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#21 Pugaboo

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 06:30 PM

My Olympic 1827 came with a plug. I paid to have an appropriate breaker installed and it is only used for the kiln I also have the wire run on the outside of the wall in metal conduit brom the breaker box to a special shut off box and switch then down to the the plug still running in conduit. The kiln is plugged in to this special plug. My question is how long before oxidation builds up, is there a way to look at it and see the oxidation and know I need to replace, I have not removed the plug from the outlet since first plugging it in since was told that can damage the plug.

Also reading here it's got me thinking I need to go pull my insurance policy and see if they listed it on there. I called and spoke with my agent a few times before and after getting the kiln to make sure I did what I needed to on my end to get coverage. Was told what I needed to do, which I did and then told verbally once everything was installed I was good to go and had coverage. I just assumed that they would put it in the policy but am now wondering.

Terry
PS. Fires scare me and I am extremely careful throughout my whole house having special hard wired detectors in each room that is one sptriggers they all go off on all 3 floors. I also have several fire extinguishers on each floor and bought one to sit near the kiln as well. I won't even burn candles or use a space heater. This topic has me wondering what else I can do to safety proof the kiln. It sits on a stand on a concrete floor in my garage. It's 2 feet away from the wall... Do I need to think about installing a sheet of fire proof board on the wall? What else am I not considering? OH and I installed a video camera with a motion sensor facing the kiln so I can monitor it throughout the firing cycle.
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#22 oldlady

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:24 PM

terry, someone will surely ask you how high the stand is under your kiln.


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#23 Mark C.

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:35 PM

Two feet is good

Mark


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#24 Pugaboo

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:39 AM

I went and measured and the stand is the metal one that came with the kiln and is 8 inches high. The kiln is actually 2 1/2 feet from the wall, the furthest out I could get it from the plug without having any stress on the plug and cord which still has some slack in it.

Terry
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#25 neilestrick

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:26 PM

My Olympic 1827 came with a plug. I paid to have an appropriate breaker installed and it is only used for the kiln I also have the wire run on the outside of the wall in metal conduit brom the breaker box to a special shut off box and switch then down to the the plug still running in conduit. The kiln is plugged in to this special plug. My question is how long before oxidation builds up, is there a way to look at it and see the oxidation and know I need to replace, I have not removed the plug from the outlet since first plugging it in since was told that can damage the plug.

Also reading here it's got me thinking I need to go pull my insurance policy and see if they listed it on there. I called and spoke with my agent a few times before and after getting the kiln to make sure I did what I needed to on my end to get coverage. Was told what I needed to do, which I did and then told verbally once everything was installed I was good to go and had coverage. I just assumed that they would put it in the policy but am now wondering.

Terry
PS. Fires scare me and I am extremely careful throughout my whole house having special hard wired detectors in each room that is one sptriggers they all go off on all 3 floors. I also have several fire extinguishers on each floor and bought one to sit near the kiln as well. I won't even burn candles or use a space heater. This topic has me wondering what else I can do to safety proof the kiln. It sits on a stand on a concrete floor in my garage. It's 2 feet away from the wall... Do I need to think about installing a sheet of fire proof board on the wall? What else am I not considering? OH and I installed a video camera with a motion sensor facing the kiln so I can monitor it throughout the firing cycle.

 

It sounds like your kiln is set up right. But do unplug the kiln once or twice a year and inspect the plug for corrosion. Also inspect all the connections inside the kiln control panel, and your breaker panel on the wall. This is especially true if you live in a humid area. Humidity will greatly increase the speed at which connections corrode.

 

Electric kilns, when wired properly and set up with safe clearances, do not start fires. It is virtually impossible for a kiln to melt down and have all that heat pour out across the floor. The electrical system should fry out long before the bricks melted out. What you can get are electrical fires, like John mentioned, where the wiring is inadequate for the kiln, or there's corrosion in the wiring. You can also get fires if the kiln is too close to something combustible. I recommend a minimum of 16" clearance to my customers. With regular maintenance and checkups you shouldn't have any problems. But if you see corrosion on any of the wiring in your breaker boxes, or at the plug, then you should strongly think about replacing that wiring. I see plugs that corrode and fry out occasionally, but I also see hard wired systems corrode and fry out. I've seen many melted breakers. More often I see wires fry at the power cord terminal connection inside the kiln, rather than at the plug or the breaker, because that area has to deal with a lot more heat than the plug or breaker do. Again, regular inspections are necessary, and will save you money in the long run, because when thing fry they usually damage other things, too, which means more labor and more parts to get it up and running again.


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#26 Benzine

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 04:07 PM

I wonder what the instances of electrical kiln fires are, compared to electric clothes dryer fires?

