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Odd Old Paragon : Help me Arnold Howard !


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#1 timbo_heff

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

Hi.
I was gifted a funny old Paragon front loader but I think it has the wrong plug on it: Pictures below
the plate says :
Model 1461124
240 volt Single phase
4100 watts
17 amps
Max Temp 2400
Serial #299141

It has an RTC controller
2 elements

The plug is a standard household plug.
I think this be wrong !

Questions: What is the right plug for this ?
If the circuit should be 1.25 x the draw: 17 amp x 1.25 = 21.25 or better breaker so a 6-30P would be the closest?
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?

Or do I presume that they changed the elements to make it a 120v kiln?
Is there a way to determine the voltage of the elements with a resistance / ohms test?

Any help would be much appreciated !
Thanks
Tim


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#2 Arnold Howard

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:04 AM

Questions: What is the right plug for this ?
If the circuit should be 1.25 x the draw: 17 amp x 1.25 = 21.25 or better breaker so a 6-30P would be the closest?
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?

Or do I presume that they changed the elements to make it a 120v kiln?
Is there a way to determine the voltage of the elements with a resistance / ohms test?


Tim, the kiln is designed for a 6-20R, 20 amp, 240 volt outlet. If it still has the original 6-20P plug and still draws 17 amps, you will not need to change the plug. Here is a chart of wall outlets:

http://www.paragonwe...nfo.cfm?CID=167

If you are concerned that someone has modified the wiring, you could do an ammeter test.

Here are the instructions for your DTC 600 controller (made by Bartlett Instruments):

http://www.paragonwe...Info.cfm?CID=66

This was the first controller that Bartlett designed for Paragon.

Good luck with your kiln!

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#3 timbo_heff

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Arnold !
One more question:
In order to avoid having to run another 240 circuit:
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet ?
or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?

#4 Arnold Howard

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:52 AM

Thanks Arnold !
One more question:
In order to avoid having to run another 240 circuit:
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet ?
or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?


Tim, you shouldn't connect a 6-50R outlet to a dryer circuit. If you have a 4-wire dryer outlet (14-30R), you could change the plug on the kiln to a 14-30P.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#5 Strelnikov

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thanks Arnold !
One more question:
In order to avoid having to run another 240 circuit:
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet ?
or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?


I have a Paragon S82 that had the 6-50 plug and another old kiln with a standard dryer type plug. So that I could plug both kilns into the same outlet (plus my electric dryer too if necessary) I upgraded the breaker in the fuse box to a 50 amp breaker and made sure that the wire from the fuse box to the outlet was large enough to handle the current (it was, plus the outlet is only a couple feet from the fuse box). I then put a standard dryer type plug from Home Depot on my S82 so everything now has the same plug. I know this is not really kosher but it sure saved me a lot of hassle and extra wiring.

#6 neilestrick

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:08 PM


Thanks Arnold !
One more question:
In order to avoid having to run another 240 circuit:
Can I put a 6-50 plug and run it on my dryer outlet ?
or is that too much buffer over the draw for the breaker to do it's work as a safety feature?


I have a Paragon S82 that had the 6-50 plug and another old kiln with a standard dryer type plug. So that I could plug both kilns into the same outlet (plus my electric dryer too if necessary) I upgraded the breaker in the fuse box to a 50 amp breaker and made sure that the wire from the fuse box to the outlet was large enough to handle the current (it was, plus the outlet is only a couple feet from the fuse box). I then put a standard dryer type plug from Home Depot on my S82 so everything now has the same plug. I know this is not really kosher but it sure saved me a lot of hassle and extra wiring.



Circuits should be fused according to the appliance they are servicing. If an appliance is on a breaker that is way too large for it, you run the risk of starting it on fire. Very dangerous!
Neil Estrick
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#7 Strelnikov

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:46 PM

Circuits should be fused according to the appliance they are servicing. If an appliance is on a breaker that is way too large for it, you run the risk of starting it on fire. Very dangerous!


