And..... that's all she wrote for now......<sigh>

JpsBBQ

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Just a quick update. Unit is working after a second visit by the tech. I have modified my auger to prevent it from committing ritual suicide again. I plan to run it for a month or so before passing on the modification to my dealer who promised to pass it on to Weber.

It turned out the age of the pellets were part of the issue. Excessive age allows them to crumble which lead to the auger failure, but the dulled surface allows them to bridge in the narrow tapering auger chute, causing flameouts. If I can get fresh pellets (shiny, slippery surface) from that manufacturer, I'd be happy to use them. I'm currently using some fresh Weber pellets (skid had just arrived at the store), but I'll be investigating other brands, provided I can confirm they are fresh, as I don't care for the smoke flavor I'm getting from the Weber pellets.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Can’t make these things up. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Goneincognito

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How did you modify the auger?
Old pellets also just dont burn well.
What Weber ones did you get?
 
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kaptain_zero

kaptain_zero

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Once I've run the modified auger for a month or so, I'll post what I did. It does not improve on pellet feeding at all.... It was strictly done to prevent the auger self destructing should it run into a batch of less than pristine pellets.

The only Weber pellets available in Canada are Hickory, Apple and Grill Master Blend. Grilling/smoking season is about 6 months long, and the rest of the year is unpleasant with temps hitting -40 at it's worst. The odds of getting last years pellets is quite likely at the beginning of the season, so when I saw they just got a pallet of Grill Master Blend, I decided to try a couple bags. Due to the design of the chute in the SmokeFire, bridging with *any* brand of last years pellets (even Weber) is more likely if the pellets don't have that slippery, shiny surface anymore. A small amount of crumbling is not a concern with a modified auger, the failure I experienced occurred during shutdown and I took steps to prevent that from happening again.

Hopefully Weber will create a new design with a pellet hopper more like the Rec Tec 700. A retrofit does not seem likely, too many changes are needed.

It's a bit tricky to try and end up with no leftover pellets at the end of the year, the weather being unpredictable with the winter season sometimes arriving in October and other times it doesn't show up until the end of November. Sadly, stocking up on good pellets, only to get hit by an early winter, means the unused bags have to sit over winter..... and thus get old. I think most pellet grills can handle 12 month old pellets, but the Weber design seems extra finicky.

I worked outside for 30+ years, I'm not standing outside in the cold just to cook something now! :D
 

Goneincognito

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Modifications can be a good thing but just be careful as things are designed the way they are for a reason and you may do more harm than good.
It's very possible you will also kiss your warranty goodbye if any further damage occurs as a result.
Its concerning that you are being so secretive about what you have done and why you don't want anyone to know?
At this point I would be getting confirmation from Weber directly that whatever you have done is ok and not take the word of a dealer.

"I think most pellet grills can handle 12 month old pellets"...
Too many factors at play for me to agree with that (storage conditions and quality of the pellets to begin with for example) but the SF is definitely specific when it comes to pellets which is something we have said from the start.
 
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bbqking

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I love a good mystery. The suspense…the intrigue….the anticipation…..I can’t take it.
 

Goneincognito

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I guess it really is that's all she wrote....
 
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