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Dan Hurtado

Wiring a kiln

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I recently purchased a used Evenheat 22.5 kiln. It comes with a NEMA 6-20 plug. I have a NEMA 10-50 outlet in my shop for my welder. Any concerns with making an adapter cable to plug the kiln into the 10-50 outlet? I won't have the security of a 20A breaker but, I'll only be using the kiln occasionally. Thoughts? Thanks! 

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The way I generally get around this is to build an adapter box that is basically just a small breaker box, with one breaker in it.  It has a lead that plugs into the 50A service in the wall, which feeds to the breaker (20A in this case, mine are generally 30A), which leads out to an outlet that you need.  I have done this for hard-wiring (meaning I don't have a separate outlet coming from the box, but that is very doable) my hydraulic press, belt grinder, and air compressor.  Works well, plenty safe, fairly cheap.  

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Woot!  But you have to show us your solution too!  ;)

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I just made up an adapter cable. It's an older, pre-digital oven but it goes from room temp to 1400F in 30 minutes. Not bad for a less-than $400 investment (including the cable!)

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Posted (edited)

That should be perfectly fine, because the evenheat controler has a fuse in it. (or at least mine does!) 

 

The trick is to have fuses in line with whatever circuit that will burn out before the wires catch fire, this can be a 'starter' with a fuse for a motor, just a twist in fuse for a kiln, or a breaker that's the right size.   I've got my evenheat running off a 50 amp welder outlet as well =)

 

EDIT: Ack, sorry for the necro-post, for some reason this one thread showed up as 'new' to me and i thought it was recent!

Edited by Justin Mercier

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16 hours ago, Justin Mercier said:

EDIT: Ack, sorry for the necro-post, for some reason this one thread showed up as 'new' to me and i thought it was recent!

No worries, that is good info to have here for posterity.  

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I just salvaged the top ring of a pottery kiln, with the aim of using the heating elements and bricks to make a tempering oven. Other than an inline fuse, would a simple rheostat combined with a thermometer be enough to accomplish my goal?

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I'd sure think about a PID/thermocouple arrangement. They are not that expensive and if you are salvaging the elements and bricks you might as well go to the trouble to get as much accuracy as you can. 

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Vern, any recommended sources for the PID arrangement?

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I am a complete noob and am still at the research stage but I tend to over research things. (Occasional insomnia can be your friend) going the "Hong Kong" route the pids themselves can be incredibly cheap, 15-30 bucks but reading all the reports I estimate about a 20 -25% failure rate.  There is also quite a headache with the translations of the instructions both wiring and calibrating. The total cost with the ssd and thermocouple plus a little wire seems to run from 50 to 100 bucks. American made pids seem to run about 60 to 80 alone but have a lower failure rate and manuals in English . I have to check and confirm but I think I found the import pid that TurnTex uses for their plug in and play unit for a vacuum stabilizing system.

 

 

 

 

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The best advice I can give on PID controllers:

Before you even consider buying one, DOWNLOAD and READ the MANUAL. 

If you cannot find it to download, do not buy the controller. If you cannot understand (at least most of) the manual, do not buy the controller.

Good manuals are expensive things to do well. If you are not already familiar with process controllers, trying to set one up without a good manual will give you migraine. 

If/when you run into difficulties, it is nice to be able to ask for help on this, or another, forum. You will probably want help from someone who is familiar with controllers in general, but who may not be familiar with the particular model/variant you have. To help, they will need access to the manual. You really need to be able to put a link to said manual in any "Help!" posting.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Timgunn nailed it really. That is one of the things most noticeable in my research. I am well enough trained in that field to include myself in the esteemed ranks of the totally incompetent. I am convinced however that the wiring doesn't look that difficult and I am even more convinced that there are people on this forum that can help if I get in trouble provided that I "give them something to work with" in terms of a manual. Another reason I lean toward spending the extra money for a US made product with a customer service rep who has a fluency in a language I am familiar with. I can't ask for the time of day in Mandarin or Cantonese. 

Edited by Vern Wimmer

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Posted (edited)

Auburn is where I'm thinking. They have got a PID for every occasion.

I haven't looked at Johnson controls yet.

Edited by Vern Wimmer

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Do you mean Auberins? I ordered from them a number of years ago for the K thermocouple for my blown forge.

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That's the proper spelling. I think  figured out which one of theirs I need for my project. I have another real seat of the pants project that is still 8n the "maybe" phase that will require me to get more familiar with Pids. I have a restaurant deep fryer that was canned because the PID, I'm assuming, went toes up. I have to take my time to confirm the problem and then I think it will become a dedicated tempering oven with some panel beating and insulation. I figure the temps it was built for are right in the tempering zone anyway.

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Auber seem to be highly regarded Stateside. They do not have a UK presence, so I have not used them myself. 

AutomationDirect and Omega are both very good and have knowledgeable support staff at the end of the phone (I'm a Luddite, but they are probably great online too). IME they are also remarkably patient. 

If you are going to talk to them, make sure you have all your settings noted down and try to appreciate that, whilst they do know their equipment, they do not know the specific process you are trying to control: it is up to you to tell them exactly what the controller needs to do. 

If you are not sure about your process, a call for help on the forums may be the better first step. You are likely to find someone who has done what you are trying to do and can get you up to the point where you know enough to have a productive conversation with tech support.

My favourite controller for homebuilt HT ovens is the AutomationDirect Solo 4848VR or the Omega CN 7823 (same controller, different badges. I buy whichever works out cheapest at the time) with a DC output to drive an SSR and ramp/soak capability. Bear in mind that ramp/soak profile setting is always MUCH less user-friendly on industrial controllers than it is on the likes of Evenheat's and Paragon's HT ovens. 

For temperature control, you are likely to need a thermocouple. Omega are about the biggest supplier of thermocouples worldwide and it is well worth spending a few minutes with a notebook and a telephone picking their brains. 

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