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Basic Controller Replacement

This article covers how to install a Z Grills PID controller in a 450A or 700 series pellet smoker.

For Grill Models: 450A, 7002B, 700E, 700E-XL

Time: 20-30min

Difficulty: Medium

Spare Parts (from Z Grills):

  • PID Controller
  • Cable Ties

Tools Required:

  • Pliers or small socket set
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Scissors or knife

Any questions about how to complete the process please contact us.


Only proceed with this replacement process after reading all the instructions and confirming that you have both the skills and confidence to do so. You are responsible for any damage you cause to the controller, grill components or property, or injury to yourself or others.

The power cable must be unplugged (not just turned off) from power supply any time the controller is unscrewed or the bottom cover is not secured in place.

Touching any part of the circuit board against the side of the metal casing while plugged into power will short out and destroy the controller.

The circuit board of the controller has areas with high voltage 240V AC power when plugged into a power supply. Never touch the back of the controller when plugged into power as electrocution could occur!

Remove Hopper

If replacing a Z Grills controller it is best to lift the hopper assembly off the grill and place on a table. This allows the bottom cover to be removed and all the cables easily accessed.

Review the information and videos on this page for step by step instructions. Also review the wiring configuration and clean up information below.

Wiring Connections

Depending on the grill model, the wiring colour and configuration may differ slightly. Refer to the images below to see the configuration that matches your grill.

The controller 3 output plugs are labeled MOT (auger motor), FAN (big fan) and HOT (ignition rod). The wiring colour may be different.

Clockwise: Power Cable, Auger motor, Fan, Metal Ignition Rod
Clockwise: Power Cable, Auger Motor, Fan, Metal Ignition Rod
Clockwise: Power Cable, Auger Motor, Fan, SN Ignition Rod with inline power controller box.

Green Earth Wire

If the supplied controller has a green earth wire, it should be connected to the same nut as the green/yellow earth from the mains cable as shown in the image below.

Controller Earth Wire Attachment

Power Filter Box Removal

If there is a power controller box present (shown below), please remove this and connect the remaining plug ends together (HOT plug to Ignition Rod). To be clear, the power controller is not required, so should be discarded.

Ignition rod power controller

Any questions about how to complete the process please contact us.

Review the videos below for more information.

Final Cable Cleanup

The photo below shows the best way to clean up the cables and is an improvement over that outlined in the videos.

Using the hole(s) in the black metal plate to anchor the bundle of wires with a cable tie is recommended.

Ensure the cables are secured kept away from the auger motor little cooling fan and main large fire-pot fan.

Grill wiring clean up

Z Grills 700 Series Grill

Z Grills 450A Series Grill

The video below covers both the controller and ignition rod replacement. If just replacing the controller, jump to the 4 minute mark that shows how to access it through the bottom cover.