Pit Boss Igniter Troubleshooting Guide [Reasons+Easy Solutions]

Generally, Pit Boss Ignition issues come down to several factors. Like:

  • Build up soot in the element
  • Loose or disconnected igniter wiring connection to the control board
  • Blown fuses
  • Or the faulty element itself. 

Sometimes the problem is simply related to the power supply, such as a faulty extension cord or a bad outlet, interrupting the igniter from getting enough power. 

As a quick troubleshooter, you can check all the wiring corrections for damage or looseness and fix those. Also, inspect the power source and try plugging the unit directly into a working grounded outlet rather than an extension cord. In most cases, you’ll need to consider replacing the bad igniter. 

Fret not! With some effective Pit Boss igniter troubleshooting tips from our experts, you can diagnose your igniter problems in no time without even calling a pro. So let’s dive right in! 

Why Might Your Pit Boss Pellet Grill Igniter Not Work? [Reasons+Easy Solutions]

If your igniter fails at all, head to your controller and ensure that the temperature control dial is in the SMOKE position. 

Open the grill lid, remove the cooking component, and clean out the ashes from the burn pot. Press the power button and check your unit as follows:

  • Put your hand over the igniter element to see if it is producing heat. But avoid touching it, as it could be extremely hot and lead to injury. 
  • Visually confirm that the igniter rod is sticking out about half an inch into the pot.
  • Now check the auger, and it should feed pellets into the burn pot for ignition.
  • The fan should provide air for the ignition process. Listen for the sound of air moving to check if it’s running.

If any of the above points are not working, be sure there is a problem that needs further troubleshooting.  

Have a short glimpse at the quick table below, which highlights all the probable reasons why your Pit Boss igniter has stopped working with the recommended solution ideas:

Probable Reasons Recommended Fix 
Faulty power supply Ensure your Pit Boss extension cord is in good working condition. Check for proper voltage on the power outlet. Check and replace the blown fuses on the control board. Look for a loose or damaged igniter wiring connection to the control board and fix it. 
Clogged igniter Scrape off all the stubborn specks of dirt from the igniter surface using a wire brush. 
Malfunctioning combustion fan Make sure the fan blades are running freely. 
Defective igniter itself Test the continuity of the igniter and replace the bad element 
Bad control board Replace the bad control board. 

Pit Boss Igniter Troubleshooting [Reasons + Easy Solutions]

Let’s make each of the troubleshooting processes easier with our effective guide from our experts’ hands-on experience:

1. Degradation In The Power Supply

In case your pit boss igniter stays on or malfunctions, the best possibility is that the element is not getting as much power as it should. The igniter element of a pellet grill is designed to automatically light up the pellets once it receives signals from the power board. 

But if there is any malfunction from the power supply, it is obvious, that it won’t be able to light up the pellets, and ultimately the appliance won’t function correctly. To check for electrical connections, here are a few steps you can follow:

i) Faulty Extension Cord

Before considering anything, let’s start by checking the electrical cord through which your grill is connected to the power outlet. 

The best chances are that either the extension cord is loosely connected or damaged at all. Also, if the extension cord is not rated for the power consumption of your pellet grill, it could disrupt the flow of electricity needed to power the igniter. 

How To Fix:

Inspect the extension cord and look for any visible signs of damage, such as fraying, cuts, or loose connections. If so, replace the damaged cord and make sure it is rated for the power consumption of your pellet grill. 

It’s better to avoid an extension cord and plug the unit directly into a 110-volt power outlet.

ii) Bad Power Outlet

If everything is okay with the power cord, it could be an electrical outlet problem from where your grill is getting power. Most probably, you have connected your grill with the GFCI outlet, and either it is not working or is not compatible with your pit boss.

Typically, a pit boss pellet grill works on the GFCI outlets, with a recommended size of 15 amp service.

[During the start-up phase, the igniter draws 200–700 watts of electrical power, which is a relatively high amount for a GFCI outlet to handle without tripping. So the sensitivity of the GFCI really matters!]

How To Fix:

Inspect the power outlet to see whether it is faulty and not providing any power. Look for signs of damage on the outlet, like burning marks, loose wires, or cracks.

For confirmation, plug your Pit Boss into another well-working outlet and check the igniter operation. 

iii) Loose Or Disconnected Wiring Connections Or Electrodes

The loose or damaged wiring connection of the igniter wires or electrodes to the control board is another big factor to blame in case your Pit Boss igniter is not heating. Even this is one of the frequent reasons why you may encounter an ER code on the controller with the igniter icon. 

The igniter wiring connection is what conducts the necessary voltage from the control board that triggers sparkwith theth minimum possible losses. 

