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Firing Disaster? Fired For 20 Hours - 9 Hour Soak?


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I had ONE chance to get these out where they were going this morning. I woke up every hour on the hour to lift the kiln lid a bit then it to allow heat to escape but not allow cold air in. (yeah, I

exhausted, sleep deprived, stressed out, menopausal (back off or I will cut you) human error

mudfish, your results are really beautiful!   i do not normally like dark pots but these are lovely. are there others you can show us so we can see what you hoped to produce?

Mark,

THANK YOU!

I went through my kiln manual and the center elements are variable.  I felt around and nothing seems broken, although I did find some exploded bits of pottery here and there.

I pulled the cover off my controller to check for any shorted out wiring (at the suggestion of a local potter and mentor) and it all looks good.  

I'm going to give the kiln a good vacumming and then try the "newspaper" test to see if they are getting hot; after all, they only need to get to 451 degrees...

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Sometimes it pays to go low tech... both relays work and the middle elements aren't burned out or broken.  All I can do now is run a test fire to see if my maintenance and reset work and/or if the misfire was a fluke or a programming error...

 

If the test fire doesn't complete or takes too long, I'll need to go buy an ohm meter for further testing.

 

In any event, I've become very well acquainted with my kiln's guts.

 

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The kiln would make a different noise with only the one relay switching on and off. I also touched the relay casing and could feel one switching and the other sitting there. Totally safe  :ph34r:  :unsure: with 20 amps of power running through it. 

 

The relay had a big singe mark on the outside from it getting far too hot where the power was going in so there was obvious physical damage. It is probably not this but maybe something to think about if everything else turns into a dead end. I am not 100% sure any more as this was over a year ago and there was so many problems with the kiln.

 

I would test other theories before this one.

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I'd be choosing the mid stage of firing to sleep if I had to, which I do but I set the alarm clock, often awake before the alarm, on the hour.... old and paranoid/wiser have seen a 3 D sculpture in a kiln, not mine,, but everything here is tinder dry and I still want to have my dwellings for a while...And Murphy's law.... on this one doesn't need to be wriitten by me. :)

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Neil,

That's what I was thinking...  It's what I'm hoping.

It's a fairly new kiln with a Sentry 2.0 controller and I was extremely perplexed that there was no error message.  The one time the kiln didn't reach temperature in time (an early firing before I had the hang of it) it shut off and gave me an error code.

Between the day job and the project from hell I was pulling 18 hour days (sometimes more) and I was crazy exhausted and stressed out on that last firing (and I had already screwed up a ramp and hold on a bisque firing which is why things went explody and put me behind schedule.

Tonight I'm going to run my regular cone 5 program with a five minute hold (my plum red glaze needs that to not look quite so purple) with shelves and cones and see what happens.

I'm really hoping it was me, not the kiln because I need to get back at it as I have a backlog of work.

Marc,

I agree with the sleeping thing.  While less than ideal, it's how things are sometimes.  

My kiln is properly installed and wired to specs on its own circuit.  I was with my electrician friend when he installed it  and it was done with extra electrical safety in mind.

It is on a metal stand on a concrete floor and the walls are concrete.  There are no combustibles anywhere near it.

I set it to finish firing just before I wake up for work so I am there if something goes wrong and it doesn't shut off....  THAT was my error this time.  It was within a few degrees of shutting down and I didn't want to be late for work.  

I won't be doing that again.

While nothing is ever 100% safe, the lint trap in my dryer is a greater fire hazard as is my gas water heater which has a pilot light.

I really do want to thank everyone who has chimed in on this post.  It's nice to know that there's a community out there how had my back on this :)

 

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yeah it really does sound like it fired twice. If it had been climbing all day or holding at that high of temperature I really think everything would have been way over fired at the very least.

 

This thread is pushing me to stop and get a timer so it's not even possible for the thing to run more than an hour or so beyond the norm.

 

Glad it all worked out OK.  

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Is it possible that you hit the reset button?  If so the kiln will go back to type S and you would have to program it for a type K if that is what you now use.  It is a safety factor so that if a type K is used but the controller thinks you have a Type S, it will underfire the kiln.  There is also the possibility that the error code was turned off.  You have to get into the options section to check this page 24, under FTH, FIC, LTde.

David

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  • 3 years later...

aww, geez!! The exact same thing has happened to me. I came home from work looking forward to a cooled off kiln and ready to open the lid and Whoa!! I see red heat ! The kiln was programmed for a customized slow cool... I have no idea what happened or how but right now it looks like the kiln stayed at just below the soak temp for about 10 hours. I'm on pins and needles. I'm sure I will be up with the jitters all night long with anxiety. It is just meant for potters to suffer, right?

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5 minutes ago, Mudfish said:

aww, geez!! The exact same thing has happened to me. I came home from work looking forward to a cooled off kiln and ready to open the lid and Whoa!! I see red heat ! The kiln was programmed for a customized slow cool... I have no idea what happened or how but right now it looks like the kiln stayed at just below the soak temp for about 10 hours. I'm on pins and needles. I'm sure I will be up with the jitters all night long with anxiety. It is just meant for potters to suffer, right?

It probably couldn't reach top temp, so it just kept trying (possible elements wearing out?).  Seems like controlled kilns would have some sort of safeguard like sitter kilns (shutoff timer?)

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