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Hi all! I found a large old AIM Kiln at a thrift store for $50 , and it looks in good condition (pics attached). Based upon the badge specs of 230v 20amps, I had an electrician install a 240v outlet on a 30amp circuit. I fired it up and everything worked for a few minutes until it shut down, and wouldn't restart. After checking continuity through all the wiring, I decided to check voltage on the outlet. Sure enough it was out of whack. I called the electrician back and he confirmed that the circuit was fried. After connecting the kiln directly to the power drop at the circuit breaker we discovered that it was pulling 45-50 amps. The electrician pointed out tiny print on the label for the Kilnsitter indicating 45 amps! So, we were both confused. Why does the badge on the control box indicate 20 amps if the Kilnsitter, which is the distribution point for electricity to all three rings, needs 45? Even if it's simply extremely deceptive labeling (which is actually indicating that EACH RING requires 20 amps) wouldn't the sitter need at least 60 amps to function? Also, almost every kiln I've seen made by almost every manufacturer has an LT Kilnsitter indicating 45 or more amps -- regardless of the amp specs for each individual model (some as low as 15 amps). Is it true that any kiln with a sitter will require wiring up a 50 amp circuit (at a cost of around $800)? And finally, why would a Kilnsitter, which is simply a heat sensitive shut-off switch, dictate amps drawn? Can anyone shed some light on this seemingly ubiquitous contradiction in specs? Thanks! Matt
I'm currently debating whether to spend good money upgrading my electrical to try and get a large older kiln working, or purchase a smaller new one that uses fewer amps. Lately I've noticed quite a few decent size 240v kilns that use relatively few amps and still boast cone 8 to 10. Olympic fires 3.29 cubic ft. of pots on only 26 amps, and Paragon's Biggest Little Kiln fires 2.9 cu. ft. on 28 amps. I'd love to hear from anyone with experience using these types of low amp kilns. Are there drawbacks? Is it simply that they fire more slowly? Do they really achieve cone 8 - 10? Thanks! Matt