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My Elements Do Not Add Up.


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#21 CarlCravens

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 05:14 PM

Putting "volume of a cylinder" into Google puts "calculator" into a graphical solver mode for pi * r^2 * h.


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#22 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 05:19 PM

Yea, that is what I did but then I was imagining this volume as a 12x12x12cm cube as 0.12m3 = 12cm right  :mellow:

 

Remind me not to build a box any time soon.  ;)



#23 Mug

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:21 AM

Having a background in electric I'm a little concerned.

 

You should check around with some of the people who make Kiln elements. Give them the specifications of your kiln dimensions, insulation, approximate element wire gauge, approximate diameter of the stretched coil, installed coil length, and the number of elements. Some of those people may be willing to help you correctly pick a set of elements that may work for you.

You might try calling a kiln technician for your first repair. Then afterwards you can make the repairs yourself.

 

I love to fix things myself, but I think you need to know when to call the professionals.

A 30 amp breaker will not always trip at 34 amps, but if your kiln operates at 34 amps, you should have a 40 amp breaker.

Your kiln may be designed to operate at 30 amps, and is malfunctioning.

You are trying to take a reading on old elements, it can give you a ball park estimate, but not accurate one.

You need to know if your meter is accurate.

If you have trouble accurately calculating the volume of your kiln, you will certainly have much more trouble designing an electrical circuit.

 

For your first time, I would call on the pro's, or give Classified ads a look, you may find a nice kiln for less than the cost and hassle of the repair.

Good luck



#24 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 11:56 AM

A little concerned is better than very concerned :D

 

The whole thing is a big mess, but I have enjoyed learning and solving the problems. I understand my last posts sounded very thick but I do have some idea what is going on. The actual circuit design part I can work out but I should ring and talk to somebody in the know and see what amps for the size it should be running at and advice on the element wire specifications.

 

The elements are really old so it could well be drawing more amps than it is supposed to.

 

Managed to check the breaker today and it was 32 Amps, is is safe to run 30 on a 32 or is that still too close for comfort?



#25 neilestrick

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:01 PM

You have a 32 amp breaker? That doesn't exist here.

 

According to the national electric code in the USA, kilns should be running on a breaker that is 25% more than the actual draw of the kiln. So your 30 amp kiln should be on a 40 amp breaker, assuming the rules are the same where you live. It also gives you some leeway in case your actual voltage varies. Sometimes it can spike up and increase the amperage draw, flipping the breaker.


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#26 neilestrick

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:03 PM

If you reduce the amperage draw, you reduce the power of the kiln, which may make your kiln unable to reach temperature. Again, you should check with an element expert and get their opinion.


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#27 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:51 PM

Yea that is what it said on the fuse box and the list of amps next to it. Didn't actually take it out the board.



#28 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 04:54 PM

New elements have arrived. I hope my calculations were correct. Now just to put back the rest of the electrics. Took me two hours to clean the grooves and carve out glaze from the previous owner :( head in the kiln.
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#29 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

Got the elements in. Went with 18ohm for all the elements which ends up at 33.3 amp. Spoke to the guy who made up the elements and he seemed fine with that being on a 32 amp breaker and said 33.3 is the max they will ever draw.

Took the new elements with an empty kiln up to 800 degC. Not sure why 800 I just thought that would be an ok temp to start building up the oxide coating. Maybe I was wrong.
Anyway, got to 800 in 55min which looked good, no cracks appearing in the lid and all the connections look good.
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Got a bisque on now, after a few successful glaze firings I will be a lot happier. At least now I have some idea what I am doing. Not a perfect fix but much better than it was.

Thank you everybody for the help :)




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