Troubleshooting: Traeger Grill Won’t Power On

I love my Lil’ Tex Traeger Grill. The thing is amazing, churning out delicious meaty meals time and time again. It’s getting on in years, and after this latest winter, it seemed like the grill had smoked its last brisket. It wouldn’t turn on, and I wasn’t sure what to do. Thankfully, I’ve got it working again — but it definitely took some trial and error, so I wanted to share my troubleshooting process for anyone else who thinks they may have killed their beloved smoker.


First things first, a little bit about how the damned thing works. In reality, there’s only three electronic components to this grill: the AUGER, the HOT ROD, and the FAN.

  • The AUGER transports the pellets from the hopper into the combustion chamber.
  • The HOT ROD introduces the heat in the combustion chamber needed to burn the pellets.
  • The FAN pulls air from beneath the hopper and forces it into the main chamber of the Traeger, circulating the air and encouraging the pellets to burn properly.

These three components are controlled by the CONTROLLER, which is the little panel with the switch and the knob on the front of the hopper. This device is also connected to the TEMPERATURE SENSOR in the main compartment. Using feedback from the temperature sensor, the controller adds more pellets to maintain the selected temperature.

The controller, the fan, and the motor for the auger are all located underneath the hopper. They can be accessed by removing the protective cover on the bottom of the hopper, or by removing the controller from the front of the hopper. All the screws used to hold these items in place are identical, so don’t worry about mixing them up.

In my case, none of this was working. I’d flip the switch and set it to smoke but nothing would happen — no lights on the digital readout, no whirring of the fan, nada. It was dead as a doornail.

Here’s how I fixed that.

Step One: Check the Power Cable

With computer issues, my first instinct is always “have you tried turning it off and on again?” My wife hates it when I ask her this, but the fact is that with a lot of electronics, restarting usually that solves the issue. So I always start with this approach regardless of the complexity of the electronics, checking the power source and re-seating the plug.

Also, sometimes power outlets fail. It happens. Try unplugging the grill and plugging in something else, like a lamp. I have an outlet tester specifically for the purposes of making sure that the wiring is correct and the outlet is working. If other things don’t work in that outlet, then you should investigate the outlet — make sure the breaker isn’t tripped in the house, and if it’s a GFCI outlet that the internal breaker (or any upstream breakers in the circuit) is reset.

Once the outlet is confirmed to be working, try plugging in the grill again. Maybe it just wasn’t seated right before? Give it a shot.

If the controller still doesn’t power on and nothing else seems to sputter to life then we can narrow down the source of the issue to one of three things:

  • The internal breaker is tripped in the grill.
  • The controller has been compromised.
  • The power cable has an internal fault.

Let’s work in order of most likely to least likely and try to figure this out.

Step Two: Check the Internal Fuse In the Grill

The folks at Traeger were smart enough to include a fuse to protect the controller in the event of a power issue.

The fuse is located on the rear of the controller board.

In older models, the fuse is contained within a black cylindrical container vertically placed on the lower left side of the panel. It can be accessed by removing the plastic cap and pulling the fuse out.

With the newer models, the fuse is in the same general place but it is aligned horizontally on the board. The housing also allows you to visually inspect the fuse, and should have a spare handily strapped to the top of the housing.

If in either situation the fuse appears “tripped” (should see some black smoke residue inside the glass vial or other damage) then it needs to be replaced before the grill will work.

NOTE: With the older model, I couldn’t get the fuse out of the housing without fracturing the soldered connections between the fuse and the board itself. Be careful, and if you have an older style board consider replacing the whole thing anyway.

Step Three: Visually Inspect the Cables

While we’re in here, give the cables a quick once-over. And honestly, if you’re still stumped at this point you’re going to need to get them all accessible anyway to replace the controller.

They should be zip-tied in a bundle just to the right of the controller underneath the hopper and accessible from the controller cut-out. Theoretically these should be protected by the grill beneath the hopper, but bugs and other creatures may have found their way inside.

You may need to cut the zip ties in order to get the cables out for inspection. Be sure to NOT cut the plastic insulation around the cables, and DO NOT pull on them with a lot of force!

If they still look good then let’s move on to replacing the controller.

