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Pottery/Kiln Not Reaching Temperature

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Question
QUESTION: Recently, when I did a bisque fire I noticed from the spy hole that my top elements were not glowing, and the kiln ran for about 14 hours and never reached temperature. I assumed it was time to replace the elements. So I did. When I tried doing a test fire the top elements are still not glowing at all. They are producing heat, but I don't know if they are producing enough heat. The bottom ones are fine and are glowing. The kiln never reached temperature in the test fire. It obviously can't be the elements, so what else can it be? I would appreciate any help or answers I can get.

ANSWER: Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for your recent question. I would love to help you but I need further information to give you the correct answer. Please let me know the make and model of your kiln and any temperature controls that are attached to it. This will assist me in answering your question promptly and with accuracy. I await your reply.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: It is a Creas kiln. The model number is B23H. It's a manual kiln. It has two infitie switches. Any more information that I can provide just let me know.

Answer
Dear Lisa,     

    Thank you for your reply. The first thing I would check is the top infinite switch. If you have fired the kiln before and not had a problem in the past then your amp should be fine. However, infinite switches control the amp of the kiln and can affect the amount of power getting to the kiln. This can cause an element to heat but only reach 1/2 of the required temperature. I have included two links for your assistance. The first is the kiln manual and the second is the wiring setup for for the kiln.

    You can use an ohm meter to check the amount of amps going to the kiln. Set the infinite switch on high and place your ohmmeter on the L2, H2, P and H1 terminals to check for continuity. If there is no continuity between L1 and H1 or between L2 and H2, the infinite switch is defective.

    Kiln Manual
    http://www.cressmfg.com/pdf/BASIC%20KILN%20MANUAL,%20FOR%20A,B,C%20KILNS.pdf

    Kiln Wiring Diagram
    http://www.cressmfg.com/pdf/B23H-%20208VAC.pdf

    I hope this helps you. If you can not find the problem, or if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me again at any time and I will assist you. Always at your service. Much luck to you.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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