So how does one blow up a brand new grill?

Roaniecowpony

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Isn't technology wonderful.
It was probably 30 years ago or more. The "museum" was largely unmanned and didn't have surveillance cameras, I was with some guys I had flown to ABQ in my plane, the moment was right, alcohol was involved. The photo was on film, so I don't know where it is these days.
 

ldawg32

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This exact same thing happened to me when I did my initial burn in. There was never any food in it so grease can def be ruled out. There was just too much in the hopper and when there was sufficient enough oxygen it blew up. It hasn’t happened since with mine but good luck. That’s scary believ me I know
 

Roaniecowpony

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OK, fun aside for the moment. I was curious as to whether the startup procedure changed if you set at 400F vs LO. So I did a single startup test of each. I started with a clean fire pot both times and it took less than 10 minutes to ignite to flame. After reviewing the video time stamps say about 7 minutes 45 seconds for the 400F setting and 6 minutes 15 seconds for the LO startup. I video'd the whole sequence of both. But, I'll spare you watching pellets come down the auger for 10 minutes.

I can tell you the startup sequence is the same whether set at 400F or LO.

On the test I did while starting at LO, the ignition occurred slightly earlier than the 400F startup. I think this was purely conincidental to the pellets contacting the ignitor. So, once it started burning well for a couple minutes, I pushed the power button to shut it off. It surprised me when the blower just shut off and the screen went blank. i think this is because I shut it down before the startup routine had completed. When I reviewed the video for this test, I pushed the power button to turn it off at about 8 minutes 30 seconds. On the 400F test I pushed the power button at 10 minutes and some change and a "normal" shutdown occurs where the grill goes thru a routine where the blower continues but the auger stops, then after a few minutes when the pellets are consumed by fire the auger deposits more pellets for a startup. So, don't shut your grill down within 10 minutes of pushing the start button. If you do, you should check to make sure you don't get auger tube burnback. If you remove the drip tray and deflector, you can just push the remaining burning pellets to the front of the pot, away from the augur. That should prevent it from burning back up the auger.

Back to the funnin.
 

Biggus

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  1. Stampede
So, fresh off the phone with Recteq after submitting a support request about all this with the video and photos.

For starters, I'm happy with the attention they provided and the troubleshooting and diagnostics we went through over the phone. However, the end result I'm a little shaky on.

Recteq formally calls this event a "lift off" and stated this is not uncommon. They're sure that this is related to the pellet feed and not the accumulation of grease, though the grease smoke could contribute to the explosion it was not the sole source.

We went through and inspected each individual piece of hardware:
Were the grills warped or broken, lid and handles?
Was the pan or diffuser warped or damaged?
How is the auger chute and firepot?
How is the igniter and it's placement? How long does it take to ignite upon powering on?
Then all of the controller settings and advanced settings within the Recteq mobile app.

They confirmed the latest RT-590s ship with a new controller and that this controller causes the grill to be misidentified by the Recteq app but I already knew that. Within the advanced settings we found that the temperature calibration was set to -128% which is apparently the furthest off this particular rep had ever heard of. We reset that back to zero, and all other settings were left as is. There was a recommendation to level out the grill so grease will flow better, but he stated what I already knew. Cooking burgers is fast, lots of grease. Powering off the grill right when they're done and going inside to eat allows the grill and grease to cool off faster than the grease will naturally drain, so I don't do myself any favors having it on an uneven surface. If the grill is level the grease has a greater chance to slide off to the right, but it's really about keeping the grease warm enough to move on it's own. He said most slow cooks that's not an issue, but faster cooks can lead to this and the best method is just changing the foil more frequently and ensuring that at the very least the pan itself is tilted to the right and not level.

Essentially I was told this happens, it's scary, and I shouldn't expect it to happen again. When powering the grill on I should expect ignition of the pellets within a couple of minutes, if not there is a greater chance of smoke but assuming the igniter is working and where it should be, and it's being fed fuel then one way or another there will be ignition. Too much fuel can lead to the smoke igniting and thus "lift off." The crux of it all is why there is too much fuel. It could be priming the firepot prior turning it on, it could be a setting that causes the auger to feed more fuel than is necessary. In my case, they're putting the blame on the temperature calibration being so far off, and I never touched that so they assume it came from the factory like that. If anything was damaged they offered to make me whole again but since everything appears to be in working order we just left it all as is and I'll try a cook sometime soon.

