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I just went out to check on my Bailey electric kiln I had programed a slow cool.  The last time I did this I got the error code E2 . I talked to tech support and they told me to put the first cooling drop to 400 (instead of 999)degrees to  170 0.  I did that this time and I still got the E2 code.  I called Baileys again and the tech person is on vacation so I am waiting for someone else to call me back.  It hit the top temp of 2185 at around 915 this morning.  I there anything I can now do to get this kiln started again and try to slow down the cooling?

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The kiln had fired to temp and was on its way down for a slow cool..  It is a baileys 10 cubic feet.  The guy from Baileys never ended up calling me back :-( I ended up getting in touch with Steve at Bartlett (the tech at the controller company).  He was very helpful. He said I should try going down 300 degrees to 1700 where I have a 10 minute hold.  He told me what to do so I could see the temp the kiln was at.  It was hotter in the middle. So part of my problem might have been that I loaded the kiln to tightly in the middle. He told me how to turn the kiln back on if this happens again next time.  It was to late for this time.  Has anyone else had this problem when trying to do a slow cool?

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Tighter in the middle us typically a good thing, because that area of the kiln doesn't work as hard as the top and bottom, so it can handle being tighter there. You just want to make sure you're not too close to the thermocouple- always leave at least an inch clearance all around.

Multi zone kilns can have problems when you tell them to work at extremes, like crash cooling. It's not going to cool evenly at a crash (9999), so the controller may freak out when the zones get too uneven. At 400F/hr it may not be able to cool that quickly, so it can freak out there. You have to find a rate that is fast, but not so fast that it can't keep up, which is where the 300F/hr comes in.

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5 hours ago, CAR said:

The kiln had fired to temp and was on its way down for a slow cool..  It is a baileys 10 cubic feet.  The guy from Baileys never ended up calling me back :-( I ended up getting in touch with Steve at Bartlett (the tech at the controller company).  He was very helpful. He said I should try going down 300 degrees to 1700 where I have a 10 minute hold.  He told me what to do so I could see the temp the kiln was at.  It was hotter in the middle. So part of my problem might have been that I loaded the kiln to tightly in the middle. He told me how to turn the kiln back on if this happens again next time.  It was to late for this time.  Has anyone else had this problem when trying to do a slow cool?

I have seen this error on insulated kilns where the kiln will cool slower than the ramp programmed and therefore the controller believes the kiln has a stuck relay. Bailey used Frank Tuckers (Cone Art) design which features his lid lifter and the insulation which I have seen take longer to cool than many program down ramps. Yes, insulated kilns do in fact out perform non insulated kilns thermodynamically just like insulated glass outperforms old single pane in a house. 3” brick cools quicker than 2” brick plus 1” of insulation pretty much every time.

Packing the kiln tightly, along with the insulation tends to exacerbate this problem. Kilns that are super insulated have other provisions that allow the user to vent some of the heat so slow cools can reach their hold points in a reasonable time and not cause this error. The controller has to default to an error at some point if it appears a relay is stuck.

I have excerpted two parts of the Bartlett manual. One section reflects that ANY down ramp will  begin its hold based on the coolest zone so the middle being hotter than the others can be a problem if significantly hotter than the other zones and you begin your down ramp hold but it is quite a bit higher than your hold temperature. The second excerpt allows you to turn off the error function for special firings issues.

One thought which takes some effort and observation

You might have to set a completion alarm then monitor and time how quickly this kiln cools to get some ramp rates that match the kiln more closely for your down ramp programming for this kiln.

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Neil I usually leave plenty of room around the thermocouple . I will check on that when I unload. The odd part of this is the first time I tried a slow cool I used the crash cool(999) and I had no problems.  The second time I got the E 2 error code. I thought it was because I missed the top temperature where I usually turn the exhaust fan off.  So this time I made sure I was at the kiln to turn off the fan when it reached top temperature. I thought I was home free and went outside in the yard to do some gardening.  I was quite upset when I checked the kiln two hours later and saw the error code.    Bill is there some place in the manual the tells you how to turn off the shut off feature?  Or do you just turn of the error codes .  I will probably try the 300 degree drop and watch. The next firing I do will probably be a bisque would it tell me anything to watch that rate of cooling?   

