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Olympic 2327 Kiln - Corroded connector replacement


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Hey, we're still working on this 70's era Olympic kiln! Cleaning out cobwebs in the wiring and found the connectors were thoroughly corroded and, I'm guessing, not safe to run current through. We were hoping to test fire this weekend but have decided to hold off until we can replace the connectors. What I'm wondering is, is it possible to uncrimp and recrimp with fresh connectors, or is it likely the element pigtail is too weak or short to hold up?  There's enough slack in the external wiring to strip back a bit and crimp on fresh wire. It's the element side that concerns me. Seventy-five cent connectors, versus $575 to replace the whole kit & caboodle. 

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I have had good luck with needle nose pliers hanging on to element side of elements and grinding off the crimp carefully with a 4 inch grinder not grinding the element pigtail than prying it off-cut the wires off 1st and get the boxes away as well. Then forget the crimps and strip back to good clean feeder wire and use these

https://euclids.com/collections/connectors-lead-outs/products/element-connector-1-screw-hd

 

I just ordered a bunch of them-make sure the screw hits the wire on top as well when you tighten them down hard.Crimp connectors are just cheap and a pain. 

This is assuming the elements test good. Mine had a few fires on them and where new.If yours are the original replace them as the 70s was to long ago

Edited by Mark C.
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1 minute ago, Mark C. said:

Crimp connectors are just cheap and a pain. 

Crimp connectors are great, have a good history in aviation  ...... properly done of course. Folks fixing kilns don’t often have ratchet style locking crimpers so I agree whole heartedly, most kiln crimps are not great.

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5 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

I have had good luck with needle nose pliers hanging on to element side of elements and grinding off the crimp carefully with a 4 inch grinder not grinding the element pigtail than prying it off-cut the wires off 1st and get the boxes away as well. Then forget the crimps and strip back to good clean feeder wire and use these

https://euclids.com/collections/connectors-lead-outs/products/element-connector-1-screw-hd

 

I just ordered a bunch of them-make sure the screw hits the wire on top as well when you tighten them down hard.Crimp connectors are just cheap and a pain. 

This is assuming the element test good. Mine had a few fires on them and where new.If yours are the original replace them as the 70s was to long ago

Yeah I have no reason to believe they've been replaced; with this much corrosion on the connectors (kiln sitter was fried as well) they are probably original. Everything else looks ok, so I think will pick up elements and connectors separately instead of Olympic's "replacement package," as it contains parts that don't apply to a model this old. I'm wondering if corrosion like this is from the kiln being fire damp. Inside of the kiln shows no corrosion, but it's from the wet side of the west coast and may have been fired with condensation on the external components. 

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1 hour ago, Mark C. said:

Euclids makes and sell everything you need as well from elements to sitter parts

Awesome, I will give them a call tomorrow. 

I like the idea of a connector that is re-usable, and doesn't require special tools to install! 

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  • 4 months later...

Replaced all the elements, replaced the connectors (got them crimped real good,) replaced the sitter tube, replaced a couple bricks... 

if anyone's curious, a kiln picked up at a garage sale for $175-$250 (no one can remember exactly what we paid for it) has cost about $600 total. For a working kiln with new elements, of this size, that seems a fair price! ...and we are really hoping we got the kiln sitter back together in the right order. It was a fun little puzzle to assemble and the diagram in that Skutt PDF is super fuzzy. 

Next step is a place to plug it in. We got permission to test it on a local 208 welding circuit, but it requires use of an extension cord and that isn't going to tell us if we can reach cone 6. Since wiring is required, we're seeing if we can combine the 'need a place to plug in the kiln' with 'need a place to charge an electric car' and solve several problems on one permit + electrician on a different building's 240 circuit since the kiln doesn't need to monopolize its plug. 

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Good work!

May I suggest providing a dedicated outlet for your kiln - so you're not unplugging/replugging? If the new circuit won't support charging your car and running the kiln at the same time, one receptacle does proof it, however, so would a switch. 

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10 hours ago, Hulk said:

Good work!

May I suggest providing a dedicated outlet for your kiln - so you're not unplugging/replugging? If the new circuit won't support charging your car and running the kiln at the same time, one receptacle does proof it, however, so would a switch. 

Someday, I hope we get that far! It'll be outdoors, so the kiln won't be a permanent fixture and it's very unlikely there will be both a car and a firing cycle needed on the same day. The goal is to meet the need (i.e. talk the landlord into it) of an electric car charging spot (no one has one in the town of a hundred people, but people's out-of-town friends do) that can be used to charge a car two or three times a year, and power the kiln two or three times a year. The kiln will be moved, set up, loaded, plugged in, etc. etc. for each firing cycle. Highly not ideal, I know, but its the high desert- getting a few weeks of zero chance of rain is pretty easy, and since we all rent, an indoor or hardwired kiln is not an option for the foreseeable future. This kiln is very mobile in its modular form and has been moved upstairs, downstairs, through various basements, into and out of several vehicles, etc. We're getting pretty good at it. 

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