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When High-Current Wires Cause Controller Errors

The red and white high-current element wires should be kept away from the controller inside the kiln’s control panel.


When High-Current Wires Cause Controller Errors

Reader Response: Getting shocked when vacuuming a kiln

Recent Q&As: Digital kiln operation on 50 and 60 Hz

A Kiln Story: The Flying Artwork

Memorable Quote

News: Digital Subscription To Fired Arts & Crafts Magazine



Electrical “noise,” or interference, can cause error messages to appear on the temperature controller of a digital kiln. Common sources of interference are nearby fluorescent lights or large electric motors.

Another source is a high-current wire that is too close to the controller inside the kiln’s control panel. High-current wires bring the electricity from the wall outlet to the elements. These wires include cordset-to-relay and relay-to-element wires.

If your controller begins to show odd error messages after you have had the kiln’s switch box open, it is likely that a high-current wire has moved and is now too close to the controller. Disconnect the power from the kiln, and remove the kiln's control panel. Move high-current wires away from the controller.



The last Kiln Pointer was entitled “Vacuuming a Digital Kiln.” Susan McGarry of Fairfield, California wrote, “I called Paragon two years ago asking why I was getting shocked when I vacuumed my kiln. The customer service department did not know why this was happening. I'm glad to see you have figured it out. I was afraid it was an electrical problem, so I feel much better having an explanation.

“I believe I was holding the plastic hard part of the hose when I got a little shock. It felt like static, but I wasn't sure. I was concerned the electrician had not done his job right. But I haven't noticed it since.”



Q. My uncle purchased a Paragon SC-2 for me recently as a birthday gift and had it shipped from the U.S. to me here in Barbados. We use 50 Hz here, and I see the SC-2 is 60 Hz. Would you have a schematic indicating where I would need to jump a wire to switch the kiln to 50 Hz?

A. Your SC-2 kiln should operate without any problem on 50 hertz, 115 volts. The controller operates the same whether on 50 or 60 hertz.



The recent Kiln Pointer “The Importance of Correct Voltage” included a story about a kiln that fell off a Ford Explorer. John Toki of Leslie Ceramics in Berkeley, California wrote, “I never lost a kiln on the road but had two ceramic pieces from my art collection sucked out of the back of my truck.

“I was on Highway 80, on the way back from Davis, California,” John wrote. “The boxes were not tied down but surrounded by larger boxes. (Never listen to your assistant about packing art!) I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw the boxes lift up like a helicopter from the air draft. I nearly panicked trying to decide what to do. Then the boxes left the truck and landed in the middle of a five-lane freeway. I pulled over, got out of the truck to retrieve them, and then saw the boxes run over by cars. In an instance, they were turned into grog! I can laugh now as the pain has subsided.”



“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” —Lao Tzu



Go to to read the digital edition of Fired Arts & Crafts Magazine at no charge. Make projects; read technical articles. Click on the subscription box on the bottom of the page and fill in the information. You can also subscribe to the print edition for $17.95 per year.


On a drive to Plainview, Texas two months ago, my family and I stopped to see a wind farm. Turbines that looked like tiny match sticks on the horizon towered above us up close. The blades turned slowly and hummed while the wind whipped around us.

Part of the electricity used to make Paragon kilns is from wind farms in Texas. The use of pollution-free renewable wind power helps preserve our environment for future generations.

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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