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Element feeder wire replacement issue.


cadenrank
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Hi guys! 

I'm replacing my feeder wires and some of the other various wires inside of one of my older kilns.

This kiln uses 3 position switches, and a kiln sitter. I got 12ga kiln feeder wire from the ceramic shop, and a bunch of ring connectors. The old 3 position switches in the kiln use the screw type terminals on the back, and they used crimp on ring connectors to make the connections on the back of the switches. I made sure the size of the hole in the ring connectors were correct, and went ahead and cut my first wire, and crimped the connector on, only to find out that the ring terminal is too big to fit inside of the space molded into the plastic under the screw on the switch. 

So my question is, is it safe/okay to just make clockwise hooks (as you would in a standard receptacle) in the stripped portion of the feeder wires, and to just tighten that under the screw instead of using the loop (these, for reference)terminals? Electrically, it doesn't seem like it would make a difference, other than just not being as neat, and likely taking a bit more time on my end to do this job. But I want to be sure before I go ahead and do it. 

Thank you guys in advance.

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The ring terminals usually are a better connection especially since this is very likely stranded wires. Can you just add a washer or two that fits the current recess then use your ring terminal on that?  Just enough to get your connection out of the recess.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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35 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

High heat Ring connectors will work better than the wire bent into a C shape-get the high heat ones and crimp them properly for best results

Those are the ones I bought. They won't fit into the plastic space that is given on the back of the switch. The size of the hole in the middle is good, but the size of the exterior of the loop is too big. I was hoping to use them, as they're much faster to put together, than having to deal with twisting stranded 12ga wire into a hook, not to mention they'd be a lot neater. 

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39 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

The ring terminals usually are a better connection especially since this is very likely stranded wires. Can you just add a washer or two that fits the current recess then use your ring terminal on that?  Just enough to get your connection out of the recess.

I don't think the screw(s) on the switch would be long enough to do that. 
And yes, they're stranded. That's why I was hoping the ring terminals would work. It's much easier to crimp them on than it is to bend the stranded wire and keep it intact.

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17 minutes ago, Piedmont Pottery said:

Perhaps Dremel the too-large ring connectors down a bit on the sides to get it to fit?  Take off only the minimum amount of metal needed.

I thought about this, but wasn't sure how well it'd work. At this point though, I don't really have anything to lose by trying, I won't be able to use the ring terminals for anything else

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3 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

@cadenrank Get some of THESE that screw onto the switch and then allow you to use 0.250" slip-on terminals on the wires. Makes for much easier repairs in the future. You'll need to figure out what size stud is on the switch and get the correct size, I just linked to the first one I saw.

I'm not sure if the end of that would fit out side of the switch spots either. There's a very small gap underneath of the plastic (I thought I had a picture of the back of the switch, but none show the thing I'm specifying, because it's all wired in the pics) where the wire fits into coming out of the terminal. This gap is only big enough for the 12ga wire to pass through. I don't think it even fits the barrel part of the ring connector, let alone the wide flat part of that adaptor, unfortunately. 

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10 minutes ago, cadenrank said:

I'm not sure if the end of that would fit out side of the switch spots either. There's a very small gap underneath of the plastic (I thought I had a picture of the back of the switch, but none show the thing I'm specifying, because it's all wired in the pics) where the wire fits into coming out of the terminal. This gap is only big enough for the 12ga wire to pass through. I don't think it even fits the barrel part of the ring connector, let alone the wide flat part of that adaptor, unfortunately. 

Skutt includes those adapters in their KS control box upgrade kits. You may be able to get some from them if you can't find them locally.

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@neilestrick this is a link to some pictures of the new wire with the high temp ring crimped on already, one of the older wires and it's old connector, and the back of the switches screw terminals. Which you can see the one right next to it is even smaller of a size for the plastic around it. (yes, I know the old wires insulation is awful, lol. That's why I'm doing this project.) 

https://imgur.com/a/IsvIvXn (they were too big to attach here, unfortunately.)

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1 minute ago, Bill Kielb said:

Wow, must be really tiny screws. Usually 1 washer under is enough. Does the ring fit the screw or do you need # 12 - 14 rings?

The ring fits the screw well. It just wont fit into the recessed well of plastic around the terminals. The area of the ring connector that gets crimped onto the wire, also doesn't fit into the channel for where the wire is directed out of the recessed plastic area. 

The issue is that it wouldn't sit flat against the terminal unless the ring terminal was flush with the plastic at the top.  (at least this size. I can't find any other high temp ring connectors that fit 12ga, and have number 10 screw size, that have a smaller outer ring diameter than what I have currently, see pictures in my last response if you haven't already for references)

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I know it wouldn't hurt to change out the switches to the newer quick disconnect blade type of terminals (which would solve this issue), but I really don't want to have to replace them if they don't need it. Mostly because there's other things in the kiln that I'd like to spend the $90 on instead of three new switches, especially when the old ones still work. 

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7 minutes ago, cadenrank said:

The ring fits the screw well. It just wont fit into the recessed well of plastic around the terminals. The area of the ring connector that gets crimped onto the wire, also doesn't fit into the channel for where the wire is directed out of the recessed plastic area. 

Think a spade terminal would fit?

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31 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

I think if you post a picture or two we might be able to solve this.

Sorry about that, I wasn't with the kiln last night when I was talking here to take any pictures other than the ones I had. 

I ended up talking to the tech at the company I bought the wire, and connectors at. And they told me to either dremel, or use snips to cut just enough off so it will fit in the recess, and after trying the dremel, and then trying the snips, the snips worked much better, and quicker. Cut off just enough, and got the connectors to fit.

Thank you guys again! 

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Me again, with another question that I believe I know the answer to, but want to make sure before I do it. 

This kiln that I'm overhauling internals on at the moment has it's elements wired so that the elements each have a single wire leading from the 3 position switch to the one side of each element in a section, and then on the other side of each element on the section meets back with two wires at the switch, where they terminate together under that screw (labeled 2 in the diagram). (see the diagram from Olympic on the 2-element section that I've attached) 

My question is could I theoretically wire it so that instead of the two wires terminating under the one screw on the switch together, they instead wire to each other, and then a single wire from one of those element connectors to the switch instead? The idea of doing this is mostly because the crimp on ring connectors make it hard to fit both wires under the one screw, and also if in the future I have to change switches, it seems the blade type of connectors wouldn't make that connection possible. (see the diagram that I drew on for reference to this)

(P.S this isn't an olympic kiln, but it uses the same setup from the 3 position switches as their diagram, so I just borrowed it to demonstrate, because I figured typing out the situation would be confusing.)

3-position-switch.jpg

alter.jpg

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Each wire is designed to carry X amount of the load. If you turn two wires into one then it must carry double the load so the single wire would be sized for the proper amperage that will go through it. To do this correctly your single wire replacement leading to the number two terminal ought to be a heavier gauge. If we know the element resistance it’s certainly easy to calculate for each segment of wire. For simplicity of assembly, service, and the economics of stocking one gauge wire it’s often easier just to run the two wires in a single gauge independently. Whether terminated with spade  or ring, both wires should fit into a single crimp (get the right crimp, a 12-10 crimp fits two #12 easily) which makes the install simple.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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