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Showing FAQs 43of 43    

FAQ/Answer

A relay in my digital kiln fails at around 1800 degrees F. When the kiln cools off, the relay operates again.

Your relay has been damaged by heat. As the temperature rises in the switch box, the relay fails because the electromagnet that closes the contacts inside the relay has weakened.

During the summer if the kiln room gets too hot, use a fan to b ... [More]

According to a witness cone, my controller is 100 degrees too cool, which is beyond the range of the thermocouple offset adjustment.

Your thermocouple may be ready to fail. The reason the thermocouple can be offset only up to 45 degrees F is that an adjustment greater than that indicates a bad thermocouple.

Another possibility: The thermocouple reading will be cooler than ... [More]

Does a bad relay always look burned?

Sometimes a relay can burn out and not only still look new but also continue to make the clicking noise. To be sure about the condition of the relay, test it with a voltmeter. It takes the guesswork out of kiln diagnostics. You can also use a neon te ... [More]

Does the clicking noise always indicate that a relay is okay?

No. A relay can still be burned out even if it makes a clicking noise.

... [More]

Half the elements in my digital kiln remain on even when I press the stop button.

A relay has burned out. Please disconnect the power to shut off the elements and repair the relay before firing the kiln again.

... [More]

How can you tell the difference between the humming of a relay or other electrical part and the humming of a heating element?

The humming noise of a heating element lessens as the element gets hot. At around 1500 degrees F, the element is almost silent. A humming from a transformer would remain the same.

... [More]

How do the SnF-82 switches turn on elements?

There are 8 rows of elements inside the SnF-82 kiln. When you turn the top switch on, these elements turn on:

2nd element, counting from the top 4th

6th

8th

When the 2nd switch runs out of time, its elements tu ... [More]

How do you test a 120 volt wall outlet for power?

An easy way to test a wall socket is to plug a lamp into it. If the wall outlet is dead, look for a tripped circuit breaker in the breaker box. It will look like it's half way between on and off. If the kiln is tripping a breaker, it is usually becau ... [More]

How do you test a thermocouple?

A crack in the thermocouple’s welded tip can cause the temperature display to bounce wildly or show FAIL. Loose thermocouple wires can cause the same problem.

Suppose you replace the thermocouple, and the display still shows FAIL. Here is a ... [More]

How does a thermocouple measure temperature?

The thermocouple senses the temperature inside a digital kiln. It is the rod that extends into the firing chamber.

The thermocouple is made of two dissimilar wires welded together at the tip. When exposed to heat, the tip produces a very sma ... [More]

How does electrical noise affect a digital kiln?

The digital temperature controller on today’s electric kilns is very reliable. However, occasionally something in the environment causes a controller to display unusual error codes or erratic temperatures. Here is a list of the most common causes of ... [More]

I am firing my kiln in very cold weather. The message TCR appeared in the display.

The TCR message ordinarily means the thermocouple leads are reversed, but it can also appear when the thermocouple inside the kiln is much colder than the controller circuit board. Raise the room temperature with a space heater before firing the kiln ... [More]

I have a top-loading Pearl 22. Is it normal to be able to see from one side of the kiln to the other through the crack/opening between the kiln top (lid) and the bottom? This is at room temperature.

Yes, this is normal. When we assemble the kiln, we temporarily put a piece of sheet metal between the sections toward the hinge area of the kiln. The metal acts as a spacer that creates a gap between the top and bottom kiln sections. This space allow ... [More]

I have tested the coil on my relays, but the kiln still does not heat up properly.

Testing the relay coil is not a complete test. The relay contacts can be burned out even though the relay passes the coil test. A short in the relay coil causes the kiln's switch box fuse to blow. The relay coil test is to determine the cause of blow ... [More]

I replaced the thermocouple, and now the kiln no longer fires accurately.

Did you replace the thermocouple with the same type as the old one? (Types K, R, and S are not interchangeable unless the controller is reset in Options for the new thermocouple.)

Are all the thermocouple wire connections tight? (A thermocou ... [More]

I suspect that my digital kiln may have loose thermocouple connections. What are the symptoms?

