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When the Circuit Breaker Trips

Your kiln should operate on its own “dedicated” electric circuit. (This is a circuit that powers only the kiln and no other appliance.) Find out which fuse or breaker controls your kiln’s circuit so that if the power to the kiln ever shuts off, you will know which fuse or breaker to check. It is a good idea to label that circuit breaker.

Wire heats when an electric current passes through it. If the same current passes through both a small wire and a large wire, the smaller will reach a higher temperature. A fuse uses this principle to protect the wiring in a building. It has a small, short wire of low melting temperature metal connected in such a manner that all current passing through the circuit must also pass through the fuse. A circuit breaker uses a tiny heating element to heat a thermostat, which interrupts the current when the maximum safe amount is reached.


If the kiln blows a fuse or trips a breaker immediately, the problem is a short in the kiln wiring or circuit wiring. Do not attempt to fire until corrected.

A wire has probably shorted out inside the kiln’s switch box. Have you worked on the kiln since the last time you fired it? If so, a wire may be pinched under a screw. If you replaced an element, did you cut off the excess ends of the element that extend past the element connector? Some people bend the twisted element ends to the side instead of cut them off. The twisted ends can short out inside the switch box.


Sometimes the fuse blows/breaker trips in the summer time because the kiln is right in front of the electrical panel. Keep the kiln at least 3’ - 4’ away from the electrical panel. Otherwise, the breakers may trip more easily on a hot day. Circuit breakers are triggered by heat, and a nearby kiln can raise the temperature of the electrical panel.

A loose connection at the fuse or breaker will generate heat. If the fuse or circuit breaker panel feels unusually warm, have your electrician check for loose connections. The circuit breaker may also be weak from age.

I hope that all of you who were in the path of the hurricane are doing well.

With best wishes,

Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. - Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 /

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