Annie Foong on wed 6 mar 02
I hope to install an electric kiln in my garage.
This is a first for me and I'm hoping to get advice/tips/warnings regarding such an undertaking.
The safety issues I'm looking at include:
1. Fire hazards (should I line the walls next to the kiln with fire-retardant materials ?)
2. Venting (is it better to vent through the roof or sides?)
3. Should I add a window to the garage ?
4. Suggestions for a good enviro-vent ?
5. Electric safety issues
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Stephen J Lewicki on thu 7 mar 02
Here are some suggestions I culled from our =93Frequently Asked Questions=94=
(http://www.hotkilns.com/faq.pdf) that I think might be of interest. Also,
we have a very nice resource of preorder information which may address some
of your safety concerns, electrical questions, etc.
Where should I put my kiln?
Your kiln should be in a covered enclosed space. A basement or garage is
usually a good location. Preferably the floor should be concrete. There
must be at least 12=94 from the walls of the kiln to any walls of the room.
Keep all flammables away from the kiln. Room should be vented with either
good natural ventilation or forced ventilation fan. See
(http://www.hotkilns.com/preorder.pdf). for a pre-order checklist and
description of various important considerations you need to make before you
buy a kiln.
Can I keep my kiln in an unheated shed?
Yes. Lack of heat will not harm the kiln. The kiln is made for extreme
expansion and contraction. However, you don=92t want the kiln to get points
from condensation and then freeze because this could harm the brick. The
specification on the control puts its operating temperature range between 0
and 125 Deg F. However, the low temperature will mostly affect how accurate
the control will be =96 not an important consideration when you are first
starting a firing (unless you are candling). As the kiln heats up it should
bring the ambient temperature up to a reasonable degree and allow the
control to function properly. On the other hand, very hot outdoor sheds
could present a problem for the control overheating. You may need to blow a
small fan on the control in extreme circumstances.
Can I put my kiln directly on the floor?
No. You must have an air space between the kiln bottom and the floor. This
is true even for a cement floor. The water in the cement could cause a mini
explosion and at least spalling. A kiln sitting on a flammable floor such
as a wood floor could very well cause a fire =96 even if it doesn=92t seem l=
it is getting too hot at first. Over time a wood floor could dry out and
become more flammable. Be very careful with any flammable floors and be
sure to have an adequate insulator over it like cinder blocks and then put
our stand on top of that. Be sure to monitor the heat in the floor
occasionally if the potential for a fire exists. Basically, you do not want
to have direct contact between the kiln bottom and anything that will
Do I need a vent?
Kilns have been operated for years without the newer ventilation systems.
Without a vent typically the kiln is vented by propping the lid during the
first part of the cycle when the ware gives off fumes. However, a powered
downdraft type of vent, like the Vent-Sure that L&L makes, automates this
process and improves air circulation and heat distribution in the kiln as
well as insures good venting of the fumes to the outside. You MUST be sure
to vent fumes generated by a kiln to the outside. Some of these, such as
carbon monoxide, are hazardous. A downdraft vent will also help element and
thermocouple life because it keeps the kiln full of oxygen, which promotes
the proper oxide coatings on those components. thermocouple life because it
keeps the kiln full of oxygen, which promotes the proper oxide coatings on
I hope at least some of this helps.
Stephen J Lewicki
L&L Kiln Mfg., Inc.
Snail Scott on tue 12 mar 02
At 07:27 PM 3/12/02 -0800, you wrote:
>One caveat: keep the kiln covered, when it's not in use. This decreases the
>dust, damp air, and other air conditions from harming the kiln and corroding
>your electrical wiring and elements. One can cover the kiln with a plastic
>protector, once the kiln has cooled down sufficiently.
In my experience, putting a waterproof cover on anything
outside (if it already underneath a roof or shed) actually
tends to trap more moisture than it excludes, unless it's
truly and totally sealed and not just covered. Moisture
seems to get in anyway, but does not evaporate as readily.
Maybe humid climates are different, but I wonder... My
experience seems to be confirmed by others I've spoken to.
m markey on tue 12 mar 02
There's really no problem with keeping an electric kiln in a covered outdoor
environment, such as the one you indicate.
I know several potters out here in the desert who operate outdoor kilns,
One caveat: keep the kiln covered, when it's not in use. This decreases the
dust, damp air, and other air conditions from harming the kiln and corroding
your electrical wiring and elements. One can cover the kiln with a plastic
protector, once the kiln has cooled down sufficiently.
----Original Message Follows----
From: Martin Rice
Reply-To: Martin Rice
Subject: Re: Installing an electric kiln in the garage: Advice
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 09:21:21 -0600
Stephen J Lewicki
"Where should I put my kiln?
Your kiln should be in a covered enclosed space."
My question is, must it be enclosed? I'm awaiting arrival of my electric
kiln now. I had been planning to put it on a covered outside terrace. It
will be far enough away from the nearest wall, it's on angle iron legs and
will be about a foot above the ceramic tile floor it's on, and it will be
about 5 to 6 feet below a wooden roof. It will not be subject to rain. The
average ambient temperature year around is about 85 degrees F. So is there
any additional reason it should be in an enclosed space? I could put it in
our garage if necessary.
Lagunas de Barú, Costa Rica
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PurpleLama@AOL.COM on wed 13 mar 02
That's what happened to my neighbor as well. He bought a small race car to
rebuild with his dad. Kept it under a waterproof cover. Ended up storing the
cover and building a temporary roof over the area where he stors and works on
the car because the car was rusting out under the cover. We're about a mile
or so from the Pacific Ocean in Southern CA.
in sunny Redondo Beach, California
<< In my experience, putting a waterproof cover on anything outside (if it
already underneath a roof or shed) actually tends to trap more moisture than
it excludes, unless it's truly and totally sealed and not just covered.
Moisture seems to get in anyway, but does not evaporate as readily. Maybe
humid climates are different, but I wonder... My experience seems to be
confirmed by others I've spoken to.