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When to Replace the Thermocouple Block and Wires

Replace the thermocouple ceramic connection block and wire if they are corroded.


When to Replace the Thermocouple Block and Wires

Recent Q&As: Broken brick grooves; a damaged kiln plug; a kiln’s thermocouple reading at room temperature

Memorable Quote

News: Paragon Kiln Maintenance Seminar November 6 & 7, 2015



The thermocouple, which senses temperature, is the small rod that extends into a digital kiln. The other end of that rod is attached to a ceramic block. The thermocouple wires run from the ceramic block to the back of the temperature controller.

Corrosion in the thermocouple connections will affect the accuracy of the kiln’s temperature readings. So when you replace a thermocouple, check the condition of the ceramic connection block and the attached wires. Replace them if they are corroded. (You can order a replacement thermocouple with or without the connection block and wires.) If the block still looks clean, replace only the thermocouple.

If you convert your kiln from Type-K to Type-S or vice versa, you will need to replace the controller-to-thermocouple wires. This is because Type-K and Type-S require different wire types.

Type-K thermocouple wire: yellow wire (+ terminal), red wire (- terminal), with brown or yellow outer wire insulation

Type-S thermocouple wire: black wire (+ terminal), red wire (- terminal), with green outer wire insulation

Keep the thermocouple wires away from the other wires in the kiln’s switch box. The electrical field around heavy-amperage cord-to-relay or relay-to-element wires can throw off the thermocouple readings.



Q. Is it necessary to repair broken brick grooves?

A. If the bricks are not broken past their grooves, then their insulation property has not been compromised. So you may be able to just pin the elements in their respective grooves. (Susan Warters, Customer Service Representative)

Q. Last week I did a burnout, and when I shut down the kiln, I noticed that the power plug had overheated and started to melt despite running within specifications for the plug and socket.

A. A plug can melt due to a loose connection between the plug prongs and the receptacle. It is a good idea to occasionally check the plug and receptacle of your electric kiln. While the kiln is on, place your hand on the power cord to check the temperature. The cord should never feel hot. Heat is an indication that the plug and/or receptacle should be replaced. If the cord feels hot, turn off the kiln, shut off the circuit breaker, and check the plug and receptacle.

Q. When my kiln is at idle, the temperature in the digital display is 27 - 28°C, but room temperature is 20 - 21°C.

A. A temperature controller’s accuracy at room temperature doesn’t indicate whether the thermocouple is accurate at firing temperatures.

Also, you may have entered a thermocouple offset in your controller. (A thermocouple offset adjusts the thermocouple readout to more closely match the temperature inside the kiln.) The offset can throw off the room temperature reading by a few degrees.



“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.” --Ernest Hemingway



The seminar will include several hours of lectures, but it is primarily hands-on this year. You will gain first-hand experience at the seminar. Change an element, crimp a push-on connector to a kiln wire, change a switch, learn to diagnose kiln problems such as a loose thermocouple wire, and cement firebricks. Change a Kiln Sitter tube under the watchful eyes of an expert, and much more.

You can even watch kilns being built on the factory assembly lines . . . or help build kilns yourself under the guidance of master kiln builders.

There is no charge for the seminar. We appreciate that you are already paying the travel expenses to come to the Paragon factory. (We are in Mesquite, Texas, which is 20 minutes east of Dallas.)

You can sign up for the seminar by sending an email to or calling Amy at 972-288-7557. We are open Monday - Thursday, 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Central Time. Amy will furnished more details and answer questions.


I have been reading “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” by Richard Carlson. It is a copy with an inscription in the front that my wife wrote for our son, Patrick, when he was 11 years old. Her late father had recommended the book to her. There are many small yet significant ways to reduce our stress. It is just a matter of habit.

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 2015, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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