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Kristin_Gail

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Everything posted by Kristin_Gail

  1. My old Cress kiln has six dials in the front, each with a light. The kiln is plugged into a wall-mount Skutt kiln controller. I'm attempting a Cone 6 firing, manually programmed. Somewhere around 2000F, the kiln stopped turning on. The controller tries to send power to the kiln, and you can see the all lights flick on for a split second. But they don't stay on. The kiln is just rapidly cooling now. (It's the kiln that's failed, not the controller.) I have, in the past, had an issue with not enough power going to this breaker - but that was resolved by turning off various appliances in the house. And it was a completely different symptom. This is a new one for me!
  2. Electric Kiln Failed - Possible Causes?

    It's apparently an issue with the controller. The kiln works fine when plugged into the wall on its own. (Updating for someone who might search for this same issue.)
  3. Electric Kiln Failed - Possible Causes?

    I've decided it's the relay, from various manufacturers' troubleshooting pages. Including this from Jen-Ken: " If the pilot lights on the front of the kiln flicker or do not cycle on and off while the kiln is trying to heat then the relay is usually the answer." Damn. Really wanted to fire this kiln three times in the next week, before packing up the studio for an indefinite number of months/years...
  4. Electric Kiln Failed - Possible Causes?

    My house only has 100 amp service - the electrician told me I can only fire the kiln when I'm not running the oven, etc. The last time it failed, I was running the furnace fan - which apparently drew enough to not give enough power to the kiln. It's not doing the same thing now, though (and nothing's on in the house besides the fridge and computer). I cannot remember exactly what was happening before, when it wasn't getting enough power, but it certainly wasn't doing this split-second-lights-on thing. Will a kiln do this when one element is out?
  5. So. I'm finally firing my kiln again (see last firing's questions here: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5746-troubleshooting-this-converted-kiln-o-mine-taller-chimney/). This time, I adjusted the regulator to fully open; built the bagwall up to 13.5" high (with spacing in wall), from a previous 4.5" high; and put a 36" metal extension on the chimney. The burners are far, far happier - they're burning blue instead of orange. But I still have to fire with the damper almost completely closed if I want the temp to rise at all. It's a 9 x 9 hole, and there's only a 1 x 9 section open right now. Anything more than that, and the temp drops rapidly. I'm re-firing all the pieces from last time, so figured I could go faster than usual. Averaging about 250/hr or so. I slowly raised the gauges (measured in water columns) every so often - every 2-3 hours. I'm at hour 7 of the firing, and the dials on the burners are almost maxed out (4.5 of 5.8). Temp is just below 1600°F. Rising okay for now - about 200°/hr. I'm concerned that, in a few minutes, I will again - for the third time - fail at reduction. With the damper closed down so tightly, there isn't much wiggle room between neutral and smoke. I have such a difficult time finding that "4" flame from the spy holes" spot. In addition, with the dials being so close to fully open, I will again be stalling at 1900° (for the third time). Honestly. What in thee heck am I doing wrong? John B. mentioned that a novice error is to turn up burners when really what you need to do is turn them down. I've tried this. I've tried moving the damper to all sorts of positions, gauges up and down, etc. The only thing that makes temp rise is closing the damper way down and, oddly, taking OUT the kiln shelf I have covering the gap above the damper. (Does this make sense? The damper is thinner than the damper slot, so someone here told me to cover the 3/4" high gap with something. When I cover it, the temp drops.) Geesh. Getting close to reduction temp now ...
  6. I can try it again with the MRs (I think that's what John is suggesting?) but I don't think two B2s are the proper size for the kiln - that's how I ended up with these MR-100s in the first place.
  7. In case that wasn't clear - here, let me make it even less clear. This is my idea: The lid would still sit on the metal frame, there would just otherwise be empty space over there on the right. Important to note: I understand I need to build a proper kiln; no more of this conversion craziness. But it appears we are moving - far, far away - next summer. I want to stick with this one until that time, when I do build a proper kiln (from someone else's plans!) at our new home.
