So I bought a used kiln on ebay.....?

And it has been a total nightmare. I won't go into the details of the absurdly slow shipping or the rudeness, but I was wondering if I could get some input. The kiln is not heating up. The elements look fine, and the light turns on when you flip the switch, but there's no heat. Here is the listing:
The plate on the front says "Fire Brite Kiln, Fort Worth Texas, Model No 3908-1 PH1 Volts 110 Amps 12 Kilowatts 1.3"
I took a look at the wiring and it's in a pretty sad state. I'm thinking that I could maybe put new wires and a new switch in it and get it to fire, but that's a pain in my butt and will mean putting more $$ into what was supposed to be a cheap second kiln. Anyway, I'm wondering:
1) Should I just return it or is it worth giving rewiring a try?
2) Anyone have any idea what kind of switch I should put in it? I'd like to go to an infinite switch if possible (right now it just has an on/off switch).
Thanks all!

* Send it back and ask for a refund on your initial shipping cost. By the time you work with it, you'll have the money invested that a new small kiln would cost. Seller said it worked, if it doesn't, you can use ebay resolution process as last resort. Sellers on ebay hate negative feedback. Contact them and try for an agreement of some kind. On and Off switch is useless for glass work, unless you are willing to sit in front of your kiln for 12-24 hours at a time. Computor control is $400. New front load kiln with digital control is $50from board sponsors. Cut your losses and go from there.
charles r

* I'm sure you've figured this out by now but a seller on Ebay with only 80 transactions and only a 93% positive feedback is not someone you want to deal with. Good luck in getting anything back from this eel and the Ebay process will make you want to just go choke the guy and take the jail's that frustrating, in my opinion. Where are you located...that might help with feedback suggestions on where you could get a GOOD used kiln that won't use up all your precious time in bad vibes

* Hi Lis,
Sorry about your problem with the kiln. Charles is correct about ebay and the kiln itself.
I to would recommend that you ask for your money back and shipping fee from the seller. Ebay sellers hate the negative feedback since a good many of them make a living just selling on ebay. If the seller is bad enough ebay will ban them from selling on ebay.
Again Charles is correct about how much it would cost to restore it to a working condition and adding a computer controller.

* Hi - Trust me I already want to choke the guy. I'm in Charlottesville, Virginia. If anyone has any kiln suggetions - used or new - I'd love to hear them. Thanks again!

* Lis,
I'm not sure if this will be of help, but, this reminds me of a clothes dryer situation I had. We had put an additon on our home which included moving the laundry room to main floor. Well, went to plug the dryer in, and it worked but wouldn't heat. I assumed it was just old and needed to be replaced, so went out and bought a brand new one. The new one also wouldn't heat! We discovered that the wiring hadn't been done properly. However, it's been so many years, niether my husband and I can quite remember exactly what was wrong...just that the 220 outlet wasn't wired right so the dryer wasn't getting enough power to heat. Once a couple wires got switched around, it worked fine! I don't know if the same type of thing can happen with a kiln, but maybe it's something simple like that and ya just need to get your electrical hook up checked or something.
Another thought I had was, have you tried to contact the seller? From the listing it looks as though he had personal experience with the kiln, so maybe he forgot to tell ya some little idiosincrancy (sp) about it?!
Well, hope this helps find it's something simple!

* Hi - So the guy has now offered to give me half of my money back (I keep the kiln). Does this change the equation?
Nicole - I don't think it's the outlet because my other kiln works with it, but I will investigate. Thanks!

* Lis,
If you want a good, cheap used kiln, try:

My first kiln is a small Paragon (interior a little less than a cubic foot) with a computer controll. With shipping and handling, I got the kiln for $616. That was 3 years ago. The kiln has more than paid for itself.

* If you keep it get a 3 prong plug on there and ground the framework.

* whatever you do, don't give feedback till the transaction is completed. Consider it a not so expensive lesson in "buyer beware" Something like a used kiln is a risk, especially when you can see how cracked the firebrick is. It looked like that kiln had taken a tumble!
If you want to buy a kiln and don't mind a three hour drive, there are a couple of places in the Washington DC area selling kilns. Vitrum Studios is one, Weisser Glass is another.

* Hi Lis, i was reading about your bad deal on ebay. I agree with everything else that was written to you. I just wanted to tell you not to wait too long to leave your neg feedback. I purchased an expensive part for my guitar on ebay, about 1/2 what i would pay locally, and all I received was a month and a half 1 and 12 of exucses ranging from the guy was out of town, and then he was hit by a car!!! imagine that!! anyway I gave him the benefit of the doubt, for toooo long, and then it was too late to resolve anything. I think there is a time frame to file for a resolution. with ebay or paypal. I think they don't really have a good system for getting anything really resolved if the seller is a schmuck anyway, they know now to work around the system. I purchased on my american express who in turn did the footwork for me, eventually after all else failed. Just didn't want you to get caught up in the time snare. check out for your area. I found 2 small nice kilns on there for a VERY good price. Denise DeMarco PS Love Your Jewelry!!

* At the risk of repeating myself, I think you should either take half the money and move on or see what you can do to pressure the seller with negative feedback. I read his feedbacks, none negative in the last year and he's been a Ebay member since 98 but he had 6 people who clearly said "Don't buy from this guy" before that. I have 873 transactions with a 99.8% feedback score and he has 80 transactions with a 93 %. You will learn to be really discerning about who you send more than $100 to on Ebay! If you don't think half of the money is a good deal (I don't...maybe it was dead when he sent it out) then suck up the money and threated to
leave him a negative...but given his score (although he does say in one of his replies that I wan't to get to a positive score) I'm not sure that he is going to care enough to fork out the other half of your costs.
I have a small Paragon kiln which I'd like to sell for $400 but it's in CA and I think you'd do better to check Craig's List where you are or call ceramic dealers and ask who handles used kilns in your area. FYI -I have a large Skutt ceramic kiln which fires glass like a pro, even though it doesn't have any elements in the top.
Whatever you do, just keep firing and moving the end that will matter much more than financial loss

* Did you pay with Paypal? They also have a dispute resolution service, starting with a complaint and escalating to a claim. The gotcha with them is that they control the money! Worth a shot, but you only have 45 days to file. I'd probably leave a neg too, but wait until you go through Ebay/Paypal first to see what they can do.

  • How to use nitric acid?
  • Why did thinfire paper burn?
  • electricity supply for kiln?
  • I should know this but......?
  • Taurus 3 or Gryphon Zephyr?
  • how do you attach backing pads to a grinder?
  • Some pics of the big kiln?
  • Sandblasting: Grit contamination, etc?
  • Picture frame and glue?
  • kiln controllers?