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5 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

The Skutt 181 usually has the old, old, old style kiln sitter, which does not have the large black cover plate. The box is much narrower than models with the modern Sitter. There may not be room to fit a controller, and the relays and controls will be subject to a lot of heat.

I bought a mounting box for mine, it was 50 dollars from a local kiln manufacturer, but better than what I was going to do which was mount it in a large metal junction box.

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lol figures.  Still, $125 isn’t terrible.   Thanks  

I think you will enjoy your Skutt 181. That's an interesting old kiln. One can learn a lot from firing a manual kiln. Your 181 might not need new elements. Check the elements with an ohmmeter. If

Thanks so much, Arnold.  I have to be honest, I saw a Paragon Dragon on Craigslist for $1000 and I almost went for it.  But a 75 amp breaker with 4 gauge wire.... gasp!  It’s too much for what I need.

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1 hour ago, Bob ross said:

Hey I just bought this same exact kiln!

Did you ever get it working?  
 

My has the same plug and I have no idea how to power it :)  probably need an electrician.

Yep, an electrician is your best bet.  Find a reputable one, no unlicensed Craigslist ones!

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On 6/27/2019 at 2:03 PM, liambesaw said:

I bought a mounting box for mine, it was 50 dollars from a local kiln manufacturer, but better than what I was going to do which was mount it in a large metal junction box.

I have a fondness for grey rain tight electrical junction boxes!

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26 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I dont have a good saw for that and they were about the same price so ... :P

Just giving you grief. What you ended up doing (whole project) turned out pretty amazing. Not All folks would have put in the effort.

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IHello fellow newbies!  see that I'm in good company with others who've picked up a 181. The odd thing with mine is it HAS no plug. Found and ordered the cord/plug combo...feeling more than a wee bit anxious about attaching it properly and whether any of the other wirings in the sitter need to/ can be replaced.  

Any advice on getting things going?

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6 hours ago, Maskedmaven said:

Any advice on getting things going?

Best bet is to look at the wiring diagram and do what it says. The 181 is unique because it's a 4 wire system. The two hots will connect to the sitter. The neutral will go out to the elements and the other section. The ground will go to the case and the other section.

Any of the other wires should be replaced if the covers are turning brown instead of white, or if they're crispy and crack when you bend them. You should be able to order a new wiring harness from Skutt. The feeder wires, those that go from the switches to the elements, are typically connected with crimp connectors, so you won't be able to change those until you change the elements.

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Perfect. Yeah I was looking at the wiring diagram and have taken off the sitter cover-can see where the hots go. Where the wires connect to the crimp connectors (and not covered by the white) looks iffy to me-the porcelain plugs that the elements come from are looking kinda brown/old.  Once I get the plug connected I'll check the functionality of the elements to see if they need to be replaced (my guess is they will).  Good to know about being able to get a new wiring harness. 

About venting-suggestions on this?  It is in the garage which also has a side door-was planing to keep both open when firing-will this be good enough?

I'm divided between being excited about all the potential projects and totally intimidated by all that needs to be doe to get the kiln going.... It's sort of like learning how to drive a car... 

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On 8/9/2020 at 3:10 PM, gailpar@comcast.net said:

I am looking at a 181 as a test kiln. Is the 181 a cone 10 kiln? I will fire to 6.

You'll only get about 25 firings before needing to change the elements. And those will be long firings that won't necessarily match up with your main kiln. 

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On 7/24/2020 at 6:47 AM, neilestrick said:

Best bet is to look at the wiring diagram and do what it says. The 181 is unique because it's a 4 wire system. The two hots will connect to the sitter. The neutral will go out to the elements and the other section. The ground will go to the case and the other section.

Any of the other wires should be replaced if the covers are turning brown instead of white, or if they're crispy and crack when you bend them. You should be able to order a new wiring harness from Skutt. The feeder wires, those that go from the switches to the elements, are typically connected with crimp connectors, so you won't be able to change those until you change the elements.

Neil (or anyone wiring savvy)

Hoping you can help me out on my wiring questions. I got new elements, crimps and some feeder wire because the existing wires were too short to connect to the crimp/element pigtails. I put everything back where it was attached before (when I tested the elements before replacement-so I know it worked) but now it does not work - no hum.

The plug I have has 4 wires (red, black, green, white) If I understand the colors correctly, green is grounding, white neutral -neither attach to anything; black is a hot as is the red. Do both the black and red need to be attached? I've read elsewhere that just the black is needed? Also, with the butt crimps, as long as the wires are firmly in the barrels it should be fine (a couple of the pigtails don't want to go all the way to the center/not touching the feeder wires)? 

What else can I do to troubleshoot the wiring? I can attach pics in anyone has advice on how to shrink the file size so they're shareable here.

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1 hour ago, Maskedmaven said:

What else can I do to troubleshoot the wiring? I can attach pics in anyone has advice on how to shrink the file size so they're shareable here

For windows select the pics then right click, say send by email, pick medium size, send to yourself. Save these resized pics somewhere and post them. Green should be connected to ground for this kiln for safety. All wires are used for this kiln if you have a top ring. Red, black, white and green for ground. Connections need to be well made and well crimped very tight else they will not last.

If you do not have a top ring it is possible someone could have wired this using only a single circuit which would mean a hot, a neutral and green still should have been used to ground the shell. Hopefully if this was done it is on a dedicated 20  amp circuit and wired with #12 wire or better. Truth be told at 120 v  this is a touch over 19 amps  which would require  a 25 amp breaker and #10 wire today.

here is your diagram this should clear up your questions of where each wire goes. If it worked before and now does not after service, it’s very likely something was missed or incorrectly wired when you serviced it. Element crimps need to be fully seated and crimped very tight.

https://skutt.com/images/181-Wiring-Diagram.pdf

Edited by Bill Kielb
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