  8. Howdy, guys. I have just returned from a firing workshop at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. We fired two propane-fueled Venturi-burner downdraft kilns, one with salt. Phew, did I never need that experience. I have such a better understanding now, of so much. Too much to mention. But yes, I believe I had been focusing too much on turning up the burners instead of fiddling with the damper and waiting. And now I understand what a reduction atmosphere looks like, when peering into the kiln. Really, though, I don't think I have been doing that much wrong. I really believe it's a burner issue. Simply the heat coming off of them is enough tell me sum'n ain't raight. I could grab hold of those burners at the workshop, even at the height of the firing. I can't touch mine within seconds of ignition. Here's what I would like to do: Re-build my kiln so that it's a proper downdraft, sized to run on two B-2 burners, situated on either side of the chimney. (As I already have one, and the high-pressure regulator, etc.) It's 19 cu. ft. right now. I'm guessing I'll need to make it about 2/3 of this size? (Unsure as of yet how to do the specific calculation; looking for a formula for BTU requirements with my 3" thick IFB walls. Will figure it out though.) Having run through various scenarios (including turning the kiln on its side - which would make it front-loading - making the now-walls shorter, then building a sprung-arch top), I'm wondering if I couldn't just do this: Leave it just how it is, but move the far wall (the one that now has burners) closer to the chimney, however many inches to get the cu. ft I need. Does this make sense? Just re-build that one wall, making the kiln more box-shaped than its current rectangle shape. This would leave part of the roof and various metal parts of the kiln hanging out there are the end, but I think otherwise the concept will work? I'd have a little 29"h x 27.5"w x Y"d flat-topped downdraft kiln. Would love to hear comments on this, the latest of my hair-brained ideas.
  9. Just in case anyone is hanging on the edge of their seats: I spoke with numerous potters; no one was willing/able to help me. So I gave it a go alone again. The temperature stopped rising at 2175 (an additional two tanks and new regulator gave me 200 degrees! Woo!) - I held there for quite a bit, then shut it down. I reached anywhere from Cone 4 to Cone 6. Still that same flame that just goes through one shelf and out the flue. Still only one shelf with any reduction. I used twice the amount of soda as I had in the past (2 kg in this 19 cu ft kiln), and there's really no evidence of having added more than before. I believe the majority of it is going up the chimney (which, at that point, is less than 1" open at the damper). In any event. This system, I believe, is fried. Done. The amount of heat radiating from the two burners - and the gauges just behind them - is absurd. I can't fathom the inter-workings to be still functioning properly. (The heat in the burners is almost immediate upon lighting, as that blue flame is in the throat [but not to the orifice].) Currently in the Frustrated stage, scheming about building a wood kiln.
  10. Hooked up the four tanks, kept old regulator: Same reading on pressure gauge - about 5.2. (Marc expected 7-8.) Replaced old regulator with new: Pressure gauge reads 6.4 with one burner running, drops to 5.8 with both running. Marc has explained that the gauges should not drop when turning on an additional burner - and that it does do this, it indicates a volume issue. He is trying to avoid switching me to high pressure, saying I've already spent too much money, and switching to high pressure would be much more. But currently he has no ideas for me, other than using one regulator per burner. But he wants me to fire it this way before trying the two-regulator option. I'm currently trying to track down two retired ceramics professors who apparently live within 1/2 hour of me. Because I'm not attempting this again alone. I have to say, building a little wood-fired kiln (that Manabigama is so cute!) is looking better and better every day. (With the given that I'd actually help fire someone else's before building my own.)
  11. Have been working with Marc. I will be receiving next week a new regulator and necessary connectors to string together an additional two 100-lb tanks. If the four tanks don't give me a reading of more than 5.5 on the pressure gauge, I'll switch out the regulator. If that doesn't help, I may be switching to high pressure.
  12. This is the regulator on my B-2 burner. It's a Chen Fong CF103. I've found little information about it, but one particular Web site lists it as "Inlet Pressure : Max. 250 PSI Outlet Pressure : 0-60 PSIG " From what we have read thus far, it seems as though we should give it a go as a low-pressure system with a new regulator.
  13. Ohmyword, I'm confused again. I thought that if I bought a high-pressure regulator, I'd have to switch the orifice. But if I went low-pressure, I wouldn't.
  14. Marc supplied it, and it's model R-9950.
  15. No, that's not the regulator I have. The one I have says "Gas-Flo Low Pressure Two Stage LP Gas Regulator" on it. I don't see it on the Ward Burner site. I'm having a difficult time finding a web site for the manufacturer, but various resellers list it as 195,000 BTU/HR capacity.
  16. This is the youtube video I intended to post, showing the flame coming through one shelf, down between the stacks of shelves, and out the chimney. (Well, you can't see all of that, but you can at least see the type of flame it is).
  17. We need to have some sort of incredible community party when I finally figure out how to make it work.
