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Trials & tribulations with a Skutt 1027


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#1 Bill T.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:26 PM

I have had my 1027 about 7 years with 110 bisque & cone 6 firings on it. Loaded it up for a bisque in February, turned on the breaker, no lights on the board. Pulled the box and found corrosion on the board contacts. I finally figured out that my outside cat had wet on the top of the control box causing the corrosion. $260 later I put in a new board and it fired off OK. A week ago started a glaze fire, error on the board not increasing temperature correctly. A call to Skutt for some more diagnostics, into the contol box again (getting pretty fast with this now), checked relays, 2 good, number 3 had loose contact BAD!! Noticed all relay contacts were corroded. Cat really did a job in February. Ordered 3 new relays from Jameco ($8.95 each), a new board from Skutt since this one was giving real strange readings, replaced all wiring from 220 input to element outputs which I already had. If there is a moral to this story it’s that I have learned a lot about my kiln and feel capable of working on it. Also made a shield for the top of the control box which I put on when not firing. Let’s see if the cat can p.. around that. With the new board in a successful firing. Will send the old board to Barlett to have a spare. While talking with the Skutt tech I learned of some new diagnostics. Press 8 which causes periods to appear at the bottom of the display showing which relays are working. I wish they would print all of the diagnostics and codes in the manual.

#2 Diane Puckett

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:10 PM

Sounds like the cat is more of a tribulation than the kiln.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#3 neilestrick

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

After 7 years you probably would have seen some corrosion without the cat, but urine would definitely speed it up! I once repaired a kiln that the cat had peed inside of, and when I started it up it I was faced with cat urine steam, which burned into my nostrils and didn't go away for a week.

As for the #8 button turning on the lights on the control board, it actually only shows which relay(s) the control board is currently sending power to. On a single zone kiln it sends power to all 3 at the same time, so all 3 lights should be on at the same time. If not you have a problem with the controller. On multi zone kilns it send power to the relays independently of each other. The controller doesn't know if the relay is actually working or not, just that it's sending power to it. This is a slightly helpful diagnostic tool in multi zone kilns because it will show if a relay is being powered up more often than the others, which could mean there is a problem getting heat to that section due to a bad element or a thermocouple problem, etc. Plus it's fun to watch the lights go on and off.
Neil Estrick
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#4 Benzine

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:33 PM

A quick trouble shooting tip, to save you from problems in the future; during your next firing, throw the cat in. You will avoid future corrosion, and the sacrifice will appease the Kiln Gods.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#5 MichaelP

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:00 AM

A quick trouble shooting tip, to save you from problems in the future; during your next firing, throw the cat in. You will avoid future corrosion, and the sacrifice will appease the Kiln Gods.

That's animal cruelty. Instead, I'd suggest to train the cat. As soon as you see it pissing in the control box, turn the kiln on. Posted Image

#6 Mark C.

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:05 AM

Yes the woes of a newer computer kiln.
My old manual (over 15 years) skutt 1227 has seen its fair share of cat pee. The only thing worse burning off is lusters. Its rusted to the moon and keeps on ticking like a timex. Timer/shutoff works perfectly. Never any trouble-no new anything since the day I bought it USED.Same elements switches and controllers
Now I only bisque fire on blue moons but still its been service free.
I suggest building a light cage of chicken wire to keep the cats off-the cage would just lift off when using kiln.
Mark
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#7 Bill T.

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 02:33 PM

Yes the woes of a newer computer kiln.
My old manual (over 15 years) skutt 1227 has seen its fair share of cat pee. The only thing worse burning off is lusters. Its rusted to the moon and keeps on ticking like a timex. Timer/shutoff works perfectly. Never any trouble-no new anything since the day I bought it USED.Same elements switches and controllers
Now I only bisque fire on blue moons but still its been service free.
I suggest building a light cage of chicken wire to keep the cats off-the cage would just lift off when using kiln.
Mark


I agree with woes of a computer kiln. My other kiln, a Gare that's over 25 years old still will bisque fire perfectly. The Skutt is in a screened deck attached to the house. The outside cat comes in at night so he is the culprit. I cut a large circle of wolmanized plywood to cover the kiln top, then a larger piece of vinyl to hang down, and a 12" square of tin to slide under the lid over the control box. I alway start my firings about 7 am so by night it will be cool enough for the plywood & tin square. Can't really fuss at the cat, he is 16 years old, and we raised him from a feral kitten.




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