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Kristin_Gail

Electric Kiln Failed - Possible Causes?

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My old Cress kiln has six dials in the front, each with a light.  The kiln is plugged into a wall-mount Skutt kiln controller.

 

I'm attempting a Cone 6 firing, manually programmed.  Somewhere around 2000F, the kiln stopped turning on.  The controller tries to send power to the kiln, and you can see the all lights flick on for a split second.  But they don't stay on.  The kiln is just rapidly cooling now.  (It's the kiln that's failed, not the controller.)

 

I have, in the past, had an issue with not enough power going to this breaker - but that was resolved by turning off various appliances in the house.  And it was a completely different symptom.  This is a new one for me!

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My house only has 100 amp service - the electrician told me I can only fire the kiln when I'm not running the oven, etc.  The last time it failed, I was running the furnace fan - which apparently drew enough to not give enough power to the kiln.

It's not doing the same thing now, though (and nothing's on in the house besides the fridge and computer).  I cannot remember exactly what was happening before, when it wasn't getting enough power, but it certainly wasn't doing this split-second-lights-on thing.

 

Will a kiln do this when one element is out?

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I've decided it's the relay, from various manufacturers' troubleshooting pages.  Including this from Jen-Ken:  " If the pilot lights on the front of the kiln flicker or do not cycle on and off while the kiln is trying to heat then the relay is usually the answer."

Damn.  Really wanted to fire this kiln three times in the next week, before packing up the studio for an indefinite number of months/years...

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The Skutt KM-1 wall mount controller has one large relay. You'll have to order a new one through Skutt, or pull the old one and try to find a replacement on the internet. The relay can be kind of a pain to get out- it's not the smartest layout inside that box.

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