Your Pit Boss is an amazing cooking machine, but if you don’t keep it clean or one of its electrical components goes bad, you will see an error code on the control board. No Bueno amigo!
In this article, I will explain what the most common and annoying Pit Boss error code ( Er1 ) means, how to troubleshoot, fix it, and prevent it.
Pit Boss has a great customer service team, but this article can save you waiting on hold or a 50-minute call. Read on!
Pit Boss Erl Code – Er1 Code on Pit Boss Smoker, What this Code means
The ER1 message code on your Pit Boss control board display is a Pit Boss error code indicating an issue with the temperature sensor inside the Pellet Grill. Pit Boss Grills have a temperature sensor or temp probe inside the cooking chamber, normally towards the back wall of the grill, to monitor the temperature inside the grill.
The sensor we are referring to is called an RTD temperature sensor. RTD is an abbreviation for “Resistance Temperature Detector.” RTDs often incorporate platinum, nickel, or copper wires because of the positive temperature coefficient of these materials. This implies that an increase in temperature causes an increase in resistance, which is subsequently utilized to detect and monitor temperature changes.
The temperature RTD probe is how a pellet smoker or grill can read the grill’s cooking chamber temperature so the PID controller can determine if it needs to feed more pellets to the fire pot and keep the cooking chamber steady or keep feeding pellets to meet the temperature you set.
There are many reasons why this sensor can stop communicating with the controller, triggering the ER1 error code.
The good news is that the error code can be cleared quickly following a few steps in most cases. In some rare cases, you might be dealing with a bad internal thermometer sensor or a cable not connected properly, but we will show you a few steps you can follow to troubleshoot and clear the ERL error code.
How do I fix Er1 code on Pit Boss?
Fixing and clearing the Pit Boss ERL error code can be as simple as cleaning the temperature probe. In fact, many times, a dirty temperature probe is the source of the problem.
When you smoke food in your Pit Boss Smoker or grill, grease, dust, ash are all accumulated on this sensor. Eventually, and once the smoker cools down, this grease and grime will harden on the sensors.
The problem usually manifests itself when it is time for your next grilling or smoking session after the grill has been sitting for a while.
As you start your Pit Boss and set it to its ignition position, the grill will start feeding pellets to the burn pot, which will iginte the pellets and start a fire.
Your Pit Boss will keep feeding pellets until the temperature sensor reads and senses that the grill has achieved cooking temperatures. If the sensor fails to send temperature readings and cannot tell the control board what the internal cooking chamber temperature is, your Pit Boss will shut down and greet you with an error code.
So the first thing to do to fix the erl code is clean the RTD sensor. Use water, soap, or vinegar to clean the grease and grime off the sensor. By the way the sensor looks like a little antenna, you won’t miss it.
Keeping your Pit Boss clean is important and is part of any grill maintenance. Keeping the temperature probe clean will likely save you hours of troubleshooting.
- Turn off the smoker and let it cool down.
- Unplug the smoker from the power outlet.
- Check underneath the smoker for loose wires, especially the temperature probe wires.
- Check the RTD temperature probe for damage or excessive gunk. If the temperature probe is covered in grease and ash, your Pit Boss will not be able to read the temperature, and an error will be displayed on the control board.
A Few Fixes
- Grab some water and vinegar and clean the temperature probe. Create a mix of one part water and one part vinegar and clean the temperature probe as best as you can.
- Clean the burning pod, and vacuum the grill. If the fire pot is clogged with ashes, it will take longer to ignite the pellets, and an error number will be generated as a result.
How can I test if the RTD temperature sensor is bad?
You can run a few tests and see if your Pit Boss temperature probe is acting right. For example, you can use a heat gun to read the cooking chamber’s integral temperature. A Pit Boss Smoker will have its sensor against the back wall inside the cooking chamber. Aim the heat gun at the sensor and compare the temperature reading with that off the control board.
If the temperature readings between the heat gun and the controller board are way off, you likely have a bad sensor. It is time to contact customer service.
However, this test should be done after checking and making sure all cables on the back of the board, auger, fan, and other components are firmly connected. Also, make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the sensor before conducting this test.
If you don’t have a heat gun, you use a meat thermometer, but the test will not be as accurate.
How do I replace Pit Boss RTD Probe?
The process is not that complicated. The temperature problem can be removed by undoing two scores and unplugging them from the controller. Always follow Pit Boss instructions on how to perform repairs on Pit Boss smoker.
To install the new probe, screw it back in and plugin in the wires to the controller firmly.
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Preventing the Pit Boss Er1 Code
Pit Boos owners love their grills and smoker for many great reasons. To avoid and prevent getting Pit Boss error codes in the way of a good Saturday afternoon cook, maintenance will be your friend.
The main reason why you Pit Boss will throw an error code is that its internal temperature sensor is dirty. I own a Pit Boss wood pellet smoker, and everything time I have an issue, an erl code is because the probe is dirty and the grill shuts off.
Where can I get help with Pit Boss error codes?
The Pit Boss Grills are one of the most popular grills. There are plenty of places to get help with error codes.
However, if you believe there is something wrong with the probe and are getting multiple error codes is best to contact Pit Boss customer service. I have called customer service, and Pit Boss owners will agree they are among the best.
One Last Word.
I know we all want our grills to work forever and never give us any problems. But the truth is if you use your grill or smoker often, you will need to do some maintenance to keep it in top shape.
Most Pit Boss grills go into an error code mode due to poor maintenance and parts failing.
Spend some time and clean your grill at least once a month. If you plan on storing your smoker or grill during the winter, make sure it is cleaned and use a nice grill cover.
I like to clean the probe on my smoker at least once a month with water and vinegar. When the smoker cooled enough, grab a rag and wipe clean the temperature probe.
You want to enjoy your grill or smoker as much as possible and with the least amount of problems. The best thing you can do is keep your grill clean.
My friends, I hope you found this article useful. Feel free to share it with your friends and family.