What leaves me concerned about it all though is I asked if there was anything else I could have done. The rep specifically mentioned Treager's instructions to start the grill with the lid open and said in no uncertain terms to not do that. Basically do exactly what I did previously, change nothing. Prime the pot the very first time, only start the grill with the lid closed, do not ramp up the heat in stages, allow the normal auto shut down sequence to complete. Recommends using foil on the pan and to change it every 4-6 cooks based on what you're eating. Doing exactly what I was told led to my grill turning into a bomb once so I'm uneasy about doing that again. The only thing I for sure will change is that I won't turn it on and immediately go back inside thinking this thing will work as designed and will at least stick around long enough to make sure it's actually ignited and not preparing to take out my laundry room or patio again.
 

Ostrichsak

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Messages
276
Location
Colorado, USA
Grill(s) owned
  1. Stampede
So, fresh off the phone with Recteq after submitting a support request about all this with the video and photos.

For starters, I'm happy with the attention they provided and the troubleshooting and diagnostics we went through over the phone. However, the end result I'm a little shaky on.

Recteq formally calls this event a "lift off" and stated this is not uncommon. They're sure that this is related to the pellet feed and not the accumulation of grease, though the grease smoke could contribute to the explosion it was not the sole source.

We went through and inspected each individual piece of hardware:
Were the grills warped or broken, lid and handles?
Was the pan or diffuser warped or damaged?
How is the auger chute and firepot?
How is the igniter and it's placement? How long does it take to ignite upon powering on?
Then all of the controller settings and advanced settings within the Recteq mobile app.

They confirmed the latest RT-590s ship with a new controller and that this controller causes the grill to be misidentified by the Recteq app but I already knew that. Within the advanced settings we found that the temperature calibration was set to -128% which is apparently the furthest off this particular rep had ever heard of. We reset that back to zero, and all other settings were left as is. There was a recommendation to level out the grill so grease will flow better, but he stated what I already knew. Cooking burgers is fast, lots of grease. Powering off the grill right when they're done and going inside to eat allows the grill and grease to cool off faster than the grease will naturally drain, so I don't do myself any favors having it on an uneven surface. If the grill is level the grease has a greater chance to slide off to the right, but it's really about keeping the grease warm enough to move on it's own. He said most slow cooks that's not an issue, but faster cooks can lead to this and the best method is just changing the foil more frequently and ensuring that at the very least the pan itself is tilted to the right and not level.

Essentially I was told this happens, it's scary, and I shouldn't expect it to happen again. When powering the grill on I should expect ignition of the pellets within a couple of minutes, if not there is a greater chance of smoke but assuming the igniter is working and where it should be, and it's being fed fuel then one way or another there will be ignition. Too much fuel can lead to the smoke igniting and thus "lift off." The crux of it all is why there is too much fuel. It could be priming the firepot prior turning it on, it could be a setting that causes the auger to feed more fuel than is necessary. In my case, they're putting the blame on the temperature calibration being so far off, and I never touched that so they assume it came from the factory like that. If anything was damaged they offered to make me whole again but since everything appears to be in working order we just left it all as is and I'll try a cook sometime soon.

What leaves me concerned about it all though is I asked if there was anything else I could have done. The rep specifically mentioned Treager's instructions to start the grill with the lid open and said in no uncertain terms to not do that. Basically do exactly what I did previously, change nothing. Prime the pot the very first time, only start the grill with the lid closed, do not ramp up the heat in stages, allow the normal auto shut down sequence to complete. Recommends using foil on the pan and to change it every 4-6 cooks based on what you're eating. Doing exactly what I was told led to my grill turning into a bomb once so I'm uneasy about doing that again. The only thing I for sure will change is that I won't turn it on and immediately go back inside thinking this thing will work as designed and will at least stick around long enough to make sure it's actually ignited and not preparing to take out my laundry room or patio again.
Summary: "You did nothing wrong. This sometimes happens. There is no fix. Don't expect it to happen again." -RecTeq official stance

Uhhh... wut?
 

