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I bought a used paragon 10 sided TnF 23-3 kiln and just had the electrician here today to run wiring for it. 

I did a test to see if all of the elements worked and discovered that the two at the top and the two at the bottom glow bright red, YAY!

However (this may be a newbie question), there seem to be about four  in the middle that do not fire at all. Is this normal? What do I do next? 

It has a chip and some cracks in the brick in the lid that I can fix and I plan to set it on a stand and get a Orton VentMaster. Any other advice for me? 

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52 minutes ago, Newbie Stef said:

I bought a used paragon 10 sided TnF 23-3 kiln and just had the electrician here today to run wiring for it. 

I did a test to see if all of the elements worked and discovered that the two at the top and the two at the bottom glow bright red, YAY!

However (this may be a newbie question), there seem to be about four  in the middle that do not fire at all. Is this normal? What do I do next? 

It has a chip and some cracks in the brick in the lid that I can fix and I plan to set it on a stand and get a Orton VentMaster. Any other advice for me? 

Good time to learn how to test elements and of course the relays or switches that turn them on. Lots of videos on the internet  how to do this and probably would be a good experience. If you are comfortable learning and stay safe a good opportunity to learn. Most tests can be done without power and an economical volt ohm meter. Although all elements don’t always glow as brightly as each other, they all need to glow. Elements are worn when they test 10% over their new resistance (ohms).

some thoughts:

  • learn a few simple firing schedules and about how long they take and why. Google Bartlett controls and look at their bisque and glaze schedules. This is a company that has supplied controls for most kilns in the US for decades.
  • Learn a bit about cones and then use them as needed to verify the actual heat work done. Part of your learning should include the basic knowledge that the earth is generally made of cone 10 geology which means everything starts as cone 10 and we do things to make them melt sooner, or cone 6 for instance.
  • learn high, mid and lowfire clay temperatures and their basic properties.

Just knowing the actual info above will help you immensely. Don’t use casual knowledge, learn the important parts for yourself from real sources - In my opinion this will pay dividends in the future.

If possible, find a decent studio and learn to fire with them, it may not be perfectly correct but you will have a starting point to begin your journey and build your experience.

In the end, kilns are simple, a place to heat something at a certain rate. The rate part is very important but simple to learn - bisque firing  in the 200 degree per hour range, glaze firing 400-500 degrees per hour range. Most concepts are actually simple so when folks begin over complicating things, step back and look at other sources for solutions.

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That kiln has 4 elements, and each element wraps twice. So when you say the top two are glowing, what you're seeing is one element that wraps twice. The top and bottom elements run hotter than the two middle elements, so they will go sooner and brighter. If you let it run long enough you'll see the middle elements glow, too. You can also just put a little piece of paper on each element and see if it burns when you turn it on. Just because the elements get hot doesn't mean they're good to go, though. They may be worn out, and the best way to check that is with a multi-meter measuring the resistance of the elements. Paragon probably has instructions on how to do that on their web site.

Definitely put the kiln on a proper kiln stand. Do not worry about trying to patch broken or cracked bricks with kiln mortar. The repair won't hold. Just pin the elements in place if the chips are big enough for them to flop out, and replace the broken bricks next time you replace the elements. Same with chips in the lid, just ignore them unless they're causing leaks, in which case a little brick dust and mortar may work to fill them in.

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