Step Four: Replace the Controller

There’s some good news and some bad news here.

The bad news is that this might be one of the more expensive parts to replace on the grill. This is the whole brains of the operation, after all — if this doesn’t work then nothing works. On their website, Traeger offers this part for about $100.

The good news is that this part is somewhat common among Traeger knock-offs, and there are a good number of aftermarket suppliers available. I bought this specific replacement controller for about $40. Be aware that this may void your warranty, but in my case the grill was more than three years old and no longer under their warranty.

While you’re replacing controllers, there’s also the option to go with something a little more fancy. There are options available with temperature probes built into the controller that will cook your meat to the perfect temperature every time.

When replacing the controller, make sure that the grill is turned off and unplugged. One at a time, remove each of the three cable pairs from the old controller and install them in the new one. NOTE that the connectors are keyed (meaning they only fit one way) and have a tab that keeps them from being uncoupled. You may need to grab a pair of pliers and pull the old controller’s plug away from the cable plug to get it to release.

Once complete you’ll need a screwdriver to un-hook the temperature probes from the old controller and install them on the new one. Remove them one at a time so that they go into the same position on the new controller.

With the new controller installed, plug the grill back in and try to turn it on.

Step Five (?)

At this stage my grill started working again. If yours still doesn’t work, try the following line of troubleshooting:

  1. Check the circuit breaker to see if it tripped as well. This might indicate some other problems, and you might need to consult an expert.
  2. Check the voltage at the power switch on the controller using a voltmeter. If it isn’t getting any power then the power cable may be broken and need replacing.

Good luck!



  1. These controllers are faulty I have replaced several that have not blown the fuse and just die after a few uses. Made in China!

  2. Problem with my Traeger. Does not turn on.

    Unit is only 8 months old.

    Can’t believe controller would be gone already.

    1. Same here. Got mine last father’s day. It has been crap at getting to temp, maintaining temp, and now won’t even turn on. I’m a vet and very much into firearms. I take my Traeger apart and clean it, just as I would any other tool. Not impressed whatsoever

  3. My wife bought my traeger silverton 620 for me last Father’s Day as well. we have only used it about 10 times in total tried to use it for Easter 2021 it will not power up at all.forget trying to get any information on it doesn’t seem to exist.

  4. Yea, just bought a Timberline 1300. After 1.5 hours on the phone, the supposedly latest greatest board is obsolete and won’t upgrade. Ruturning this junk and going masterbuilt 1000.

  5. i have teager 22, worked well for 3.5 years but suddenly no power, nothing lights up. Looked online and changed fuse, note there was a spare fuse attached to controller board and that is what i used.
    There was no change in situation. Also fuse i removed looked normal, in fact same as one i replaced it with.
    So looks like controller board is issue
    amazon link says replacement board not available at moment!

  6. Ok have a pro series and on my 3rd one in 10 years. Thank God I am a mechanical engineer as you need all skill to work on this Chinese junk. Over the years I have learned how to rebuild the entire grill. This time after 3.5 years and two controllers I am done! NO MORE MONEY TO TRAEGER! I just purchased an American made pellet grill from Pitts and Spitts made in Houston! Will let all know how it does over time. Best part is my money stayed in the USA!

  7. When I turn it in , it stores the breaker
    GFI. Cleaned the auger out so it’s free but continues to blow the GFI

  8. I can’t stand dealing with the support group at Traeger. Started with the chat line 4 – 40 minutes and then was told it was out of his reach and was having a real person to call me. he was to text me the work order number as well. Never got the work order number and never got a call back. I called and got someone that obviously had no idea of the problem and could not help me. they had me take everything apart and face time to make sure I was I guess telling the truth.. which I understand ! but then tells me its a power cord issue. I know it’s not but I listen to the rational. I can see that power is getting to the controller cause there is a red light on it. Plus this is the 2nd time I have had this issue. Never the less they are sending me a power cord ( 3 weeks) if that is not the problem sending controller. another 3 weeks. now Im 6 weeks into the fix. Do I even want to go thru all this. Maybe just buy a less expensive pellet grill and get a new one every 3 years. ? LOL .. the support group is not all there.

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