You accidentally left your Pit Boss grill uncovered in the rain, and now when you turn it on, the auger won’t turn. Does this mean you have to replace your pellet smoker? Not really; however, you will need to learn how to unclog the auger on a Pit Boss or any other pellet grill before you can use it again.
How Do You Unclog An Auger On A Pit Boss Grill?
To unclog a Pit Boss, you need to remove the bottom panel, control board, detach the hopper, motor, and then remove the screw holding the auger in place. If the auger is jammed, you may need to use a vise grip or pipe wrench to remove the auger.
This method will work any model Pit Boss but may require a few slight modifications.
Before we get into how to unclog the auger, it’s essential to understand what causes it to clog up so it doesn’t happen again.
What Causes A Pit Boss Auger to Become Jammed?
One of the biggest reasons a pellet grill auger becomes jammed is because moisture gets into the pellets. Once humidity affects the wood pellets, they swell up, causing the auger to become clogged.
This is why it’s so important to keep your Pit Boss stored in a closed building, in a garage, or someplace where it won’t get wet in the rain.
Unfortunately, if you own your Pit Boss long enough, eventually, you will be faced with having to unclog the auger. The great thing is there are several YouTube videos that can walk you through the process.
I’ve personally never had to deal with this because my Pit boss is less than a year old. However, someone asked me how to do this, so I thought I would share the steps on how to do this to help you out and save you money, and you can get back to grilling!
How to Unclog A Pit Boss Hopper Step by Step
Before attempting any maintenance on your Pit Boss grill, ensure it is unplugged and cool. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, I suggest calling a professional. I’m not advocating you to take matters into your own hands, especially if you’re not mechanically inclined.
If you prefer watching a video, then I suggest the one below as it is extremely easy to follow along.
Below are the exact steps I’ve found online after watching hundreds of YouTube videos.
Roll your Pit Boss to a comfortable working space and let’s get started.
Tools you’ll need:
- Phillips screwdriver
- Allen wrench
- Socket wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Chisel (to break the clogged pellets free)
- Vacuum (for removing any hard to reach places)
How to Remove Auger On Pit Boss Pellet Grill
If you’re dealing with a Pit Boss auger jam, you’ll have to remove the auger using the steps below.
Step One: Remove The Bottom Panel
Lay your Pit boss on its backside to make it easier for you to remove the hopper’s bottom panel. Next, remove the eight screws using a Phillips screwdriver.
Place the panel and the screws aside, making sure you don’t lose the screws.
Step Two: Remove 2 Screws from Panel
Remove the two screws from the top and bottom of the control board. When removed, feed the control board back through the hopper. To get it out of your way, so you can work.
The control board won’t come out completely, as it is secured in place with wires. Don’t remove the wires. You just want the control board out of your way so you can get to the motor and remove the auger.
It’s perfectly fine if it is dangling beneath the hopper.
Step Three: Detach The Pellet Hopper
Use the screwdriver to remove the two screws from both the front and back of the hopper. Before detaching the pellet hopper, ensure you have something to set the hopper on, like a bucket or stool.
The hopper is attached to the burner via the power cord so it won’t detach completely.
Step Four: Remove The Auger Bolt
To remove the auger motor, you’ll first need to remove an Allen head nut. You can use a ratchet wrench along with the Allen tool to get the job done.
Ensure you have the right size Allen head seat and grip the bottom of with a socket or wrench to prevent it from turning while you screw it out.
Remove the nut and the bolt and let the motor hang off to the side.
Step Five: Remove Auger Screw
Once you have removed the motor, there is a single screw holding the auger in place. Remove the screw with a pair of vice grips or pipe wrench to turn the auger counterclockwise and pull it out.
If it is clogged, it will require a little more force to get the auger free, especially if it’s been jammed for a while. You will have to keep turning clockwise, until it can break free.
How to Clean The Auger
Once the auger is removed, use light grade sandpaper to clean it thoroughly. Next, grab your chisel and break apart the wood in the tube. You will likely only be able to chisel a little at a time while vacuuming up the loose particles.
Use paper towels to remove all the grime from the debris. You’ll know it’s clean when the auger slides in and out easily without getting stuck on anything.
Now that the auger it clean, you’ll want to put everything back together and stand the grill back up.
Fill the hopper back up with dry pellets. You may have to prime the grill again. If everything is working correctly, you should start seeing the pellets fall into the fire pot.
Along with owning a pellet grill comes the responsibility and maintenance of keeping it working. People love pellet grills because the pellets give off a smoke flavor that makes the food taste so good.
However, when moisture gets into your hopper, it turns the pellets into mush that can cause the Pit Boss pellet grill to stop working. Regardless of what type of pellet grill you have, it’s essential to keep your wood pellets dry.
Hopefully, this step by step tutorial has helped you realize how easy it can be to clean out the auger and unclog a jam. Once you make the mistake of letting the pellets get wet once, you’ll likely never make it again!