A loose connection in the thermocouple wires of a digital kiln can cause the temperature readout to fluctuate. Sometimes the temperature readout will appear normal, yet will not be accurate. Loose connections cause intermittent firing problems. Somet ... [More]

If a thermocouple is pushed part way into the kiln wall, will the thermocouple read hotter or cooler than the firing chamber temperature?

During firing, the temperature in the firebricks or ceramic fiber wall is lower than the firing chamber temperature. If the firing chamber is 2000 degrees F, the outer firebrick surface may be only several hundred degrees. The closer you go toward th ... [More]

Is there a way to test a mechanical relay while it is outside the kiln?

Yes. You will need a 12-volt lantern battery and an ohmmeter. Look at the kiln's wiring diagram, and find the two terminals on the relay where the wires from the controller are connected. Using two wires with alligator clips on each end, hook up the ... [More]

My A-series Paragon kiln fires on Low and Medium but not on High.

(The A-series kilns have 4-way rotary switches. You will feel a distinct click between Off, Low, Med, and High.)

Ordinarily, this is due to a dirty Kiln Sitter contact block. This assembly is under the plunger button on the other side of the ... [More]

My controller doesn’t light up. I have tried replacing the switch box fuse.

The fuse holder may be defective. If so, then the controller will not receive power even if you have a new fuse in the fuse holder. With an inexpensive voltmeter, you can test the fuse holder yourself.

... [More]

My controller shows 8888. I cannot unlock the display.

Test the transformer to make sure it is sending 20 – 24 volts AC to the controller. Replace the transformer if necessary. If the transformer is okay, replace the controller.

... [More]

My controller shows a room temperature reading of 89 degrees F when the actual temperature is 71-- an 18 deg. higher reading. If I want to fire to say 1500 deg., should I add 18 and go to 1518?

A thermocouple is often not accurate at all temperature ranges. Because a thermocouple reads 18 degrees higher at room temperature doesn't necessarily mean it will read 18 degrees higher at 1500 degrees. We suggest firing to 1500.

... [More]

My controller temperature goes down 20 to 30 degrees during a hold before the kiln turns back on. What would cause this?

The relay in your kiln is waiting too long to send power to the elements. Please make sure the wires that are attached to the relays are tight. The temperature drop may be due to a loose controller-to-relay wire.

... [More]

My ohmmeter indicated that an element was burned out, but I know the element is okay.

When testing elements with an ohmmeter, you can get a false no-continuity reading (no needle movement on an analog ohmmeter, or OPEN on a digital). If an ohmmeter lead touches a corroded element connector or element end, you may get an indication tha ... [More]

My Paragon A-82B has four rows of heating elements. With all switches on High, only the top and middle elements get hot. The other two elements do not.

In all likelihood, your elements and switches are okay. One set of Kiln Sitter contacts is dirty. You can remove the Kiln Sitter, take the contact block apart, and clean the contacts with a pencil eraser. Do not use anything more abrasive than an era ... [More]

The breaker blew and my kiln shut off.

Did the breaker blow as soon as you turned the kiln on, or only some time later? If it blew as soon as you turned the kiln on, you have a short somewhere in the kiln. Unplug the kiln, remove the switch box, and look for either a disconnected wire tha ... [More]

The controller shows the wrong temperature. Tapping the kiln’s switch box makes the correct temperature appear.

This is a symptom of loose thermocouple connections. The thermocouple senses temperature inside the kiln. If the wires from the thermocouple to the controller are loose, the temperature in the display may fluctuate.

Check the connector screws ... [More]

The digital display window shows 150 degrees F, but the firing chamber is glowing red. What is causing this?

Disconnect the power, open the control panel (switch box), and check the thermocouple wires, especially at the back of the controller circuit board. (The thermocouple is the rod that extends into the firing chamber. It senses the temperature.) You wi ... [More]

The kiln is taking longer to fire. Is that always due to worn elements?

