Electric Kiln Repair Hand To Head Lessons
When something is not working with your kiln, you have some troubleshooting to do. A manual or website PDF of a manual is important.
This post is not about what you should do to fix your kiln, but rather a bit of smacking your hand to your head post with crap you should do before pulling out that manual and ordering expensive parts.
I have three different electric kilns in my studio. Two Olympic kilns and one L&L. I fire to Cone 5/6 for glaze and Cone 04 for bisque. I change out elements every few years. Not a big deal when you have all the right tools.
This year seems to be my year to replace electrical parts & I wonder if I really checked a few things ahead of time – would I have needed to actually replace fuses and switch panel electrical thingies… Yes that is my technical term for all those parts all thrown together.
I thought I blew the fuse in my medium kiln. Checked wall circuit board – all looked ok. Ordered fuse – wrong part sent. Ordered fuse with holder (round, not square – paid for shipping again) & it fit.
Did not work though. Changed out switch electrical part. That did not work.
Plugged in shop vac to clean small kiln that was receiving new elements. Vac didn’t work. Tried other outlet – it worked! Hmmm – check fuse box again. Duh – that fuse was blown. Idiot me! Looked too quick! Tried vac in first outlet again – Eureka!
Tried medium kiln in outlet again – but still didn’t work. Dang! Wait… Oh. Right. I need to not only put cone in & turn switch to low… I have to push in the power button switch. Woo-Hoo!!! It worked!!!
So did I replace those parts for nothing??? Maybe! Oh well… I guess I had better save those old parts as back ups for the next time.
And at that point I decided put all if the kiln parts for the three kilns into their own bags in my kiln repair box so I don’t over complicate things next time and have to rely in my memory, because clearly – my kids have taken extra brain cells, and they are not coming back anytime soon…
At least there is a sense if humor and lessons learned at this point!
Always plug something into the outlet that you know works before ordering parts! You may save yourself time and money…
I now have three working kilns again and I’m kicking studio reorganization tush right now!