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Ultralite kiln, electric, melting silver


Janet, in theory you might try pickling the wires. They’re just
copper and if you’ve been getting shocked they are probably highly
oxidized. For safety’s sake though I’d get a pro to fix it. Silver
is very high on the list of electrically conductive metals, in fact
I think it’s at the top of the list. If you just pour melted silver
into place you are quite likely to burn your shop down or at the
very least develop the mother of all shorts. Electricity isn’t an
extremely tough subject but it really can bite you badly if you
aren’t sure how to proceed with making repairs. I’d err on the safe
side if you are unsure of your skills and get it fixed by someone
who really knows about it. I don’t mean to insult your intelligence,
I’d just hate for you to get hurt.


    If you just pour melted silver into place you are quite likely
to burn your shop down 

Good point. The original ceramic plug not only held the wires
together, it kept them from touching the holder. A plug of silver
would not insulate at all.

    The original joints are made too thin specially to make them
fail early. They are out to sell as many elements as they can. 

Planned obsolescence! Now that you mention it, my mom has an
old-style hotplate with a coil of wire in a ceramic base, and it’s
seen a lot more use than my kiln. Guess it was made to last.

The replacement element should arrive next week. Do you think it
would be worth replacing the cords on the new element, as preventive

    The heating element wire has a high chromium content and the
chromium oxide will not dissolve in the fluxes you are using. 

I’ll have to use crimp-on connectors instead. Thank you Jim, Mike,
and Allan for the and advice!