No, it can also be due to low voltage. Before you assume that your elements are worn out, consider the electrical installation. Example: A customer’s new kiln could not reach temperature. She wrote, “At first I had the kiln in a back room about 75 fe ... [More]

The kiln should be unplugged before touching the ohmmeter to the element. So, how does the ohmmeter check the element if the kiln is not plugged in?

The ohmmeter contains a battery that sends a small electric current through the element. If the element is broken, the electricity cannot make a complete circuit back to the ohmmeter. If the element is not broken, the ohmmeter reads the electrical re ... [More]

The safety pilot light on my kiln flickers.

The pilot lights are neon and are designed to operate on many different voltages. So the flicker is normal and is not an indication of low amperage.

... [More]

The top of my kiln is firing two cones cooler than the rest of the firing chamber.

A lid hinge that binds can cause the lid to rise slightly toward the end of the firing. This can happen even though the lid is closed all the way. If the lid rises at the front by 1/4” - 1/2”, the top of the kiln will underfire, especially if you hav ... [More]

The voltage from the transformer to my controller is 32. Is that too high?

The transformer reduces the circuit voltage at a ratio of 10 to 1. For example, the transformer reduces 240 volts to 24. Sometimes, however, the voltage from the transformer is higher than a 10:1 ratio. This is usually not a problem, because the cont ... [More]

The wall outlet and cord plug overheated and must be replaced. Why didn’t the breaker shut off the power?

The circuit breaker shuts off the power when the amount of amperage is too high. For instance, the breaker will shut off when it detects a short circuit. The breaker cannot detect a loose connection that causes a wall outlet to burn up.

... [More]

To what extent does low voltage increase firing time?

When your kiln takes too long to fire, it is not always because of worn heating elements. Low voltage can double firing time.

Electrical current in most of the United States is so reliable we take it for granted. Voltage levels rise and fall ... [More]

What are the basic parts of a digital kiln?

1) The kiln’s switch box fuse helps protect the digital controller from power surges.

2) The transformer reduces the power to 24 volts AC. The controller operates on 24 volts.

3) The digital temperature controller controls the tempera ... [More]

What causes a digital kiln to shut off and the display to go blank right after you press the Start button?

The answer applies to any brand of digital kiln. There are two situations: The kiln shuts off because the circuit breaker trips, or the controller’s display goes blank but the circuit breaker does not trip.

CIRCUIT BREAKER TRIPS

To tu ... [More]

What causes the plug and wall outlet to get too hot?

1) A connection in the wall outlet is loose. A loose connection produces heat, because the gap inside the connection forms an arc that causes sparks.

2) You may have a loose connection somewhere else in the electric circuit. Heat can travel t ... [More]

What causes the TCR error message besides crossed thermocouple wires?

Three causes: 1) Reversed thermocouple wires. 2) A false temperature reading (like -328 degrees) resulting from a defect in the temperature measurement circuit or memory corruption. 3) Operating the kiln in a very cold environment where ... [More]

What is an ammeter and how is it used with a kiln?

The clamp-on ammeter measures the amps that the kiln draws and can help you diagnose kiln problems. At Paragon we consider it one of our most useful tools.

To find your kiln's rated amperage, see the electrical data plate. It is attached to ... [More]

Why does a gap form on the left and right curved ends of the lid on my oval kiln?

A firebrick lid does not remain flat at high temperatures. The inner lid surface expands more than the outer surface, resulting in what we at the factory call "oil canning." Since the inner lid surface expands more than the outer, the lid bows downwa ... [More]

Why does my digital kiln make a chattering noise? It used to make a clicking noise.

Digital kilns and some switch-operated kilns use electric relays to power the heating elements. To turn on the elements, the digital controller sends power to the relays. Inside each relay, the power from the controller charges an electromagnet, whic ... [More]

Why would two or more elements burn out at the same time?

Two elements rarely burn out at the same time. It's usually one element that burns out. if multiple elements stop firing, it is usually due to a bad switch or a wire with a damaged terminal.

Another possibility: are those two elements wired ... [More]

Showing FAQs 43of 43    


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