[Clayart] A reminder about maintaining a kiln

Arnold Howard arnoldhoward at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 04:15:50 UTC 2022

A few weeks ago, I replaced a bathroom light fixture. The outlet box had been removed from inside the wall, and wire nuts were loose. I was dismayed at the careless way people work with electricity.  

I see the same carelessness in kilns. Thermocouple screws are usually loose. Relay mounting screws are sometimes missing. Push-on terminals are pressed only part way onto the spade connections, and they’re often loose. 

Even electricians use wire nuts to install replacement kiln cords. (Wire nuts are not recommended.) Grooves are torn out from fast element installations. 

Sometimes I find screws in the bottom of kiln switch boxes. 

Let’s encourage people to be careful when they work on their kilns. Don’t rush the job like the previous homeowner did with the bathroom light fixture. 

I repaired an over-fired glass kiln a few weeks ago. Just removing the glass from the element grooves took over two hours. Slivers of glass were scattered all over the kiln. 

By the way, to remove clay or glass from an element groove, use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle tip that is small enough to reach deep inside the groove. That’s the tool I used on the glass kiln. 

Arnold Howard 

Sent from my iPhone

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