Can I convert a manual J230 to an automatic JD230 and if so what do I need to get?

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For these older kilns

Can I convert a manual J230 to an automatic JD230 and if so what do I need to get?

It is possible to convert a J230 manual kiln into a JD230 automatic kiln. 

What Parts You Will Need

(1) L-G-PC50/72 50 amp power cord

(1) L-A-P300/31 Complete control box

(3) T-G-E800/00 8 gauge TCs

(3) T-G-MKIT/00 TC mounting kits

(3) T-G-TUBE/00 TC protection tubes

(3) L-J-JC36/20 20 amp Jumper Cords

(3) L-G-JMP6/00 Element box jumper wires

(1) C-G-PEEP/00 Peep hole plug

Highly recommended: (6) E-E-23TX/31 Stronger 48 amp elements

What These Parts Do

  1. It is highly recommended to replace the elements with new 48 amp Easy-Fire Elements. You can only use these elements if you have a 60 amp circuit breaker for the kiln.

  2. The jumper cords are necessary because your old ones are not long enough to reach the outlets on the new control box. These outlets are on the side of the box now rather than on the bottom.
  3. The jumper wires are replaced routinely whenever you replace the jumper cords.
  4. Peep hole plug is for the hole where the kiln-sitter used to be.
  5. Power cord is replaced because you do not want to hook your new thousand dollar control box to an old oxidized power cord. Same goes for the rest of the items. There is a 3 year limited warranty on the control box only if all these items are replaced.
  6. Most people realize what it will really cost to do this, just to end up with an old kiln that has a new computer controller. Typically they decide to get a new kiln instead.
  7. If this is done properly (i.e. all recommended parts are replaced), then the control box will have a 3 year warranty. A new serial number data nameplate will have to be supplied with a note on it spelling out what is warranted and what is not.

Additional Actions to Take

  1. Unplug the kiln.
  2. Follow the instructions in the Assembly Instructions for removing the Control Box. (Click here for a list of all assembly instructions).
  3. Pack the control panel with cushioning material such as bubble wrap, balled-up newspaper or foam in a cardboard box and follow instructions from the factory or you local distributor about where to send it.

CAUTION: Do not send a control panel without calling first.

CAUTION: The controller contains electronic components which are sensitive to static electricity. Before handling the controller dissipate any static charge you may have by touching metal or a screw on the controller panel, the electrical box, the kiln lid, or some other grounded object.

 

This video shows how to remove a control panel on an Easy-Fire, School-Master or eQuadPro kiln for service.

  1. Unplug kiln.
  2. Remove the four #6 screws that hold the control in place from the front face of the control panel.
  3. Remove the control box and remove the insulation panel.
  4. Pull of the spade connectors from all the connection points on the back of the control. Loosen the screws that hold down the thermocouple wires and pull out the wires from under the screw heads. It is OK to remove the screws if this is easier for you. First not where all the wires go. These are all clearly marked with color coding on the Wiring Diagram.
  5. Pull old control out. Put new control in and screw in place with the #6 mounting screws. Replace wires on proper connectors.
  6. Be careful to get the Red or Yellow of the thermocouple wires to match the colors painted on the control board.
  7. Double check that the proper color coded wire goes to the proper terminal (Orange = OUT, Purple = AC1, Green = CT, Gray = AC2).

This video shows how to replace a DynaTrol on an Easy-Fire kiln. The same principles apply to any kiln with a DynaTrol or Genesis control.

Parts

  1. See this page for the part.

WARNING IF YOU HAVE A TYPE S THERMOCOUPLE: WHEN REPLACING A DYNATROL: CHECK THE CONFIGURATION OF THIS REPLACEMENT CONTROL TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MELT YOUR KILN! See this for more information.

This video shows how to remove a control panel on an Easy-Fire, School-Master or eQuadPro kiln for service.

  1. Unplug kiln.
  2. Remove the Control Box.
  3. Using a 3/8" nut driver or ratchet wrench or adjustable wrench, remove the nuts that hold the element end onto the Element Terminal Bolt. Note that the terminal bolt head is held in place by an inset shape on the underside of the ceramic terminal block and it will not turn much.
  4. Untwist the element end from around the Element Terminal Bolt. Straighten it out as much as possible.
  5. In most cases the element can be lifted out of the holder at this point. Sometimes, if the element has really disintegrated, you need to remove it in pieces with needle nose pliers.
  6. If element is hard to get out of the holders (because of growth of the element) you can try heating up the kiln slightly so as to heat up the element slightly to just the point where element is slightly pliable–don't let it get red. This will soften the wire. Then turn off the kiln and disconnect all power to the kiln. Using heat protecting gloves and a pair of needle nose pliers pull out the softened element.
  7. From the inside of the kiln, using needle nose pliers, grab the element as close to where it goes through the brick wall to Terminal Block. Pull the element end through the hole. Be careful not to enlarge the hole in firebrick. The brick is soft and will not take much abrasion.
  8. Be sure to check for failure points for evidence of contamination on the element and the element holder. If the element holder is contaminated it will cause rapid failure of the new element. Replace contaminated holders with the new ones.
  9. Using your multimeter check the resistance of the new element.
  10. Install the twisted ends of the elements through the holes in the wall of the kiln. Element ends should be straight at this point.
  11. Pull them up tight up to the wall of the kiln by pulling from outside the kiln.
  12. Lay the element into the groove. Note that the unfired element is going to have some springiness to it before it is fired for the first time. You may need to use a screwdriver to press the element into the holder. YOU DO NOT NEED PINS.
  13. FOR KILNS WITH NON-CERAMIC TERMINAL BLOCK OR ON RETROFITTED KILNS WHERE YOU HAVE ADDED A CERAMIC TERMINAL BLOCK BUT STILL NEED BUSHINGS: Be sure to replace the insulators and spacers over the element tails.
  14. Consulting your picture or labeling, wrap the appropriate element tails around the appropriate element connection bolt, clockwise, one around and cut off the excess tail.
  15. Install the elements and hardware: Place the wires from the jumper cord or connecting wires onto the appropriate bolts and tighten with stainless steel nuts.
  16. A washer goes under the first element.
  17. Twist the first element end CLOCKWISE around the Terminal Bolt.
  18. The next element gets twisted around the Terminal Bolt on top of the first element.
  19. Another washer goes over the Terminal Bolt.
  20. Place a nut on top and tighten it.
  21. Put another washer on.
  22. Put on the Ring Terminal of the Power Lead Wire.
  23. Put another washer on.
  24. Put another nut on and tighten it. How much the nut can be tightened is dependent on how tight the element connection bolt is on the element connection board. A tight connection is very important, but if you tighten too much and twist the element on the bolt too far you could break the element, the bolt, or the insulator.
  25. Reattach the ground wires and the element box if the kiln has them. DO NOT FORGET TO ATTACH GROUND WIRES. IF EACH KILN SECTION IS NOT GROUNDED THIS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS.
  26. Test the resistance at the jumper cord's plug head or at the other end of the connecting wires.
  27. Reattach the control box, turn on the kiln and make sure all the elements come on.

See this tutorial on how to use a multimeter.

See this video: