Tips For Maintaining Your Studio's Kilns
(reprinted with permission from Skutt)
*Always unplug the kiln before working on it.
1) Vacuum The Kiln - Debris like brick dust and glaze particles can settle on your elements and breakdown the protective coating surrounding them. This can drastically reduce the life span of your elements. Use a shop or household vacuum to clean the element grooves, lid and slab before loading your kiln. Be careful to NOT put the motor from the vacuum cleaner inside the kiln - rather use the hose and attachments to reach inside the kiln. Always unplug the kiln or turn off at breaker.
2) Wet Mop The Floor - The EnviroVent pulls room air in to the motor to create a venturi effect that allows it to operate. If there is a great deal of dust on the floor, the dust that is sucked into the motor can build up and cause it to fail.
Once a Year
1) Tighten Bands & Screws - A kiln expands and contracts as it heats up and cools down. This coupled with leaning into it during loading can cause the bands and screws to loosen up over a period of time. At least once a year go around the kiln with a screwdriver and make sure everything is snug. Be sure not to over tighten screws and cause them to strip.
2) Check The EnviroVent Ducting - Some of the fumes being vented from your kiln can be corrosive. Over a period of time it is possible for your EnviroVent ducting to develop holes. Check for areas in your ducting where holes may be allowing gases to escape into the room and either replace the duct or repair it with duct tape.
As Needed - It pays to stay on top of repairs. You do not want to have a kiln down when you are busy so be sure to replace your thermocouples and elements as soon as they show signs of fatigue.