Kiln Fun!

Reports from my artist wife indicated an issue with the kiln not heating up – like staying at 1775 degrees F for 3 hours yesterday. Never saw 2,000, much less 2,200.

We partially unloaded the still pretty hot pieces this morning – enough to see all of the elements, then turned up the infinity switches to high and turned off the lights. Only two sets of elements lit up, the bottom two.


So I turned those two off, since they seem to work fine.

Then I fiddled with the next switch up (#4 from the top), twisting the knob back and fourth, with the theory that it is highly unlikely the remaining elements all burned out at the same time, and that it may just be dust and buildup on the switch contacts.

Sure enough, those elements lit up, a good sign, as each element goes for $30.15.

Now to work on the remaining three switches.

Boom! (not literally). Everyone is working, except the elements on switch 2.

I’ll return with some tools and a can of deox-it and clean that switch, and may as well do the others while I’m at it.

My artist wife noted that she is very careful with the switches, and never turns them past high. Indeed all of the recent firings have been bisque or cone 2, so those knobs never saw 5, 6, or high settings. This means the contacts never got cleaned by switch action, and that coupled with the dusty environ left them pretty crunchy.  That’s my theory, anyway. Gotta work those switches.

Funny, it was almost 6 years ago exactly the last time this fella misbehaved.


2 thoughts on “Kiln Fun!”

  1. We had a similar event with the washing machine. The limiter switch for the water fill level had not been changed off of large load in a long time. Consequently after I rock the switch back and forth a few times an audible pop could be heard and sure enough now it shuts off when the washer gets full instead of spilling water all over the basement floor.

  2. Good catch! Nice to fix these things, yes?
    I need to add a maintenance regimen to the kiln. Clean the switches every fall, before the holiday firing crush. Seems these things pop up when we are in a rush to finish a lot of work. That’s always the way, though.

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