Should you replace a K18 power cord?

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For these older kilns

Should you replace a K18 power cord?

The power supply cord originally supplied with K18 kilns is only a three-wire cord. The third wire is actually a "neutral" wire, not a ground wire. The original literature for these kilns said to ground the kiln by running another copper wire from each section of the kiln case to a cold water pipe in your home.

With today's electrical standards, the grounding is done through the same power cord that the power comes in on. If you have not already done so, you should replace your power cord with a 4-wire power cord, either hardwired to the supply or with a NEMA 14-30 plug- outlet configuration. You may need to hire an electrician.

The danger is that if the kiln is ran with the 3-wire cord, and a wire in the control box somewhere comes off it's connection and touches the inside of the metal box... nothing will happen until you touch the box and become the pathway to ground for the electricity. Once the kiln is properly grounded, the circuit breaker will trip as soon as the wire touches the inside of the box.

Additional Actions to Take

  1. Make sure power cord is plugged in.
  2. Reseat the plug. Pull it out of the receptacle and put it back it. This will reseat the connections.
  3. Also, sometimes the female socket and/or the male spades get oxidized (which can resist the flow of electricity). Reseating them can disturb this oxide layer.
  4. When you do this examine the plugs for any signs of burning or overheating. If the spades look oxidized you can rub them with steel wool to shine them.
  5. Make sure the plug is held firmly and that the springs inside the receptacle seem to be working.
  6. Look for any damage on the cord itself.
  7. Make sure the cord is not touching the kiln case.

CAUTION: This test should only be done by an experienced person familiar with electricity and its dangers.