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  • Location
    Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Interests
    Woodworking, Making, Fixing, Repurposing

TerryBerry's Achievements


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  1. Looks like you got it figured out. The diagram you shared is basically my new set-up, just without the 3rd set of elements. Here's a summary of my process of anyone else find themselves in a similar situation. 1. Bought a universal infinite switch rated for 240V from Amazon. They're less than $20. 2. Removed the timers and relay. 3. Mounted the new infinite switch onto the cover panel making use of the space vacated by the timers/relay. Just drilled a hole in the cover and popped it in. 4. Wired the switches directly to the kiln sitter and the elements. Just like in the diagram above: black terminal to L1 and white terminal to L2. H1 to one end of the elements and H2 to the other. The P connection on the infinite switch was left empty. The original switch stayed wired to the top elements. The new switch was wired to the bottom elements. It's that simple. I was able to take the insulated wires that I removed from the timers/relay and use them to hook up the new switch, so that saved me from having to buy new ones. The new switch didn't come with a knob, but I picked up an old stove knob from my local Habitat for Humanity Restore for a quarter. The trickiest part was learning how to balance the temperature from the top and bottom elements since the two switches are not identical and their range is slightly off.
  2. Got the new infinite switch installed and on the first pass it seems to be working. All the elements come on and heat up just fine. Still got some testing to do, but it looks like we're on the right path! Thanks again for sharing your advice!
  3. Thanks for the advice. I was surprised to find that the cost of a V6cf was comparable to replacing the relays. Looking at all my options, I'm going to go with the 2nd switch for now. I'm one of those guys that still smokes brisket using charcoal and babysitting the dampeners for 9 hours. So Saturdays will just become my Smoke & Fire days-- when I spend all day smoking ribs and firing clay. Plus if I start out with a manual kiln, then when I finally make the switch to digital, I'll appreciate it that much more. I'll update the thread once I get everything copacetic.
  4. So, fun fact: my kiln isn't fixed after all. It started chattering again, and a user manual for the kiln that I found online confirmed that the repeat cycle timer is bad. Both timers are supposed to be changed together. So I'm looking at about $225. Plus these parts haven't been manufactured in 20 years, so they aren't used, but definitely aren't new. The two timers and the relay work together to put the kiln through a preheating phase. They cause the elements to turn on and off every 60 seconds for two hours. After two hours the elements stay on until reaching temp and the kiln sitter cuts power or the safety timer runs out. I like Bill's suggestion to get rid of the timers and relay in favor of simply wiring up a second infinite switch directly to the bottom elements. It might take some practice to ensure even firing, but makes more sense to me, and would ultimately provide more control. The preheating phase would be eliminated, but would starting the kiln on low and gradually turning up the infinite switches accomplish something akin to it? Has anyone tried something similar? Any major pitfalls I should watch out for? Is this great idea or just a fool's notion and I should just fork up the $$ for the parts?
  5. @Bill Kielb @neilestrick @High Bridge Pottery @liambesaw and @Mark C. Thank you all for the advice! I actually got it working! I ended up disconnecting everything, testing the controllers, relay, even the continuity of the wires. Everything seemed to be in order, so I put it back together using the wiring diagram. I also switched back to the original relay (since the new one had melted). And... magically it started working. My best guess is that a wire was crossed somewhere or a connection was loose to begin with, and then the new relay wasn't a perfect match. Magnecraft no longer makes that exact relay, and it looks like the new one I bought from Schneider Electric was a little off in the percise specs (even though it was listed as a replacement for the older relay). At any rate it's humming right along now! I just need to do some test firings and read up on kiln wash and all the maintenance I need to do to keep it in tip top shape. I really appreciate your help. Without it I'd probably still be staring helplessly at a partially disassembled kiln!
  6. Yeah, it probably wouldn't hurt to give them a call. Luckily I'm from Arkansas so I don't need an interpreter when I talk to someone speaking Texan.
  7. Thanks for the quick reply. My kiln may not technically be considered "Manual"...to be honest, I was just trying to throw in a little more jargon to sound like I knew what I was talking about. Yes, that's the wiring diagram I've been working with and my kiln is wired to its specifications. My next guess was that one (or both) of the timers might be malfunctioning. Unfortunately, since Paragon has largely phased out Duncan parts, the replacements I'm finding online go for anywhere between $200-$350! I had hoped that maybe I was making some obvious mistake and that someone on here would tell me the equivalent of "No, you have to actually put the car into gear if you want it to drive." Oh well. I guess I"ll see if I can find some information about testing the timers. Thank you for your insight.
  8. A couple years ago, I got a Duncan EA-820 manual kiln off of Craigslist. Paid about $50 for it. My garage was already wired with a 240v outlet, so I was excited to start exploring pottery. However, when I turned the kiln on, I heard a clicking so rapid, it would more aptly be described as a chattering. After some basic troubleshooting and Googling, I found it was the relay which was clicking. Thinking, perhaps the relay was bad, I replaced it. The new one not only clicked repetitively, but promptly began to melt. Frustrated, I moved on to another project and then life got in the way. My kids have recently developed a huge interest in pottery, so I'm giving the kiln another go. I've been able to find wiring diagrams online and everything internal to the kiln appears to be wired correctly. I've got a 240v outlet on a 40amp breaker with 8 guage wire, so that seems to be in line as well. Any idea what could be causing the relay to act this way? I'm stumped and before I go down a rabbit hole, I thought I would check to see if maybe I was missing something obvious or if anyone in the forum had gone through a similar experience.
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