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Interesting. That was posted by me more than 3 years ago. I never did find the exact reason for the back draft but the next year Candy Sue was doing an overnight cook on the FEC100 they have at the pellet plant. Like mine the unit is inside with a stack venting outside. She returned in the morning to the same deal, OT kicked and pellets in hopper smoking and charred.
I did notice on my Louisiana Grill that they lift the pellets up hill from the hopper in back and then drop them down the chute to the firepot. I haven't seen the design of the new FEC but maybe they are doing that also.
Originally posted by Larry Jacobs:
Also, with my Traegers, the fire pot stoker air is like a jet engine and any spend fuel is blown into the chamber and doesn't stay in the fire pot. The FEC on the other hand has a gentle breeze stoking the fire.......

Just my $0.02 worth my FEC100 also has a " fire pot stoker air supply that causes a jet engine like flame ". If I happen to open the FEC100 door while the fan is blowing I can see at least two inches of violent yellow flame burning at a slight angle back towards the pellet ramp. This same action covers the bottom of my foiled FEC and the top of the air box with grain size bits of ash. However I have had no hint of hopper pellets catching on fire or smoldering to date. Just information.
Last edited by highdesertq
This past weekend I watched flames from my firepot ignite the pellets in the front of my auger tube. I had the door open for an extended period of time when it happened. I think the key is to keep the door shut. What's happening is the temperature is dropping so the pellets keep dropping into the firepot. This makes the fire bigger which eventually gets tall enough to reach the auger tube and the fan, for some reason, blows the flame back into the tube.

It could just be timing too, say the temperuture in the cooker is dropping so the pellets are being added at a faster rate so the fire is getting bigger, maybe even to the point where it's now overshot the temp a bit, so you already have a decent size flame in there. Then you open the door, what's going to happen?, temp is going to drop, and more pellets are going to be added to make an even bigger flame, that is now getting all the oxygen it wants.

A Simple solution to stop this would be a small square of steel tacked vertically 1/4 to 1/2 way down the ramp, I would think.

Or keep the door shut.
I spoke with Tony at Cookshack about my fire going out (see "fire out again") and then told him about my "fire in the hole". He said that it is likely the same thing. Back pressure or not enough air flow causes the fire to go out. The pot fills with pellets and then an ember ignites them. The fire lights the auger pellets and trips the high temp. limit switch.

Just a thought on my PG500 from a brand new unit and smoking a brisket. To keep it short, the fire was going out and the auger was filling the fire can full of fuel pellets. After the temp cooled all the way down to 129degrees, the igniter would start and go to a large roaring fire in the pit (since the fire box was full of pellets) going to 450 before it would burn down. While looking into the auger in the dark ( at 2am not by choice), I noticed the pellets in the auger were glowing, so I ran the temp way up just to clear it out. Emptied the hopper to make sure it wasn't in the hopper ( found several blackened pellets) and went back to bed. I woke up in the morning and watched it cycle from fire dwindle out to 375-425 a couple times ( one of the cycles filled the smoker and the area with a lot of smoke..... then it ignited with a muffled poof and blew the doors open).

      Called CS and spoke with them and adjusted the LHT and the HHT, at that point I learned it was not an automatic one setting does all on the controller. I moved the LHT to 15 and the HHT to 65 which kept the temp much better at 225ish without large temp swings.

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