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Dawn Kruger

Older kiln burning through elements

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I have an Amaco top load kiln.  It is 21 years old and gets light use-8-10 05  firings per year.  Elements seem to be burning out more frequently the past few years.  Is that typical of an older kiln or could there be a repairable issue causing it?  The cost is adding up, and I wonder if it is time to replace.

Edited by Dawn Kruger
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If the elements are burning out in the control box, where the wires connect, then I would replace all the wiring. When the wires get old they can run hot and cause connections to burn out. Also replace all the connectors. If they're burning out in the wall where the element goes through, or in the grooves, make sure there are not pieces of old melted element material or glaze or clay chunks in there that could be eating at the elements. With low fire clay, if there are chunks of clay in the element grooves, they will create hot spots on the elements that will then melt the clay and fuse to the elements and eat through them.

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Also to add in on to what @neilestrick said, make sure whomever is doing the repairs that they are using the correct hardware that the manufacturer is recommending. While there are a lot of devices designed to connect electrical components together, they are not all ok for connecting kiln element wires together. Ive seen some goofy stuff when Ive opened other kilns up.

If the custodians or electricians arent familiar with how to work on kilns specifically then maybe do some research on your own so you can instruct them on how to do the repairs properly. Im sure Amaco would be more than happy to send you any instructions or tutorials on repairs.

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8-10 cone 05 firings is outrageous so there is something significant at play here. Rated voltage and actual operating voltage is really high on my list as well as element resistance, nameplate, you name it.

Eight to ten low fire firings is crazy low.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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I'm very curious to know why your elements are burning out. Could you post photos of the failure points where they burn out? I'm curious about the element connectors.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

 

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22 hours ago, Arnold Howard said:

I'm very curious to know why your elements are burning out. Could you post photos of the failure points where they burn out? I'm curious about the element connectors.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

 

I am starting to think this kiln May have had series elements installed in parallel actually for whatever reason or possibly an ordering mistake.

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