What's in This Article?

What to do when your pellets start tunneling.


What Is Tunneling?

Tunneling is a term we use when the majority of pellets are stuck in the hopper (at least 75% full) and they create a tunnel in the center above the auger tube.

Tunneling is VERY rare and is almost non-existent in newer grills. The majority of instances will be found on Traeger's AC, non-connected grills. 


A slight funnel shape is normal in all grills. To be considered tunneling, you should see the connection between the hopper and the auger tube.

Newer grills have improved design to reduce this from happening, and it is most common in small cavity grills like the Junior, Tailgater, and Bronson models.

How to Prevent Pellets from Tunneling

If your grill experiences tunneling occasionally, take the steps below:

  • Clean out the hopper
  • Periodically check the pellets
  • Stir around the pellets in the hopper with a long spoon or spatula, being careful to keep your hand away from the bottom of the hopper
  • Do NOT replace the hopper

Consistent Tunneling

If your grill is consistently tunneling, try these steps:

  1. Clean out the hopper. If you have a lot of saw dust or blockage in the hopper, this can also increase the frequency of tunneling.
  2. Check the inside of the hopper for any damage. Damage can increase the chance of tunneling.
  3. If the pellets continue to tunnel, contact Customer Support

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