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Showing FAQs 42of 42    

FAQ/Answer

Are installation instructions for APM elements the same as that of the standard elements?

The instructions are the same except for tightening the element connectors on APM elements.

The metal in APM elements is very hard. For this reason it is difficult to get the element connector screw tight enough. We have found that if the con ... [More]

Can a skilled maintenance man (my husband) replace the element coils, or is it something I'd have to hire someone to do?

Replacing the elements is not difficult. If your husband follows the instructions and takes his time, he shouldn’t have any problems replacing the elements.

... [More]

Can I apply electrician's tape to the element pigtail as it exits the kiln bricks?

Electrical tape shouldn't be used in the kiln's switch box.

The mushroom-shaped porcelain insulator used on most brands of kilns is designed to prevent the element from touching the kiln case. Press the porcelain insulator as far as it will ... [More]

Can oils from your hands damage a new element?

Oils will burn off harmlessly the first time you fire the element. Salts can damage an element. However, the amount of salt on the hands is so small that it would have no effect on element life. But do not allow kiln wash to touch a new element.

... [More]

Do you make heating elements for other brands of kilns?

Yes. To order elements for your non-Paragon brand, please send us the following: Model and brand

Kiln interior diameter

Number of sides

Number of elements in kiln

Volts

Amps

Watts

Kiln’s ma ... [More]

Does changing an element require a crimping tool?

A. No. Paragon elements use barrel connectors. You will need only a 1/4” nut driver and locking pliers to install the element connectors. (Locking pliers come in different brands. Vise-Grip is the best known.) Hold the barrel connector with the Vise- ... [More]

Does contact with repair cement ruin an element?

If you ever get repair cement on an element, wipe off the cement before firing the kiln. The element should be okay.

... [More]

Does the amperage of an element vary depending on temperature?

The amperage of a cold kiln is 3% - 4% higher than that of a hot kiln. This is because resistance in elements increases as the elements become hot.

... [More]

Does the flame from burning cork clay hurt the kiln’s heating elements?

No, because the clay burns for such a short time.

... [More]

Friends and I have been discussing kiln elements. One party believes firing glass bottles to cone 015 causes elements to bulge out of their slots more readily than firing ceramic bisque to cone 06.

Sidewall elements that are fired only to low temperatures such as cone 015 do not get hot enough to conform to the shape of the grooves. So, they tend to bulge more than elements that are fired to cone 05 and above. Nevertheless, the lower the temper ... [More]

How do you get the element connector tight?

One of the most common reasons for element failure is loose connectors.

Paragon element connectors should be tightened to 30 inch pounds. This is about 1 1/4 turns past the point of firm resistance.

A loose element connector will get ... [More]

How do you pin a sidewall element?

Make sure the element pin is not long enough to touch the stainless steel case on the other side of the firebrick wall. Otherwise the element could short out against the case. Also, the pin should touch only one loop of element wire rather than multi ... [More]

How do you prevent elements from bulging out?

This answer is for firebrick kilns with sidewall elements. It does not apply to ceramic fiber kilns. (You will see heating element grooves and brick seams inside a firebrick kiln. Most ceramic fiber kilns have embedded elements that do not use groove ... [More]

How do you repair a bulging element in the sidewall of a firebrick kiln?

Elements that bulge out of a sidewall brick groove should be pushed back into the groove. It is not difficult as long as you first heat the element. If you push it back in place while it is cold, the element will break.

You will need a propan ... [More]

How do you repair an element that burns out at the element connector?

Ordinarily the only way to repair a burned-out element is to replace it. The exception: When an element burns out at the connector, you may be able to install a new connector and salvage the element.

Elements rarely burn out at the connector. ... [More]

How do you test the elements in a Paragon SnF kiln?

A quick way to test all the elements in an SnF kiln:

SnF kiln with 2 switches: Do the top 2 elements glow? SnF kiln with 3 switches: Do the top 3 elements glow?

If the top elements glow, then all the elements are turning on, because ... [More]

How does one test the heating elements? I am concerned that mine are worn out.

You can test the elements with an ohmmeter. However, it can be difficult to tell from an ohmmeter reading if the elements are worn out, because the meter could be a little out of calibration. A more reliable way to test them is the voltage-under-load ... [More]

How will I know when the elements are worn out?

As the elements begin to wear, you will notice a very gradual increase in firing time. By keeping records of your firings, you will get a precise feel for how long a firing should take.

A firing that suddenly takes longer is usually due to l ... [More]

I have spare heating elements, but the labels are missing. How can I find out which kiln the elements are for?

You will need a wiring diagram for your kilns. The newer Paragon wiring diagrams give the ohms for each element. Use an ohmmeter to measure the resistance of each element. Lay the elements on a table, separating the loops of wire so that they do not ... [More]

I replaced an element. It is bulging out. Should this be stapled in place before using the kiln, or after the element has been fired?

The "round" top-loading 7-, 8-, 10-, and 12-sided kilns usually do not need element pins. A new element that bulges out of the groove should be pushed back in before you fire it. Since it hasn't been fired yet, you do not need to heat the element bef ... [More]

If a lower element burns out, can I bisque fire a single shelf of items in the upper chamber?

