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Pottery/E-1 Error on Olympic Electric S18E Kiln with Model V6-CF Series 700 Controller


I need some help with an error I am getting on my kiln. I have an Olympic Electric S18E with Model V6-CF Series 700 Controller. I have had someone come out to make sure that I am getting the right power to my kiln, I am, so it's not that. The kiln has been in storage for about 15 months, I bought it new in 2009. I tried to run a TEST on the kiln. It started out at 80 degrees, got to 88, then 90 within about 20 minutes, then the relay stopped "clicking", the temp dropped to 87 and then I get the error code. What should I do next? Thanks for any help you can give me :)

ANSWER: Dear Lea,

Thank you for your recent question. The following information may help you in determining what may be wrong with the kiln.

Error 1 is a problem with the kiln heating, not a controller problem. Do a full power test to check the elements and relays. The description for this is listed below.

Full Power Test
The full power test is used to check the relays and elements of the kiln.

Program a one segment
Vary Fire program to go up as fast as possible to 1000 Degrees F and no hold (One
segment, RA1 9999, Degrees F 1 1000, HLd1 of 0) or program a Fast Glaze program to cone  04.
Leave the lid of the kiln open and start the firing. Inspect the elements after the kiln has
fired for 10 to 20 minutes. Observe each element from where it comes into the kiln all the
way around to see that it is equally bright throughout.

The following observations are possible:

One section of the kiln is dark and not going on. This indicates a defective relay since
there is usually one relay per section.

One element is not glowing at all. This indicates a broken element.

There are darker (cool) spots along the elements. This indicates worn elements.

The top and bottom elements appear brighter. This is normal for many kilns that have
hotter elements in the top and bottom.

After you have made your observations turn off the kiln.

If all of the above is working properly then the remaining possibilities are a low or dropping
voltage to the kiln may be the cause. Even though you had the kiln checked for proper voltage to the kiln, when the kiln is fired to full capacity, voltage can drop if there is not enough amps to the kiln.

Finally incorrectly reading thermocouple or a thermocouple not placed correctly may be
the cause also.

Check the kiln in the order listed above and if you are unable to find the cause, please contact me again. I will be glad to continue to work with you to find the cause for your kiln failure. Good luck and I look forward to working with you.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat

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

I have tried the full power test and can't get the kiln over 90 degrees without getting the E-1, so there is no way to check the elements. I have never had this happen before, so this is stumping me, what would cause the kiln to not heat? Oh and by the way I just replaced the thermocouple, so that can't be the issue….UGH! Thanks for any help you can give me :)


Since you have replaced the thermocouple, there may be loose wiring. I would check the wiring to make sure all is tightly secure. Next, I would check the amperage. Even though you have had the power checked, if there is not enough amps going to each relay, this will cause a relay to burn out or stop working. Try these things next.

Let me know.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat  


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Ti Phillips


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 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.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

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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