[Clayart] bisque firing (story)my kiln

Snail Scott claywork at flying-snail.com
Sun Jul 28 15:21:24 EDT 2019

> On Jul 28, 2019, at 8:56 AM, Kathy Schultz <K1claylady at aol.com> wrote
> Jenken tells me that if it is a short it would blow the breaker instantly after starting the kiln…

Not necessarily. Sometimes, there is enough contact to fire normally until it heats up, then a wire may sag or shift. Then, when it cools, everything looks normal again. It’s more likely to develop a gap this way than a short, but weirder things have happened, and the heat inside an electrical box can be considerable.

Weird story:

I once had a short to the lower-ring casing of an older kiln. I could tell because I got a mild electrical shock when I touched it. I tested resistance and everything else I could think of when the kiln was off, and rooted through the electrical control box. Never found any anomaly. I eventually concluded that during an element replacement, a pin had not been removed, but had actually been pushed further into the brick by a new element pin…far enough to contact the shell, but only when the inner pin was hot, and when it cooled the contact was broken. I never found the hypothetical buried pin, but I went around and pulled out all the ones touching the element and replaced them in slightly different spots, and the problem went away. The buried pin is probably still in there. Or not.


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