Normal voltage in the USA
- Most kilns are available in either 240 or 208 volts and in either single or three phase.
- Most household voltage in the United States is 240 volts single phase.
- A few communities (for instance in Southern California) have 208 volts in households but generally, it is very rare.
- It is extremely rare to have 3 phase in a house unless the house has been fitted for commercial use.
- Typically only schools, institutions and factories have 208 volts or three phase.
- You may have single phase or three phase at the plug, however. Never go by what the previous kiln (if there was one) says on the nameplate. The only way to be sure is the check the main electrical panel with a meter. Labels can be wrong.
- Industrial or commercial can be anything. If you aren't sure ask your electrical utility company or an electrician.
How do you know what voltage you have?
- Do not assume you know your voltage. (For instance by reading the label on another piece of equipment. Note that motors can be rated for 208 to 240 volts which can be misleading. Kilns are resistive loads and require a specific voltage and phase to run properly).
- There can be a variety of voltages in one building.
- Check with an electrician or your electric utility company!
- The best thing is to check the actual voltage with a meter.
- There are no energy savings for the various voltages or phases.
- Choosing is purely a matter of what you have available.
- Sometimes there are different electrical rates for different voltages but it does not affect the actual amount of kilowatt hours used.
Plugs or Direct Wire?
- See this for special plugs and cords available on some models
- It is OK to wire any kilnl directly without a cord
- Most kilns that are under 48 amps include a cord.
- Most cords are 6 feet in length. Single phase cords are available in 12 foot lengths as an option.
480 Volt Models
- L&L makes Easy-Load, DaVinci, and 29" diameter Jupiter kilns in 480-volt versions using an industrial control panel.
What happens if you order the wrong voltage?
- Be careful because if you order the wrong voltage the kiln will not operate properly.
- A 240-volt kiln will lose 25% of its power when operated on 208 volts. Even if that is Ok for you the kiln will work harder to do its job and the components will wear at a faster rate.
- A 208-volt kiln run on 240 volts will exceed the ratings of the kiln and probably trip your circuit breaker. )
- You will have to change elements.
- We do have a special program to mitigate the cost consequences of this potential mistake.
- Voltage outside the United States is typically 220 single-phase or 380 three-phase but can be a variety of other voltages like 400 or 415.
- We make special elements for 220 volts at no extra charge and can wire kilns for 380 volts/3 phase.
- All models work on either 50 or 60 Hz. 60 HZ (used in the USA) or 50 HZ (used in most other places).
- See this link for 3 phase power voltage list around the world.
For more information about voltage and electricity for Kilns