Q:

What are some tips for ceramic kiln repairs?

A:

Quick Answer

When making repairs to a ceramic kiln, make sure to turn off the power, mix kiln cement thoroughly before applying, stretch any new elements to the correct size slowly and carefully, transfer any wires one at a time, and sand bricks or cement for a smooth surface to promote even heating. Different repairs may require one or more of these elements, and specific kiln models may vary and have differing requirements.

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Full Answer

Turn off the power to the kiln before beginning any repairs. If the kiln is not hardwired, disconnect the power cable from the wall. When working with a hardwired kiln, trip the safety switch or circuit breaker, if applicable. Powered kilns may lead to burns or potential shock hazards.

Mix kiln cement carefully, allowing all parts to integrate fully, before applying the cement to broken bricks or inner facings. An improper mixture does not adhere properly and can cause future problems. Sand the area smooth after the kiln cement dries. If replacing bricks outright, sand these as well to help trap heat in the right zones and prevent the creation of hot zones in the kiln.

If replacing an element, stretch the new element out carefully with a pair of pliers by quarters or thirds, based upon the design of the element. This is only necessary when the new element comes rolled or folded from the manufacturer. When wiring new switches, only swap one wire at a time to prevent confusion and short-circuits that can lead to failure or electrical problems.

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