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Kiln Pointers

The Importance of Correct Voltage

Please double check the voltage in your building before ordering a kiln.


The Importance of Correct Voltage

Reader Response: Outgrowing a kiln

Recent Q&As: Deleting a program from a digital controller; the safety of peephole plugs

A Kiln Story: The Kiln That Fell Off a Ford Explorer

Memorable Quote

News: Business Hours On Fridays



When you order a kiln, please specify the correct voltage and electrical phase. 208 and 240 volts cause the most confusion in the U.S., because the wall outlets look the same for both systems. Not only that, but 240 volt and 208 volt circuits can both exist in the same building. So always check the voltage of the kiln room when placing an order.

In the U.S., 220 volts refers to equipment that can operate on either 208 or 240 volts. But the actual voltage is 208 or 240; we don’t use 220 volts here.

208 volts is common in strip malls, commercial buildings, and schools. 240 volts is used in homes. If a kiln designed for 240 volts is installed on a 208 volt circuit, the kiln will fire slowly and may never reach its rated temperature.

Almost every house has single phase (1 phase). Three phase is sometimes used in commercial buildings and schools. There is no difference in power consumption between firing a kiln with three phase power and one with single phase.



Evelyn Gottschall Baker of Buena Vista, Colorado wrote, “I'm very happy with my Paragon kiln. I fire almost every day and am learning a lot. Unfortunately I've already outgrown it!”

This often happens. After you buy your first kiln, you will likely make more ware than you did before. The kiln will constantly remind you to make objects of beauty and to experiment with new colors. If you buy a larger kiln, though, you can still use the small one as a test kiln.



Q. I have a Paragon Firefly kiln with a Sentry Xpress 4.0 digital controller. How does one delete a program that has already been entered?

A. To delete a program, over-write it with a new one. Press Start, and then select the program you want to erase. rA1 will appear. Enter a new rate. C1 will appear. Enter a new temperature. Continue to make all the changes needed. When you have finished, Strt will appear. Press Start again, and the kiln will begin firing. The new program will automatically replace the old one.

Q. I have a vented and computerized kiln. Yesterday I went to fire it and discovered a peephole plug is missing. Can I run the kiln safely with a peephole plug missing?

A. A motorized downdraft vent requires peephole plugs. You can still fire the kiln with a missing plug, but the vented kiln will not fire as evenly as it would with the plug. The vent will also allow some of the fumes to escape from the kiln if a plug is missing.

There is no safety hazard in leaving out one of the plugs, though. And there will be little, if any, heat loss through the open peephole.



Jacob Moskowitz of New Jersey recently moved his Paragon F-130 kiln a short distance to his new studio. The door of the kiln was tapping against the rear window of his Ford Explorer, so he stopped, opened the hatch, and continued driving.

At a traffic light, the kiln tumbled out and landed upside down. The spring-loaded vertical drop door gaped open. Several bits of firebrick were scattered across the pavement. Just then a police car came in the opposite direction. Jacob waved the policeman down and yelled, "Hey! That’s my kiln! It just fell out of my truck!" The policeman made a quick U-turn and parked behind the kiln, lights flashing, to direct traffic around it.

After he loaded the kiln into his Explorer and thanked the policeman, Jacob paused and said, “Wait a second. I’d like to show you a glass sculpture.” It lay on the front seat of the Explorer. The policeman complimented Jacob on the artwork, and Jacob added, as he handed the policeman a business card, “If you ever need a gift, give me a call.”

“Besides the broken brick and a dent on the element cover in the back, the kiln is 100 percent fine,” Jacob said. “I turned it on and it works! This thing is built like a tank! I’ve had it since 2007. I’ve never had one problem with it--ever.”



"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." --Thomas Jefferson



Some of the Paragon staff will be attending training sessions on the Friday mornings of March 23, March 30, April 13, and April 20. We normally have a limited staff available on Fridays from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm CST. During the upcoming training sessions, we will be in the office from approximately 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm instead. If you need assistance on Friday and we do not answer the phone, please fax a message to 972-222-0646 or email us at


Last week my family and I drove to Plainview, Texas to celebrate the birthday of my wife’s grandfather, Casey. He turned 99 on St Patrick’s Day. There is much to learn from a 99-year-old. He hasn’t the slightest fear of death and still enjoys life.

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 2012, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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