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Why Some Kilns Don’t Have a Cord and Plug

The Paragon Dragon is shipped without a cord and plug because it is a 240 volt, 69 amp kiln. Read about the origin of the name Dragon below.


Why Some Kilns Don’t Have a Cord and Plug

Reader Response: Temperature swings during hold

Recent Q&As: Firing silver clay in a pottery kiln; traveling with a kiln

Memorable Quote



Many customers are surprised when they order a kiln and it arrives without a cord set. They can’t plug it in and wonder what to do next. This may have happened to you.

A cord with plug comes on all Paragon kilns that are single phase and 50 amps or less. All other kilns are direct wired. All Paragon 480 volt and 3-phase kilns are direct wired.

Direct wired (also called hard wired) means the kiln must be installed by an electrician directly into the circuit without using a plug and wall receptacle. The wires are connected to an electrical outlet box using heavy-duty terminals. This is for your safety.

The highest amperage wall receptacle and plug that we use is 50 amps. This is why kilns that are rated higher than 50 amps must be direct wired. Most 208 volt 10 and 12 sided kilns must be direct-wired. That surprises customers, because many of the same kilns, when ordered for 240 volts, include a cord with plug.

The 208 volt models require more amperage than the same size 240 volt kilns, because volts x amps = watts. The lower the voltage, the higher the amps needed to achieve the same wattage. When the amperage is higher than the maximum allowed for a receptacle, the kiln must be direct wired.



Kathi Price wrote, “I wanted to send you an update on the issues you discussed with me on the phone a few days ago regarding the thermocouple on my kiln. After taking off the control box as you recommended, I tightened the thermocouple connection wires.

“I fired a sacrifice piece, and it turned out well. The kiln held to the target temperature to within 5 degrees. Your suggestion to check the thermocouple connections was very helpful in settling down the big temperature swings during the hold temperature.”

Rebecca Boatman wrote, “I have been to Paragon and met many of your ‘family.’ I wish you could bottle this feeling and give it out to so many who have lost their sense of community.”

Thank you, Kathi and Rebecca!



Q. A group of metal clay crafters would like to fire their work in my pottery kiln. Would that contaminate the kiln?

A. It is safe to fire PMC Clay or Art Clay Silver in your kiln. The metal clay will not contaminate the kiln. However, if the metal clay is placed on a kiln shelf, the shelf itself may become contaminated. This causes clear glass to turn slightly yellowish. But it would probably not affect ceramic glazes that are fired on the same shelf.

Q. I am wondering how to travel with my F-130 kiln in a trailer. Suggestions? Tips? [The F-130 is a Paragon table-top kiln with a vertical drop door. It is used to anneal glass beads and figurines.]

A. To prepare your F-130 for travel in your trailer, place a 1/16" sheet of polyethylene shipping foam between the door and the kiln. The entire area where the door contacts the kiln must be protected with the foam sheet. Smooth out wrinkles in the sheet before closing the door.

With the door held in place to avoid moving the packing sheet, wrap a ratchet strap around the kiln so that the door is held closed. The strap should be moderately tight but not so tight that it damages the door.

Cushion the kiln by placing it on top of several layers of cardboard or folded blankets. It should be on a stationary table or other surface in your trailer. Then use another ratchet strap to hold the kiln down to that surface.



“I have no special talents, I am just passionately curious.” --Albert Einstein


Last March at NCECA, the pottery convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I stayed up late every night listening to stories about pottery. Mel Jacobson recounted how he and his late friend, Joe Koons, reproduced Chinese iridescent hare’s fur glazes for the first time in hundreds of years.

During these late night sessions, I learned that the pottery kilns in ancient China stretched up hillsides to fire thousands of pots per load. They fired to cone 11 and emitted flames at the top of the hill. From the shape of the kiln going up the hillside and the fire at the top came the legend of the fire-breathing dragon.

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 2018, by Paragon Industries, L.P.

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