[Clayart] forced air burners

MGordon clayart at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 8 16:53:36 EDT 2016

OH I forgot to mention the thermocouples were to track temp they had no  
control over the flame, purely manual all the way, Mike Gordon
On Jul 8, 2016, at 10:55 AM, Becky Holloway via Clayart wrote:

> I’m trying to get a feel for what is a “normal” experience when firing  
> with
> forced air burners.  Are they easy to use or difficult?  Do they stay  
> lit
> once the thermocouple is satisfied?  If you’ve used more than one  
> brand, do
> you have a favorite?   Why?  For the past 15 years I’ve been firing a
> potters’ guild kiln that’s about an 18 cubic ft. arched downdraft with  
> 4
> Venturi  burners; one at each corner parallel to the floor using  
> natural
> gas.  Many happy firings with that kiln.
> So, a potter moving out of state was selling a kiln in great condition  
> and
> I bought it from him.  It’s also an arched downdraft kiln about 23  
> cubic
> feet, built almost entirely of insulated fire brick and fired with 2  
> forced
> air burners using natural gas. The burners are at the back corners.  (I
> believe they are Ward burners in the standard configuration.)  He  
> fired it
> about 45 times and I’ve fired it twice.  After digging through his log  
> book
> I’ve discovered he had chronic problems with the burners--from his  
> first
> firing to the last.  (Less than half of his firings seemed to have been
> trouble free—no notes indicating he had to re-light one or both  
> burners.)
> The first time I fired it we had difficulty keeping the burners lit.   
> We
> wound up replacing both thermocouples but couldn’t make adjustments to  
> the
> gas settings without them going out. Got to about 2000 degrees; the  
> kiln
> bearly moving up temp-wise; shut it off and went to bed.  My husband  
> used
> to work in the heating and air conditioning field and was convinced the
> thermocouples were the problem.   On the advice of the BASO people, we
> purchased and installed a longer thermocouple which put the sensor  
> farther
> back.  The second firing went pretty well—I consider it a successful  
> one;
> got to cone 10 in about 12 hours (a bit long but o.k.); the pots looked
> good overall, and we thought our troubles were resolved.
> Yesterday we couldn’t get the burners to stay lit.  We're calling BASO
> again--maybe the valves need replacing--and will check our gas  
> pressure but
> after the last firing we're really puzzled.  Ward's website says most  
> of
> the time it's kiln design not the burners but what's normal for forced  
> air
> burners?  If the gas and air are right, shouldn't they at least stay  
> lit?
> Becky
> Clay Otter Pottery, Alaska
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