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Kiln Pointers

Digital Troubleshooting with Program Review

Use your controller's Program Review as a troubleshooter.


Digital Troubleshooting with Program Review

Recent Q&As: Pyrolite for lid repairs

A Kiln Story: Kilns rescued from the trash

Memorable Quote

News: Paragon Kiln Video Contest



Sometimes we don't see the obvious. As we master a task, the basic steps become routine, and we overlook them. The digital controller’s Program Review is a useful troubleshooting tool because it forces us to concentrate on the basics again.

Program Review shows the program loaded into the controller. You can can use it even while the kiln fires. Each step of your program will flash in the display one by one. Do not trust your memory; check the display against a list of rates, temperatures, and holds.

Some of the problems Program Review can detect:

The kiln won’t stop firing or it won’t fire fast enough. Is there a temperature hold?

The kiln turns off too soon. Did you program a cone 4 or 04?

The elements won’t stay on during a full rate. Did you program a full rate of 9999, or 99?

Program review may also help you to diagnose error messages. For instance, an error message appears because the kiln cannot heat as fast as the rate you programmed.



The last Kiln Pointer was “Repairing Lid/Roof Element Pins with Pyrolite.” Questions on that topic:

Q. Can I use Pyrolite to fill or repair cracks in the kiln’s firebricks?

A. Pyrolite should not be used to fill or repair firebricks. Pyrolite is used to hold the element in the earlier firebrick lid groove that required element pins. Instead of using Pyrolite to repair broken bricks, please use kiln repair cement.

Q. Tell us more about the Pyrolite product. I did a search and could not find what you described.

A. Pyrolite is a 10.3 ounce tube of adhesive that retails for $26.00. You can buy it through Paragon.

Q. Can kiln cement be used to hold an element in the groove of a glass fusing kiln instead of the more expensive Pyrolite?

A. Pyrolite works as an element adhesive, attaching the element directly to the groove. Please do not try that with kiln cement, which is used to glue broken pieces of firebrick.



A friend called yesterday and told me about two kilns he rescued years ago from the trash. One kiln had even been rained on. He opened the switch boxes, replaced wires and elements, and performed other routine maintenance. Since then those kilns have fired thousands of pots.

“People worry about a crack in their kiln,” he said with a laugh, “and I tell them the kiln is not a piece of fine furniture. They should see what my kilns look like!”



"Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goals." --Brian Tracy



Paragon is giving away thousands of dollars in prizes in our video contest. Send us a video about you and your Paragon kiln. Actually, you don’t even have to own a Paragon to enter. The video contest is open to anyone (except Paragon distributors and dealers) who owns a Paragon kiln, fires a friend’s Paragon, or attends classes that use Paragon kilns.

All qualifying videos will receive exposure at Paragon’s website, including a link to your website. Even if you don’t win a kiln, you still get the publicity. For a list of rules, please visit our home page at .


A few weeks ago at the NCECA pottery show in Philadelphia, my son, Patrick, and I noticed a small glass cat on display. The cat was perched inside a kiln in the Cress booth. The dichroic paws glistened against a black glass background. Stringers added fine details. “It looks like one of our cats,” Patrick said.

Karen Pester of made the cat. I acquired it from her the following week at the Las Vegas glass show. You can see a picture of Karen and her cat at

I hope you remember that your kiln-fired artwork can touch many lives, like Karen Pester’s little black cat has touched mine. I believe the cat will remain in our family for generations. Her personality will live on in that cat.

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 / /

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

Copyright 2010, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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