Pit Boss Not Feeding Pellets: Causes & Fixes

When your Pit Boss pellet grill stops feeding wood pellets, it simply means that the in-built auger system responsible for delivering wood pellets from the hopper (where you load the pellets) to the firepot (where the pellets are burned) is not functioning properly. This can be a common issue for pellet grills — Pit Boss or not.

In this article, we will dig into the potential reasons for “Pit Boss Not Feeding Pellets” plus DIY fixes that can help solve this issue.

pit boss not feeding pellets

Pit Boss Not Feeding Pellets: Common Causes

Highlighted below are some of the reasons why your Pit Boss is not feeding pellets:

1. The Auger is Clogged Up

Accumulation of a solid mass of sawdust, foreign objects, and ash can clog up the auger. This happens when there’s Pit Boss lacks due maintenance and cleaning. Fortunately, you can fix a jammed auger easily and by yourself.

Sometimes, the auger may get blocked entirely by low-quality pellets. We will look into this next.

2. Low-quality Pellets

The performance of your grill hinges a lot on the quality of pellets you load into it. By low-quality pellets, we mean pellets that contain excessive moisture or impurities and pellets that are of uneven sizes. Pellets like this can clump together causing the auger to get blocked.

Low-quality pellets can also be very difficult to pick up for consistent feeding by the auger. Other than this, they tend to produce higher residue, ash, and much smoke due to incomplete combustion.

3. Damaged or Faulty Auger

As earlier mentioned, the auger motor is the mechanism that feeds pellets from the hopper to the firepot. This part of the pellet grill can get damaged due to wear and tear from long use, or due to electrical mishap. Inspect how later

4. Motor Screws are Extremely Tight

When the auger motor screws are too tight, it will bind the auger and prevent it from rotating. This in turn will lead to a lack of pellets supply to the firepot. This issue is especially common in the Pit Boss 850.

5. Electrical or Wiring Issues

Faulty inner wiring or electrical operation can disrupt the operation of the pellet grill. If there’s any such thing, the auger motor won’t turn resulting in Pit Boss not feeding pellets.

6. Fan isn’t Spinning

If after accessing the fan blades, you notice that they aren’t spinning at all, then that is the culprit. You should look out for a jammed auger, if not the fans could stop spinning when they are stuck or not connected to power.

Pit Boss Not Feeding Pellets: DIY Fixes

Here we will look at DIY fixes that can help you get over this Pit Boss issue.

1. Clean the Auger

If you notice a clog near the top of the auger, it should be possible to unclog it without disassembling the auger. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove ash and other debris, and scrape any stuck ones with a tool (a screwdriver will work). Now, power it up.

2. Unclog the Auger Jam

First, you need to check if an auger jam is responsible for this issue. If there are layers of pellets in the hopper, you should remove them so you can see it’s bottom. At the bottom of the hopper, if you find a solid mass, it’s most likely an auger jam.

In this case, you will have to remove the auger and clean it out. Here’s what to do:

  1. Unplug your Pit Boss grill from the outlet or flip the switch if it’s hardwired
  2. Remove the shell of the hopper
  3. Now, detach the auger motor from the auger
  4. Use a screwdriver to remove the set screws.
  5. Then, pull the auger out using a set of pliers
  6. Shave off the jammed pellets with a tool, and use sandpaper to wipe away the remaining debris.
  7. You can now reassemble back.

3. Troubleshoot the Connection

If the auger isn’t jammed, it could be an issue with the connection. You’d need to inspect the red wire connections that link the control board to the auger motor.

If it’s a Pit Boss barrel grill you own, take off the hopper access panel located beneath the hopper. In the case of a vertical smoker, unplug the unit and remove the wire guard positioned beneath it.

Try disconnecting and then reconnecting the red wires to determine if this action resolves the issue. Try the same with the yellow wires too.

4. Manually Fix the Fan

To access the fan, first make sure your pellet grill is unplugged. If you use a barrel grill, remove the hopper access panel from under the hopper. If it’s a vertical smoker, you will see a metal fan compartment, remove and detach it. You can spin the fan blades with your hands to free it and spray oil or WD-40 in slight quantity at the centre of the motor spin.

If the fan blades do not spin by manually assisting it, check to see if it’s stuck on a wire — move them away. If it’s the fan brackets or the metal fan compartment that’s bent, you should take it to a local shop or contact Pit Boss.

Pit Boss Not Feeding Pellets: Preventive The Issue

To help you avoid Pit Boss not feeding pellets another time, here’s what you should do.

  1. Use only quality hardwood pellets that are designed for a wood pellet grill. The Pit Boss and Louisiana Grills brand pellets are good examples
  2. Store pellets in a container covered with an airtight lid to avoid contact with moisture.
  3. You should clean your Pit Boss regularly. especially the hopper in this case.
  4. Avoid using your Pit Boss in heavy rain as water can cause pellets to swell, decompose, and later harden, resulting in an auger jam.


We hope this comprehensive article helps you get your grill up and running properly again. Say during fix you noticed huge signs of damage or wear, you should Pit Boss customer care team for assistance.