Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Replacing Kiln Elements.

You May remember that back in June last year
I showed you this picture of the elements in my oldest Kiln.
They were described by one blogger as Elephants!
and this was a stampede.
 I kept putting off ordering new elements, first because a new set costs
about £160
and second because I didn't fancy the job of replacing them.
Well I finally ordered some last month and having had then hanging around
for two weeks I finally took the plunge and had a go at
replacing them.
 I have a thin layer of 3mm ceramic fibre paper around the edge
which acts as a kind of gasket.
This was irritating my arms as I worked on it.
so I covered it with an old towel.
I would stress that before I started this job I made sure the fuse was out of the electrical box.
( just covering my arse here )
 The best thing I did was to order a new set of ceramic connectors
if ever you are fitting new elements on an old kiln
I would suggest this is essential, 
 The whole job took me about 2 hours and was much easier than 
I had anticipated.
 Here are the old elements
and below are the tools I used.
I now have a question to ask.
When Firing a kiln for the first time with new elements 
do you need to do a trial run ?
I mean I've checked they work and took it up to about 40 oc
But can I fill it full of pots for a bisc fire ?
I'm thinking it's like replacing a flat tyre on a car, as long as you do it 
properly then you can just carry on driving.
But with so much experience out there reading this stuff
I would value your comments.


gz said...

when I was firing with electric, it was just a matter of carrying on, having tested that all were connected

Meaghan said...

I've never done a trial first, just gone with it on electric. I've only replaced one at a time though so I don't know about all of them at once.

Dan Finnegan said...

Fire away...we never test ours at LibertyTown. Such a tedious job!

Paul Jessop said...

Thanks gz Meaghan & Dan, I've got the other kiln firing a glaze load at the moment, but I'm going to do a bisc in the replaced element kiln, tomorrow.
I don't have enough power to fire both at the same time.

LindaB said...

You should fire it once without anything in it to make a good oxidised coating on the elements. Otherwise, they can get attacked by water vapour and go rusty, particularly if your greenware is slightly damp.

Paul Jessop said...

Linda, I took it to 175 oc today does that count ?

Ed said...

Paul, I agree with Linda, I have always read and heard that new elements need to be fired at least to bisque temp in an empty kiln, which will coat the elements and help them to last longer. I am going to replae mine in a few wekks and I'm gonna fire it empty first.

Paul Jessop said...

Ok thanks for the info I knew it was worth asking the question. I'm sure when I first got the kiln, I fired t empty so the elements would last longer and they have lasted for at least 8 years. so I'm going to do that again, thanks for all the input, much appreciated.

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