Good point, hadn't thought of that. So far the only thing I have powered with my modified circuit is the Paragon S82. Many times with no problems.

#8 Mark C.

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:00 PM

Its best to know your wire size as well as breaker size to be sure.All that can be had buy taking wall outlet apart after turing it OFF.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#9 MichaelP

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:42 AM

Circuits should be fused according to the appliance they are servicing. If an appliance is on a breaker that is way too large for it, you run the risk of starting it on fire. Very dangerous!

Well, it's yes and no, Neil. By definition, electric panel breakers protect THE LINE (wires) rather than the appliance. Appliances should have their own protection. Therefore the breaker rating should never exceed the rating of the WIRING, but it almost always exceeds current rating of individual appliances. So if the line is rated for 20 Amp, the breaker can NEVER be higher than 20 Amp. But 20 Amp breaker is perfectly acceptable even if your real load is 5 Amp. The breaker will protect the LINE in case of short circuit or overload beyond 20 Amp. And that's exactly how it's usually done. You have a lot of 15 or 20 amp lines with 15 and 20 amp breakers on your panel, but you hardly ever use any line to its capacity. Although it may handle a TV, a few computers and light bulbs, you won't think twice before you turn only the TV on, right? The TV itself should have its own fuse or other type of protection. It's not supposed to rely on the breakers. Besides, breakers're relatively slow and may not prevent damage to your TV anyway.

However, if the circuit is going to be dedicated to a particular load (your kiln), then using a breaker rated for this load makes perfect sense even if the wiring has a higher capacity. Naturally, you won't use a 40 Amp breaker for a 40 Amp kiln. If your wiring is designed for 50 Amp or more, a 50 Amp breaker will work just fine for the dedicated line.

#10 neilestrick

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

Appliances do have their own protection to some degree, but not entirely. On a kiln, generally only the digital controller system is fused on the kiln itself. There are exceptions of course, but usually the rest of it (elements, etc) relies on the breaker. There's a big difference between running a 24 amp kiln on a 30 amp breaker or a 50 amp breaker. The 30 will shut down before the 50. On a 50 amp breaker, you have the possibility of the system drawing twice the amperage it can handle before it shuts down, which would totally fry the wires inside the control box as well as the power cord, and in my opinion is a fire hazard. On a 30 amp breaker it should shut down before the whole system is fried.
Neil Estrick
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#11 MichaelP

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:25 AM

On a 50 amp breaker, you have the possibility of the system drawing twice the amperage it can handle before it shuts down, which would totally fry the wires inside the control box as well as the power cord, and in my opinion is a fire hazard. On a 30 amp breaker it should shut down before the whole system is fried.

The control box, as you mentioned, should have its own protection that will shut down the whole system long before anything will have a chance to fry. Besides, the kiln elements themselves are, virtually, a large fuse themself, so it'll be difficult to image any kiln defect that could lead to more problem with a 50A breaker vs. 30A on a 50A line.


But as I stated above, if this is a DEDICATED line, putting a 30 A breaker makes perfect sense.

#12 neilestrick

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:52 AM


On a 50 amp breaker, you have the possibility of the system drawing twice the amperage it can handle before it shuts down, which would totally fry the wires inside the control box as well as the power cord, and in my opinion is a fire hazard. On a 30 amp breaker it should shut down before the whole system is fried.

The control box, as you mentioned, should have its own protection that will shut down the whole system long before anything will have a chance to fry. Besides, the kiln elements themselves are, virtually, a large fuse themself, so it'll be difficult to image any kiln defect that could lead to more problem with a 50A breaker vs. 30A on a 50A line.


But as I stated above, if this is a DEDICATED line, putting a 30 A breaker makes perfect sense.