 

I was going to bed one evening, and walked past my drier.  The lights were off, but I saw some light on the floor, near the drier.  I knelt down, and realized that it was the electric element, getting very hot.  Something in the controls malfunctioned, and it just wasn't letting the dryer shut off.  So, I ordered some new parts (it ended up being one of the fuses, or maybe it was a thermocouple?...) and began work on the dryer.  I opened it up, and wow, was there a lot of lint everywhere.  There is always the emphasis on cleaning out the dryer vent and lint trap, but there was lint all over the interior, including inches from the exposed element.


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#27 neilestrick

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 05:23 PM

I wonder what the instances of electrical kiln fires are, compared to electric clothes dryer fires?

 

I was going to bed one evening, and walked past my drier.  The lights were off, but I saw some light on the floor, near the drier.  I knelt down, and realized that it was the electric element, getting very hot.  Something in the controls malfunctioned, and it just wasn't letting the dryer shut off.  So, I ordered some new parts (it ended up being one of the fuses, or maybe it was a thermocouple?...) and began work on the dryer.  I opened it up, and wow, was there a lot of lint everywhere.  There is always the emphasis on cleaning out the dryer vent and lint trap, but there was lint all over the interior, including inches from the exposed element.

 

From http://www.nfpa.org/...ashing-machines

 

Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2006-2010.

Facts and figures

  • In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
  • The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.

4.5% of all home fires involved a washer or dryer or both. Considering that only about 82% of homes have a washer and dryer, those are pretty shocking statistics. But a clothes dryer is, in many ways, a small kiln as far as the electrical system is concerned. They typically run on a 30 amp breaker, and have a heating element in them. But unlike kilns, they are full of combustible material, much of it in the very flammable form of fluffy lint.


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#28 JBaymore

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:09 PM

But a clothes dryer is, in many ways, a small kiln as far as the electrical system is concerned. They typically run on a 30 amp breaker, and have a heating element in them. But unlike kilns, they are full of combustible material, much of it in the very flammable form of fluffy lint.

 

 

Insurance companies don't think twice about a clothes dryer installation. But try to get a KILN installed......... :rolleyes:

 

best,

 

........................john


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#29 oldlady

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:35 PM

the real problem with clothes dryers is the run of exhaust pipe.  my niece had an apartment with a stacked washer/dryer that had a vent with 2 ninety degree turns in it within 6 feet of the rear of the dryer and a 30 foot run to the exterior wall opening.  it took an hour for her to dry 2 sheets.

 

I stayed at a hostel in Penzance while on vacation and used their laundry in the basement.  the first thing I did was remove the loose four foot vent pipe and look inside.  solid with lint. after emptying it, I informed the manager of the problem and got a shrug in reply.


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#30 Benzine

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:53 PM

Neil, John, that's exactly what I was thinking.

How many times has a load of ceramics combusted in a kiln load?

Anyone know how hot the element gets in a drier? Also, what about a gas drier? It has the same issue, an ignition source and combustibles all around it.

Another big issue with driers, is people use that flex duct work, because it's easy to use. All you have to do is attach both end points, usually just by wiggling it on. This as opposed to using actual metal duct works, that can require cutting, screwing, etc. But they have the benefit of being smooth , attracting very little lint. This is as opposed to having ridges like the flex stuff, which only succeeds in collecting massive amounts of lint.
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#31 Mark C.

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:49 AM

I just dry my clothes in the electric kiln

set on low . I first wash them just like all the bisque pots with water

then set a slow ramp

You know when they are dry when the smoke detector goes off.

Mark

 

 

I suggest you take this post with a grain of salt


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#32 oldlady

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

my smoke detector lets me know that dinner is ready.


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#33 CarlCravens

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:48 PM

my smoke detector lets me know that dinner is ready.

 

You must be related to my wife's family.  (My mother-in-law set off the smoke alarm the first time my wife had me over to her folks for dinner when we were dating.)


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#34 JLowes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 10:11 AM

I had a melt down inside my Skutt KM-1 wall mount controller.  I was checking the progress of a glaze firing and noted that the kiln power light was off and the controller display was dead, and the room had the electrical fire smell.  A check inside the controller box showed melted insulation at the point where the receptacle wiring connected to the contactor.  Since the controller was still under warranty, I closed back up and took it to my distributor.  That was almost two months ago, and the repair just got escalated to the Skutt factory.  It's not always the kiln, or the receptacle, that has the problem. Fortunately no fire, as the melt down killed the 120 volt to the transformer that powers the control board, and the board shutting down killed the power to the receptacle.

 

I do wonder if I will ever see my controller again, and if I should trust it again.

