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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?  Now proceed.

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.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Thanks to Tony Smith, Andy Brott, Tom Smith, and others for their contributions to this tip.

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