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Kiln Pointers

Firing a Kiln in the Summertime Heat

Circulate air through the switch box where the controller is located.

You can fire your kiln in the sweltering summertime, but you may need extra ventilation.

Firing a kiln when the ambient room temperature is too high is hard on switches, relays, transformers, and the controller. I know of a manual-fire kiln that had repeated switch failures during the summer. Someone finally sent us one of the switches. The plastic knob had actually softened and distorted! Upon further questioning, we found out that the room was small and had no ventilation.

Use a fan to blow air through the switch box louvers. Do not let the air blow directly onto the case of the kiln, especially at a peephole. The air should go in one side of the switch box and out the other to create a crosscurrent. Also, open windows.

The Orton Sentry controllers that Paragon uses shut off when the controller board temperature is above 176 degrees F (80 degrees C). The error message ETH (electronics too hot) appears. Our recommended maximum board temperature is 158F/70C. (That is the temperature inside the switch box.) In every case that I know of where ETH appeared, a fan solved the problem.

By the way, if switches keep burning out, it may be due to a bad push-on connector. When a push-on connector gets too hot, it loses its spring tension. Even if you tighten the connector by squeezing with pliers, it will loosen again. A loose connection causes electrical arcing, which overheats the switch.

Thank you,

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 /

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

Copyright 2007, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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