Changing out the Traeger Burn Pots
|End of Year|
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Every three to seven days depending on how hard your Traeger is burning, you will need to change the burn pot. The reason for this change is because clinker, the hard sugar remains of the burning process, sticks to the stainless steel of the burn pot. This buildup gathers, inch by inch, until eventually the air holes in the sides of the burn pot are plugged. It is at this time the burn pot must either be cleaned, or changed.
To clean a burn pot, it must really be cold. Actually, cleaning is much easier if the burn pot has been cooled overnight. So therefore, it is much easier to buy a second burn pot with your boiler. Then you can just do a pot swap.
- Shut down the feed but keep the pilot fan running.
- Wait a length of time for your boiler to sufficently cool. Ash buildup in the ash pan can lenghten the time the burn pot requires to cool.
- Pull the burn pot retaining pin.
- Slide the burn pot off the end of the corn feed auger.
- Rotate the burn pot 90 degrees
Because the burn pot will not fit out the door of the burn chamber without being rotated. Take great care not to burn your arms while you are performing this burn pot rotation
- Remove the burn pot from the boiler and set aside.
- Insert the new burn pot and again rotate 90 degrees.
- Slide on to end of corn feed auger and insert pin.
- It is a good idea at this point to check the bottom slide gate of the burn pot to make sure it is fully seated. The reason for this is because during the process of inserting the burn pot and rotating it 90 degrees it is very easy to dislodge the slide gate. Dislodging this slide gate by up to an inch is not impossible. This will cause you huge problems at the time of the next changing out of the Traeger burn pot. The slide gate will at that time be firmly glued in place by hardend clinker and will not be able to be moved. Since the burn pot *ONLY* fits through the door in one dimension, it is critical the slide gate be fully seated for the burn pot to be removed from the burn chamber. Forgetting to assure the slide gate is seated will result in having to cut off the slide gate tab with a sawsall. -- A very long process because the slide gate is made of stainless steel.
- build a fire in the burn pot as described in (link to Traeger startup)
Cleaning the old burn pot
It works best to let the old burn pot sit and cool for at least 24 hours. Though in a pinch, the burn pot can be cleaned immediatly, it is a harder job because the clinker is much harder when it is dry. By letting the burn pot sit overnight, the clinker will soften considerably because it will adsorb moisture from the air.
- Tip the burn pot upside down over a plastic waste container. Drywall compound buckets work well. The reason plastic works better than metal is because the burn pot clinker is potash and could have some corrosion effect with metal buckets.
- Remove the slide gate.
- Poke down through the clinker with a metal rod or crow bar. Some spots will be harder than others.
- Clean as much of the clinker out as you can without using excessive force. Take great care not to damage the stainless steel burn pot. As the pot ages, it gets more brittle and must be handled with greater care.
- Leave remaining clinker, which during hard burn times might still be over an inch thick, overnight. It will again soften.
- If you need to speed this process, or the clinker is particularly hard, you will need to soak the burn pot in a basin of water for an over night. Never, however, place a hot pot into water. Make sure the burn pot has fully cooled over night before soaking. Again, this can be speeded up by using a wash basin that can capture the outflow of a cycle of a clothes washer. The soap residue in the water greatly speeds the breakup of the clinker.