How To Tell If Traeger Hot Rod Is Bad  [2 Easy Methods]

Traeger hot rods are a crucial part of your grill or smoker. It will deliver the heat you need to cook your food evenly. If the hot rod doesn’t heat up, you will never get the temperature you need to cook juicy meat.

Even the Traeger won’t smoke your food. As a result, you may get undercooked food. Over time, the hot rod of your Traeger gets rusty or loses its shape. Now, you can ask- how to tell if Traeger hot rod is bad or stay in good condition?

To know the answer to the question, check out this Traeger hot rod troubleshooting guide. 

How To Tell If Traeger Hot Rod Is Bad [2 Easy Methods]

Whether your Traeger Grill’s hot rod gets defective or not, you can tell it easily. There are two methods to find out if the rod is good or bad:  

Method 1:

Just turn on your grill and set it to the Smoke setting. Then, keep your hand over the firepot. Make sure you don’t touch it with your hand. If you don’t feel the heat that comes from the hot rod, understand it’s faulty. 

However, we recommend you inspect the hot rod manually with our method two. 

Method 2:

To test a Traeger hot rod manually, check the below steps: 

  • Turn the grill off first and unplug it from an electric outlet.
  • Unhook the Molex connector of fiberglass-wrapped wires from the purple and white Molex connector.
  • Plug the Molex connector of fiberglass-wrapped wires again with the purple and white Molex connector.
  • Now, turn your Traeger smoker on and run the grill for 5 minutes to check whether it works properly or not. If the hot rod fails to produce any heat, reach the Traeger customer service.
  • Find the Molex connector of the hotrod’s high-heat fabric wires. Then, unplug the orange wires from the Molex connector. 
  • Reconnect the wires again
  • Turn on your Traeger Grill again and wait for 3 minutes to see whether the hot rod heats up or not. 
  • If you find the draft induction fan is working properly, understand your hot rod gets bad. 

How To Fix a Bad Hot Rod

You can fix a defective hot rod in multiple ways. For example, you can glue down the handle if it gets faulty. Alternatively, you can change the hot rod wires if they get damaged. 

But repairing the hot rod by changing wires or handles is not a long-term solution. And you will not gain the same flavor from the hot rod by repairing it. 

So, we suggest you replace the faulty hot rod with a new one.

How To Replace Traeger Hot Rod

The following guideline will let you know how to replace a Traeger hot rod and fuse.

  • Start with unplugging your Traeger Grill from an outlet.
  • Find out the purple wire by going underneath the hopper of your grill. Then, unplug the Molex connector. 
  • Next, open your Traeger Grill and remove the cooking grate, drip tray, and the heat baffle to expose your firepot.
  • Use a ¼ inch wrench or nut driver to unscrew the four screws. Then, remove the firepot by twisting it into a position that resembles a star. It takes apart the hot rod from the auger tube. 
  • Next, wiggle it out from its position. Afterward, remove the set screws that hold the hot rod to the firepot. 
  • Take the Molex connector at the end of your new hot rod and tape it to the hot rod side of your old hot rod. 
  • Pull the wiring through to help guide the new hot rod wiring into your grill. 
  • Now, you have a new hot rod wired through your grill. Plug the new hot rod into the purple and white wires coming from the controller. 
  • Now, it’s time to replace the hot rod when placing the hot rod back into the firepot. Ensure the hot rod only comes into your firepot and eight to a quarter of an inch.
  • Set back the set screw into its place and reassemble the firepot to back it into its original position.
  • Drop it into the grill again and you need to make a star shape. It allows the hot rod to get into the auger tube.
  • Twist it back to its position and lock down the screws. 
  • Finally, put everything back into your grill and now you are ready to run your grill to check whether your new hot rod functions properly or not. 


Where is the hot rod on Traeger?

You can find the hot rod underneath the firepot on Traeger. 

How long does a traeger hot rod last?

Typically, a Traeger hot rod will allow you to use it for one to two years to get heat. However, it will last over five years and serve you with no problem if you use it correctly.

Where to buy a Traeger hot rod?

You can get the hot rod for your Traeger grill from Amazon or from the official Traeger website. 

How often do you clean a Traeger?

We recommend you clean your Traeger after every 2-3 cook. However, you should clean it often if you smoke greasy foods and cook for a longer period. 


The easy way to inspect whether your Traeger hot rod is working properly or not is to keep the hand over the firepot. If you feel the heat radiates from the firepot, understand the hot rod is in good condition and functions correctly. 

Otherwise, you should change the hot rod. To change the hot rod, follow the guideline we mentioned above. 

We suggest you call the Traeger customer service if the Traeger grill doesn’t produce the heat you need after replacing the hot rod. 

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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