Emergency Kiln Element Repairs
Like most disasters, kiln elements will break and fail when
you can least afford to have it happen. And it's not always
possible to wait until a new one arrives from the manufacturer or
supply company. So here are a handful of suggestions for those
times when you just have to fire anyway.
Before you do anything, unplug the kiln.
Unplug it. Take the cord out of the socket. Got it?
1. One method for temporarily repairing a broken element
uses an old piece of element as a bridge between the two ends of the
broken element. To do this repair, you'll need about two
inches of an old element. Start the repair by pulling the
broken element ends out of the groove in the kiln brick. Take
the old element strip use it to bridge the gap between the ends of
the broken element; allow the spiral of the element coil to overlap
and touch each end of the element being repaired.
2. A second option, which requires a propane torch,
involves heating the element so that it stretches a bit. Light the propane torch
and heat the two ends of the broken
element until they start to glow red. Then gently and careful twist them together.
If you have them, use smooth pliers (rather than ribbed ones) to
work with the elements. Once the elements are twisted together,
replace them in the channel of the kiln.
Click here for more tips
on emergency kiln element repairs.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Thanks to Tony Smith, Andy Brott,
Tom Smith, and others for their contributions to this tip.