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ChelseaRae

Cress Electric Kiln Plunger won’t stay plunged

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Hi everyone, 

Thanks in advance for your help! I am having some issues with a cress kiln FX 27-P.  I am new to operating a kiln and have only successfully fired 1x to cone 04.  I had no issues with the timer, kiln sitter, thumbwheel (rotated to different numbers throughout firing), and maintained  power to the kiln for entire firing.  I read the entire manual and follow instructions on kiln when programming settings.  

In my second firing- set kiln to 12 hour timer, cone 6 bar in kiln sitter, set it on slowest firing setting.   Walked away from the kiln for maybe 2 hours- when I walked away it was on.  I came back and it was off, set it again, same settings, it turned itself off within 30 minutes.  Set it again, this time for a normal firing speed, it turned off.  

The plunger will stay plunged for a time limited period on its own.  The kiln will stay on if use my finger to keep the plunger, plunged.  No obvious issues inside kiln- kiln sitter bar has not been moved out of position or bent. 

Please help! Cress is not open until next week, same thing with local ceramics stores. 

Thanks again, 

Chelsea 

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So the kiln is turning off because the plunger button is popping out, as if the timer had reached zero? I'm wondering if the knob on your sitter timer somehow isn't in the correct position. I'm not 100% sure that's possible, because I think there's a flat side on the shaft the prevents that from happening. Does the plunger pop out when you manually turn the timer knob to zero? 

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One of my kilns would do that if I turned the timer clear to the maximum time.   As long as I didn't bottom it out on the dial it worked just fine.  For instance you have a 18 hour timer,  set it at 17 hours and 45 minutes.   Denice

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Related, but not the solution. . . . years ago in a sectional kiln, the setter was mounted over two sections. Once I over fired the kiln slightly. . . timer went off, the cone 6 bar had melted, but the "switch bar" did not drop. Further investigation showed that the section above was slightly off causing the bar to lean against the kiln. Always check to make certain the setter is setting perpendicular to the base of a leveled kiln.

 

best,

Pres

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Hi everyone, thanks for commenting. I will try to start kiln again and see if turning the timer to zero causing it to shut off/have latch open.  When it was failing to stay on, the timer was still programmed to have the kiln running.  I am wondering if the kiln timer needs to be replaced/ how I might be able to work with it, as long as I don’t let it bottom out on time.. I am thinking that I should just turn all settings to off/zero.. and see it if works when I try it again after that.  I did this previously, so I am not super hopeful.  Luckily, Cress and local shops should be open again next week.  

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The timer itself is just a little motor that makes one full revolution every 24 hours. It would run indefinitely as long as the sitter is turned on. The knob on the timer has a little nub on the back of it that trips the release for the wire spring mechanism that's holding in the plunger button. There's probably some crud in the spring mechanism that's preventing it from fully catching and holding the plunger.

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So, I just spent some time looking at the timer.  I am not sure how to go about trying to clean gunk out of a spring if that is the cause.  However, this was interesting for me to notice:

I can only turn the timer knob between 8-9 hours if turning clockwise from the off position.  The only way to set the timer above 8-9 hours is it I turn the knob counter clockwise from the off position.  I am wondering if this is a variable due to having successfully fired before by setting the timer to 8 hours and then later adding time to the timer after if didn’t auto shut off.  I was monitoring the firing every hour or so that time.  

Any thoughts  on the rotation of the timer knob as a potential area for user error? I think the thumbwheel is sensitive to the direction it is turned, maybe the timer is the same?

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chelsea,  good for you!   being observant of everything that happens is the best way to keep out of trouble.   like watching where you put your feet might keep you from falling down.

btw,  mechanical kitchen timers always work in only one direction and usually require going past 15 minutes to set a shorter time.

Edited by oldlady
add 'mechanical' so the digital experts don't cry

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