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Tim Allen

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About Tim Allen

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    Keene, NH / Boothbay Harbor, ME
  1. I wasn't there, but two techs from our gas supplier showed up this morning, and Wendy showed them the kiln. Not something they deal with everyday, so they were very interested in it. They observed that the pilot was a "lazy flame," took the assembly apart and noted that it did not appear to have a gas orifice. They called Olympic to find out if it was supposed to have one and to get the specs, then one of them went looking for one in their truck. Meanwhile the other tech looked around on the sheet metal under the kiln and found the one that had somehow fallen out. They installed the orifice i
  2. Update: Swapping thermcouples sounds simple but they have different lead lengths, so the TC from the left side would not work on the right side. Leaving the TC's in place and just swapping them at the valves would require swapping the pilot system gas plumbing at the valves as well.... with already formed tubing cut to length, that would be a lot of work. So we got a new thermocouple, and got that installed (see my other thread on removing the old TC). Started up the left-side pilot system and it was immediately obvious that the pilot flame on the TC was crap. Adjusting the need
  3. I finally figured this out. I pulled and pulled, and not only the thermocouple but the socket into which it is inserted. The socket was press-fit into a hole in the angle-iron mount. It has knurled (ribbed) section that was the press-fit, the other end is internally threaded and has wrench flats. Initially I had thought those wrench flats were a "nut" that was securing the thermocouple in place, and had tried valiantly to unscrew it -- before I figured out that this thermocouple was this snap-in style. It turns out that my wrenching had deformed the socket fitting enough that it was no longer
  4. Heh heh. Wendy ordered a new thermocouple from the local distributor -- she'll pick that up on Monday. So we will try again on Tuesday. Re-arranging the order of the valves in the valve train seems like a big job, and if we are going to go to those lengths, I would probably just get a new valve to replace the troublesome one -- if a new thermocouple doesn't resolve the trouble....
  5. Hi Bill, The fuel gas is Propane. I am not sure the photos capture the flame colors accurately. The thermocouple from the troublesome left side gave an open circuit voltage of 30 mV when heated with the distal end of a MAP torch flame, and about 24 mV when heated by the regular pilot flame (red button taped down to allow gas flow to the pilot, end of thermocouple removed from the valve body for voltage measurement). These measurements after some minimal cleaning of the tip. Not sure how I would measure the closed circuit voltage? I guess I would need some kind of connector
  6. FWIW, this is an Olympic DD-12 kiln. There are two groups of 3 burners, one on the left side and one on the right. Each group of burners has it's own pilot "bar." Each pilot bar also has associated with it a thermocouple with it's own dedicated pilot flame (separate from the flames that come from the pilot bar to light the burners). All six burners are fed from a single manifold fed through a chain of four valves: (1) electric valve powered by a set point controller; (2) BASO valve for the left side pilot assembly; (3) BASO valve for the right side pilot assembly; (4) manual valve for controll
  7. Relatively old. I think the thermocouple is delivering "marginal" voltage -- enough to open the main valve (sometimes), but not enough to keep the pilot flame burning (if that makes any sense).
  8. Thanks for this, which is what I wanted to know, and confirms a hypothesis I had, and helps me focus further troubleshooting efforts.
  9. Hi Fred, thanks for your response. The thermocouple rotates freely inside the spring clip ring which is stationary in the socket. There is just enough of the spring clip ring exposed that I can just see the bases of the spring arms peaking out from the socket in which the thing is inserted, but not really enough for me grab hold of (of just the spring clip ring) with some vice-grip pliers... The socket, by the way, is probably internally threaded for a screw-in fitting.... an identical socket (at least in external appearance) is used to receive the tubing that brings the gas to the pilot flame
  10. The pilot system on our gas kiln is equipped with K15F Snap-In thermocouples, with little spring loaded clips that hold them in place: It looks like I should be able to just pull them backwards out of their holders with a good tug, but they are not coming out easily. Do I have to somehow depress those little spring clips in order to get then out, or just tug harder? Thanks, Tim
  11. Does anyone know where I could find a schematic of the internal workings of a BASO valve? I just want to understand how it it supposed to work, I'm NOT proposing try to repair it myself.... Obviously when you press the red button, that opens up gas flow to the pilot system. But does that also open up flow through the main part of the valve to rest of the system downstream? Or does that part of the valve only open when the thermocouple is sending voltage, and the magnet moves? If the thermocouple IS sending appropriate voltage, why would the pilot system shut down when you release th
  12. That's where our electric kiln is located, in a detached garage. No vent system in the current installation, we just open the door. We only use it for bisque
  13. If you were to continue monitoring the temperature every 30 minutes during the cooling phase, and then graph your data, it would probably look something like this: Marcia's right on about the lack of thermal mass having a significant role in your case. Also, just in general, smaller kilns will cool more quickly than larger kilns, because the smaller kiln will have a larger surface area to volume (mass) ratio -- cooling is primarily due to radiative and conductive/convective heat losses to the air at the outside surface of the kiln. Leaving the peep holes open will facilitate c
  14. We have a business insurance policy for general liability and other business losses (e.g. lost product if in an accident on the way to a show, etc....), but that also covers our detached garage where the studio and electric kiln are located. One thing our independent agent did was to set us up with our business policy, homeowner's policy, auto policy, and umbrella policy all from the same company, so that there would never be a question as to which company was responsible should there ever be a claim. (fwiw, the company is Maine Mutual Group, which does offer coverage in NH and some other
  15. Ron, 8% apr on $5K over 24 months would result in a total payment of $5427.27 (or only $427.27 in interest, vs. the $2400 mentioned above).
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