Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kiln repairs

We've gotten word that our studio will remain where it is for the time being and we started to work on fixing the place up a little. My task was fixing one of our three kilns. An ancient Cress cone 6 electric beast that has only been able to reach bisque temps for awhile now. This is the first time I've tried to repair an electric kiln. It was kind of cool.

I assumed that the issue would be the rheostats or the elements. I bought new elements and figured I'd replace those and if that didn't work I'd replace the rheostats.

We have three kilns in our studio, all lined up against one wall. The other two kilns were bisque firing. And it was hot out. It took me about 2 minutes to start sweating. I took off the bracket that the rheostats and kiln sitter are mounted on.and bang - there was the problem. One of the jumper wires had broken. I ran down to Seattle Pottery Supply and got a replacement. Less than $5 of replacement parts.

Since I had already bought the new elements I decided to install them anyway. I got the first element in fairly quickly and easily. Until I was feeding it into the last few inches and realized that the new element was about 10 inches too long. I made it fit but it wasn't easy. It was enough to convince me that I didn't really need to install the other 3 elements.

I test fired the kiln to a couple hundred degrees and everything seemed great.

Since that kiln is back up I am going to do a couple glaze loads soon. I had been putting it off as the kilns that were running didn't reach cone 6, only cone 4-5.

1 comment:

Eric Nettles said...

For next time, to see what elements need inspection you can empty/vacuum out the kiln, then put with the lid open, turn it on high. All of the elements should quickly start to glow, if not then you know which element/circuit to examine.