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Finally Getting My Skutt Up and Running


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I got a Skutt 1018 *looks at calendar and sighs* almost three years ago, from an auction site, with the goal of getting it up and running at my home.

That had not yet happened because life keeps getting in the way.  But I'm ready to finally get to it.  

Here are some photos of the kiln I posted back when:

As you can see the previous owner over fired the load and melted them into the bottom slab.  So that will be replaced, along with some of the damaged brick and elements.  (And kiln sitter assembly that I think may have caused the overfiring due to something stuck on the rod.)

I talked to an electrician about running the wire, setting up the outlet and sertting up the breaker/ box.  He recommended that I just buy the wire, run it from the box to the kiln locstion myself, and he'll connect everything.  He said I would need 3 wire, 6 gauge 50 amp wire.  Does that sound right?

The kiln is actually 208, not 240, what foes this mean for the outlet and such?

Also, as I was checking the wiring in the box, I noticed that some wires from the bottom box that are normally fed into and connected to the top, were disconnected.  I'm guessing the seller did that, so they two rings could be taken apart.  I always label wires when I do such things.  If you look in the linked gallery. you'll see I have the mentioned wires/ terminal contacts  labeled, 1&2 are in the bottom box, 3&4 in the top.  There is also a disconnected black wire with green tape (the ground) that isn't connected. It looks like there is a connection point on the box, is that where it goes?

I looked at the wiring diagrams @neilestrick posted, but couldn't really follow them, and may have opened up an interrdimensional portal.

As always, any help would be appreciated.

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This is likely gonna take some work, but let’s first address the 208 v elements. Most likely, they will need to be removed and changed to 240v rated elements. So first place to start would be to confirm the elements that you have and more than likely you will need to order 240 v elements for your kiln. From there, it’s not difficult but definitely requires someone familiar with kilns to wire appropriately and connect everything correctly and snug. First step, IMO call Skutt and see if an element change is in your future.

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You'll definitely need to change the elements if you're going to be running it on 240 volt service. Your elements have to match your voltage. If you run a 208 volt kiln on 240 volt service the elements will run too hot and you'll pull too much amperage.

A though on the floor- clean it off so it'll sit evenly and flip it over. Put a piece of sheet metal on the kiln stand and put a layer of 1" fiber blanket between the metal and floor slab. The fiber will compress where the floor it still good, and fill in the void where it's eaten away. Would probably be cheaper than a new slab. This is assuming there's enough brick left around the edge to support it.

It looks like one section is wired up, correct? Just wire the other section to match. Each switch has 2 power wires that go to the Sitter, one from each side of the Sitter. The black wire is the ground, and it connects to the stud at the top/bottom of the box by where the wires go through, usually with a wing nut.

6 gauge wire is correct if the run isn't so long that you'll have a voltage drop. 

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@neilestrick

So will anything else need to be changed in the kiln, besides the elements?

I actually have a spare slab, from another Skutt that was given to me, that I plan to use.  It'd got some age, but is in good shape.

The run is about 50 feet.  How much of a drop will that create?

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11 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

50 feet won't be a problem. Nothing other than the elements will need to be changed since it will still be single phase.

The outlet will be on a block wall, and I'd like it to be in conduit from the ceiling to daid outlet.  But I've heard that bundled wires are not supposed to be run through conduit because it traps heat.  Is that accurate?

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When you say bundles wires are you speaking about Romex? If so then its ok if it in a dry location at both ends with plenty of space in conduit.(unless the code has changed ?) Individual conductors (wires) are best really . Use 1 inch conduit with #6 conductors or larger-50 feet is a ways-look up current drop on that wire size and your total run lenght .

Edited by Mark C.
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1 hour ago, Benzine said:

So @neilestrick would  I just need a standard 240 Volt outlet, and then the breaker that is rated for a certain percentage over what the kiln is rate for correct?  And I don't need a new kiln plug itself, just those new 240 volt elements?

Correct. The same power cord and plug and internal wiring will work for either voltage. You just need 240 volt elements and a 50 amp breaker. The outlet will be a NEMA 6-50. It's a 3 wire system, two hots and one ground, no neutral is needed. Wires from the breaker to the outlet should be at least 6 gauge. 

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3 hours ago, Benzine said:

@neilestrick I'm guessing it would be the two pole 50 amp breaker right?

Just out of curiosity, why doesn't 220 need a neutral wire?

Yes, two pole breaker. Two wires are needed to complete a circuit, and with 240/208 systems there are two wires. There are some old two section kilns like the Skutt 181 and others that run on 240/208, but they split them and each section of the kiln runs on 110/120 volts- one hot goes to each section of the kiln in stead of both hots to each section- so you need a neutral there to complete each 110/120 volt circuit in each section. There are also appliances that require the neutral, like ovens where the heating system uses 240 volts but the light bulb needs 120 volts.

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