Brad Sondahl on wed 30 mar 05
This happened a long time ago on an older kiln, and helped make me
decide to retire that kiln. But curiously it's happening now on two
newer electric kilns, and I don't really want to buy the whole main
kilnsitter guts to fix it ($180 each), so I'm hoping someone else has a
From examining the old one which I had removed and retained for parts,
this is the problem:
When you push in the button on a Dawson Kilnsitter (assuming you've
first set some time on the timer), a fine straight wire spring is
supposed to move a thin metal plate in place to stop the button from
popping back out again, until the trip lever flops down to shut it off,
or the timer runs out of time.
In the case of all of these kiln sitters, something is preventing it
from engaging, so that when you push the button in, let go, it pops
right back out, you keep doing it and finally it catches and you've got
one more kiln firing, and sometimes a broken fingernail from poking it a
I tried the classic general solution of spraying some WD-40 in the hole
(from the WD-40 and Duct tape engineering school), but it's apparently
not getting where it would do some good.
I've considered beefing up the wire spring with an additional little
spring from the hardware, but figure it might be engineered to where
addtional springiness might prohibit it tripping when the lever flips.
I also called Seattle Pottery, who makes the kiln, and their kiln tech
suggested it might be dirty in there, causing friction, but I took the
front off one of the kilns and couldn't see anything likely to cause it.
So I'd appreciate suggestions.
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Arnold Howard on mon 4 apr 05
If the Kiln Sitter does not shut off when the weight drops, the locking
slide inside the Kiln Sitter may be corroded or dirty. About once a year,
unplug the kiln and remove the switch box that houses the Kiln Sitter. Pull
the box straight out to avoid damaging the Kiln Sitter tube. Leaving wires
attached, clean the backside of the Kiln Sitter. Canned air is helpful. (But
do not blow air into the Kiln Sitter tube.)
When you reinstall the switch box, arrange the wires so they do not
interfere with the locking slide that trips when the weight drops. (You can
see how the locking slide works by lifting the weight, pressing the plunger,
and then dropping the weight.) Also, arrange the wires inside the switch box
so that wires do not touch element connectors or the kiln case.
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
email@example.com / www.paragonweb.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Sondahl"
> When you push in the button on a Dawson Kilnsitter (assuming you've
> first set some time on the timer), a fine straight wire spring is
> supposed to move a thin metal plate in place to stop the button from
> popping back out again, until the trip lever flops down to shut it off,
> or the timer runs out of time.
> In the case of all of these kiln sitters, something is preventing it
> from engaging, so that when you push the button in, let go, it pops
> right back out, you keep doing it and finally it catches and you've got
> one more kiln firing, and sometimes a broken fingernail from poking it a