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Ignition Rod Replacement (450A)

This article covers how to replace the ignition rod (hot rod) in a Z Grills 450A pellet smoker.

For Grill Models: 450A

Time: 20-30min

Difficulty: Medium

Spare Parts (from Z Grills): Ignition Rod, Cable ties

Tools Required: Pliers or small socket set, Phillips head screwdriver, Scissors or knife

What is the ignition rod?

The ignition rod extends into the bottom of the fire-pot and is responsible for igniting the wood pellets. Each time the grill is turned from Shut Down the Smoke setting, the ignition rod runs for 5mins, getting red hot.

NOTE: New Silicon Nitride Ignition Rod

From November 2021 a new type of type of ignition rod will be supplied to Australian Z Grills customers if a ignition rod fails during the warranty period. Please review the rough video below in combination with the existing step by step instructions on this page.

A higher quality video and an update to this page will be made as soon as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions about how to install this new type ignition rod.

Repair Instructions

Check out the step by step instructions with photos on this page to understand how to replace the ignition rod in a 450A Z Grills pellet smoker.

Step 1. Unplug the Power

Before doing any maintenance or cleaning, always unplug the power to the grill.

Step 2. Empty the hopper


Scoop as many pellets out as you can using a plastic scoop or cup.

Vacuum out the remaining pellets so you can see the Auger.


To make cleaning out all the wood pellets easier, you may want to temporarily remove the guard plate.

2 screws are located just under the lip of the guard.  

Take care not to drop the screws down into the Auger.

Step 3. Remove base cover


Remove the 8 screws to release the base cover.

Step 4. Release the Controller


Remove the two screws from the controller.


Gentle pull the controller forward and then push back in through the hole in the hopper box.


If the controller is hard to move, it may be necessary to cut the white cable tie that is securing the cables together. Take care not to cut any of the wires.  

Gently pull the bundle of wires sitting in the small box out.

Step 5. Remove hopper box


Remove the two front and two rear screws.

Remove the 2 screws inside the hopper.


Gently lift off the hopper and place off to the side out of the way.

You now have full access to the controller, auger and all the cables.

Step 6. Check the fuse

If the ignition rod tripped the power (quite common) the fuse is most likely blown.

A spare fuse is zip tied to the top of the green fuse box. Cut the white cable tie and pull the top of the green box off with the fuse houses inside.

3A M205 Fuse

If blown, swap the fuse out with the spare.

The fuse type is a 3A M205 Fast Blow Fuse, which is widely available from electric parts outlets and hardware stores.

Step 7. Unplug the ignition rod cable


Cut off all the cable ties to free up the cables.

Identify the cable with the sticker HOT on it which powers the ignition rod.

The cable will be purple-white from the controller and white-white leading into the side of the grill to the ignition rod.

Carefully unplug by pulling on the plastic connectors and not the wires.

Step 8. Remove fire-pot

Remove fire-pot screws

Undo the 4 screws on the top of the fire-pot using a pair of pliers, spanner or suitable sized socket wrench.

Pull the fire-pot to the right (tap with pliers if required).

To lift out, rotate the pot to the side and lift up and out at an angle.

Flip the fire-pot over and gently undo the screw until the ignition rod can slide out.

Step 9. Replace ignition rod

Pull out ignition rod

Pull the thick white cable to remove from old ignition rod from the grill.

Insert new ignition rod

Insert the new ignition rod and push through enough cable until you can grab the end from the fire-pot hole.

Pull new igntion rod out

Make sure the cable runs to the front side of the auger feed tube.

Ingition rod extend length

Insert the new ignition rod into the fire-pot so it extends out 10-15mm.

Secure in place by tightening the screw. Do NOT over torque the screw as it may break.

Angle firepot to insert and remove

Put the fire-pot back in place by angling the ignition rod to the front of the auger feed tube.

Drop down and then rotate to align the auger feed tube with the big hole in the fire-pot.

Tap fire-pot back into place

Put the fire-pot back in place by angling the ignition rod to the front of the auger feed tube.

You may need to gently push the auger feed tube up or down to slot into the hole in the fire-pot.

As required, gently tap the fire-pot into place so the screw holes align.

Tighten fire-pot screws up

Do up all the screw firmly. Do not over-tighten.

Step 10. Connect and bundle cables


Connect the new ignition rod cable to the purple-white plug labelled HOT.


Bundle the cables neatly in behind the controller so they will be able to fit back into the little box.

Use several cable ties to secure the cables together taking care to ensure none are close to the main fan (underneath) or auger motor small cooling fan.

If available, use some spiral conduit to wrap around the cables.

Step 11. Check cables connections

Controller Boards Temp Sensor Terminals

Check to make sure the temperature sensor cables are still firmly in place.

Depending on the controller model, the colour of the cable ends and terminal block may be different. Both are situated at the top of the controller board.

Step 12. Put everything back


Reverse the process to put the hopper cover back on, cables back into place and controller back mounted on the front.

It is a good idea to have a look underneath (using mirror or front facing camera) before replacing the base plate to ensure none of the cables are close to the auger motor fan or main fire-pot fan.

Step 13. Test operation

Before replacing the bottom cover first test the operation of the grill.

Plug into power, switch on and turn the controller knob to Smoke setting.

Listen for the fan sound and look to see if the auger it slowly rotating (it comes on/off) intermittently. You may need to wait 30-40 seconds to see it rotate.

Firepot ignition process

To check the operation of the ignition rod, wait to see smoke, which should appear in 4-5 minutes.

If the auger feed tube is empty of pellets, use a long piece of twisted kitchen paper to touch the ignition rod to see if it is getting hot (2-3 minutes from turning to Smoke).

If the fan, auger motor or ignition rod are not working, unplug from power and check the plug connections.

Step 14. Replace base cover


With the grill shut down and the power unplugged replace the bottom cover.

When pushing the base plate back up, gently pull the power cable up through the plastic tension gland so there isn’t too much slack cable up above the base plate.

Awesome job, you fixed it!

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