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Phillidia

Skutt Kiln Error Message After Repair

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I have a big sale coming up this weekend and I put the last bisque load in yesterday afternoon. I come into the studio today to find the kiln reading Error 1. This is a Skutt kiln model km-1227 firing a bisque load to cone 04. This error is about the ramping up rate being less than 12 degrees per hour. Possible causes include large load which isn't the case, and issues with either the relays, elements, or voltage. Normally, I would just call the kiln repair man, but he was here in July fixing this kiln. The issue then was the electrical plug. It had some discoloration around one of the prongs, and he re-wired and replaced the whole plug section. I also had an electrician come out and check the wall wiring and outlet to make sure the problem was isolated in the kiln plug, which it was. The wall wiring is fine. The kiln has been running about twice a week since the repair just fine. The other issue is that our power had been out all morning before I turned the kiln on.

 

Questions:

1) would a power outage cause the kiln to sense low voltage?

2) do you think the issue is with the wiring or is it just ANOTHER issue with the same kiln that happened to pop up right after the first issue?

3) Am I correct in assuming trying to re-run the kiln will result in the same error or create a bigger problem?

 

Most importantly:

4) Will the load be underfired and need to be fired again? Or do you think it's okay to glaze? I have no idea what temp it was at when the error occured and it's still too hot to open and look at.

 

My other kiln is doing glaze loads all week and if I need to re-fire I will not get this entire kiln load done in time for the sale. :( 

 

Thanks!!!

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Error 1 is totally vague. It means that somewhere in the system, something is not getting the power it needs. Could be anywhere from the breaker in the box to the elements. The breaker could have a leg out, a connection somewhere in the control panel could be fried, a relay could be dead, or an element could be dead. Or the thermocouple could need replacing.

 

1. Low voltage is different than a power outage.

2. See above.

3. Unload the kiln and do a Ramp/Hold with 1 segment to 1000 degrees at a rate of 9999. Start it up and keep checking the elements every few minutes to see if they all glow. If they all glow, then you either have a relay that is sticking at some point as the firing progresses, or the thermocouple needs replacing. If an entire section of the kiln is dead (2 elements), then you either have a bad connection somewhere or a bad relay or a dead leg on the main power cord. To check that you'll have to unhook everything and open up the control box and look for fried connections. If 1 element is dead, you either have a broken element or a fried connection in the control box. A broken element can be temporarily fixed by heating the ends of the break with a torch and twisting them together. Ultimately you may need to get in there with a meter to check the power path.

4. Without knowing how hot it got, you should refire.

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Finally cool enough to open and unload. Everything inside looks like it got pretty close to temp. Gonna glaze and test one piece just to see...

 

Opened the box and found a fried connection on the terminal strip. Wah wah wah. But at least I know the original repair to the plug is fine, I guess...

 

Thanks for the help!

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It's probably time to replace all those feeder wires, or at least all the terminal connectors. They're looking pretty crispy. Can't do the wires until you replace the elements because of the crimp connections, but you could cut off all the terminal ends and put on new connectors if the wires are long enough.

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