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replacing kiln elements


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#1 flpotter

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

Hi, I have been doing pottery for a year and a half but just recently I purchased a used kiln. I used it a couple times and now the elements need replaced. The problem is that there is no manufacturer information on it at all. It was used in a school. It is ten sided and approx. 7 cubic ft. Inside measurements are approx. 23" wide x 27" high. It has an Orton Autofire digital controller. I see now where there are screws on the front where a manufacture plate may have been and someone stripped it off and I am not sure why.

I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me if I can use any manufacturer's elements or not. I know I need the elements gauge but I am not sure what else.

I just hope I didn't waste my money and now have to get rid of the kiln. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Suzanne

#2 SShirley

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:07 PM

I suggest that you contact Euclid's. They helped me with a really old kiln once.

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

If you post a few pictures maybe someone might recognize the brand.
Otherwise, Euclid's is a good suggestion. Does it have information like 208 or 220 or amps and volts and Max. temp.?


Marcia

#4 neilestrick

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

Post a picture. Manufacturer's parts are always recommended, but if we can't figure it out or they're out of business, Euclid's will be the place to go for sure.
Neil Estrick
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#5 flpotter

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

Thank you so much for the help. I had a special oulet put in for the kiln in my garage. It is a 50 AMP. There is not any electrical information on the kiln either. I am not sure what cone it fires to since there is no information. I assummed it would fire to at least cone 8 since it was at a school. I am firing stoneware bisque at cone 05 and glaze firing cone 5. I can still bisqu but the kiln won't reach temperature for glaze firing.

Again, thank you all so much. Hopefully as I learn more, I won't make mistakes and can help others in the future. I can't afford a brand new kiln and used ones are so hard to come by where I live and for a decent price. Especially a good size one with a digital controller. I had a small kiln sitter kiln I got for free prior but the electrical blew out of it.


Here are some pictures of my kiln if anyone recognizes it.

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#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

Is that the current position of the kiln? Is there a stand? I would get it off the concrete.
The kiln looks like it is in good shape. It looks like there could have been a glaze burn out on the top row of the third element looking at the big black spots.
When you change the elements, check the grooves and scrape out any glaze globs in there.Other than that, the bricks are in good shape.

If you can not find out the amps and wattage, etc. have Euclids give you what ever it takes to go with the auto fire.

Marcia

#7 Mark C.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

I do not know the brand but the lid looks to be an add on later as it overhangs kiln.The lid looks a bit like my skutt'sBy the looks of that controller its not super old.
I would suggest getting it off the concrete floor as well-if you do not have a stand at least put another layer of bricks down under it.
Do all the elements glow when on???
Mark Cortright
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#8 flpotter

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

I do have it on a rolling stand that came with it. That picture was taken when I first purchased it. Thanks again for the help. I have not looked at the kiln elements with the kiln on. I have been too scared as I don't know enough about what I am doing. My pottery instructor is supposed to come look at it for me but he is so busy that I don't know when he will so I have taken to doing research myself to figure this out about the elements. He is going to put them in for me when or if I can get the elements. I am just getting impatient and want to get the kiln running so I can continue production of my pottery.

#9 flpotter

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

Thanks again for all the help. I have been reading all your responses thoroughly and am gaining a lot of knowledge in them. I will call Euclids after the weekend.

Suzanne

#10 JessicaGrayCeramics

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

For the elements, the gauge and length of the elements are really all you'll need to worry about. Measure out the length covered by each one along the grooves in the bricks and nearly any manufacturer or element specialist can get you what you need. Are you certain you even need new elements? Once you have the wire gauge and length, you can test for resistance to see if the element is within tolerance. My website has a tutorial for testing elements. Most kilns around that size should be reading near 25 Ohms on each element, give or take 2.5 Ohms.


The Orton Autofire 3000 Operates at 24V AC input. This info can be quite helpful in figuring out what input voltage you should have.
If you could have someone trace the wiring from the inputs on the controller to the transformer that supplies it, that would help figure out the source voltage. For instance, you're likely looking at a 10:1 transformer, meaning 220 to 240V.

On a sitter related note, the sitter is capable of cone 12. Not sure about your particular kiln though.

We've dealt with quite a bit of older equipment and have overcome the "who made this" problem in the past. Luckily, these things are full of fairly universal parts.
Jessica Gray, MFA
www.JessicaGrayCeramics.com

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

Unfortunately, I do not recognize that kiln. To me it looks like that control box was added on later, which might explain why it doesn't have a label. It may even be home-made.

The controller will run off the same transformer whether it's wired for for 208 volts or 240 volts. If you're using it in your home, you'll need 240 volt elements, regardless of what elements are currently in it. Elements on a 23 inch kiln can vary anywhere from 20 to 30 ohms, depending in the manufacturer, and how they work their elements. Some roll all 6 elements the same, others roll the top and bottom different than the 4 middle, and others have 3 different pairs. And since we don't know anything about this kiln, your best bet is to email Euclids. They'll need pictures of the kiln itself, and a picture of the inside of the box, to see how it was wired up. They may even need to know the size of the grooves in the bricks, or the diameter of the element coil. Worst case, they'll want you to send them a piece of an element. They're good people!
Neil Estrick
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L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

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#12 flpotter

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:21 AM

Thanks again for the replies. All good information for me to check out. This gives me great hope that I can save this kiln.




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