Poor performance and reliability. Not good for cold weather so far.

Resinears

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Hi folks, looking for some advice and find information on whether or not the performance of my EX4 ver2 is normal.

This is my 3rd smoker: 1st being a small Traegar, 2nd a much larger Louisiana Grills, and now the Weber. I've owned it for 4 months, and initially was very impressed with it's wireless control and ability to quickly reach temperature and maintain a pretty stable low and slow profile. I also like to do a reverse sear on my steaks, and therefore want to be able to fire the smoker up to high temperatures.

The weather has turned cold here, (minus 25 C) and I barbecue or smoke all year around. Prior to the cold snap, I received fan errors, and the unit would shut down prior to lighting, even though the existing fan appeared to be working fine. Weber customer service sent me a new fan which I installed, and that issue appears to have been solved. Two nights ago, I wanted to do a bull beef tenderloin, doing a reverse sear. I fired up the Weber and did a preheat to 250 degrees. Sometime after putting the whole tenderloin on the smoker, I received a message via my phone that the smoker was shutting down due to a firmware update. This effectively put my cook schedule way behind, but oh well. After removing the roast, the machine cycled a number of times where I received messages that the update was complete. I did, however, have to restart the whole process several times and on the last attempt (where I was attempting to get the grill to max temperature), the unit seemed stalled at 180 degrees, even though the controller was calling for a temperature of 600. It was bloody cold out, but not windy. I can't understand why the unit would not be feeding pellets to the lit firebox in response to the higher heat request. I did a shut down and re-start of the system and had similar issues, where it never did reach the called temperature, while feeding of pellets had stopped. Fresh pellets, clean firebox, no probes attached.

Any suggestions?
 

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I had no issues last year with the cold weather. Could be some recent software issues people are experiencing. Maybe give it a bit to clear up. Not sure why they keep releasing updates that aren't vetted properly though. 🤷‍♂️
 
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Resinears

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Given that it's above freezing today, I thought I'd start it up again, to see what is going on. I set the temp to 375, and it got as high as 355 before it rapidly fell to 250, all the while without seeming to call for more pellets. Once I went back into the house, the app is showing the temps bouncing between 350 and 420+ (while set at 375). I think I'll turn it up and let it go for a while. At least now it's showing the software is most current, but it will be a while before I put another expensive cut on this thing. The money spent so far on this and the other grills has me approaching Yoder territory.
 

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This sounds like a software issue related to the update. hopefully they get it resolved quickly. I wouldn't be afraid to contact them with your issue and displeasure.
 
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Good advice, I will do so. I just tried to heat it to maximum, and the smoker went nuts. Definitely got very hot, but when it reached a reported 595, it immediately fell rapidly to less than 300 (while still in the glowing range). This is not safe.
 

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What pellets are you using?
When I have seen this behaviour in the past, it has been the pellets.
 

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Mine dropped temp last night to. I think it’s the update. Must have been lucky earlier. It appears as though it turned itself off. When I turned it off and back on again the lights flashed like it had done something I had not participated in. Hope they get the bug fixed quickly.
 
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Yes, the flashing lights sound familiar after the update. I use the traeger gourmet blend pellets common to my local Costco, as I bought several bags last time I ran out. Been through 2 or 3 bags without this type of behaviour.
 

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I just got home and it had turned itself off again. Had to switch it on a couple times and it booted up and the lights flashed again. Started up and all seems ok. Maybe they fixed the bug and took care of it while my grill was idle but switched on. 🤷🏼‍♂️ We shall see.
 
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I just checked my app and the software version is reported as 1.6_4765 and up to date.Controller version is 04054. Hopefully I'll hear back from Weber within day or two. It took several weeks for the fan to be sent out, so hopefully this won't require more parts.
 

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I just checked my app and the software version is reported as 1.6_4765 and up to date.Controller version is 04054. Hopefully I'll hear back from Weber within day or two. It took several weeks for the fan to be sent out, so hopefully this won't require more parts.
Mine too but there is definitely something that went on to switch mine off. The flashing lights and delayed display are also tell tale signs of software stuff having been done.
 

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Yes, the flashing lights sound familiar after the update. I use the traeger gourmet blend pellets common to my local Costco, as I bought several bags last time I ran out. Been through 2 or 3 bags without this type of behaviour.

I would still be trying a bag of Weber pellets and see what happens.
 
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JpsBBQ

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I would still be trying a bad of Weber pellets and see what happens.
Yeah, I only use the webers myself. That just eliminates one potential problem. Shouldn’t have to and maybe you don’t have to but I like them so no skin off my rear. Like you said, it’s a potential issue.
 

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Fingers crossed but I’ve run mine up and down and opened and closed the lid several times without issue. Left open for a while to mimic a realistic cook and all seems to be back to normal
 

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Yeah, I only use the webers myself. That just eliminates one potential problem. Shouldn’t have to and maybe you don’t have to but I like them so no skin off my rear. Like you said, it’s a potential issue.
Exactly..
Use what you want but if you start having issues, use what you are meant to be using.
It's all about the process of elimination. Especially when it comes to pellets. There are some crappy ones out there (I include Traeger in that bunch but each to their own. I'm not saying that to start an argument).

The main thing is the diameter of the pellet (Traeger are on the larger end of the scale) as the auger in the SF is designed for a small diameter pellet and that some pellets just don't burn hot enough. They may be ok in warmer weather but struggle when it's -25c. Especially in a system they are not designed to be used in.

If you called Weber about this issue and told them you were not using Weber pellets (regardless of brand) the first thing they would say is to clean it out and try again with Weber pellets.

The SF can handle temps that low so it's not the unit itself.
If the issue is still there after using Weber pellets, I would be looking at the burn pot assembly to make sure it's correct and for any parts that have failed like the burn pot grate.
 

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