Thank you 

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@CAR

More than you ever wanted to think about cool down!

The shutoff feature can be turned on or off except it has no effect on down ramps. On down ramps the kiln will begin the hold when any zone falls to the set point temperature. The excerpts attached  are from Bartlett and available for down load at: https://www.bartinst.com/manuals/kiln at the bottom of the page there is an operating manual AND a technical manual.  Just a word of caution write down your present technical parameters before making changes so you can return your controller to its previous setup.

interesting in that some folks leave the fan on to alleviate this condition somewhat and this time you turned off the fan. Their kilns don’t reach cool down set point fast enough on their own so they leave the fan on.  The fan generally does not provide a whole bunch of cooling speed to this BTW, if counterflow it usually removes a very tiny bit of air.

Slow cool is a bit misleading in that we are really engaging in a powered cool down to control the cooling in a certain range of temperatures so crystal growth can take place.

To give an idea how things cool I have attached a measured cool down of one of our Alpine kilns, a very leaky old gas fired 16 cu ft. Notice how quickly the rate  of cooling drops as the temperature difference from inside to out decreases.  If we added insulation to this kiln the rate of cooling would decrease even more dramatically.

Recording this manually may be the best way to know what speed it goes on it’s own. By 1800 degrees the rate is less than 300 degrees per hour for this kiln. The data you see here was developed so we could develop an equation that would predict the cooldown so we could add this function into a monitor allowing folks to power cool the gas kiln and not have to sit and watch endlessly while it cools. A bit overkill but really nice to have. The equation we settled on is below as well. Since then we settled on  the final programming allowing the user to enter early warning setpoints and receive a text a few minutes before they needed to return to the kiln to Power up for their hold.

To answer your bisque fire question it will tell you something but is significantly short of cone six temperature where the cooldown rates are the highest.

Probably a cool subject but actually more than you probably ever wanted to know.

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Edited by Bill Kielb

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Thank you ..I love all this information.  I’m trying to understand, so I was thinking the exhaust fan was the problem because the first time I did a slow cool I turned the fan off and had no problem.  I thought by having the fan on the bottom cooled much quicker making the difference between the thermocouples more than 50 degrees causing the E2 error.  Should I maybe open the spy holes to help with the cool down and then close them?   Another thought would be to add another segment and cool to 1800 degrees at the 300 degree rate. Then do a segment of maybe 100 or 150 degrees to the 1700 where I want to do a hold.  The next segment in the program has it going down at a rate of 50 degrees to 1550 with a 20 minute hold. Next the last segment is 50 degrees to 1400 with a 30 minute hold. It is sort of a variation on Steven Hills slow cool and John Britts.   Do you think that might help?  

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Anything you can do to slow the program rates down will help so the segments make sense to me. For me I would set an alarm for when the kiln finished and take some data every 15 minutes  till 1600 degrees or so of a non powered cool down to know what they basically are for that kiln. From there you should be able to develop just about any schedule you like staying conservative within those rates. I don’t have a great way to cool this evenly and quickly as the potential for sudden  drafts and local rapid cooling makes me wary. So pulling the port plugs  early in my view has some risk.

I am not a fan of disabling the error function either but have observed others do it hoping to make it through a firing. 

Our  best no thought studio solution is to not fire in the insulated kilns if possible for powered cool. We have one L&L rectangular kiln, 3” brick, no insulation which  cools much more quickly on its own and five Cone  Arts which are insulated. When we can fill the L&L it generally is Easiest to run the power cool without worrying about rates much. As to having insulated kilns we enjoy the saving in energy.

I think measuring your natural cooling rate  and knowing what it is is  still my best suggestion. A bit of a pain but once known may be very useful.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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Thanks. I will try your suggestion the next time I fire the kiln. I have only this kiln connected to power.  It’s 10 cubic feet so it takes me a while to fill it. I always feel I should have a full kiln but maybe if I am slow cooling it might not matter as much.  I have a 7 cubic foot L&L kiln but it has a kiln sitter (not connected to power). Not sure if that would be any better since I would not have as much control as it seems you have with a computer.  I would like to get a smaller kiln so it would not take so long between firings.  I have been trying to use my kiln and not just bisque and take my work someplace to wood fire.  

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