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Hi everyone!

 

I just recently bought a used Cress FX27P electric kiln so I can start firing work at home. So I just recently started my first bisque firing yesterday at 4pm. It was more of a test fire, so I didn't put a lot of work in there, about 15 wheel thrown pieces. There were a couple pieces in there that were not fully bone dry so I set the firing speed at E, the slowest speed. I also put a pyrometric cone (04) in the sitter, 1 peep hole open, and set the thumb wheel to 1, and I set the timer to 16 hours so it can shut off at that time in case anything goes wrong. Throughout the day and night I checked periodically, and the kiln did get red hot, so the elements seemed fine to me, but I didn't take a look at the thumbwheel. So this morning I went to go check on the kiln, and it fired the full 16 hours! and the kiln sitter didn't go off, so the the kiln didn't reach cone 04 temp. Also, the thumbwheel stayed at 1! It didn't move! So I'm thinking the thumbwheel is broken or needs repair, I didn't put the cone in right, or something is wrong with the elements. And even 16 plus hours later the kiln was still showing orange to red heat signatures inside the peep hole. So I talked to my friend who has experience firing kilns, and he said to just fire the thing until the kiln sitter shuts off and set the thumbwheel to 10 max temp as soon as possible so the kiln doesn't have to reheat back to 1000 for the sake of energy efficiency. If anyone has any ideas, input, advice, or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm hoping to bisque fire and glaze fire using this kiln in the near future, I already bought a couple pints of cone 6 glazes to test out. Thanks!

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The thumbwheel? That may be the timer or that may be the controller for the elements?

If you turned it on 1, that may be the lowest setting for the elements to be on. Not sure of your configuration. I had a crest kiln about 40 years ago. For manual kilns, I start on 2 for 2 hours. Close the lid and raise the input to 4. fire 2 more hours. Turn it on high, shut the lid and let it hit temperature.

What other numbers are on the thumbwheel?

Does it go to 6 and HI?

 

Marcia

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  • 2 years later...
3 hours ago, Kita said:

You can candle on “stop/manual” instead of E, for the slowest results. We were having the same problem with our Cress kiln - the temps climbed too quickly and explosions happened. 

Call cress in Nevada and ask-I'm not sure about their controls

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I have had several of those cress kilns with the thumbwheels and I like the design.   Sounds like yours is stuck on one.... Try firing it at the top speed and see if the wheel moves at all,,,, you don't have to have anything in the kiln,,, you should know within an hour if it's progressing and can turn it off then.   I have one that sticks once it gets to the 4 setting, so some times they do break in that way.  You can still use it, you'll just need to manually turn the dial as you fire. 

I'm impatient and rush things too often, so I'm kind of an expert on cracked/blown up work, and im guessing those cracks have nothing to do with the kiln, but with putting the work in too wet.  Next time wait until your work is bone dry.   If you've been working in a community studio, maybe your lab tech has been letting your work dry more than you think before firing. 

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Here is a link to the fx manual

https://3fs7rd1xi6sy2zofjv3g0a0q-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/FX-INSTRUCTION-MANUAL-FOR-FX-KILNS.pdf

firemate motor, infinite switches, 230v relays, pretty interesting design to say the least. Troubleshooting this takes a bit of electrical fortitude.

diagram and parts list below. If you are really stuck it would take a bit to work up (hours) a step by step on how to troubleshoot this. The firemate motor needs to operate for this kiln to work. So does everything else though. 

If Cress can easily diagnose over the phone and send you a new part it would be easiest on all of us.

 

 

 

Edited by Bill Kielb
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  • 9 months later...

Did you ever get your thumbwheel problem figured out?  I am having the same problem with my Cress FE23S. The kiln does get to temp, but the thumbwheel doesn't turn on its own (I can turn it manually) and last time I fired it (empty) it went way above temp and melted my cones.  So, I replaced the thermocoupler and hope it will shut itself off when it reaches temp. Going to manually turn the thumbwheel for now and see what happens.  Just curious if you've figured out how to fix it or just use it without the thumbwheel working.  I don't know how fast to ramp up the temp manually so if anyone has a suggestion I'll take it - thanks!! I am firing low-fire stoneware.   

Edited by mstaver
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You should never go to bed with your  kiln firing,   a test firing especially.    I have been firing electric kilns for 40 years,  I may start candeling  at 3.00 am because I am getting up at 6.   Had a new potter on the forum a few years ago that had a supposed electrician install a kiln in his home.  His old knob and tube wiring couldn't handle it and caught the house on fire inside the walls.    Denice

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I have a Cress FX27P kiln.  My kiln overheated during a glaze 06 fire.The kiln sitter cone was melted and did not work.  I next did a bisque fire 04 and all seemed fine.  I tired another glaze fire 06 it started up ok but when I went back an hour later to check it was not heating.  The timers work but no heat.   Did I burn out something?

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If the timer has enough time on it, there's a cone in the cone sitter and the speed dial and thumbwheel are both set on something other than manual, it should be going as long as the elements aren't worn out. So that leads to more questions. Have your firings been taking longer lately? Are the elements lying down? How many firings do you have on it/did you buy it used?

 

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It doesn’t sound like you personally burned anything out but you most definitely need someone to troubleshoot the kiln. As above, how old is the kiln, how many firings, have the elements ever been replaced, have you looked carefully at the elements for signs of a burned open section ........what do you feel comfortable testing?...... etc.....  Sounds like kiln maintenance and repair is likely in order.

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