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Cherry

Over firing, Controllers and Codes

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I have a Paragon SNF 243 .  In the last 1 1/2 year, we have replaced the elements, thermocouple, and this week, the controller and the switches.  It has been firing about 2 cones above what I program it for, though with a cone higher at the top.

 Since installing the Sentry 3 controller, I have fired it 4 times. On three of those, it has shut down around  2000 degrees, taking 12- 14 hours to get there.  The error code it gives is FTL. The only completed firing was with the kiln empty but for test cones, to cone 4 and that took 9 hours on a fast setting! The others were also to cone 4 but at a medium speed. We tested the amperage, all within limits.

Any suggestions? 

Cherry Knobloch

Chesapeake, Va 

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It's an odd one, for sure. The only things that are left to change are the relays and the thermocouple wire. If you're getting a relay that's sticking intermittently, it could account for the long firing and error code. A bad thermocouple wire could be sending a bad signal that's confusing the controller. That could also account for the over-firing.

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5 hours ago, Cherry said:

I have a Paragon SNF 243 .  In the last 1 1/2 year, we have replaced the elements, thermocouple, and this week, the controller and the switches.  It has been firing about 2 cones above what I program it for, though with a cone higher at the top.

 Since installing the Sentry 3 controller, I have fired it 4 times. On three of those, it has shut down around  2000 degrees, taking 12- 14 hours to get there.  The error code it gives is FTL. The only completed firing was with the kiln empty but for test cones, to cone 4 and that took 9 hours on a fast setting! The others were also to cone 4 but at a medium speed. We tested the amperage, all within limits.

Any suggestions? 

Cherry Knobloch

Chesapeake, Va 

FTL - firing too long. I think this is a discontinued Low fire kiln which was a manual kiln (I believe) so the controller and relays were a retrofit? 
If I have that right can you post the amperage measured for each element set, And a picture of how this is wired? The diagram below may or may not be your specific model; if so it does present some specific challenges to the retrofit that would be obvious with a picture of the relays with the attached wiring in the picture.

D3F1E945-69BA-47F0-9235-87C0F7E59F4B.jpeg.10571d5b5c707f8e63aeb22ab088973f.jpegB9348731-4B1B-4349-941B-5BC6223B494A.jpeg.3430418014aad2d2d51def1a2dd8bc4a.jpeg

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It had the old Touch n Fire DTC 800  Controller.  

The Sentry manual suggested firing with a slow speed in order to avoid that FTL message, so that is running now and it's almost to 2000 degrees.    

This is the third time this load has been to 2000 degrees.:rolleyes:

Cherry

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38 minutes ago, Cherry said:

It had the old Touch n Fire DTC 800  Controller.  

The Sentry manual suggested firing with a slow speed in order to avoid that FTL message, so that is running now and it's almost to 2000 degrees.    

This is the third time this load has been to 2000 degrees.:rolleyes:

Cherry

Ok, if it fails again, the pictures and amperage will help, otherwise it is really hard to speculate

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1 hour ago, oldlady said:

noticed that the photo had a caption reading "low fire ceramics".    what cone or temperature would that be?   are you taking it over its rated limit?

I think it’s rated to cone 8, max temp is 2350.

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This is a link to the model I have. I think mine is from the  late nineties. I bought it from someone in Baltimore  about 10 years ago. 

https://www.paragonweb.com/TNF243_7961111G00.cfm

When we checked the amperage last week, the readings were  about 18, 12,12, 12, and 18, top to bottom.  Those were new as of August 2018. Readings then were about 21, 13, 12, 12,12, and 20. 

I've ordered a new thermocouple,  it'll be here tomorrow or  Wednesday.

Here is a picture of the wiring.

I have my first sale in 14 years  in less than 2 weeks!

Resized_20191111_171216_1619.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Cherry said:

This is a link to the model I have. I think mine is from the  late nineties. I bought it from someone in Baltimore  about 10 years ago. 

https://www.paragonweb.com/TNF243_7961111G00.cfm

When we checked the amperage last week, the readings were  about 18, 12,12, 12, and 18, top to bottom.  Those were new as of August 2018. Readings then were about 21, 13, 12, 12,12, and 20. 

I've ordered a new thermocouple,  it'll be here tomorrow or  Wednesday.

Here is a picture of the wiring.

I have my first sale in 14 years  in less than 2 weeks!

Resized_20191111_171216_1619.jpeg

Give me a bit to enhance this picture on a large screen but at first glance this does not appear to be the proper wiring if I am to believe it is an SNf 243 or TNF 243. Having said that I am sure it worked at some time. Can you double check the model #. It should be on a plate attached to the kiln. Since it has a controller it will likely be a TNF #. Again I  will work with the picture and calc some of the amperage and try to visually trace the wires in the meanwhile. A better picture would definitely help, hard to see the relays unless I massage the photo a bunch, then it’s really grainy.

