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power outage question

smokerjim

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Just a quick question, I just fired up my pitboss to make supper and they are calling for some storms in my area, living basically out in the woods we lose power often due to tree limbs coming down on power lines, my question is is there anything i should do special if we lose power to prevent burn back through the auger since the fans won't be blowing. or is this something i shouldn't worry about. don't ask me why after about a year using the pitboss i just thought about this. thanks Jim
 

5GRILLZNTN

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I would think you'll be fine. The original controller in my RecTec would just shut everything down when I powered it down. I never had a burn back problem. Of course, a contingency plan isn't a bad idea. A fire extinguisher, or garden hose might be handy to have close by.
 

TNJAKE

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Once the fan shuts off the flames will drop below the auger level pretty fast. There's only around 1/3 cup of pellets in the pot at any given time. It's not something I'd worry about
 

RCAlan

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SmokerJim, I think your PB Grill should be ok, but just to have peace of mind, I would dump the pellets from the hopper into a container until you’re ready to fire it up again. Good luck and stay safe.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

smokerjim

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SmokerJim, I think your PB Grill should be ok, but just to have peace of mind, I would dump the pellets from the hopper into a container until you’re ready to fire it up again. Good luck and stay safe.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
good thought, hopefully it will never be an issue but I guess it's good to have a plan.
 

starsfaninco

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Or a small generator. I've got two eu3000i hondas and a cheap 1000 watt champion. The champion, I think, is enough to power it. But if I need to I can always fire up one of the honda's. I know I get a LONG run time out of them on eco mode and low load.
 

bill1

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...just to have peace of mind, I would dump the pellets from the hopper into a container ...
Agreed, although that's not real easy on some PitBoss's?
I'd also add: Remember to close the hopper lid afterwards. Fire likes air so don't give it any extra in the (auger tube) path that you don't want it to follow. (I regularly keep a brick on my hopper lid--I think it helps keep it sealed--but YMMV.)
 

smokerjim

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Agreed, although that's not real easy on some PitBoss's?
I'd also add: Remember to close the hopper lid afterwards. Fire likes air so don't give it any extra in the (auger tube) path that you don't want it to follow. (I regularly keep a brick on my hopper lid--I think it helps keep it sealed--but YMMV.)
thanks for the tips Bill, yeah my pitboss is easy to empty the hopper.
 

Inscrutable

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The igniter probably draws the lions share of the power, I doubt the fan draws much at all. Don’t some of these have a manual startup (ignition) protocol? Would think the ones that run off 12v would have to, maybe works for others in a pinch too. The AC outlet in my F150 is only rated for 400w, sure won’t get that thru a cigarette lighter.
 

bill1

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The igniter probably draws the lions share of the power, I doubt the fan draws much at all...
Maybe not lion's share, but kitten's share...
Based on the specs of admittedly just one model, the electric element (igniter) draws 100W, the fan and auger are 60W. So if you're limited to a power in-between those relatively close numbers, yes you could disconnect the wires to the "hot rod" igniter and use an alternate way of starting your pellet grill, which typically is to let the crucible fill to 1/4-1/3 full, then ignite them by hand with a propane torch, then put the diffuser and other parts back together.
 

Inscrutable

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It draws a lot more during initial ignition/startup ... less after it gets going.
The OP has a PiBoss 1000, looked it up and this is an excerpt from the manual ...

“If your GFCI outlet is highly sensitive to power surges, it will likely trip during the start-up phase of operation. During the start-up phase, the igniter draws 200-700 watts of electricity which can be too much power for a GFCI outlet to handle. “

Think all are pretty much the same ... takes more to get it going than to maintain. Analogous to a motors start vs run current.
And yeah, if limited on power or using a 12v source, you can ignite manually, and then it has enough juice to keep it going.
 

TNJAKE

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It draws a lot more during initial ignition/startup ... less after it gets going.
The OP has a PiBoss 1000, looked it up and this is an excerpt from the manual ...

“If your GFCI outlet is highly sensitive to power surges, it will likely trip during the start-up phase of operation. During the start-up phase, the igniter draws 200-700 watts of electricity which can be too much power for a GFCI outlet to handle. “

Think all are pretty much the same ... takes more to get it going than to maintain. Analogous to a motors start vs run current.
And yeah, if limited on power or using a 12v source, you can ignite manually, and then it has enough juice to keep it going.
The igniter turns off and never turns on again once the fire has lit
 

bill1

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Hmmm. Who's writing the PitBoss manuals? The lowest-ratest GFCI outlet is 120V/15A or 1800 watts. GFCI's trip for ground faults, not over-current on the black or white wires. The potting inside enclosed (grounded) elements (the kind in all pellet smokers) crack with age and so graphite byproducts become a high resistance path to ground. The element still works fine but once that leakage current gets to .005 amps, a GFCI will trip, whether it's a small element in a 3d printer or a large 240V oven elements.

Interrupt the ground pin and the problem goes away, but so does a high degree of electrical safety (both for shock and fire) particularly if you're thinking of running a unit completely unattended as the original poster was considering.

200W is a realistic number for home Pit Boss igniters; the 100W number from GMC shows some optimization in efficiency for a portable unit. (The GMC combustion fan and auger may be off by a similar factor of two.) Don't get me going on the PitBoss 700 watt number...
 

Jabiru

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smokerjim smokerjim i had burn back potential when power went out on my pellet grill.

The Story: was cooking at 225f all day, pulled the ribs, turned smoker to 500f, went inside and glazed the ribs. Smoker was roaring, dumping pellets to get up to heat, then bam power outage.

full pot of pellets burning Right up to the auger, luckily mine is 12 volt, so I hooked it up to my vehicle, turned grill on, waited and then turned off Properly.

i honestly don’t know what would have happened otherwise. I don’t think problem when using low temps.
 

bill1

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Sounds like we just addressed all 3 legs of the fire triangle...limit the fuel by manually dumping out the pellets, limit oxygen by keeping the hopper lid closed tight, and limit the heat by favoring low temp settings in the first place.
 

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