Unbelievable, simply unbelievable

It must be very expensive to consult with an electrician, or hire a licensed electrician to have on your staff. I’ve just spent several hours going through the websites of the major kiln manufacturers: Paragon, Skutt, Jen Ken and AIM. Everyone one of these kiln manufacturers is in violation of the US NEC (National Electrical Code) on at least one of their kilns.

Let’s take Paragon as an example. Of their line of approximately 46 electric kilns, only 10 had the proper plug on the kiln power cord as well as the proper recommended circuit breaker for the kiln. Several of their kilns draw 20 amps, and Paragon uses a 20 amp plug and recommends a 20 amp circuit breaker!

No wonder people have problems using their kilns.

I can’t help but wonder if anyone at any of these kiln manufacturers even has a copy of the current NEC code, much less consults it on a regular basis.

I can certainly understand the design philosophy (although I totally disagree with it!) that they (the kiln builder) wants to have a kiln that will plug into an ordinary outlet (rated at 15 amps). But what I don’t understand is why they can’t simply build the kiln so that it draws a maximum of 12 amps.

There is no excuse for putting their customers at risk by providing equipment that does not meet the National Electrical Code.

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7 thoughts on “Unbelievable, simply unbelievable

  1. I have two Paragon kilns. One is 15amp, 120V. Paragon recommends a 20-amp circuit for that. I had an electrician install a 240V circuit for the larger Paragon. He commended Paragon on having the right plug and specs for the circuit. So, don’t make assumptions about Paragon kilns based on the above statement. Mike Aurelius did not say whether he himself is an electrician or what his expertise is for evaluating the mfr’s kilns.

    • Well, Jean, as I pointed out in the article “Let’s take Paragon as an example. Of their line of approximately 46 electric kilns, only 10 had the proper plug on the kiln power cord as well as the proper recommended circuit breaker for the kiln. Several of their kilns draw 20 amps, and Paragon uses a 20 amp plug and recommends a 20 amp circuit breaker!”

      Did your 15 amp 120V kiln actually have a 20 amp plug on it? That was my point. If it actually draws 15 amps, it needs to be on a 20 amp circuit WITH A 20 AMP PLUG. That should be supplied by Paragon. If it didn’t, then it was wrong. And, you will also note I was only writing about 120 volt kilns…

      • No, it doesn’t have a 20A plug on it. The room where the kiln is plugged in is on a 20A circuit. None of the outlets in that room have a 20A receptacle. But the kiln is rated at 15A. Paragon recommends a 20A dedicated circuit. I asked the electrician about it when I had the 240V circuit for the other kiln installed. He said the reason for the 20A circuit requirement was probably because 15A maxes out a 15A circuit. He saw no problem with it. Yes, he is REAL electrician.

      • Well, you see, that’s where your electrician is wrong. If the “appliance” draws more than 80% of a circuit rating, it is required to be wired with a plug for the next higher amperage. That is part of the National Electrical Code. 80% of 15 amps is 12 amps. If you kiln draws less than 12 amps, then a 15 amp plug is acceptable and correct. However, if it draws MORE than 12 amps, it is required to have a 20 amp plug.

        Many electricians will ignore that part of the code because its easier to just use a 15 amp plug than to have to wire 12 guage for the 20 amp circuit and put a 20 amp outlet on the circuit.

        I have a suspicion that he may be a “licensed” electrician, but a “REAL” electrician would do it the right way.

        Also, when your “real” electrician came over and installed your 240 volt kiln, did he pull a permit and then call for an electrical inspection? Or did he tell you it wasn’t necessary? If the latter, then, again, you didn’t use a “REAL” electrician. REAL electricians follow the law and the code, without question.

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