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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

Just finished the install today.
I do not want to bog you down with technical terms so lets just say its a new sub -panel with new breakers-all 60 amp and a new outlet for Buzz box (arc wielder) new wires to kilns
For those that this is all greek to its a new thingy
Fired it all up and also found my kiln controller relay is cooked-and they do not sell them in my state anymore (Ca) I live in one of 6 states Grainger will not ship these to.
So I have a few hoops to jump before these kilns are cooking-Good thing I'm on a clay break for a month.
Mark

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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#2 TJR

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

Just finished the install today.
I do not want to bog you down with technical terms so lets just say its a new sub -panel with new breakers-all 60 amp and a new outlet for Buzz box (arc wielder) new wires to kilns
For those that this is all greek to its a new thingy
Fired it all up and also found my kiln controller relay is cooked-and they do not sell them in my state anymore (Ca) I live in one of 6 states Grainger will not ship these to.
So I have a few hoops to jump before these kilns are cooking-Good thing I'm on a clay break for a month.
Mark


Mark;
Nice thingies!
TJR.

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

I recently had a box replaced by an electrician. I wanted to ask you if you recommend turning the circuit breakers off during severe thunderstorms and do you think that would protect the kiln? Does repetitive turning on and off loosen or wear the connections of the breakers?

I live along the Gulf coast now and the weather freaks me out sometimes. What can I say. I lived in Montana for decades and the storms never bothered me. But here they are much more severe. My car was parked at the airport when there was 11 inches of rain in an hour. The water damaged the main computer box under the driver's
seat. When I got back to the car I found a lot of water on the floor.

Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts on my question. BTW, nice thingy!


Marcia

#4 TJR

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

Marcia;
I know that I am not an electrician, but it sounds a bit extreme to me to have to run out to your studio during an electrical storm to turn the breakers, or the entire panel off. If there was a power surge, wouldn't the breakers turn themselves off?
Just wondering.
TJR.

#5 atanzey

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

Tom - No, I'm pretty sure from the number of items we lost this summer that the breakers won't turn off in a lightning strike!

I'm currently using the breaker as a switch, since unplugging is a pain. But I leave it that way any time I'm not firing, so I don't have to run out and turn it off. But, consequently, I'm also interested in the answer to Marcia's question.

Alice

#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

My large oval kiln is direct wired so I can't unplug it. I just shut off the breakers on all the kilns, even the ones with plugs. I read a while ago that plugging and unplugging the kilns is bad wear and tear on that mechanism. So which is a better way to shut off? Breakers or plugs? My kilns are computer controlled. The big one is direct wired.




Marcia

#7 atanzey

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:32 AM

Marcia - My plug is very hard to get in and out, and it didn't seem like a good thing to do it repeatedly. The BEST option is to put in a dedicated shut-off switch that's made to do that with. But we didn't think of that until the drywall was done, soooo..... I don't operate mine more than a couple times a month yet, so we're going on the premise that flipping the breaker will cause wear-and-tear on the breaker. We installed it, so we can replace it! And my husband is confident that any failure would be in the latching mechanism, not in the electrical components. Still, I'll be interested if anyone else chimes in. Maybe I'll contact some breaker manufacturers and get their opinion..... when real life allows...

Alice

#8 bciskepottery

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:31 AM

You might want to consider a shut-off switch leading in to your studio . . . one thal allows you to kill the power if a bad storm is coming. Another option is a good surge protector on the main line. Easier to replace a surge protector that gets fried than a studio full of computer-controlled kilns and other equipment.



#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

You might want to consider a shut-off switch leading in to your studio . . . one thal allows you to kill the power if a bad storm is coming. Another option is a good surge protector on the main line. Easier to replace a surge protector that gets fried than a studio full of computer-controlled kilns and other equipment.



Thanks. Yes I have a switch there too. Probably that is the most simple solution.

Marcia

#10 bciskepottery

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:55 AM


You might want to consider a shut-off switch leading in to your studio . . . one thal allows you to kill the power if a bad storm is coming. Another option is a good surge protector on the main line. Easier to replace a surge protector that gets fried than a studio full of computer-controlled kilns and other equipment.



Thanks. Yes I have a switch there too. Probably that is the most simple solution.

Marcia



This is what I have for house . . . http://www.smarthome...rotector/p.aspx

#11 Nancy S.

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

I recently had a box replaced by an electrician. I wanted to ask you if you recommend turning the circuit breakers off during severe thunderstorms and do you think that would protect the kiln? Does repetitive turning on and off loosen or wear the connections of the breakers?

Marcia


I'm not an electrician, but I have done extensive research on the subject and done a bit of work myself at home....

Yes, flipping the breakers on and off does create a certain amount of wear on them; also, repeated plugging/unplugging of the kiln itself (if it's not direct wired) creates wear on the outlet.

The breakers will NOT necessarily trip if there is a power surge.

FWIW, if you decide to install a whole-house surge protector, make sure that the whole shebang is properly grounded, because that's how surge protectors work -- they send the surge into the ground instead of into the wiring.

#12 Mark C.

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

You can wear down breakers using them a lot-I do not live in lightning country but if I did the whole house surge protector is the way to go. Second choice is throw the breaker that controls ALL studio power and if that wears out over time just replace that one.
As far as plugs vs hard wiring -hard wiring wins every time as the plug is just one more place that heat builds up due to that connection-leave the plugs in as they will get looser if plugged in and out a lot.
Breaker do wear out but are not that expense to replace.
The more amps the better to hard wire it. My max draw on the big skutt kiln is 48 amps on a 60 amp curcuit.
Mark
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#13 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

Thanks Mark. The kiln is question is a huge oval draws 90 amps and is on 100 amp breaker.
I will use the kiln shed shut off next to the meter. It will shut off all the kilns.
During hurricane I strap a piece of plywood over the top for protection just in case the shed roof comes off.
I have my raku kiln attached to pulleys on the steel roof beams. I have only seen first hand what a category 3 can do.
Dollie did a number on the hotels on South Padre island blowing out the walls for 4-5 stories on a side. Pretty powerful stuff.

Thanks for your input. I appreciate. Glad your wrists are on the mend!

Marcia

#14 Bobg

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

I would just normally leave the breakers on. Unless they are running and your having electrical storms. I think I would shut them down then, but I'd be more worried that a brown out could do harm then.

Bob

#15 Patsu

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

...



#16 atanzey

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

Thanks, Pazu!

My husband said when we were talking about this 'I'll be someone makes one for that purpose'. I'll have to look. Of course, since it's a 60amp, it's likely to be pricey...

Alice

#17 Mark C.

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

Good read on switch duty breakers.
http://www.wiringdig...p?id=21&catID=1

Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#18 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

Great read! Thanks for posting that. I do have the circuit breakers in a designated circuit breaker box and there is a shutoff near the meter for the entire kiln shed.
I will check to see is the breakers are sdb.
Thanks.
Marcia

#19 JessicaGrayCeramics

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

I've got in the habit of putting an Isolator Switch in the line. It comes from my husband's background in industrial robotics. Anyway, Isolator Switches are the big red ones and they often have a place for a padlock to keep them locked in the off position, which is handy if you have issues with kids, students, etc in your work space.
Jessica Gray, MFA
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