  18. Oh, my. I ask an awful lot of questions. Here are posts regarding this kiln: When I first brought it home: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/4788-a-new-kiln-conversion-project-what-would-you-do/ How to add a chimney: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5050-chimney-design-on-this-here-conversion-of-mine/ How to build the roof: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/4995-kiln-shed-roof-distance-from-kiln/ After I fired it once: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5514-first-firing-of-this-here-electric-to-propanewoodsoda-converted-kiln/ After the second firing: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5746-troubleshooting-this-converted-kiln-o-mine-taller-chimney/?do=findComment&comment=53295 And, of course, this thread started eight pages ago, during the third firing.
  19. Literally as you were typing this, I was standing here at the computer, looking over my husband's shoulder as he read and re-read everything (again), saying to him, "How do you check a regulator?" And he replied, "Just buy a new one!" We really are comprehending all this information - it's just difficult to sort through it sometimes (children screaming, pots boiling over, etc.) We are searching for a low-pressure, high-volume regulator. We may have found on here: http://gashosesandregulators.com/lowpressureregulators.html Low Pressure Propane Twin Stage Regulator Twin stage regulators combine first and second stage regulators into a single unit. They are designed to reduce tank pressure to a preset 11" WC delivery pressure. Manually adjustable from 9" to 13" WC Equipped with 1/8" FNPT pressure gauge taps on inlet and outlet for easy system pressure checks. Supplied with a 60" thermoplastic high pressure hose outfitted with a model 204051 Full Flow, POL tank connector. Gas outlet is 3/4" FNPT. Flexible 3/4" ID low pressure outlet gas hose may be found on our Natural Gas Hose webpage. Supplied with GR-905 mounting bracket shown below. Dimensions: 7.5"L x 5.5"W x 4.75"H Weight 3# 15 oz. Free shipping. 525,000 btu/hr maximum output Perfect for small cabins using portable tanks GR9412 132.50 Would this fit the bill? I think that changing the regulator and moving the tanks into the sun (which isn't possible, but let's pretend it is) - this counts as a single change. I will right now find links to various posts about this kiln and post them.
  20. John recommended figuring out if the regulator is defective. How can I do this?
  21. TJR - The damper, at its widest open, left an open space of 2.5" x 9". Anything more than that, and the temp drops dramatically. On this last attempt, the damper was between 1.75" and 2.5" open (of a 9" x 9" space).
  22. I get myself into trouble here when I try to put things in too simple of terms (or be silly), but here I go again: 1. I cannot buy a propane tank larger than 100 lb - any larger and I have to rent it, and they have to fill it. And the propane company will not deliver to my system. (I once called them out, two kilns ago. The fella held up his hands as he walked away, saying, "I was never here.") So I would be looking at adding more 100-lb tanks. 2. I was very confused about John's previous regulator comments - I thought you were saying I should not buy the one linked to at Amazon, as it was high pressure and I needed to find a low-pressure, high-volume one. 3. I'm certain user error is a huge factor. That's why I do not want to fire this kiln again until I rope in a real potter to come and sit with me for 12 hours or so. I cannot wait to find out what it is I'm doing wrong - because I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. 4. My current regulator is listed at 195,000 BTU/HR capacity. 5. Bruce, yes that's still what the flame is doing. I tried to post a video of it a page or two ago, but couldn't make it work. I can try to re-post it tomorrow.
  23. John - Just found this updated post; I'm digesting it post now. Mark - I found now the post that made me decide not to buy that regulator way back in February:
  24. Yessir, I'm in New Brunswick. It will be warmer today - 72! Balmy. It's generally winter here from mid-October through mid-May. Spring for a few months, autumn for a weekend or two. Never summer. (In comparison to my previous life as a Midwestern American and Ontario-dweller.) Really, more photos of this thing? I can do that. I tried to take a video of the entire system, from tank to chimney top, but am having memory issues on the iPad. Chimney rebuild reference was meant to be a far-reaching idea of the list of possibilities - just kidding, really. Although I'm pretty much open to anything. But yes, one change at a time. Curtis might just have a regulator for me, you never know.
  25. I just re-read the regulator section of that thread, and it sure seems as though it was a consensus to change to that specific regulator. But why didn't I? If I remember correctly, I thought someone said it wasn't the right one, as it says right on it "high pressure." But now I can't find this comment, so I was obviously confused. Also, in the middle of the discussion, I called Marc and he said just to turn up the regulator I already had. Here's the suggested regulator: http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-5HPR-40-Adjustable-Regulator/dp/B0033JF0GE I'm certainly more than happy to give this a go.
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