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studio safety: kiln placement and ventilation

updated sat 31 aug 96


Lisa on wed 7 aug 96

>910.3.3 Hood and duct clearances. Every hood and duct serving a
>fuel-burning kiln shall have a clearance from combustible construction of
>at least 18 inches. This clearance may be reduced in accordance with
>Table 3-B.
>910.3.4 Exterior installations. Kilns shall be installed with minimum
>clearances as specified in section 910.3.1. Wherever a kiln is located
>under a roofed area and is partially enclosed by more than two vertical
>wall surfaces, hood and gravity ventilation duct shall be installed to
>comply with Sections 505.8.1, 505.8.2 and 910.3.3
>*Ventilation is a good thing, however you achieve it.

The studio where I work is located on the basement floor of a building
downtown that was built back when the Goddess was a child. It is run by the
city parks and recreation department and there are competent professional
instructors in charge. We have electric kilns and Envirovents to get rid of
all the nasty fumes in a room separate from the throwing studio.

Down the hall from us is another 1-room studio which has 2 kilns in it.
This studio is run by some part of the local arts council, I think. Anyway,
they appear to have some sort of ventilation system attached to their kilns,
BUT they refuse to use it and the fumes have been known to run folks out of
the building. Any time we say something to them about it, they claim that
they are using the ventilation system and that we don't know what we're
talking about.

Yesterday, it happened again. I spent 2 hours+ in our studio teaching my
class and the rest of the day on my couch, because the fumes made me sick.
Can anyone think of ANY way we can make these people use proper ventilation?

LINHARES on thu 8 aug 96

Hi Lisa

There is a possibility they think they are using a proper vent. I just
installed a new (used) kiln in my basement, which of course ment taking
a look at the vent. I use paraffin wax on the bottom of my pots and it
puts out quite a stink, so I use a Bailey vent (supposed to vent two
kilns) to vent my kiln from the top and the bottom durring the first
half of the firing. Both ends were connected with 4" expandable
aluminum dryer duct which I thought would be in fine shape because they
had just been replaced about 25 firings ago. The water from the
condensing vapors had eaten holes striaght through the metal at the
points where it was allowed to settle. Before I put the new kiln in I
had to go to the hardware store and buy galvanized (trash can like)
metal ducts and elbows to prevent another quick corroding. The point
of my story is that it is possible they think the vent is OK but its
not. Ask them if they would mind if you took a look and maybe you
could help them build a system that works. Whatever you do don't let
them get away with putting fumes into other peoples air. Besides
making you ill have you ever seen what unvented fumes can do to kiln
plugs? It's not safe.

Paul in Ohio where it's finally summer

P.S. I caught your post reguarding childrens clay classes in Chicago
and it just so happens that I have a friend that I believe is teaching
classes in Chicago. This is her last known address and if it doesn't
work you can call her at A.R.T. where she has a day job as a ceramic

Laura Barov
Lasting Impressions Art & Clay Works
327 N. Northwest Hwy
Palatine, IL 60067