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Unread 04-21-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
71-South
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Default Anyone ever had this problem on a pellet pooper?

Luckily, this happened today when I was getting ready to foil the three picnics and two butts anyway...

CS-570

Temp started dropping , but I could tell that the paddle wheel was still going fine (it's less "buzzy" when it's jammed.) I couldn't hear the pellets dropping into the chute, though. Cleared out most of the pellets from the hopper and could plainly see that the pellets were going right into the paddle wheel like they should and getting dropped.

Hmmm...

Pulled the meat, pulled the grates, pulled the flavor shield thingy. No pellets in the burn box.

Put on a fireman's glove that a friend gave me and pulled the burn box away from the side of the chamber.

Stuck a kitchen knife up into the chute and wiggled it around a bit and WHOOSH! A whole load of pellets came pouring out of the chute.

Somehow they got stuck up in the chute and wouldn't let any more through. The paddle wheel was happily dispensing them, though, so there must be some sort of reservoir up there that I can't see.

How the hell am I supposed to avoid this?

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Bret
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Unread 04-21-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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By the way, once I cleared the chute, I stuck the pellets that dropped back into the hopper (they weren't hot), started her back up, and the rest of the cook went fine.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71-South View Post
Luckily, this happened today when I was getting ready to foil the three picnics and two butts anyway...

CS-570

Temp started dropping , but I could tell that the paddle wheel was still going fine (it's less "buzzy" when it's jammed.) I couldn't hear the pellets dropping into the chute, though. Cleared out most of the pellets from the hopper and could plainly see that the pellets were going right into the paddle wheel like they should and getting dropped.

Hmmm...

Pulled the meat, pulled the grates, pulled the flavor shield thingy. No pellets in the burn box.

Put on a fireman's glove that a friend gave me and pulled the burn box away from the side of the chamber.

Stuck a kitchen knife up into the chute and wiggled it around a bit and WHOOSH! A whole load of pellets came pouring out of the chute.

Somehow they got stuck up in the chute and wouldn't let any more through. The paddle wheel was happily dispensing them, though, so there must be some sort of reservoir up there that I can't see.

How the hell am I supposed to avoid this?

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Bret

It Moisture! Sticking together I bet!
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Unread 04-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Do you see this on all brands of pellets, or just one? Might be worth trying other brands to see if they fare better...
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Unread 04-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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I have had the same thing happen it seem like it could be moister we try to make sure the pellets are higher then the wheel so its a bit off level to help the pellets fall down the ram and not get pooled in the area under the wheel
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Unread 04-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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I've ran hundreds of pounds of various mfrs.' pellets though my 570 and have never had that occur. They have made a design change on the paddle wheel arrangement. Rotated it 90 degrees on the newer models. Which way does yours sit? Are the "fins" of the paddle parallel with the width? Mine is that way and works fine but there must have been some reason they now have the fins running parallel with the front to back direction.

Like the other posts mentioned, probably just moisture. As long as you keep your pellets in sealed containers so they don't absorb humidity and keep the pellet hopper high & dry, you shouldn't have any problems.

Enjoy!

Dan
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the posts.

Quote:
It Moisture! Sticking together I bet!
Quote:
Like the other posts mentioned, probably just moisture. As long as you keep your pellets in sealed containers so they don't absorb humidity and keep the pellet hopper high & dry, you shouldn't have any problems.
I'm using a 40 lb. bag of OHP pellets. It's inside, but I haven't sealed it. I'm going to get a nice Rubbermaid type container to store them in. That should take care of any moisture problems w/ the pellets.

Maybe the fact that I had the smoker completely full of pork contributed to the moisture too.

Quote:
Do you see this on all brands of pellets, or just one? Might be worth trying other brands to see if they fare better...
I haven't had it long enough to really tell. This is the only long cook I've done so far. I've done a couple of 2 hr. chicken cooks w/ BBQr's Delight Pellets, but this problem happened well into the cook. If it continues after I start keeping the pellets in an airtight container, I'll have to see if another brand does any better.

Quote:
I've ran hundreds of pounds of various mfrs.' pellets though my 570 and have never had that occur. They have made a design change on the paddle wheel arrangement. Rotated it 90 degrees on the newer models. Which way does yours sit? Are the "fins" of the paddle parallel with the width? Mine is that way and works fine but there must have been some reason they now have the fins running parallel with the front to back direction.
The fins go front to back. So I guess it's a newer one? That makes sense since it's only supposed to be about 2 months old.

Thanks again,
Bret
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Unread 04-21-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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I've had this happen on my whole hog before. Call Danson... they can give you a chute that fits under the wheel to prevent that from happening. I just cleaned the area where the pellets drop very well, almost polished it. I've not had a problem since.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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SWEET! I'll give them a call. Now all I need is a digital controller and a hopper extender (I may build that myself) and I'll be ready to do some serious overnighters.

Thanks, Hoss.
Bret
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Unread 04-21-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71-South View Post
SWEET! I'll give them a call. Now all I need is a digital controller and a hopper extender (I may build that myself) and I'll be ready to do some serious overnighters.

Thanks, Hoss.
Bret
I have digital controllers on both sides of my cooker. The new controller will make all the difference in the world. When you talk to Danson, mention that you are looking for an extention and a digital controller. Chances are they will sell them to you at cost. Customer service is great. Good Luck.
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Unread 04-22-2009, 07:17 AM   #11
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That has happened to me before.
Like the others said. Moisture is the pellets worst enemy.

Make sure you clean out the burn pots and the hopper after ever use. If you leave pellets in your hopper they will start clumping.

And start trying new pellets and see which one work the best. I prefer BBQ Delight Pellets.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me with any other questions you may have.
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Unread 04-22-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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Thanks, Guys. I appreciate it.
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Unread 04-22-2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Does this happen more with Country Smokers than other Brands like Traeger & FEC.
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Unread 04-22-2009, 12:46 PM   #14
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I always leave pellets in my hopper, have never had a problem
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Unread 04-22-2009, 01:17 PM   #15
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Well I called and spoke to a guy at Danson's. He was nice and told me how to get the piece that fixes the chute problem. I asked him what the part was called and he said "the metal piece that fixes the chute jamming problem." :)

I can pay shipping ($20) and get it from him, or he said that Bob at BBQ Bonanza probably has some in stock and I could get it from there.

I'm going to call Bob and figure out pricing on a digital temp control and a pellet extender in addition to the "metal piece that fixes the chute jamming problem."
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