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We have an old evenheat kiln that we're struggling to master. It's a 4320 model but with the 4 toggle switches and not the 4 dials. Our problem is that the top element takes way longer to heat up than the other 3. We did a paper test and initially it appeared that the top element wasn't warming up at all, after 30 seconds the lower 3 elements had all scorched their pieces of paper while the top was still unmarked. We took the cover panel off and tightened a couple of wires that appeared overly loose, one going to the top element and one going to the grounding point. The top element now at least get hot enough to scorch the paper but takes at least twice as long as the other elements. So the switch works and the element works but we're stuck as to where to go next. The only thing I can see different with the top element circuit and the others is that the top circuit includes a "therm-o-disk" which appears to be some kind of bimetallic thermostat. Could that be the cause of our issue? Or could it simply be that in this model of kiln the top element doesn't get so hot because it's at the top where all the heat rises to anyway. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. We're really struggling to get consistent glaze firings in this kiln and now there's two of us potting away going back to the small kiln would be painful, not to mention lead to further global warming.
PlantationBelle posted a topic in Equipment Use and RepairI picked up two kilns today with unknown history. I got a Gare 1818 and Skutt LT-4K double. I did a little in my grandmother’s porcelain doll shop when I was a child. It she’s been gone some years and I haven’t had the opportunity to dabble since then. I messaged both manufacturers begging information from the serial numbers. My husband was worried over asbestos...these don’t look ancient so I assured him they would be hazard-free and I hope I wasn’t telling a fib. Husband is an electrician, welder, engineer, etc. so he’s confident he can inspect it and give me a thumbs up. The bricks on the lid of the Gare look loose. Is that something that can be repaired? It has a lovely ceramic duck inside. Bonus! I hope that means she works.
I bought a used Gare Pf 2329 kiln a few months ago. It was in great physical shape. It's 240 v single phase but we had it installed on a 208 power supply (by a certified electrician) and changed the elements to 208 volt (by a very experienced kiln repairman). He tested the power using a meter and it should have worked. We tried firing to cone 6 but after 19 hours the cones bent (and my glazes begged for the heat to stop, but that's another story). Obviously something was wrong. We had the relays checked and one changed. He also added an extra one since one relay was controlling 4 elements. We successfully did a bisque firing. Today we started a cone 6 firing at 5 am. It was going up well until about 1900 at 12pm, when it started slowing down big time. It was inching up for hours and stalled around cone 1. We turned it off at 9 pm. I can't believe it's still not working properly. The last things are the thermocouple or the controller. The repairman says the thermocouple is fine. We need to call him again. I imagine the next thing he'll check is the controller. These repairs are going to end up costing the same as the kiln did in the first place. But we've invested too much to turn back. I am so frustrated! Any suggestions? Similar stories? I need to fire my work! My work is being showcased in a boutique in little over a week and I can't afford to lose any more pieces to bad firings.