 

John



#35 neilestrick

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:34 PM

I had a melt down inside my Skutt KM-1 wall mount controller.  I was checking the progress of a glaze firing and noted that the kiln power light was off and the controller display was dead, and the room had the electrical fire smell.  A check inside the controller box showed melted insulation at the point where the receptacle wiring connected to the contactor.  Since the controller was still under warranty, I closed back up and took it to my distributor.  That was almost two months ago, and the repair just got escalated to the Skutt factory.  It's not always the kiln, or the receptacle, that has the problem. Fortunately no fire, as the melt down killed the 120 volt to the transformer that powers the control board, and the board shutting down killed the power to the receptacle.

 

I do wonder if I will ever see my controller again, and if I should trust it again.

 

John

 

Contactors/relays can definitely fail, and fail hard. Sometimes they fail off, sometimes the fail on, sometimes they totally melt out. Sometimes you get a lemon that doesn't last very long. The control board losing power usually doesn't have anything to do with it, it just depends on which way it decides to stick. I would say that about 40% of the relays I replace fail on, with power going through them, even though the controller is not sending a signal for it to be on.

 

Two months is ridiculous, and not normal for Skutt's customer service. I would get on the phone with them today and tell them to send you a new box ASAP.


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#36 Mark C.

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:43 PM

Two months is ridiculous, and not normal for Skutt's customer service. I would get on the phone with them today and tell them to send you a new box ASAP.

I would have called 6 weeks ago but today is better than Friday.

Mark


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#37 sawing

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:44 PM

As a new potter, I bought a used kiln (I'm sure I posted a million questions on these forums about it) brought it home, and plugged it into my 220 in the garage.  Fired two loads of bisque, no problem.  Then fired a glaze load.  Went out to check it and I could smell something burning before I even opened the door.  The whole electrical panel had blown!  It was black and melted.  Sooooo glad my garage is NOT attached to my house. :)  

 

My husband called an electrician who came out and re-wired and replaced the box.  I have been using the kiln for two years now with no problems.  Whew.  

 

As for insurance, we have Farm Bureau and they had no problem with the kiln.  Maybe because it's in a detached garage?  We also heat our entire house with a wood-burning furnace (NOT a wood stove) and they have no problem with that, either.  



#38 JBaymore

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:36 PM

As a new potter, I bought a used kiln (I'm sure I posted a million questions on these forums about it) brought it home, and plugged it into my 220 in the garage.  Fired two loads of bisque, no problem.  Then fired a glaze load.  Went out to check it and I could smell something burning before I even opened the door.  The whole electrical panel had blown!  It was black and melted.

 

I've heard that same story over and over.  You are not alone.

 

best,

 

......................john


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#39 DirtRoads

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:31 AM

 

As a new potter, I bought a used kiln (I'm sure I posted a million questions on these forums about it) brought it home, and plugged it into my 220 in the garage.  Fired two loads of bisque, no problem.  Then fired a glaze load.  Went out to check it and I could smell something burning before I even opened the door.  The whole electrical panel had blown!  It was black and melted.

 

I've heard that same story over and over.  You are not alone.

 

best,

 

......................john

 

What are some of the causes of this? Not enough amps for the 220?



#40 DirtRoads

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:23 AM

Asked my brother, who has had insurance agencies, for like 30 years about this.   He noted the following:

 

1.  The kiln should be listed on the insurance policy.  In an addendum or as a rider.   Or a letter after the issuance of the policy.  Something in WRITING.  An insurance agent's verbal acceptance would NOT hold up, if the company wanted to challenge your claim.  There is a lot of "fine print" in most home owner insurance policies.   Some agents will tell you sure it's okay, banking on the probability of never having a claim.   And there is the possibility that the underwriting agent might no longer represent the company at the time of your claim.

 

2.  If you had a fire loss and the insurance company could prove you were using a kiln for commercial purposes, this could invalidate a home owner policy claim.  He said certain companies would very likely try to do this, based on his experience.   Most home owner policies would have an express clause (hidden in the policy), allowing the insurance company to deny coverage.   He thought this would be the most likely scenario for denying coverage for a kiln fire.

 

3.  He noted there is a huge difference between commercial insurance and a home owner policy.   Commercial policy would have little to no outs for claim coverage. 

 

4.  Insurance companies that deny claims are feeling the strain from social media.  Companies have lost a significant percentage of their customer base in a specific areas due to post disaster social media.  So yeah, this does put some pressure on them to pay up.

 

5.  Be particularly wary of insurance companies that do not have agent representatives.  

 

6.  Many companies purposely set an agenda to DENY as many claims as possible.

 

7.  Who reads their insurance policy in it's entirety? His clients depend on him to do that for them.   Your agent may be the key to you having the right coverage.   But still get something in WRITING about the kiln. 






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