If an element burns out or is disconnected, the kiln will not usually get hot enough to fire the ware.

... [More]

If an element burns out in the fiber roof of a GL-24 kiln, must the entire roof be replaced?

The fiber roof with embedded elements comes in three sections, which are placed side by side in the kiln. If one section burns out, only that section has to be replaced. You do not need to order the entire roof.

... [More]

Is an ohmmeter test a reliable way to measure element wear?

You can use either an ohmmeter or an ammeter to test elements. Some technicians accurately gauge element life with an ohmmeter. However, it's tricky, because if your ohmmeter is off just slightly, you may end up replacing an element that still has pl ... [More]

Is it possible for a broken element to show continuity when tested with an ohmmeter?

When an element burns out, it can sometimes fool a continuity test.

A continuity test determines if the element can carry electricity. You can perform this test with an ohmmeter, which measures electrical resistance. You can also check contin ... [More]

Is there a simple way to test elements without an ohmmeter?

Carl Bosard of North Augusta, South Carolina sent us the following pointer on testing heating elements:

“I have found a simple method of testing elements that anyone can perform. I use thermal fax paper cut into strips 1" wide and 8 1/2" long ... [More]

My element coils appear to have collapsed inside the grooves. What is the cause?

One of the signs that a heating element has been over-fired is that the element coils begin to collapse, or lie flat, in the element grooves. If you are buying a used kiln, use a small mirror to look at the elements. If you notice collapsed coils, as ... [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]

Should I replace all my elements at the same time, or only a broken one?

If an element broke due to contact with glaze, you might be better off replacing only that one element. If the element burned out because the elements are at the end of a wear cycle, it would make good sense to replace all the elements.

... [More]

Should you disconnect the lead wires from an element before testing with an ohmmeter?

You ordinarily don't have to disconnect the lead wires to the element to test the element with an ohmmeter. But if elements are wired in parallel, then you will need to remove one wire before testing the element. Otherwise the current from the ohmmet ... [More]

What general pointers do you recommend for replacing elements?

Replacing heating elements is easy with a little practice. Here are a few pointers that will simplify element replacement:

EXPANDING THE ELEMENT Sidewall brick grooves: The new replacement element for most kiln models is bent where it fits i ... [More]

What is the advantage of using APM elements?

APM elements last longer than standard elements. However, APM elements probably cost the same as standard elements when figured at element cost per firing. The savings is in maintenance time.

... [More]

What is the duty cycle of a heating element?

The duty cycle is the length of time an element is actually turned on.

... [More]

What tools do you recommend for replacing kiln heating elements?

Vice-grips locking pliers are useful in element repair. We use them in the kiln factory. Hold the barrel element connector with Vice-grips as you tighten the element screw with a nut driver.

The Vice-grips jaws should have sharp serrations. ... [More]

What type of propane torch do you recommend for shrinking bulging elements?

If a heating element bulges out of a sidewall firebrick groove, you should repair it as soon as possible. Heat the element with a propane torch until the element is red hot. Then shrink it into place with needle-nose pliers.

You can purchase ... [More]

When should you replace an element?

Replace an element when it is broken or it has gained 10% in resistance. Most kiln wiring diagrams list the resistance of the elements, which is measured in ohms.

... [More]

Why are elements twisted on the ends?

The element ends are doubled and twisted into a pigtail to reduce the heat at the element ends. Doubling the wire reduces the electrical resistance. That's why the element ends don't turn red while the kiln fires.

... [More]

Why do the top and bottom elements of my ceramic kiln turn brighter than the center elements?

A possible reason that some elements appear brighter than others is that the elements in your kiln are "tuned." This means that some elements are designed to produce more heat than others.

The lid and bottom of a top-loading kiln require mor ... [More]

Why does a new element burn out in the same place as the old element?

Contamination of the element with foreign materials sometimes leaves a discolored spot in the groove. If the old element burned out, use a dental mirror to check the groove for discoloration. It will appear where the element failed. Always dig out di ... [More]

Why does an element burn out suddenly rather than wear gradually?

Contamination with a foreign material such as kiln wash burns out an element.

The number one reason a new element burns out is a loose element connector. So read the instruction sheet that comes with replacement elements. It includes informa ... [More]

Why does my kiln use more than one type of element?

Before changing heating elements, you must know if your kiln uses more than one type of element.

The top and bottom are the most difficult areas to heat in a typical top-loading electric kiln. Since these areas require extra heat, the top an ... [More]

Why should I use only Paragon replacement elements?

If you buy replacement elements from a source other than your kiln manufacturer, ask if the elements are bent where they fit into the firebrick corners. The bends greatly simplify element replacement. They make it easier to get the element into the b ... [More]

Why should the kiln be fired empty the first time after changing the elements?

Kiln manufacturers recommend firing the kiln empty the first time after replacing elements. As the theory goes, firing the kiln empty helps form a protective oxide coating on the elements before they are subjected to fumes from the clay and glazes. ... [More]

Showing FAQs 42of 42    


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