The control box on most kilns is not fused, only the controller itself, which is running on low voltage from a transformer. On most kilns, the power cord, relays, feeder wires, etc. all rely on the breaker to prevent overloads. A 50 amp surge to a 30 amp cord is not a good thing. Running double the rated amperage through any type of wire is dangerous.

All 208/240/440 volt lines are required by code to be dedicated lines. It's not that it makes perfect sense to put appliances on the correct breaker, it's the law. You cannot tell people that they can wire their kiln to whatever huge breaker they want because 'the elemnts are essentially a fuse'. It's against code and not safe. If we're going to help people here, we need to be telling them the correct, legal, safe way to do it.
Neil Estrick
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#13 MichaelP

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:09 AM



On a 50 amp breaker, you have the possibility of the system drawing twice the amperage it can handle before it shuts down, which would totally fry the wires inside the control box as well as the power cord, and in my opinion is a fire hazard. On a 30 amp breaker it should shut down before the whole system is fried.

The control box, as you mentioned, should have its own protection that will shut down the whole system long before anything will have a chance to fry. Besides, the kiln elements themselves are, virtually, a large fuse themself, so it'll be difficult to image any kiln defect that could lead to more problem with a 50A breaker vs. 30A on a 50A line.


But as I stated above, if this is a DEDICATED line, putting a 30 A breaker makes perfect sense.


The control box on most kilns is not fused, only the controller itself, which is running on low voltage from a transformer. On most kilns, the power cord, relays, feeder wires, etc. all rely on the breaker to prevent overloads. A 50 amp surge to a 30 amp cord is not a good thing. Running double the rated amperage through any type of wire is dangerous.

Yes, but only if this is a continuously high current.

Now what happens after the controller fuse comes off? Will the kiln continue to heat?

All 208/240/440 volt lines are required by code to be dedicated lines. It's not that it makes perfect sense to put appliances on the correct breaker, it's the law. You cannot tell people that they can wire their kiln to whatever huge breaker they want because 'the elemnts are essentially a fuse'. It's against code and not safe. If we're going to help people here, we need to be telling them the correct, legal, safe way to do it.

And how does it work when a kiln is 120A rated, and the line is not dedicated? :)src="http://ceramicartsda...ult/smile.gif">

#14 neilestrick

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

If the fuse on the controller goes, the system should shut down because the signal to the relays will be lost. But a surge that shuts down the main breaker will not necessarily affect the controller fuse. They run fairly independently of each other since the controller runs on low voltage coming through a transformer.

It doesn't take long for wires to overheat from excess amperage.

Same thing with 120 volt kilns. They also need to run on a circuit that is 25% greater than the kiln will pull. Most little test kilns that potters use need a 20 amp breaker. Just like the big kilns, that breaker should never be more than is needed. This may mean that you can't run much of anything else on that circuit without blowing the breaker.
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#15 MichaelP

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:29 AM

If the fuse on the controller goes, the system should shut down because the signal to the relays will be lost. But a surge that shuts down the main breaker will not necessarily affect the controller fuse. They run fairly independently of each other since the controller runs on low voltage coming through a transformer.

It doesn't take long for wires to overheat from excess amperage.

Breaker is not a surge protector, so surges in the line have nothing to do with our conversation. When we discuss kilns, we're talking about short circuits or other major overloads after the circuit breaker.

As for the controller fuse being independent because it works out of a transformer... First of all, again, it protects the controller and the kiln against major overloads/short circuits within the system (vs. surges in the power supply line), and that's the appliance protection. Secondly, the fact that it works out of a transformer does it make it independent of the supply line surges. But again, surge protection has nothing to do with the breakers. The manufacturers of the kilns may choose to either build the surge protection in or rely on an outside one.

