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Record Your Kiln’s History

You should obtain a new electrical data plate if you ever change your kiln’s voltage.


Record Your Kiln’s History

Recent Q&As: Firing bronze clay; repairing a lid chain; FULL firing rate explained; worrisome error messages

Memorable Quote

News: Safety Backup For Digital Kilns



Keep a record of upgrades that you make to your kiln. This will prevent errors when ordering parts later.

For example, a customer recently ordered heating elements for the lid of a Paragon glass kiln. According to the kiln’s serial number, the lid had the u-shaped groove that we discontinued several years ago. However, the customer had changed the lid to the newer recessed, pinless groove without telling us, so we sent the wrong elements.

Examples of kiln upgrades:

Changing the kiln’s voltage (i.e., from 240 to 208) because you moved to a different building or a different country

Replacing the lid on your glass kiln with a lid that has a different groove type than the original

Upgrading from a single relay to dual relays or a mercury relay

Write the date and type of upgrade on your instruction manual or on a sheet of paper stapled to the inside cover. Also write down the kiln maintenance performed such as changing the elements.

When buying a used kiln, verify that the voltage listed on the data plate is correct. Do this especially before ordering elements. Sometimes the voltage on the electrical data plate is wrong, because the elements were changed to a different voltage than the original elements.

If you ever need to change your kiln’s voltage, have the kiln manufacturer send you a new electrical data plate showing the new voltage, and replace the original data plate. Paragon will be glad to send you the new data plate at no charge with the elements.



Q. Does the powdered carbon from bronze clay firings damage the kiln?

A. You should place a lid on the stainless steel container that holds the powdered carbon. This will prevent the carbon from using up the oxygen in the kiln. The kiln’s heating elements last longer in an oxygen atmosphere.

Q. My kiln has a lid chain, and I am doubtful that it is strong enough to hold the weight of the lid.

A. You could add another chain so you would have one on each side of the lid. The most important consideration in chain strength is the attachment points that hold it to the kiln. If they are corroded, they should be replaced.

Some people remove the chain altogether and lean the lid back in the open position against a wall behind the kiln.

Q. What is the kiln’s actual firing rate when I select FULL rate on the controller?

A. On full rate, the heating elements stay on until the kiln reaches the target temperature. The elements do not cycle on and off, because the controller is firing the kiln as fast as it will go. So the actual firing rate, on full, depends on the individual kiln's heating capacity. Suppose you were firing to 1650F at full rate. The tiny Paragon QuikFire, if it were powered by a digital controller, would reach 1650F in about 15 minutes. The Caldera would take about an hour.

Q. I worry when my kiln shows an error message, though the kiln continues to fire.

A. Many of the digital controller error messages are only to alert you that the kiln is not firing exactly as you had programmed or that there was a temporary power failure. If the error is serious, the kiln will automatically shut off. Examples of serious errors are a controller board gets too hot or the temperature keeps rising past the programmed temperature. As long as the kiln has not shut off, everything is probably okay.

Keep the instruction manual near the kiln so you can look up error messages when one appears. This will alleviate your worries.



"No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes." -- William E. Gladstone



We are offering the Auto-Cone, without the Limit Timer, as a safety backup on digital kilns. The Auto-Cone will be housed in a separate box on the side of the kiln. The retail price of the Auto-Cone backup is $120.00 when installed on a new kiln. The Auto-Cone includes a screwdriver and allen wrenches.


One of my prized possessions is a misshapen ceramic dog that my son, Patrick, made at age seven. It was part of a ceramics class here in Mesquite. While your children are small, have them make ceramics. Unlike paper art, ceramics or glass can last through many generations as treasured family heirlooms.

Thank you,

With best wishes,

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

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 2009, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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