Shown here is a good fuse next to a blown fuse. The good fuse has a thin strand of wire in the glass tube.
How to Check the Fuse of a Digital Kiln
Reader Response: Listen to the sounds from your kiln
Recent Q&As: The first firing; Programming a controlled cooling in Ramp-Hold
News: Online Microsoft Word Template for Ramp-Hold Programs
HOW TO CHECK THE FUSE OF A DIGITAL KILN
Last month an auto parts store ran a computer check on my 2001 F-150 truck, because the dashboard check-engine light came on. I was told that the truck was leaking vacuum, which I thought would cost around $500 to repair. But a mechanic in Mesquite, Texas fixed a pinched hose and didn’t even charge me. The repair took him five minutes.
My experience reminded me of emails I receive from kiln owners who dread an expensive kiln repair. But often, the repair is minor. That is why you shouldn’t panic if the digital controller display is blank and the kiln won’t turn on.
First, check the power at the wall outlet. Has a circuit breaker tripped? If not, check the fuse in the kiln’s control panel. You will find a 1/2” wide, knurled black knob labeled “fuse” on the side of the kiln. On some models, the fuse holder is on the back panel.
Remove the fuse by turning the knob 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. Hold the fuse up to the light. If it is okay, you will see a thin strand of wire inside the glass tube. The wire will be missing in a blown fuse. Be careful not to bend the small pair of tabs in the fuse holder.
The replacement fuse for Paragon kilns is AGC 1/2 A 250V AC.
John Rodgers of Chelsea, Alabama wrote, “I have become so accustomed to listening to the click of the kiln relays as they cycle on and off that when that sound is missing, I know there is something afoot and I start looking. This is just one way to keep track of what your kiln is doing.
“You never drive a car without listening to it ‘talk’ to you, telling what it's doing,” John continued. Since he is a pilot, he added, “You never fly an airplane without being aware of the sounds as the airplane ‘talks’ to you. Listen to what your kiln is telling you, in kiln language. Touch, sight, and sound are very important when operating a kiln.” John has been firing kilns for decades.
Please feel free to send kiln tips and stories.
Q. Why do you recommend firing a new kiln without greenware in it?
A. The kiln should be fired without greenware during the first firing so the elements can form a protective coating before being exposed to fumes. The main reason, though, is to give the new owner practice in firing without worrying about ware inside the kiln. Look at the first firing as a rehearsal.
Q. I'd like to fire to cone 6, hold for 8 minutes, and then go to 1600F degrees and hold for 1 hour. How do I do that?
A. In Ramp-Hold, program a cone 6 firing with an 8 minute hold. You will need an additional segment for controlled cooling. Program a cooling segment to a target temperature of 1600F. Use a Full rate. Add a one hour hold to the cooling segment.
After the kiln finishes the 8 minute hold at cone 6, it will begin the cooling segment. The Full rate will turn off the heating elements from cone 6 down to 1600F. Then the elements will maintain the hold for one hour.
"Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams." —Og Mandino
NEWS: ONLINE MICROSOFT WORD TEMPLATE FOR RAMP-HOLD PROGRAMS
I have added a Microsoft Word template for Ramp-Hold programs to www.paragonweb.com . Use the template to record and update your Ramp-Hold programs on your computer.
To download the template, click Support and then Instruction Manuals from the drop menu. Scroll down to Controller Instructions and click on Ramp-Hold Template in Microsoft Word.
Delete the sample entries and fill in the blanks with rates, temperatures, and hold times. Courtesy of Gail J. Dowle of Suffolk, England.
I appreciate hearing from readers--I know your time is valuable. Recently I received a touching email from a reader named Audrey. Her husband, John, died last year. In spite of a stroke and grief over losing a husband she had known for 62 years, Audrey sent a 400-word letter that I know was written with slow, painstaking care.
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.paragonweb.com / www.facebook.com/paragonkilns
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Copyright 2012, by Paragon Industries, L.P.