Pit Boss Pro Series 5 Vertical Smoker (bought from Lowes) Issues

Stump58

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I am totally at a loss and figured I would try here as a last resort. I had a propane smoker and used it till it rusted out, then I went with the Pit Boss Pellet Smoker based on reviews instead of propane again. I love the smoker when it works. I smoke once a week (combination of meats, brisket, turkey, ribs, etc..).

I clean the smoker after each cook (vacuum, wipe down, etc..). I have had this smoker for a year and have had some problems. I replaced the control unit because of the code that causes it to shut down, replaced and will be replacing again the temperature probe in the smoker based on error code it had after trouble shooting. I tried to use smoker again this weekend and got a new code this time (ErH). So I checked the box to make sure there was not any grease causing flare ups (nothing), looked in the burn pot and pellets were burning high above auger feed and catching pellets on fire at the end of the auger feed causing high temp. I cleaned burn pot out completely and removed pellets that were catching. Let unit cool down, restarted and all seemed good. Then after two hours, same thing happened. Sent questions and problem to customer service and it looks like they may be sending another control unit. This is my first pellet cooking appliance. Again, love the thing when it works and I am getting frustrated due to me fixing the unit verses cooking with it. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

I have also read that I need to fill the hopper (40lb bag capacity) instead of keeping it 1/4 full, is this true? The smoker is on a screened covered porch away from elements and has a cover so pellets are not being subjected to moisture. I usually smoke at the 250 degree setting but due the outside temperature (30s or lower) I have to switch to 275 setting to keep temp in box at a min of 225-235 degrees. Colder weather has been tough to smoke in with this unit.

Again any help is appreciated before I use this as target practice and go back to propane. Thanks in advance.
 

MikeInFla

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Might be possible it is wired backwards causing the pellets to continuously feed causing it to burn hot. Listen to it and watch if you can and see if this is the case. As for the hopper I rarely fill mine with all 40 pounds. Have never had an issue with the hopper. Sometimes I'll put in a 20 pound bag or even less just make sure to periodically check it to make sure pellets are flowing down (I use and old broom stick to move them around). Since you are getting high temps I think the auger is feeding too much and not stopping. Also use another thermometer and check temps with that to see how hot it is actually getting.
 

Stump58

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Might be possible it is wired backwards causing the pellets to continuously feed causing it to burn hot. Listen to it and watch if you can and see if this is the case. As for the hopper I rarely fill mine with all 40 pounds. Have never had an issue with the hopper. Sometimes I'll put in a 20 pound bag or even less just make sure to periodically check it to make sure pellets are flowing down (I use and old broom stick to move them around). Since you are getting high temps I think the auger is feeding too much and not stopping. Also use another thermometer and check temps with that to see how hot it is actually getting.
When I wired the control unit it was exactly the same as the one I took out. Pretty easy really. It seems the auger is feeding to much pellets which leads me to believe that the control unit is messing up again or the auger is having issues. It seems odd the auger would have any issues because it is tied into the control unit. I use dump a 40 lb bag in and the let it eat and had no issues. Then when the control unit was messing up it was a pain to dump so I usually put about 20lbs or less to get through the cook in case an issue arises. I have two thermometers in the box and the heat never gets a high as the digital read. When the pellets light and the flame gets too high it starts to ignite the pellets in the edge of the auger and then gets hotter where stock temp probe is causing the shut down. Pit Boss is sending me something (I think a new control unit again). I really do appreciate your response and most certainly look forward to any help on here. Really at a loss here and want to keep using it but if this thing cant get fixed then I feel a year is enough of messing with it. LOL
 

Stump58

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Also as a side note: I switched pellets because my supplier was out of the Pit Boss pellets. I used the weber 20 lb bag. Great flavor and pellets were longer. I am back to using the pit boss pellets. Would not think that would be an issue but wanted to throw that out there.
 

MikeInFla

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Pit Boss pellets are fine. I've tried tons of brands and never really had an issue with any brand of pellet.
 
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PB has a problem that I suspect the company isn't going to address because of cost. I'm reading countless stories years old about how these units are not working as advertised.

Some federal agency should look into PB. Trade Comm., Product Safety, Consumer Credit.

Not enough "true" reviews from the retailers that push these things.
 

Stump58

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I am finding that the more I smoke in cold weather I am having allot of issues keeping temp inside the box. I replaced control unit and installed new probe and it seemed to do well for now. PB customer service has been great and they will send you what you need. I sent a letter to the owners and they had their QA department reach out and are replacing the unit. It is not often that a company will stand behind their product, this company has so far. I just want to smoke meat and not work on the unit. Before I bought this unit a year ago there seemed to be great reviews and a friend had the same unit (I have the pro series from lowes and he has the copperhead series from PB). Only difference between him and me is that I smoke once a week and he smokes twice a month so he has no issues. I have most certainly run the heck out of this smoker and was about to go back to propane until they stood behind their product. We shall see. All guts replaced and all brand new lets see how long this will last.
 

Tommy Wood

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I am totally at a loss and figured I would try here as a last resort. I had a propane smoker and used it till it rusted out, then I went with the Pit Boss Pellet Smoker based on reviews instead of propane again. I love the smoker when it works. I smoke once a week (combination of meats, brisket, turkey, ribs, etc..).

I clean the smoker after each cook (vacuum, wipe down, etc..). I have had this smoker for a year and have had some problems. I replaced the control unit because of the code that causes it to shut down, replaced and will be replacing again the temperature probe in the smoker based on error code it had after trouble shooting. I tried to use smoker again this weekend and got a new code this time (ErH). So I checked the box to make sure there was not any grease causing flare ups (nothing), looked in the burn pot and pellets were burning high above auger feed and catching pellets on fire at the end of the auger feed causing high temp. I cleaned burn pot out completely and removed pellets that were catching. Let unit cool down, restarted and all seemed good. Then after two hours, same thing happened. Sent questions and problem to customer service and it looks like they may be sending another control unit. This is my first pellet cooking appliance. Again, love the thing when it works and I am getting frustrated due to me fixing the unit verses cooking with it. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

I have also read that I need to fill the hopper (40lb bag capacity) instead of keeping it 1/4 full, is this true? The smoker is on a screened covered porch away from elements and has a cover so pellets are not being subjected to moisture. I usually smoke at the 250 degree setting but due the outside temperature (30s or lower) I have to switch to 275 setting to keep temp in box at a min of 225-235 degrees. Colder weather has been tough to smoke in with this unit.

Again any help is appreciated before I use this as target practice and go back to propane. Thanks in advance.
I also have a copperhead vertical smoker, 5 series. I have had it over a year, and it seems like it always quits, never the same problem twice, and I have to try to fix it. It loves to quit, right in the middle of a run. After fixing the various problems, I like the smoked flavor, but can't trust it to "set it and forget it". I seldom use it. It just takes up too much of My time to watch it constantly, or usually I watch My remote thermometer, to let Me know when it has quit. I may have used it 10 times, it's been like this from the first use. Support has helped me , when I can't figure out the problem, but never have offered to replace anything.
 

DanStealth

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Try putting some fireplace bricks inside the unit or a welders blanket in the winter
 

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