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Help And Advice On Kiln Controller.


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Hello all. 

 

I am a beginner so bare with me :P 

 

I have an EFCO 110 kiln. Here is a link of info for my kiln: http://www.kilncare.co.uk/kilns_enamelling_enamelling_efcorange.html

 

My EFCO temperature controller arrived today in the post. I ordered it from Spain so it has a European plug for both the plug for the wall and the plug that my kiln plug needs to go into.

 

My kiln has a UK plug. Me being the idiot and beginner, I did not think of any of these things when buying the controller. 

In the instructions of the controller it says, "if the unit is operated with a UK plug, its capacity is 13 A, due to the fuse in the UK plug. If more power is required, the unit must be connected directly to the mains with a fuse for 16 A. "

Can I still use this controller with the UK kiln?

ALSO, 

 

Is it necessary to have a thermocouple in the back of the kiln or can i not have one? When I have previously posted topics people have given me the impression that I do not need a thermocouple plugged in to the back of kiln. 

Any help would be awesome thank you :-) 

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The 110 is 900W running on 240v power. Watts = Amps x Volts so 900/240 = 3.75 amps.

 

I am not sure what to do with the plug as you will have three wires and two pins. You now have a spare earth wire. I don't know how unsafe it is to wire it in without the earth.

 

Maybe it could be fine with an adaptor and much easier than wiring a new plug.

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The 110 is 900W running on 240v power. Watts = Amps x Volts so 900/240 = 3.75 amps.

 

I am not sure what to do with the plug as you will have three wires and two pins. You now have a spare earth wire. I don't know how unsafe it is to wire it in without the earth.

 

Maybe it could be fine with an adaptor and much easier than wiring a new plug.

Thanks for the advice HBP.

 

I was thinking to just get two adaptors and using them. I really do not want to do any wiring the whole point of getting this controller was that I did not have to do all the wiring with the PID controller thing :-( 

 

The EFCO controllers in the uk shops are x2 the price.

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The only problem I can see with the adaptors is you have another point of failure and a possibility of loose connections. If the connection is good then everything should be fine.

 

It is only 900 watts and you could be drawing 3000 watts through the plug without it breaking. I guess just keep an eye on them as I don't know what prolonged use will do.

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The only problem I can see with the adaptors is you have another point of failure and a possibility of loose connections. If the connection is good then everything should be fine.

 

It is only 900 watts and you could be drawing 3000 watts through the plug without it breaking. I guess just keep an eye on them as I don't know what prolonged use will do.

I have good news! my uncle is an electrician and says its good to go with adapters .

 

Do you have any advice on the thermocouple aspect?

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Is it necessary to have a thermocouple in the back of the kiln or can i not have one? When I have previously posted topics people have given me the impression that I do not need a thermocouple plugged in to the back of kiln. 

 

 

I don't really understand the question. If you are wanting to know the temperature inside the kiln then you need the thermocouple going inside the kiln.

 

Do you mean does the thermocouple being plugged into the programmer have to be plugged into the kiln too? No, it will read the temperature and tell the programmer. The programmer will then switch on and off the kiln via the kilns plug.

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The regulator will function without a thermocouple. However, you'll need to have some way of knowing when to switch off the kiln. If you don't want to use a thermocouple, you'll have to rely on pyrometric cones (this booklet gives a nice overview). The big disadvantage with cones is that you won't have a good idea of what the temperature is doing until the cone bends, which will mean a lot a guesswork when it comes to adjusting the regulator.

Personally, I'd get a thermocouple and pyrometer, since this will give you feedback on how to adjust the power output of the regulator during the firing, and you won't need to peer into the kiln to check on the cone the whole time.

If you do decide to use cones, I would use Orton cone 010 (based on the recommendation you got to fire to 900C at 100C per hour). Include a cone 011 so you know when cone 010 is about to bend. The colour inside the kiln will give you some idea of the temperature (see http://www.ceramicartdaily.net/PMI/KilnFiringChart.pdf), so you could use this to get a rough idea of how fast the temperature is rising. Perhaps you could start by using the regulator set to its lowest setting, and timing how long it takes for the kiln to glow a dull red. It's quite possible that it won't get hot enough for this to happen, in which case, try a higher setting. It'll be a good idea to keep records of each firing.

I've mentioned this before, but make sure you also get a pair of welders glasses to look into the kiln while it's firing. The UV exposure can damage your eyes otherwise. I'm not sure what shade glasses you need, but hopefully someone who knows more than I do can give advice.

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You will have to change the plug on your kiln to fit into the  regulator, but the regulator also has the wrong plug for your UK receptacle.  I would find an electrician who can help on this.  You don't need a thermocouple but it will be a great help. As mentioned before the cones only show what happened after the firing. The temperature indication will give you an idea as to whether the kiln is rising or stalled or too hot.

David

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The regulator will function without a thermocouple. However, you'll need to have some way of knowing when to switch off the kiln. If you don't want to use a thermocouple, you'll have to rely on pyrometric cones (this booklet gives a nice overview). The big disadvantage with cones is that you won't have a good idea of what the temperature is doing until the cone bends, which will mean a lot a guesswork when it comes to adjusting the regulator.

 

Personally, I'd get a thermocouple and pyrometer, since this will give you feedback on how to adjust the power output of the regulator during the firing, and you won't need to peer into the kiln to check on the cone the whole time.

 

If you do decide to use cones, I would use Orton cone 010 (based on the recommendation you got to fire to 900C at 100C per hour). Include a cone 011 so you know when cone 010 is about to bend. The colour inside the kiln will give you some idea of the temperature (see http://www.ceramicartdaily.net/PMI/KilnFiringChart.pdf), so you could use this to get a rough idea of how fast the temperature is rising. Perhaps you could start by using the regulator set to its lowest setting, and timing how long it takes for the kiln to glow a dull red. It's quite possible that it won't get hot enough for this to happen, in which case, try a higher setting. It'll be a good idea to keep records of each firing.

 

I've mentioned this before, but make sure you also get a pair of welders glasses to look into the kiln while it's firing. The UV exposure can damage your eyes otherwise. I'm not sure what shade glasses you need, but hopefully someone who knows more than I do can give advice.

Ok, I think the thermocouple and pyromter will help. Seeing as I do not know when to turn it down to 100C and how long to keep it at that then turn it back up to 900C it will probably help.

 

Also, with the thermocouple, does the probe that goes into the kiln hole need to be the total diameter or can it just fit in whatever size? if that makes sense?

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Also, with the thermocouple, does the probe that goes into the kiln hole need to be the total diameter or can it just fit in whatever size? if that makes sense?

 

 

I'm no expert when it comes to thermocouples, but I think the diameter isn't that important (unless it's too big, of course). The only potential issue I can think of with having a thermocouple that doesn't fit snugly, is that if you move the kiln or accidentally bump the thermocouple while loading or unloading, there's a greater chance of the thermocouple shifting. The distance that the thermocouple protrudes into the kiln makes a difference to the temperature it reads, so for consistent readings from firing to firing, this distance shouldn't change.

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