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Electric Kiln Element

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  • Electric Kiln Element

    We have a large old electric pottery kiln. Lately, one of the heating coils has been breaking, in the same place, with very high frequency. It breaks every few firings -- and is costly to replace.

    This is obviously not right.

    I am beginning to think that the problem is related to deterioration of the fire bricks in that area -- in that the support groove has crumbled away, and so the element is supported simply by pins placed every 6" or so.

    My working theory is that the element sags badly there, and eventually breaks upon cooling and contraction, due to it being brittle.

    I am hoping that you would be so kind as to offer your opinion on this.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Hi I think you're probably right

    Hi I think you're probably right that the lack of support is causing the problem. Do the elements sag alot after firing?

    An alternative theory is that the new element is of a higher resistance compared to your existing elements so that it is getting hotter and failing, however I think this is unlikely. It has been accepted wisdom in pottery circles that if you have to change one element you are often better off replacing all of them as a set. This was usually done as it is thought that the older elements were more likely to fail once a new element was installed.

    As a first step try rebuilding the brick support HTI brick, pins and kiln cement.
    If this does not resolve the situation maybe it is the other theory either way having the brick support rebuilt will be a good thing
    regards

    Robin
    www.toppotsupplies.co.uk

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    • #3
      Electric Kiln Element

      Hi Robin:

      Many thanks for your thoughts.

      The elements do sag during a firing. We now have evidence of arcing at one of the support pins, which suggests that the element above the pin sags far enough to contact the pin and arc through to the element that the pin supports.

      The kiln is an old Cress model. We are contacting them to get their opinion and perhaps to see about getting replacement bricks.

      Thanks again -- much appreciated.

      Ken

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      • #4
        Ken are you based in the UK or USA?

        Ken are you based in the UK or USA?
        www.toppotsupplies.co.uk

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        • #5
          Neither Place

          Hi Robin:

          We are located in Vancouver, Canada.

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