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Kiln Pointers

Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Write a description of the breakers on the label pasted to the breaker box door.

The circuit breaker is a switch that shuts off the electricity to protect the wiring from overheating.


Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Reader Response: The weather

Recent Q&As: Firing marbles in a kiln; the reason for placing short posts under slumping molds

Memorable Quote



The circuit breaker is a switch that shuts off the electricity to protect the wiring from overheating. At my house, a circuit breaker trips when a microwave and a toaster are both on at the same time. The breaker trips because both appliances pull more amperage than the circuit is designed to handle.

An overly sensitive circuit breaker can trip even when the wires are not overloaded with too much amperage. Breakers can become too sensitive as they age. The solution is to replace the breaker.

A circuit breaker is triggered by heat. A tiny heating element heats a thermostat inside the breaker. A loose connection on the circuit breaker can cause the breaker to trip prematurely, because heat builds up at the loose connection. Loose connections get hot because tiny sparks form between the surfaces of the loose connection. An unusually warm circuit breaker panel indicates a loose connection.

Corroded connections can also trip the breaker. This can be a problem in humid areas such as Hawaii.

A dead short will trip the circuit breaker, because the short causes a large amount of electricity to flow through the wires. Dead shorts trip the breaker immediately after the appliance is turned on. If the breaker trips when you turn on your kiln, open the kiln’s control panel and look for a wire or heating element that touches the kiln's steel case.

Since the circuit breaker is triggered by heat, keep the kiln at least 3’ - 4’ from the circuit breaker box.



Last week I closed the newsletter with the words, “I hope you are enjoying this unusually cold winter.” Tony Georgakis wrote, “I'm in Jamestown, New York where we've been besieged by snow and extremely cold temperatures since December. On really bad days I think back to my younger days when I was stationed at Yuma Proving Grounds (116 F) with not so much as a raindrop; but alas these days I almost feel like setting my Paragon to ‘preheat’ and climbing in.”



Q. In the February 11th Kiln Pointer, you mention that marbles are a no-no. Why? [The customer has a Paragon TnF-27-3 ceramic kiln.]

A. Large marbles can explode inside a kiln if they are heated too rapidly. The caution about marbles is for very fast kilns. Ceramic kilns such as your TnF-27-3 do not fire rapidly enough to cause a standard size marble to fracture.

Q. Do I need ½” shelf posts for each glass slumping mold I place in the kiln?

A. We recommend that you place 1/2" posts under each mold. The molds could crack if they rest directly on a kiln shelf.



"Read something positive every night and listen to something helpful every morning." —Tom Hopkins


We have given away Paragon catalog CDs at trade shows. Bill, the CD salesman, calls me occasionally. Bill is 87 years old yet still works full-time--and loves it. Some time ago his wife bought him a bracelet inscribed with the message, “Miracles come to those who believe.”

I also talk to customers who are well into their 90s yet still find time to fire their kilns. It is a privilege to know people who ignore the limitations of age.

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 2014, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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