently left in the hopper had turned into a solid mass,. I chipped them out with an ice pick and vacuum.

 

I may leave every thing alone if I just do a couple of short cooks, but I still empty the hopper.

 

Count me in, I think dust is bad. I just try to take reasonable precautions, but not go overboard.

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1 hour ago, retfr8flyr said:

The way a DD works is the heavier pieces, in this case the pellets, drop into the bottom of the DD bucket and all the dust goes into the vac.

Even better!  I have an additional use for it.  I periodically clean my Kamado Joe, Big Joe charcoal basket by shaking it. Then I vacuum the ash and small charcoal pieces into a wet/dry vac with a drywall filter.  The small charcoal pieces quickly pound a hole in the filter. Hopefully, the Dust Deputy will capture the charcoal pieces and extend the filter life.

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22 hours ago, pmillen said:

Even better!  I have an additional use for it.  I periodically clean my Kamado Joe, Big Joe charcoal basket by shaking it. Then I vacuum the ash and small charcoal pieces into a wet/dry vac with a drywall filter.  The small charcoal pieces quickly pound a hole in the filter. Hopefully, the Dust Deputy will capture the charcoal pieces and extend the filter life.

I'm not sure the DD would help with the charcoal pieces, they are so light I don't think it would separate them that well, it's surly worth a try though.

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1 hour ago, retfr8flyr said:

I'm not sure the DD would help with the charcoal pieces, they are so light I don't think it would separate them that well, it's surly worth a try though.

You're probably right.  I'll continue to try to duct tape the filter bag.

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On 9/9/2019 at 10:12 AM, JohnnyAppetizer said:

Have you ever left your Traeger, for some reason it goes out and when you come back the auger has filled the crucible with pellets? If you don't take everything out and restart, just relight, that thing goes off like an Amazon fire. Burning all the dust and pellets and sometimes so hot it lights the pellets in the auger, smoke bellowing out of the hopper.

I periodically read about hopper fires.  It makes me wonder why owners are willing to leave their pellet pits unattended for hours.  Maybe it’s because the manufacturers advertise Internet connectivity and “Set It and Forget It.”  I suppose that’s marginally advisable if the pit is well away from anything else flammable. Otherwise, it seems to me that the catchphrase is, “Set It and Forget It and Set Your Deck on Fire.”

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:12 AM, JohnnyAppetizer said:

Have you ever left your Traeger, for some reason it goes out and when you come back the auger has filled the crucible with pellets?

 

ive never had that happen.  maybe a good idea to call traeger customer service, might need some replacement parts

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12 minutes ago, freddyjbbq said:

 

ive never had that happen.  maybe a good idea to call traeger customer service, might need some replacement parts

 

It is rare. Only happened a couple times. Usually pretty low smoke temp. Could be wind, the ambient temp, or could be the pellets condition. I knew better than to restart without checking, but forgot the first time, lesson learned. My friend has done the same thing on occasion, he also learned the hard way. Another one of my friends bought another brand , his instructions say to check for pellets feeding into the crucible and smoking b4 putting the tray and grate on the smoker.

 

Having read up on this after the first experience, most of the smokers have the option of changing the P. That allows you to dial in the right speed and feed of pellets.

 

6 hours ago, pmillen said:

I periodically read about hopper fires.  It makes me wonder why owners are willing to leave their pellet pits unattended for hours.  

 

Not to be snarky, but in addition to listening to others, one must also read carefully. There was no fire while unattended, it went out. Fire was after relighting, which would require the presence of the owner.

Surely you do not stand by the smoker,  kamado/pellet for 6, 8,10 or more hours. Most people probably watch some TV, cut grass, run an errand. Not to say that somebody, somewhere , sometime has not had a fire during normal operation. Again, one might look for the cause, adjust the P.

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On 9/10/2019 at 12:49 PM, pmillen said:

You're probably right.  I'll continue to try to duct tape the filter bag.

I actually have a Bad Ash III vacuum that I use for cleaning out all my grills. I works really well on both my Kamado and pellet grills and the larger pieces don't effect the internal filter. 

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On 9/11/2019 at 4:50 PM, JohnnyAppetizer said:

There was no fire while unattended, it went out. Fire was after relighting, which would require the presence of the owner.

No offense taken.  You may not be aware that many pits relight themselves when falling below a certain threshold.  Human intervention isn't always required.

 

On 9/11/2019 at 4:50 PM, JohnnyAppetizer said:

Surely you do not stand by the smoker,  kamado/pellet for 6, 8,10 or more hours.

Right, I don't but I look out onto the deck or patio every few minutes.

 

People will do whatever they want to do with their pits and homes.  I simply point out what I think to be dangerous operations.  You'll see periodic fire reports if you peruse pellet pit forums.  Most are grease fires.

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