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Margaret_Yakoda

To rewire or not to rewire?

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Newbie here:

 

I have recently bought a second hand Skutt 1027-208, 1 phase, with 3 heat switches. The person I bought the kiln from said it can do cone 10. However, a nice young man who works at a wonderful clay store said the kiln would "struggle like a VW going uphill" to make it even to cone 6. He suggested that I rewire the kiln in order to get it to be able to do cone 10.

 

At first I was convinced, but now I'm not so sure. For one thing, keeping this kiln as-is for low fire and bisque isn't the worst idea. I could possibly find another second hand kiln that's already wired for three phase and a decent deal. (the one I just bought cost me a whopping $825) But Skutt's own website touts cone 10 capability for this kiln.

 

The truth is, I may wish to do some high fire things one day, but for right now I'm still in the early-ish learning phase of things, so just learning how to load and run a kiln will keep me busy for a while.

 

So what do you folks think? Will I need to rewire the kiln? (Assuming it actually works.... It looks pretty new so we are assuming it does. The person selling it says it was only used once - and the family's reason for selling - financial hardship - was no lie, I can tell you.... )

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I looked up those specs on Skutts web site

The 1227-208 is max temp 2250-2.5 wall thickness-this is not a cone 10 kiln

The 1227-240 is max temp 2350-2.5 wall thickness-this is not a cone 10 kiln-almost

You got a good deal on this so be happy I'd say and when the day comes you want a cone 10 kiln get one. A whole new one.

I would not dream of rewiring this one as the wall thickness is to to thin.

This kiln should have a plate on outside that gives you all the specs as well-look at that to confirm the above.

cone

This kiln will do all the other temps fine.

Mark

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Giltex58: Thanks for the website! I've bookmarked it for sure!

 

Bciskepottery: I forgot about the voltage issue when I made the original post. Thanks for pointing it out. It is something the helpful young man at the nice shop had mentioned might be an issue.

 

Mark, thanks very much your info was extremely helpful. I did a quick google to learn a bit more about the difference between 208 and 240 volt systems, and it seems that I might be able to get something called a "buck/boost transformer" to step down the power to the kiln. We're putting the kiln in a shed we haven't even designed yet (except that one or two walls will be bottle walls) so there's tons of room for deciding how exactly the power will be supplied. First move will be to call an electrician, tho, because the buck/boost transformer is just a bit beyond my partner's electrical skill set.

 

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Mark C., Your suggestion to Margaret in calling SKUTT about the voltage issue is the best given, and is the advice that I would personally follow. They are extremely helpful people!wink.gif

 

I just recently purchased a SKUTT 1027 240v 3-phase, which will supposedly get to cone 10(their product sheet) and though I've only yet fired to cone 9.... I love it!

 

Good luck Margaret!

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Mark C., Your suggestion to Margaret in calling SKUTT about the voltage issue is the best given, and is the advice that I would personally follow. They are extremely helpful people!wink.gif

 

I just recently purchased a SKUTT 1027 240v 3-phase, which will supposedly get to cone 10(their product sheet) and though I've only yet fired to cone 9.... I love it!

 

Good luck Margaret!

 

 

Just got back from discussing this with an electrician. The buck/boost transformer was the wrong idea... we would have needed a step-down transformer. But since those appear to be $4,800, it looks like I'll be calling Skutt after all. :/

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Even firing to cone 6 may require some re-wiring. The 208v is designed for commercial installation; residential service is 240v.

 

 

This is not necessarily the case. I have been looking for a new studio space and I have happened upon many commercial properties with 240v so far none with 208v to my joy but none really suitable yet but I am getting closer. Tough learning how to accept and reject.

 

Margret, I would keep the kiln just as it is. My first kiln was a low fire cone 05 and I learned alot about firing. A few of the many advantages are: the low fire clay is cheaper, more color choices, the glazes are brighter, the ware can be stilted without the risk of the clay slumping and warping. If you are considering a 'boost' for $4,800 that is more than the price of a new Skutt 1027-3 240v with kiln furniture and Envirovent ventilation system combined. You will enjoy firing I am sure. Be sure to watch the Skutt videos on their website to show you how to fire the kiln. AND if you haven't done so get the operation manual for KS1027, study it well it is available at www.Skutt.com.

Edited by Lucille Oka

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I looked at a used 208V kiln recently, and was told (by my ceramics supplier) that the only difference between 208 and 240 is the elements themselves. If the price is right, new elements can make it a 240V kiln.

Note: This NOT the case with 3 phase.

 

 

 

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If your electrical service is 240 volts, then wired at 208 volts your kiln will be overpowered, and will reach cone 6 just fine, and possibly cone 10. Your elements will burn out faster due to the extra power, but you might as well fire it till they go. When they burn out, put in elements for 240 volt service. If you have 208 volt service, then your kiln will probably only get to cone 5/6. 208 volts at single phase just doesn't provide enough power for much more than that. Rewiring to 3 phase can be a pain if the kiln has a sitter, because you'll have to use an external relay in the disconnect box, but your electrician can handle it just fine.

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