Right now, I am thinking this is wired incorrectly or marginally. The top and bottom elements have changed pretty drastically (14%), well beyond 10% which is what would be allowed before replacement is necessary. Your total wattage measure is 21600 watts or 90 amps! Something is not correct here for sure, this is a 50 amp kiln at best but you measured 90?

give me a bit to trace these and provide the actual model if you can find it

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I believe it may be wired correctly. The top and bottom elements each come off their own relay, and the middle four are wired in two series pairs. Double check the middle elements. This is different than how most other kiln companies do it, where the elements are typically all wired in pairs, with each relay feeding one pair. It works, though.

 

 

W7961111.jpg

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

I believe it may be wired correctly. The top and bottom elements each come off their own relay, and the middle four are wired in two series pairs. Double check the middle elements. This is different than how most other kiln companies do it, where the elements are typically all wired in pairs, with each relay feeding one pair. It works, though.

 

 

W7961111.jpg

I think you got it. 11500 w, not so neatly wired so I think I will give her a tool she can use to keep this straight and troubleshoot. Obviously there is something disconnected and her amperage readings in the center section are repetitive so confusing.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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10 hours ago, Cherry said:

This is a link to the model I have. I think mine is from the  late nineties. I bought it from someone in Baltimore  about 10 years ago. 

https://www.paragonweb.com/TNF243_7961111G00.cfm

When we checked the amperage last week, the readings were  about 18, 12,12, 12, and 18, top to bottom.  Those were new as of August 2018. Readings then were about 21, 13, 12, 12,12, and 20. 

OK,

Neil has the correct drawing I believe so TNF for now which I think is correct, and looking closely at your picture probably wired OK but likely has a problem with top or bottom wiring, relay or connections based on your results and your measured amperages.

Some of the difficulty diagnosing this has to do with where you place your meter to measure. So to that I took your picture and made notations of how these things should be connected to your relays, themselves as well as where to measure the amperages. There are basically three amperages to check and the best way is to measure is the wires that go to each relay. So You should measure R1, R2 and R3  as shown (only one of the two wires is necessary) and compare to what I have written down as the anticipated "New element" amperage. This also assumes that your voltage is truly 240 Volts so if you are very close then all is likely good with that element set. 

An interesting thing to know

The top and bottom elements are identical and should measure nearly the same so - about 13.3 amps top (R1) and 13.3 amps bottom (R3)

The middle (four) elements are hooked in series parallel and act as one giant 5000 W element,  20.9 amps (R2)

Suggested

I like neat wiring and neat clean tight connections. It not only looks good but decreases heating in the wires, so when you can:  neat, clean appropriate length connections with some room to be cut back and repaired later.  Not a huge amount,  maybe 4 inches of spare, no unnecessary loops and double backs. Wires to be amprobed (Clamp on Ammeter) can often be tie wrapped  at a convenient point making it easier to  remember and measure in the future. There are only three basic amperages to measure in this kiln as a starting diagnostic. Top element(s), Middle element(s) and bottom element(s)

Last observation

I think you will find a bad relay, or loose wire or burned end so look closely with the power off

The thermocouple  - if it is working now likely will not fix this, its not a thermocouple issue.

I have written your anticipated new element resistance as well. This is a great way with power off to be able to check the wear and tear on them. The easiest way I believe is to measure as marked and once these values rise by 10% or in the case of measuring amperage the amperage decreases 10% your elements are wearing out and likely need replacement soon. This kiln has three zones of heating.

when measuring amperage just clamp around one of the two wires that goes to the element set. This is the amperage for the whole element. Either wire can be clamped around and in these circuits they will measure identically one at a time.

Good Luck, stay safe and good luck with your show!

Cherrys Kiln.jpg

Edited by Bill Kielb

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16 hours ago, Cherry said:

When we checked the amperage last week, the readings were  about 18, 12,12, 12, and 18, top to bottom.  Those were new as of August 2018. Readings then were about 21, 13, 12, 12,12, and 20. 

 

Did you mean these were the element resistance measurements, in Ohms, not amps? That would match up with the wiring diagram.

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:33 PM, Cherry said:

I've ordered a new thermocouple,  it'll be here tomorrow or  Wednesday.

Here is a picture of the wiring.

I have my first sale in 14 years  in less than 2 weeks!

Hopefully you were able to find the problem and fix this before your show. Let us know, it may be helpful to someone in the future.

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We replaced the thermocouple,  my husband made sure all the connections were tight and I fired it last night. It still was over, but if finished! I'll take that, and work on calibrating it next.

Thanks for all the help.

 

Cherry

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1 hour ago, Cherry said:

We replaced the thermocouple,  my husband made sure all the connections were tight and I fired it last night. It still was over, but if finished! I'll take that, and work on calibrating it next.

Thanks for all the help.

 

Cherry

Glad to here it!

FTL is highly unlikely a thermo couple issue so hopefully he found something was loosely connected and now you are good to go with everything checked.  Nice work, Good luck with your show.

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