The day started out in a forthright manner--looking forward to trimming
and footing about 40 pots, unloading a glaze kiln... I'd noticed that
the kiln was taking longer and longer to fire, so I checked the elements
and one was burned out. I usually use this as the time to replace them
all, so I took them all out and removed the side panels to connect the
new ones. I noticed a switch had a wiggily terminal--sign of impending
doom for it, and then noticed one of the main wires coming in to the
kiln was corroded, meaning a similar fate soon for it. "For once," I
thought, "I've caught it before it burns itself out." So I went to the
local hardware store to get a replacement range plug, which works for
kilns as well. The first sign of trouble was that they were out of
the 6 foot long ones, only had 4 foot long ones. I wasn't sure if that
was long enough, so I arranged to take one home and try it (I live a
block from the hardware, where I'm well known). It looked like it would
be tight, but would reach, so I bought it and cut off the plug, since I
always hard wire them into the junction box. At this point I realized
I'd bought a replacement dryer plug, which is too light duty for an
electric kiln. So I went back and bought a range plug. After
assembling all other pieces, I put the kiln together and was ready to
hook up the cord to the junction box. I'd forgotten how it takes about
6 inches off each end inside the box to make the connections, so it was
too short. I finished the pots from yesterday to calm down...
Since the local hardware didn't have the longer cord, I drove to
the next town, where they did have one, and got it. Next to that
hardware is a bakery, so I stopped in, thinking I'd get my family a
treat for supper. There were lots of good looking chocolate items
there, but my wife swore off chocolate, so I got a raspberry cake.
After supper I cut into the cake, to find that the actual cake was
chocolate, with just raspberry frosting... It was just that kind of day.
So after supper, I go back to my debacle and put the new cord on. I
get the kiln wired again, and gingerly put on the breaker to check for
shorts, sparks, pops, and other nasty surprises. I got a new
surprise--when the kilnsitter was powered up, but the kiln switches
themselves were off, one of the elements still was humming away and even
glowing red. It seemed to be on the switch I replaced, so I figured I
got some of the wires mixed up. What's more, as I tried to turn the
switch to see if it would go off, I heard a loud popping sound coming
from the switch, meaning it just got fried.
So I got inside again, replaced the switch, rechecked the wiring
diagram, noticed a couple other wires that had gotten pulled loose in
the process, and put it together again. This time it was a different
element, on the same switch.
I think I'll try again in a couple days... Did I mention it was
raining all day? It didn't have anything to do with all these troubles,
but it set the proper aura...
- posted 15 years ago