Pit Boss Pro Series 850 - Ignitor Sometimes On After Start Up Cycle

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Original poster
Aug 11, 2022
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (eh?)
Question about ignitors—I recently purchased a PB850 Pro Series. I love it. After an initial SNAFU with the PID controller which wouldn't connect to WiFi or Bluetooth, I received a new one in the mail and was up and running. I'm really happy with build quality, despite the PID issue. That being said, Pit Boss was great to deal with, even from Canada.

Something puzzles me though. The manual (which could use some work BTW), says that upon startup, the ignitor will light for 5 mins., then go out. This is true—it does, and when it does you are happily on your way to having fun. However, I also notice that occasionally, a few hrs. into the cook cycle, the ignitor will turn back on. It doesn't happen consistently, just every once in a while.

Why is this?

I'm unsure if this is occuring when I am cooking at lower or high temps, but think I have seen it happen at 325° F. I'm thinking it could be for several reasons:

  • The temp quickly falls outside of the pre-programmed deadband on the controller chip due to a gap in the pellet stream within the auger. The PID Controller interprets this as the firepot going out, and thus tries to re-ignite it.
  • The temps quickly falls outside of the pre-programmed deadband on the controller chip due to an excess of pellets being fed to the firepot too fast.The PID Controller also interprets this as the firepot going out, and thus tries to re-ignite it.
  • Either there is no programed deadband, or it is too tightly defined. Thus, any fast drop in temp causes a re-start. Even a more moist cluster of pellets could be to blame in this scenario.
  • Bluetooth/WiFi temporarily disconnects and the reconnection causes the ignitor to restart its 5 min. On Cycle.
  • An outdated or defective GFI (manual makes note of issues here—but not ignitor related specifically), causes the controller to sense it has lost power. It subsequently goes through an ignitor On Cycle as if it were restarting.
  • I've read that typical ignitor issues are often wiring-related. However, those scenarios seem to apply to the ignitor not starting at all, which isn't my issue. I can't think of a wiring-related issue that would cause my symptom unless the controller somehow tests for heat-related continuity across the ignitor constantly, and uses this as a trigger to start current flowing through it? Seems very unlikely....that's pretty sophisticated programming and sensor monitoring for a smoker I think.
  • It's either an undocumented feature as a safeguard, or a coding oopsie on the controller chip.
Regardless, the smoker works great and there is no impact on food quality. It just remains a nagging question I think about because I am a detail-focused person (insert a more anatomically accurate term here).

Any thoughts????
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I have the PB1150 pro and it has always done the same thing.
The app had my grill doing stupid stuff. Once I uninstalled it from all devices. It does whatever I set it to now. I use my inkbird to monitor temps if I'm away.
I have a pit boss but it's not pid. How do you know the heat rod is heating up after startup? Are you visually verifying this?
On my Austin XL the igniter only comes on at start up and never again. That's why you can manually light it if the igniter fails because it only need to be done once. I'd assume PID works the same. Although I could be mistaken. I'd get a good visual next time with no meat and the deflector out. I'd guess it's not lighting during cooks. I think you'd have a huge temp increase if it is. But if your smoker is running how you think it should then really it's a non issue and probably how it's designed to operate
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