However, this is the time you will inspect the igniter wiring connection or look for any physical damages like fraying, cuts, burns, or discoloration on the wires’ insulation. 

inspect the igniter wiring connection of pit boss

To do this, go as follows: 

  • Before considering anything else, put safety first. Again, I will recommend that you ensure that your grill is completely cool and unplugged.
  • Now refer to your pellet grill’s manual to access the igniter wires of your appliance. Different models may have varying designs.
  • Now locate the igniter wires and ensure that all connections are secure and free of rust or corrosion.
  • Tighten any loose connections or replace the worn-out ones. Precisely doing this step can save you money from replacing the igniter as a whole. 

iv) Blown Fuse

Almost all standard pellet grills use 5-amp, 120-volt fast-blow fuses on the control board. These fuses are mainly designed to prevent overloading on the control board and potential damage to the unit. 

Now, somehow, if the fuse linked to the igniter circuit blows out, it cuts off the electricity to that circuit. Without electricity, the igniter simply won’t have the power it needs to generate the spark and ignite the pellets.

Don’t worry, it is quite easy to replace the blown fuses in a pellet smoker. All you have to do for Pit Boss igniter fuse replacement is:

Step #1: First off, locate the fuse box on the control board from behind the control panel. It is a small, cylindrical-shaped box in a green color, as shown below: 

fuse box on the control board of pit boss

Step #2: However, use a Phillips head screwdriver and remove the screws holding the fuse on the board.

Step #3: Pull out the old igniter from the board and insert the new one back into the slot. Reconnect the wires and secure them with the screws. 

Step #4: Finally, reattach the control board and test the igniter operation.

Clogged Igniter

The clogged igniter is another major factor that most users have found in cases where their Pit boss igniter malfunctions, leading to the unit not lighting at all. The igniter generates a high-temperature spark and ignites the pellets in the burn pot, initiating the burn cycle.

But over time, ash and soot can accumulate on the igniter element, which reduces its ability to transfer heat effectively to the pellets. In most cases, clogging hinders the igniter’s electrical connections, preventing it from generating the needed spark.

If that is so, a thorough cleaning will be enough to get rid of this trouble. Here is how you will clean your igniter:

Step #1: Start by sliding out the frame boiler and cooking grates from your wood pellet grill to access the burn pot.

Step #2: Unscrew the four screws attaching the burn pot in place. Remove it, and you will see the igniter rod.

igniter rod of pit boss

Step #3: Make sure it is cool enough to touch. Unscrew the igniter screw counterclockwise and slide it out. 

Step #4: Use the soft-bristled brush and carefully remove any stubborn debris from the igniter surface. Avoid applying heavy pressure to prevent damaging the igniter. When done, reattach it back in place and restart the unit. 

3. Malfunctioning Combustion Fan

A defective combustion fan is one of the root causes of why your pit boss won’t ignite due to a non-operated igniter. The combustion fan in a pellet grill mainly pulls air into the grill to feed the pellet fire. It is obvious that a faulty fan will restrict the airflow, which simply overheats the unit, leading to damage to the igniter connection. 

Anyway, after long use, it is not uncommon that your combustion fan does not spin freely due to grease and soot buildup during the burning cycle. 

How To Fix:

To clean your combustion fan, here is all you can do:

  • Locate the combustion fan in your pellet grill. Usually, it is near the firepot or venting area. Refer to your manual if you are unsure.
  • Now use compressed air and gently blow away loose ash, dust, and debris from the fan blades and surrounding area.
  • You can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining stubborn debris. But avoid applying too much pressure, which could damage the blades. 
  • When the cleaning is done, reassemble your unit. 

4. Defective Igniter Itself 

After confirming all the troubleshooting steps above and still having your pit boss pellet grill igniter working, stop right there! The problem could be in your defective igniter itself. Pellet grill igniters are generally built to last, and several factors affect their overall functionality. 

Like frequent use, exposing it to high temperatures during operation, using low-quality pellets, sudden power surges, and so on. 

Let’s confirm the fact:

#Inspect The Igniter for Physical Damage 

Locate the igniter and visually inspect it for any signs of damage. If you find cracks, chips, discoloration, or any physical damage on the igniter element itself, be sure it is time to replace this element. 

#Pit Boss Igniter Test

It is another way you can check whether your igniter is working or not at all. Here is how you will test your pit boss igniter:

  • First off, remove the igniter from the connection.
  • Take a multimeter and set it to the beep setting.
  • Now check the continuity and resistance of the igniter. 
  • If the multimeter beeps or displays a low resistance value, it indicates that your igniter has continuity, meaning the element is likely functional.
  • If it remains silent, the igniter might be faulty, and you will need to replace it. 

How To Replace The Pit Boss Igniter?

Follow the simplest steps below to replace your Pit Boss pellet grill igniter on your own:

Step #1: Start by ensuring that there is no power supply to your Pit Boss grill and that the unit is cool enough for servicing. If that is so, move on to the next step. 