Roaniecowpony

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So, fresh off the phone with Recteq after submitting a support request about all this with the video and photos.

For starters, I'm happy with the attention they provided and the troubleshooting and diagnostics we went through over the phone. However, the end result I'm a little shaky on.

Recteq formally calls this event a "lift off" and stated this is not uncommon. They're sure that this is related to the pellet feed and not the accumulation of grease, though the grease smoke could contribute to the explosion it was not the sole source.

We went through and inspected each individual piece of hardware:
Were the grills warped or broken, lid and handles?
Was the pan or diffuser warped or damaged?
How is the auger chute and firepot?
How is the igniter and it's placement? How long does it take to ignite upon powering on?
Then all of the controller settings and advanced settings within the Recteq mobile app.

They confirmed the latest RT-590s ship with a new controller and that this controller causes the grill to be misidentified by the Recteq app but I already knew that. Within the advanced settings we found that the temperature calibration was set to -128% which is apparently the furthest off this particular rep had ever heard of. We reset that back to zero, and all other settings were left as is. There was a recommendation to level out the grill so grease will flow better, but he stated what I already knew. Cooking burgers is fast, lots of grease. Powering off the grill right when they're done and going inside to eat allows the grill and grease to cool off faster than the grease will naturally drain, so I don't do myself any favors having it on an uneven surface. If the grill is level the grease has a greater chance to slide off to the right, but it's really about keeping the grease warm enough to move on it's own. He said most slow cooks that's not an issue, but faster cooks can lead to this and the best method is just changing the foil more frequently and ensuring that at the very least the pan itself is tilted to the right and not level.

Essentially I was told this happens, it's scary, and I shouldn't expect it to happen again. When powering the grill on I should expect ignition of the pellets within a couple of minutes, if not there is a greater chance of smoke but assuming the igniter is working and where it should be, and it's being fed fuel then one way or another there will be ignition. Too much fuel can lead to the smoke igniting and thus "lift off." The crux of it all is why there is too much fuel. It could be priming the firepot prior turning it on, it could be a setting that causes the auger to feed more fuel than is necessary. In my case, they're putting the blame on the temperature calibration being so far off, and I never touched that so they assume it came from the factory like that. If anything was damaged they offered to make me whole again but since everything appears to be in working order we just left it all as is and I'll try a cook sometime soon.

What leaves me concerned about it all though is I asked if there was anything else I could have done. The rep mentioned Treager's instructions to start the grill with the specificallylid open and said in no uncertain terms to not do that. Basically do exactly what I did previously, change nothing. Prime the pot the very first time, only start the grill with the lid closed, do not ramp up the heat in stages, allow the normal auto shut down sequence to complete. Recommends using foil on the pan and to change it every 4-6 cooks based on what you're eating. Doing exactly what I was told led to my grill turning into a bomb once so I'm uneasy about doing that again. The only thing I for sure will change is that I won't turn it on and immediately go back inside thinking this thing will work as designed and will at least stick around long enough to make sure it's actually ignited and not preparing to take out my laundry room or patio again.

While everything RecTeq helped you with, offered to replace, and stated would be satisfactory to me, there is one exception: their position on leaving the door closed. I don't know why they would make that statement. Leaving the door open is the only way to ensure that accumulation of a stoichiometric smoke-air mixture in an enclosed chamber is totally prevented.

I just video'd two start ups with the door open and the drip tray and heat deflector out. A flammable, let alone the stoichiometric mixture you encountered, cannot build up with the door open.

Your experience provided valuable information to us all, even if it didn't reveal the root cause. What's surprising is that RecTeq didn't learn anything from it and act on it. Just hold the status quo. I don't get it. I'm leaving the door open until I hear the distinct sound of fire in the pot and smoke deminishes.
 
Last edited:

Homer

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Click your heels together and follow the yellow brick road
Wizard Of Oz Dorothy GIF by Turner Classic Movies
 

AlphaPapa

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  1. Stampede
Anyone know what the rationale is for leaving the door closed? Why does Recteq so strongly recommend that?
 

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