David Martin Hershey on tue 30 nov 04
Hi Arnold & All,
I don't know if it's apocryphal or not,
but I once heard a story about a
Skutt kiln "over firing", and burning the place down-
somewhere out your way,
in the Great State of Texas.
As the story goes,
This Maroon had his kiln wired directly to
the panel bus bars, sans breaker.
It's a trick that hardwood floor refinishers
when they can't find a 220 breaker
to plug their floor drum sander into...
of course Einstein had the kiln
sitting on a carpeted floor,
inside his trailer-house
on a 110 degree day.
And he left the kiln alone...
When the good people at Skutt heard about the fire
they were there on the very next plane.
Fortunately, nobody died.
Do you think this one would qualify for a Darwin Award? ;-)
Beautiful Hermosa Beach CA USA
where it was a freezing 57 degrees
in the studio this morning
> By the way, I have never heard of a fire caused by an over-fired electric
> kiln. Has anyone else?
Arnold Howard on wed 1 dec 04
I've heard of similar stories where poor electrical installation or
flammable materials around the kiln caused a fire. But I have never heard of
a fire that started specifically because the kiln over-fired. Has anyone
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
email@example.com / www.paragonweb.com
From: "David Martin Hershey"
> This Maroon had his kiln wired directly to
> the panel bus bars, sans breaker.
> It's a trick that hardwood floor refinishers
> sometimes play
> when they can't find a 220 breaker
> to plug their floor drum sander into...
> of course Einstein had the kiln
> sitting on a carpeted floor,
> inside his trailer-house
> on a 110 degree day.
> And he left the kiln alone...
wjskw@BELLSOUTH.NET on thu 2 dec 04
Well, I guess I touched a nerve (or two) with my original post.
That is a good thing. Discussion is always good.
The Mayor calls electric kilns "big toasters". After mucking around
in mine changing elements for the first time last year, I have to
agree. That's what it is. And while some appliances have built in
safety features (like a clothes dryer or water heater); these
features are designed to shut it off when heat reaches an
unacceptably high level, a level the _manufacturer_ decides.
That's _not_ the way it is with kilns. The manufacturer does not
decide what the end temp will be. YOU do. As far as the kiln is
concerned, it will continue to heat merrily, ever hotter, until it
reaches the end of it's ability (highest temp possible based on
insulation, ambient temp, and elements), a component fails, or the
safety device (the potter, kiln sitter, controller or timer) turns
it off...if they work.
Let me also say that I've been burned out of my house...twice.
Once by an electric clothes dryer whose cord melted and started a
fire; and once by the riots in Watts in the 70's. (That last was a
people malfunction, not to do with this discussion.)
I am not unsympathetic to those who have losses because of their
malfunctioning equipment. It breaks my heart to read the posts,
because I know full well just what they are going to have to go
through to put their lives back together.
I also know that a medium size fire extinguisher rated for all three
types of fire, A for wood/paper, B for oil/grease, and C for
electrical can be had at almost any hardware and department store in
this country for less than $30. The problem is, you have to BE
there to use it. And if you were there to begin with, chances are
there wouldn't have been a fire.
Thanks to Jim for that advice about the dishwasher. Sure enough, my
owner's manual also has that caveat about leaving it alone. That
was an easy schedule change. It runs less than an hour anyhow, it's
easy to turn on just after dinner while I'm still conscious .
I try very hard not to be "Chicken Little" or be overly protective,
paranoid or worrisome. But I will not stick my head in the sand
either, like one of those big Australian chickens :>) I believe in
Murphy's Law, "Anything that can go wrong will, at the most
inopportune time so as to cause the most damage"); I've seen it
happen too many times to start ignoring it now. =20
The world can be a dangerous place, folks. Watch your backs, and
All my best,