Step #2: First off, remove the grill grate and flame broiler from your pallet by simply sliding it out. This gives clear access to the burn pot and the attached igniter element.

Step #3: Now locate the four Phillips head screws, holding the firepot all together. Take a standard screwdriver and remove them.

fire pot of pit boss

Step #4: Once removed, turn their fire pot about a quarter turn clockwise or counterclockwise and pull it out. Now remove the set screw attaching the igniter in place. 

remove the set screw attaching the igniter of pit boss

Step #5: Remove the igniter and feed it back through the burn pot. Now this is the time you will have to detach the wiring connection.

Step #6: For instance, remove the bottom plate from the popper side. There will be six head screws that you will need to remove. 

Step #7: With the plate removed, clip the zip ties holding your igniter wires. Now pull the igniter wires black to the burn pot through the hopper.

igniter wires of pit boss

Step #8: Once the igniter is removed, disconnect the purple and white wires. For instance. 

purple and white wires of pit boss
purple and white wires of pit boss

Step #9: Finally, take your igniter replacement and reinstall it by following the above steps in reverse order. All that you need to ensure the correct placement of the igniter.

locate the ignitor of pit boss

Step #10: In case you are technically inclined, seek professional assistance from pit boss customer service.

5. Malfunctioning Control Board 

In most cases, you may still find that your Pit Boss pellet grill is not lighting even after an igniter replacement. This is more likely related to the bad control board of your pellet grill. 

A failing control board won’t supply enough power to the igniter, leading to weak or erratic sparking at the igniter even if the element is in tip-top condition.

How To Fix:

At this stage, inspect the control board of your pellet grill for any signs of damage or corrosion. If so, repair or replace the damaged part. You may need to replace the bad control board as a whole.

How Long Does Pellet Grill Hot Rod Igniter Last?

In general, the hot rod igniter of a wood pellet grill is built to last for up to 2–5 years on average. However, the overall factor can depend on how you are operating this element and the quality of the pellets you use for burning.

It’s worth mentioning that the more frequently you use your grill, the more your hot rod igniter will burn out. But regularly cleaning the grill and removing any built-up grease, food debris, or ash helps maintain its condition and prevents corrosion or damage.

Besides, you will need to be concerned about the pellet quality as well. Hardwood pellets are generally better than softwood pellets for igniting as they have less filler and burn better without making ashes.

Where Can I Get An Igniter Replacement For My Pit Boss Pellet Grill? 

When you are replacing the igniter of your pellet grill on your own, you must ensure that you are using the right replacement part. It’s better to contact Pit customer support to get a replacement part. 

The Pit Boss website sells replacement parts for all of their grills, including igniters. You can find the igniter for your specific model by entering your model number on the website.

Also, you can head to any online retailers, such as Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, or your local hardware stores, that sell replacement igniters for Pit Boss pellet grills. But make sure to check the product description carefully to see if the igniter is compatible with your model grill.


Can I Run My Pit Boss Pellet Grill Without a Hot Rod Igniter?

No, it is not even possible. A hot rod igniter is an integral part of a pellet grill. In case it stops working, the whole grill stops functioning at all.

Why is my pellet grill fire pot igniter not clicking?

There could be several factors responsible, like loose or damaged electrode connections, an improper power supply, blown fuses, or a clogged igniter. At times, the defective igniter itself is the only culprit here, leading to this issue.

Why is my Pit Boss igniter getting hot but it won’t light the pellets?

If your igniter is getting hot but there is no ignition, it is more likely related to using bad-quality or moist pellets. Plus, an incorrectly installed igniter, a dirty burn pot, a non-operating combustion fan, or poor air flow can prevent ignition.

How to fix it if my Pit boss ignites shortly and then goes out?

In case of short ignition, check your igniter wiring for damage, disconnection, or corrosion. Also, test the igniter element with a multimeter for continuity. If it is broken, replace it. 

Why is my Pit boss smoking but not heating?

If your Pit Boss smoker is not heating up, there could be an airflow issue in the unit. Without a proper oxygen supply, the pellet grill won’t ignite at all. Inspect the burn pot airway for any clogs and clean them out.

In Closing 

Ignition issues on Pit Boss are a clear indication that various components are related to it, and a bad igniter is the root of them. In case your Pit Boss igniter is not working, you will need to methodically inspect the element. Start by ensuring the power supply, replacing the blown fuse, or repairing the wiring issues. 

In most cases, the Pit Boss igniter troubleshooting basic steps can’t reveal the issue, and you will need to test the element itself electrically. 

We have already discussed the needed process in the above guide. In case you have any queries, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our expert team is always ready for you.

About William

William is the founder of Fireplacehubs.com. 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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