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kiln replacement

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dianebartlett
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:50 am

kiln replacement

Postby dianebartlett » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:30 pm

I have an Olympic kiln with top and side elements that is 8 years old. It has been used pretty heavy. The elements are falling out of their groves and the top brick is crumbling slightly. Is there an age limitation on kilns and am I there yet?
Today I set my controls and when it reached 230 degrees is starting beeping and won't stop. I unplugged it, turned it off and reset the program but I get the same results.
Is it time to get a new kiln?

Valerie Adams
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Valerie Adams » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:00 pm

Kilns require maintenance and repair just like any other tool. Elements can be replaced, along with bricks and relays. You may be able to do much of the repair yourself.

Here's a photo of my 14 year old Paragon, after a relay failure a few years ago. What you don't see in the photo is the giant crater that was left in the floor after I chipped out all the glass that overflowed the shelf. I replaced the relays, tucked the elements back in place, carved out and replaced the bricks in the floor. I use this kiln daily.
meltdown.jpg

dianebartlett
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:50 am

Re: kiln replacement

Postby dianebartlett » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:28 pm

Thanks for the info. I guess I will try to make repairs myself. I sure hate to spend over $1000 on a new kiln if all I need is patience with repairs. I blew a fuse which requires a $2 investment. So glad that was the problem.

Susanbuckler
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:31 pm

Re: kiln replacement

Postby Susanbuckler » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:33 pm

Valerie and others,
What kind of general maintenance do you suggest for a kiln?
I vacuum the elements and inside
What else?
Thanks
Susan
Susan Buckler
Woodstock, NY

Marty
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Marty » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:37 am

Susan- incense and small bits of food usually suffice to placate the kiln goddesses.
The only things I can think of are keeping it sort-of clean and tightening the connections (with the power off at the breaker!) every several years.
There's really nothing that should go wrong wrong wron wro with normal use.

Valerie Adams
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Valerie Adams » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:57 am

After the meltdown I had, I replace the elements in all of my kilns every couple years (I buy them in bulk online). I check the connections as Marty mentioned, vacuum, and check and clean the plugs every now and then. I've been known to pray and sacrifice too.

Susanbuckler
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Susanbuckler » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:36 am

Thanks
I'll try bowing down after I close the lid
Susan Buckler
Woodstock, NY

Marty
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Marty » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:15 am

I suppose the routine replacement of elements is harmless but I find it unnecessarily cautious. I've been using the same elements in my monster kiln since I built it 15 years ago. I do keep a set of spares on hand, just in case.

Valerie Adams
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Valerie Adams » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:24 pm

Marty wrote:I suppose the routine replacement of elements is harmless but I find it unnecessarily cautious. I've been using the same elements in my monster kiln since I built it 15 years ago. I do keep a set of spares on hand, just in case.

Marty, are you using mercury relays? I know they last much longer but we can't use them in California (I believe the real issue is that we can't dispose of them). I've had the relays die twice in my Paragon, and once in my Skutt. The relays run me about $8 each so considering what I went through with having to rebuild my Paragon, it's cheap insurance. :D

Marty
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Marty » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:42 pm

You'd said "elements".
I do use mercury relays and I should keep spares handy. I got 2 identical Digitry GB1 controllers for the 2 kilns (instead of a single GB5) so I could swap them if one went bad- it's happened once.
I try to keep a spare fan motor for the kilnroom exhaust on hand as well.
We know this stuff is going to fail just when a deadline is looming....

Aglassygirl303
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Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: kiln replacement

Postby Aglassygirl303 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:31 pm

Help? I have replace the elements in my lid and reconnected everything. When I turn it on it is throwing the GFI. Any ideas? Is it a relay switch. I have a new one, should I try this?

Bert Weiss
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Bert Weiss » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:21 pm

Aglassygirl303 wrote:Help? I have replace the elements in my lid and reconnected everything. When I turn it on it is throwing the GFI. Any ideas? Is it a relay switch. I have a new one, should I try this?
GFI stands for ground fault interrupter. So, there is a ground fault, meaning a live power wire or element is contacting ground in a place where it shouldn't be. Carefully inspect your wiring and element and see what is touching ground. This could be a pin that holds an element in place contacting the metal skin of the kiln, or something. There is one somewhere...
Bert

Bert Weiss Art Glass*
http://www.customartglass.com
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Arnold Howard
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Arnold Howard » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Valerie Adams wrote:After the meltdown I had, I replace the elements in all of my kilns every couple years (I buy them in bulk online). I check the connections as Marty mentioned, vacuum, and check and clean the plugs every now and then. I've been known to pray and sacrifice too.


Valerie, you wrote elements, but you probably meant relays. I would not replace an element until it burned out. Elements in glass kilns last a long time, because the kilns fire to such low temperatures.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

Valerie Adams
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Re: kiln replacement

Postby Valerie Adams » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:07 pm

Oops; Arnold you are correct!

Even after that terrible melt-down, the elements were (and are!) still fine.


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