Discuss, share information, ask questions, and show off your expertise on Yoder Pellet Cookers.

Click the links below to go directly to available resources:
**Pellet cookers** - YS480, YS640
**Competition Pellet cookers** - YS480 Comp, YS640 Comp, YS1500 Comp, Cimarron Comp
**Pellet Cooker Warranty**
July 22nd, 2015, 9:08 am
#1
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2014, 9:28 pm
  • Posts: 5

Not real sure where to post this, so here goes.

The last time I used my 640 I used it with the Grill Grates(?) for doing a Steak. Set the temperature at 450, let things heat up well and proceeded to cook up an excellent steak. Shut off the grill, went inside and had dinner. Then I went out to unplug the grill only to find that I now had a fire going in the Pellet Hopper. Not a good thing. Worst part is that this has now happened 2 of the last 3 times I have used the unit, Both times I was using the Grill Grates and had the temperature set at 450.

Unit is 4 years old and has turned out lots of great meals, just seems that either something is wrong with the unit or suddenly I'm doing something wrong.

Any ideas?

Joe

July 22nd, 2015, 10:59 am
#2
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2409

What is the serial number and build date from the door plate of your cooker?

What is the version of firmware? This is displayed for 2 seconds after flipping the power switch to the ON position.

What updates have you installed?

Do you unplug your cooker when not in use? It is a requirement that each cooking session start with plugging the cooker into power. If the cooker is already plugged into power, it MUST be unplugged for a minimum of 30 seconds and then plugged back into power.

Does your burn grate fit tightly in the firebox, and are the firebox silicone seals inspected regularly, per the required maintenance outlined in the manual under Firebox and Burn Grate Assembly Maintenance? Here are the latest versions of the Yoder Smokers manuals: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=153

Are you cleaning the ash from the burn grate before each cooking session: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=454

Do you close the lid during the cool down cycle after turning the cooker off?

Pictures of the inside of your cooker would be most helpful; firebox with the burn grate installed, firebox with the burn grate removed.

Yoder_Herb
July 23rd, 2015, 8:23 pm
#3
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2014, 9:28 pm
  • Posts: 5

Herb, Build date is 6-17-11, serial number11324.
Generally use a Shop vac on the unit every other use, knock the ash out of the burn grate on the in between cook.

Silicone Seal needs re done, will take care of that in the next couple of days.

Unit is unplugged after it shuts down.

Door is closed during cool down

Firmware is U26

I have the pictures that you asked for, but don't know how to load them into messages on this board.

Joe

July 23rd, 2015, 8:50 pm
#4
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2409

To post pictures, use the Full Editor, and then go to the bottom of the screen where you will see a tab called Upload attachments.

Does your burn grate fit tightly in the firebox, or is there a large gap between the burn grate and the hopper wall? The burn grate must fit tightly in the firebox, with no gap between it and the hopper wall.

If the silicone is bad, do not use your cooker until you replace it. This in itself can cause a hopper fire.

Yoder_Herb
July 23rd, 2015, 8:58 pm
#5
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2014, 9:28 pm
  • Posts: 5

Ok, hope this works.

There has always been a gap between the Grate and the Hopper Wall.

Joe

Attachments
Smoker 2.jpg
Smoker 3.jpg
July 23rd, 2015, 9:18 pm
#6
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2409

If you pull the front (chimney side) of the burn grate toward the chimney so it is tight against the firebox, you should have little, if any, gap between the burn grate and the hopper wall. The tighter the fit, the better, but, the burn grate must fit all the way into the firebox. The proper manner of doing this is to flip the burn grate over on a hard surface, like concrete, and step on the burn grate to slowly bend it back into the proper shape to achieve the tight fit.

Also, I would suggest a through scraping and cleaning of your burn grate to get rid of all the carbon buildup and baked on debris to achieve a smooth surface for the pellets to properly slide down into the bottom of the burn grate. I do this with a metal putty knife, large flat blade screwdriver and a wire brush. Make sure to clean the holes our too.

Here is a picture of a properly fitting burn grate. Notice it is tight against the from of the firebox and there isn't any gap on the hopper wall.

