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Transcript of Electric Kilns
Beginning with your kiln
Tips for Successful Firings
1. Keep a kiln log.
2. Full, even kiln loads fire better.
3. Don't put short stacks on the bottom (creates cool spot).
4. ALWAYS review kiln program before starting.
5. Leave a few inches around the thermocouple for an accurate temperature reading.
6. Go slow through the 400-450°F and 1100-1150°F range to avoid cracks
7. Always follow manufacturer's recommendation when determining your target cone
Tips for a successful firing
Locate and read manual.
Perform a visual inspection.
Start a kiln log
by running until elements are red hot and visually inspecting any that are not red (or as red) as others
Test each relay with match or small piece of tissue. Be sure to run vent.
Visually Inspect Relay (melted)
Use 9V battery to test each relay
to control panel
Elements are the perfect blend of conductivity and insulation
Only heats so long if Volts > Resistance
....like REALLY read...
-soft brick chips touching elements
-burned out/broken element
The majority of kiln misfires come from broken/worn elements
...or bad relays.
This could mean bad news:
ALWAYS UNPLUG KILN BEFORE PERFORMING MAINTENANCE!!!
ALWAYS treat elements as if they are live when the kiln is plugged in. Kiln parts can fail and be stuck in the "on" position even if the kiln is shut off.
Warning: Kiln dust is hazardous
Regular maintenance includes sweeping your kiln. This should be done with a wet shop vac while wearing a fine particulate respirator.
Annually or Semi-Annually
Sweep out kiln (using wet shop vac + face mask)
Start with top groove of elements and work your way to the bottom
Chip out any glaze drips and patch with kiln cement
Do a visual inspection of lid for any cracks
Small ones will develop, and that's OK.
Document (photos are good) any cracks to note change over time.
Pin back any elements that have shifted out of place
Note: They are brittle! Do this gently, or heat with torch for big moves.
Check power cord for any frayed/melted/exposed
Keep kiln shelves clear of drips and adequately
covered with kiln wash.
If... one or two elements aren't working (glowing as red, or setting match/tissue on fire)
If...More than one or two elements aren't working
Then...replace the relay (kilns usually have three relays)
Then...ask for help
Most Common Error Codes
- Indicates kiln cannot climb fast enough
Check elements and relays
- Thermocouple (thermometer) is broken
and needs replaced
Handle with care
Call for Help
Rogier Donker, Donker Studios
When you call or e-mail have the following:
Kiln manufacturer and model #
Phase (single or triple)
What isn't working
Photos always help :)