It would be more productive if we discuss the issue having an electric diagram of a particular kiln being discussed. Maybe then we can find weak spots or imagine what kind of defect will cause this or that fuse to come off. If we're talking generically, we can only say that any overload after the device own fuse should be handled by this fuse. if the defect is before the fuse (let's say, short inside the power cable), it will be handled by the circuit breaker.
Of course, not all the appliances (incl. kilns) have their own protection, so burned controller or heating element in those unprotected devices is a clear possibility. When we discuss breakers, we talk about power circuit protection and that's all. Again, protection of the appliance itself is NOT a function of the circuit breaker. And as such, sizing of the breaker based on the CIRCUIT capacity (vs. appliance needs) is perfectly acceptable. In a dedicated line we can use extra protection, but don't rely on it to protect your appliance either.

By the way, Neil, can you give me an example of a 25 Amp. kiln problem where a 30A breaker vs. a 50 A one (in a 50A line of course) will make a difference?

All 208/240/440 volt lines are required by code to be dedicated lines.

Sorry, it's not true.

It's not that it makes perfect sense to put appliances on the correct breaker, it's the law. You cannot tell people that they can wire their kiln to whatever huge breaker they want because 'the elements are essentially a fuse'. It's against code and not safe. If we're going to help people here, we need to be telling them the correct, legal, safe way to do it.

I agree with your last statement Neil. That's why we shouldn't invent rules and mislead people stating that something is the law or must be done by the Code when it's not true. By Code the breaker is sized by the wiring capacity because its only function is to protect the line. If the load is much smaller than the wire is capable to carry safely, it doesn't mean that we must use a smaller breaker.

Moreover, we cannot PROPERLY use a 30 amp breaker in a 50 amp line as you suggest because of the termination point mismatch: 30 Amp breakers are, usually, not designed to accept such thick wires as 6AWG used in 50A circuits. So when you run your 17A kiln on a 50A line, don't expect to employ 20 or 30A breakers. If a breaker is not listed by UL and rated by the NFPA as having suitably sized terminals (read the label), you're out of luck if you wants to do everything correctly. Normally, with 6AWG lines people use 40 or 50A breakers that have suitably sized connectors.

P.S. I'm in London now, and have a limited access to the Internet. So if anyone wants to take over, please do me a favor. In general, however, I think we've already managed to bore our readers to death, so we can safely drop the subject. :)

#16 neilestrick

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:37 PM

Last post, I promise. I think misunderstood your use of the term 'dedicated'. I was referring to the fact that 2/3 pole breakers must be dedicated to the outlet they service. You can only have one outlet on that line. My bad.

 

My concern here is not just to protect the circuit, but also to protect the kiln. As a kiln repair person, I cannot separate the two. Yes, the breaker is to protect the circuit, but it should also be done in such a way that it protects the appliance. Most people can barely afford the kiln they have, let alone afford major repairs.

 

Code does say that heating appliances should be put on a breaker that is 25% greater than the draw. I have read it.

 

I stand by my comments about not putting a larger breaker than is needed. You will not find a licensed electrician that will put a kiln that pulls 25 amps on a 50 amp breaker. An example of why it would be bad? Elements that are rolled wrong. You could have continuous draw of amperage that is too high for the wiring in the kiln. While it may not be bad for the wiring in the wall, it will fry the kiln wiring. Assuming no modifications to the kiln, it will also fry the cord, which will be mighty close to the wall and therefore be a fire hazard.

 

Okay, since I'm a stubborn ########, I went searching through the National Electric Code and found this:

 NEC 422.11 (E) Single Non-motor-Operated Appliance. If the branch circuit supplies a single non-motor-operated appliance, the rating of overcurrent protection shall comply with the following:

  1. Not exceed that marked on the appliance.
  2. Not exceed 20 amperes if the overcurrent protection rating is not marked and the appliance is rated 13.3 amperes or less; or
  3. Not exceed 150 percent of the appliance rated current if the overcurrent protection rating is not marked and the appliance is rated over 13.3 amperes. Where 150 percent of the appliance rating does not correspond to a standard overcurrent device ampere rating, the next higher standard rating shall be permitted.

Neil Estrick
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