BurnGrateInsideLeft.jpg

This is what the silicone seal should look like. The Permatex replacement is red instead of black, but it should still look like this.
fire box silicone seal.jpg

Yoder_Herb
July 25th, 2015, 1:53 pm
#7
* Wichita ** Wichita *
  • Joined: July 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm
  • Posts: 145

Hi Joe,
your 640 issue sounds very familiar to my former issue (see Hopper fire...yikes). I can say that you are in good hands with Herb and probably only days from being up and running.
I do have one thing to add as I did not read it in this thread. I think my unit came with the firebox not totally fitting right and being a newby, I had no way of knowing. After a period of time it led to the permatex dissolving which then led to the diffuser plate warping which then led to the thermocoupler malfunctioning and finally the hopper fire. Might have the order wrong but it would seem all started with firebox.

You will see the difference right away as you can actually feel it seat itself and it will be very snug in the housing.

My point is...at this point check your diffuser plate to make sure it has not also warped.

July 25th, 2015, 2:51 pm
#8
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2014, 9:28 pm
  • Posts: 5

Hey West,

Thanks, yes Herb is great. He has helped me in the past with other issues. I got the Permatex High Temp Silicon in place yesterday and worked on the Fire Grate to get a much better seal on the Hopper Wall with it. Also as Herb mentioned I cleaned the Fire Grate. So I'll give the Permatex a couple days to cure good, then will fire it off again early next week. I do hope this fixes the problem as I hate going out to unplug the unit only to be greeted by this.

Joe

Attachments
Smoker 1.jpg
July 25th, 2015, 3:34 pm
#9
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2409

With routine maintenance and cleaning, you will never see that again. Now you know what happens to a neglected cooker. It sounds like you have healing hands, so the cooker has been resurrected. Most of the issues reported are caused from neglected maintenance and cleaning.

Yoder_Herb
July 25th, 2015, 4:30 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2014, 9:28 pm
  • Posts: 5

Herb, Thanks. I do have to admit I have been doing a poor job maintaining the little things on the cooker. Over all it has been cleaned well on a consistent basis, just missed a couple of things in the book and forgot to keep up with them. Will see how it does over the next couple of weeks as I will be using it for both a smoker and a grill.

Joe

June 30th, 2022, 11:32 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: June 30th, 2022, 11:25 am
  • Posts: 1

I have had my YS640 for about 6 years now. It has been amazing. I upgraded the controls to the WiFi Fireboard controller and it has changed the game for me with the ability to adjust temps and log historical data with different cooks. I made this controller switch over a year ago and had zero issues. However, the past two high temp grill cooks have resulted in a fire inside of my pellet hopper. It is weird that it just now started. I have been grilling at 450+ for several years without issue.

I would love suggestions on a solution.

June 30th, 2022, 12:43 pm
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: August 15th, 2014, 10:48 am
  • Posts: 29

Here are the things we went over that can cause burn back to occur.

A) First, you will want to check to make sure that both fans are functioning properly. The following link will assist you with checking the fans.
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=354

B) The burn grate fitment is also equally important to the efficiency of the fire and to prevent burn back into the hopper. The burn grate should seat firmly against the front edge of the firebox and contact the back wall of the pit. To reshape your burn grate for proper fitment, please refer to the user manual

C) Over time and after many cooks on your grill, the chimney may accumulate buildup on the inner walls. Is the chimney free from any excessive buildup? Restricting the airflow through the chimney can cause erratic temperature performance and ultimately burn back into the hopper.

Once we have verified that everything inside the cooker is set up and functioning as designed, we must question the fuel used.

How do you store your pellets? Never store pellet bags directly on the ground or floor, especially concrete, as they will wick moisture through the bag and become moisture contaminated and lose the ability to perform correctly when burned. Moisture contaminated pellets are hard to initially ignite, burn incompletely, cause erratic cooker performance and temperatures, and may cause the fire to be snuffed out or cause severe banking of the pellets resulting is a waterfall effect from the auger which may ultimately cause a burn back into the pellet hopper. Open bags of pellets should be kept in an airtight container.

Pellets left in the hopper for longer than a week, in humid environments, will take on moisture and become moisture contaminated. Pellets generally contain 5 to 8 percent moisture and will take on moisture from the air in humid environments (even if cooker is covered), in an attempt to normalize the humidity level within the environment. See if it helps to try a new bag of pellets.

To further assist you with this, send an email to customerservice@yodersmokers.com with the following information:

Serial number and build date from the door plate.

Your full name and shipping address.

Your phone number.

Include an explanation of the problem and any pictures of the inside of the cooker so the CS team can fully understand what happened and get you running ASAP.

Return to Pellet