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I have two kilns hooked to a vent. I am firing sometimes both kilns 4 days a week. I believe the hoses are both connected correctly (I use a damper), but would certainly not mind tips on ways to check. I am not sure now because the studio has a kiln odor and I sometimes have some smoke coming out when the wax burns off. I usually dip glaze and fire immediately. Could this be my problem. I just changed out some of the vent hoses as they eroded, so I am hoping that will help.

 

I have been experiencing shortness of breath and coughing (especially when running) for a few years now but just assumed it was from previous years of bad studio practices. I thought that the vent and good cleaning schedule would take care of any issues I have, but it is not. Since I am doing production, I fire a mostly full kiln loads of copper glazed- green - pots and of course, bisque. Could this be sulfuric acid? I do see a good amount of rusting on equipment, but I am also near the coast and it gets very humid here. I would like to make my work environment as safe as possible. I also wear a P100 respirator in the studio but would love to be able to work unencumbered by the mask.

 

Any help you can give me would be great!

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"I have been experiencing shortness of breath and coughing (especially when running) for a few years now but just assumed it was from previous years of bad studio practices. I thought that the vent and good cleaning schedule would take care of any issues I have, but it is not."

 

Have you seen your gp and requested a referral to a respirologist? Gotta look after yourself. 

Sheryl Leigh likes this

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Checked the hoses today and all looks tight now. I replaced some that looked corroded. Will try the match test.

 

Using a Bailey 7cu ft and l&l 4cu ft. Vent is a Bailey. I connected them both with kiln-tech support from both kiln manufacturers.

Edited by Frankiegirl

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I will start closing both kiln lids and plug holes in kiln not in use when I use the damper. That may help some. Holes are in the lower back walls, per Bailey installation instruction, and they are clear and open. It really could be a number of small tweaks like these to get me where I need to be.

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Just checking, and this may seem a dumb question but, there is supposed to be a small gap between the outside of the kiln and where the vent hose begins. Correct? I assumed it was for additional air intake but maybe I have this wrong?

 

Kilns both pass match test. I used a lighter and flame is pulled inward.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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Dear Girl, It sounds like over exposure to the toxins created by daily firing. You are firing all day, everyday, breathing poison...no wonder you feel ill! Potters can also come down with "dirt lung"(very painful), from the dust and dirt of poor ventilated studios. Perhaps you can curtain off the wheel area of your studio with thick construction plastic. If anything you'll have a good drying room. The best thing now should be a trip to the Dr. post haste.  ><)))•>

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Just checking, and this may seem a dumb question but, there is supposed to be a small gap between the outside of the kiln and where the vent hose begins. Correct? I assumed it was for additional air intake but maybe I have this wrong?

 

Kilns both pass match test. I used a lighter and flame is pulled inward.

 

I'm not sure about that gap- I haven't used the Bailey vent. But if it's pulling flame then you're probably fine. All vents of that type need to pull a little air from the kiln, a lot more air from the room to cool it down in the ductwork. That gap may be providing the room air. You could try closing off a little bit of that gap to get more kiln draw. Sometimes vents can't keep up with the amount of fumes coming from wax burnout. You may want to consider putting in a secondary vent system, like through-the-wall fan, or an overhead hood.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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Is there a chance that once you vent to the outside the fumes are coming back into the building?

 

A window cracked opened on the same side of the building as the vent is all it takes. Even an air conditioner on the same side.

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I have a big warehouse with excellent ventilation. The vented air goes out of a cinder block wall with no windows. The door would not allow for air re-entry unless it was opened. I keep it closed during firing.

 

The wax hypothesis is exactly what Bailey said. It does seem to stop after about 6-700F. Could not letting my glaze ware dry before firing be causing the issue? Maybe I need to let them sit overnight?

 

Perhaps it was that my vent was just badly deteriorated and replacing the duct pipes will solve my issue?

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I have a big warehouse with excellent ventilation. The vented air goes out of a cinder block wall with no windows. The door would not allow for air re-entry unless it was opened. I keep it closed during firing.

 

The wax hypothesis is exactly what Bailey said. It does seem to stop after about 6-700F. Could not letting my glaze ware dry before firing be causing the issue? Maybe I need to let them sit overnight?

 

Perhaps it was that my vent was just badly deteriorated and replacing the duct pipes will solve my issue?

 

Yes, the wax smell usually stops by 700F. Drying time does not affect anything as far as fumes go. Keep the ducts in good condition and you should be fine.

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Using wax resist.

 

Just fired a kiln load yesterday and no fumes - no kiln smell. Guess those new vent tubes I installed really made a difference!

 

I saw a thread about someone using this product:  https://www.mcmaster.com/#53145k67/=16d6at

Anyone have experience with this product? The metal ones from the hardware store only lasted a year, and obviously needed to be changed sooner than I did. So, perhaps I should change them every 6 months if I go with those.

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Parafin or wax can be very toxic when it burns off at the lower temperatures, much worse than many of the normal glaze ingredients we use, due to what is in the wax. If you see smoke coming out of the kiln when that is burning off you really don't want to be anywhere near it and definitely not breathing it.

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