[Clayart] an electric kiln experience

Gregg Lindsley gerrg42 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 15:07:37 UTC 2021

  I have just had an experience with one of my kilns, a paragon tnf273,
that was really interesting.    I have never had a kiln respond to
maintainence  like this one did,  starting because i changed out 5 bricks
on the top row where element one was.
  I replaced element one and two, brand new, after i replaced the brick. I
replaced the brick because i realized that the elements do not work well if
they do not have the support of the brick, i.e. if they are hanging out in
space. why? don't know.
  This change brought  more demand on the other parts that apparently were
also not functioning well, getting old,  and gave up the effort. The
breaker in the disconnect was the first to go, immediately failing to carry
the load after 1400 degrees F.   It tripped twice.
Then, after replalcing it, it wouldn't climb more than 100 degrees an
hour.  The bottom element tested at 16 ohms, right at the 10 percent range
that paragon says is too much.  I would have left it, because 16 didn't
seem to be that bad.  But, I decided to change it, to see if that was the
problem.   Nope.  So after talking with Mike at Creative Ceramics in Santa
Rosa, very experienced with electric kilns,  I got  3 relays and put them
in. There wasn't much more to replace.
I tested the relays already in there before I changed them, and they all
tested at 240V. cold.  Doesn't mean they won't fail at temp.  Which I guess
one or more of them did, as now the kiln is running  just fine, able to
keep up with the ramp entered.
  I think the lesson here for those who fire electric is to keep up with
the maintenance of the kiln, as performance can deteriorate without you
realizing it.
Gregg Lindsley
Earth and Fire Pottery
10325 Brookside Drive
Middletown, Ca. 95461
Function and Beauty
in the Mingei  and
Bauhaus traditions
'At home among the lost and found'
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