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When the Breaker Trips During a Firing

One time when I was 11 years old living in Tripoli, Libya, I touched a lamp, and all the lights in our apartment went out. Contact between frayed wires inside the lamp blew a fuse. This is called a “dead short.” If your kiln has one, a circuit breaker will trip or a fuse will blow immediately after you turn on the kiln.

Sometimes the breaker trips after the kiln has fired for some time. It doesn’t happen immediately. Here are reasons for a delayed tripped breaker:

1) The fuse can blow or breaker can trip in hot weather because the kiln is right in front of the electrical panel. Keep the kiln at least 3’ - 4’ from the panel. Circuit breakers are triggered by heat, and a nearby kiln can raise the temperature of the electrical panel.

2) 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.

3) A circuit breaker may become weak as it ages and become more prone to tripping.

4) Two element pins that touch inside the firebrick wall can pull more amperage, tripping the breaker.

5) An element pin that is long enough to touch the kiln case can pull more amperage.

6) Water in the firebricks can pull more amperage than normal.


Marc Hines of Hines Glass Studio in Tigard, Oregon wrote, “In February, 2006 I bought a Paragon Fusion-10 glass kiln and have been having a load of fun with it. I have gone from an obsessed hobbyist to running my own little glass studio.

“My kiln runs about 2 - 12-hour cycles a day and has been extremely well behaved and reliable,” wrote Marc. “The lid top of the Fusion-10 also makes a great surface for warming up tortillas! OK - I'm joking about the tortillas – besides, who wants kiln wash dust in their quesadillas?”


I have always admired the men who invaded Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Thousands died on that stormy, overcast day. Many were only teenagers. That is what I think about on June 6.

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 /

Feel free to email this Kiln Pointer to friends. To read back issues Click here or go to, select “Support,” and then “Kiln Pointers” from the drop menu.

To respond to this Kiln Pointer, press Reply. Your email will go directly to Arnold Howard.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Under no circumstance do we share or sell your email address.

Copyright 2006, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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