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MisterP

Skull E-1 error question

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Hey all,

My school has a Skutt kiln that has been running fine doing low fire. I tried to do a cone 6 fire and received the dreaded E-1 error. The kiln is only 3 years old and is only used 4 months out of the year. It was moved to  a new kiln room this year and it does have a downdraft vent, but the new kiln room is small with no windows and it gets VERY hot in there. Could the room temperature trigger an E-1 or is it definitely something inside the kiln?

Thanks for the input!

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E-1 is failure of the temperature to rise. If the room temperature got to hot for the controller board to function properly, the error would be E-bd. The most common cause for an E-1 error is worn elements. The amount of power needed to raise the temperature in the kiln increases as the temperature goes up. It doesn't take much heating power (relatively speaking) to get to bisque/low fire temps. But it takes progressively more heating power input to get each degree of increase. Thus, you can run a kiln for bisque/low fire only forever, but it will fail if you try to take it much higher. You can check the resistance of the elements with an ohm meter. A second cause could be that one element is broken. A good kiln like Skutt can reach bisque/low fire temperatures with one element out. But then, as with worn elements, it just can't go any farther. Another cause could be a relay stuck in the off position. The controller is telling the relay to turn the elements on, but it's stuck and doesn't, so the kiln doesn't heat. That can be more difficult to diagnose as it might be intermittent. Check the elements first.

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I actually see more dead relays than worn or broken elements when an E-1 occurs. Program a ramp/hold with 1 segment to 1000 degrees with no hold and turn on the kiln. Let it run a few minutes, then carefully crack the lid and see if all the elements are glowing. Turn off the lights to make it easier to see. The top and bottom elements will glow hotter than the rest. If one element is out, then it's either a dead element or a fried connection in the control box. If two elements in the same ring of the kiln are dead, then it's a dead relay. It's also possible for an old thermocouple to cause and E-1, so if your thermocouple is looking really crispy you should replace it. It could also be that the elements are worn but not broken, in which case you'll need to check their resistance with an ohm meter (any multi-meter can do that). Also, what is the model, voltage and phase of your kiln. A KM1227 wired up on 208 volt dingle phase service will only go to cone 5, and only if all the elements are in good condition.

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

 Also, what is the model, voltage and phase of your kiln. A KM1227 wired up on 208 volt dingle phase service will only go to cone 5, and only if all the elements are in good condition.

Bingo. That's it. I never knew that it would only go to Cone 5. 

 

I will go ahead and check the elements/relays by running a ramp/hold as well.

Thanks to all for the quick advice!

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