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Qotw: What Kind Of Kiln Vent Do You Use?

Question of the week; vent; kiln;

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#1 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 11:24 AM

Hi my friends!


Is winter still on your doorstep? Where I live, the sun is shining as if spring is just waiting round the corner...


My today's guest is Pugaboo: She sent me a question that I misunderstood, and we had a good laugh about "being blond"


Here goes:


How many people vent the INSIDE of their kiln using either a downdraft vent or a hood vent?
If so, has doing so changed how your kiln fires or pottery looks?


I myself have a hood on top of my kiln and a tube, transporting the fumes outside. Well, let's all post a pic of our kilns! Don't forget to answer also the 2nd question!


Happy week to all of you. Thanks to Pugaboo for the interesting question!!



Evelyne Schoenmann
Studio: schoenmann ceramics

Advisory Board Member;
Potters Council of The
American Ceramic Society


Board Member of Swiss Ceramics Association

#2 MatthewV



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Posted 15 February 2017 - 02:33 PM

The one time I forgot to turn on my downdraft vent I didn't notice any significant differences. It is hard to compare results when you only fire with a vent (or without one)

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#3 LeeU


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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:48 PM

Well, I went out to the added-on back porch where my kiln is to look at the vent.


It is the one made for my wonderful L&L and it vents through the floor to the outside of the porch structure.


What you see is in the pic on the left is my cardboard box-covered kiln on the left and my outer trailer wall on the right.


You will also note, next to the vent housing, and obviously coming down the wall, the ice that has formed from a new roof leak!!!


Glad I went out there so I can remove it before it melts and get the landlord over here to fix it tomorrow!


It's not melting anytime today though--the pic on the right is my current snow status.  


PS. Everything is now unplugged and covered with heavy vinyl to avoid that pesky water-electricity mix. 


Attached File  0215171636.jpg   105.86KB   0 downloadsAttached File  0215171548.jpg   107.55KB   0 downloads

Lee Ustinich






#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 06:01 PM

In my home studio I have my kilns in a separate building. I use an exhaust fan and open door.
When I was teaching at UT Brownsville, there were vents on the electric kilns in a 4500 sq ft studio. The exhaust hose vent rotted away and the smell could get bad. Once I replaced the exhaust tubes, it was OK.
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings

#5 Denice


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:07 AM

I have a Skutt dual down vent that I have set up on two kilns.  I keep a window open in the kiln room and run a window fan at the end of the firing to clear out some heat.  I have never noticed any change in the glazes or  the temperature of the bottom shelf of my kiln.  Denice

#6 dhPotter


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:46 AM

Like Denice, I have a 2 kiln Orton vent setup. One kiln for bisque only the is glaze only. Also keep a window open and in another window a fan blowing out. The fan is on from start to finish.


My glazes did have a noticeable change for the better after installing the vent. Same glazes, same kiln, same temp, ^6. Left pic is no vent, right pic is vented.


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#7 Mark C.

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 03:11 AM

My electric kilns are outside and are only rarely used and only for bisque and are unvented.-gas kiln has a 10 foot brick and  12 foot stainless steel stack.

Winter is still home raining like crazy in the 30's at night-here in Cambodia its daily into the 90's and nights are cooler.

Mark Cortright

#8 neilestrick


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Posted 20 February 2017 - 04:03 PM

L&L Vent-Sure. One on my e18T-3, and one on my big DaVinci. The Davinci is at the max size for the vent, but it works. I did find that in order for the vent to do the job, I had to close down the room air damper really far, which made the temperature in the duct go up quite a bit. So I hooked up two connections on the kiln so I get good draw while still being able to mix a lot of room air to cool it down.


I just rebuilt both vents last week with new intake and output connections, which required taking apart the whole system, but it was worth it. I cleaned out years of crud in the fans and lubed them up. One of them had actually seized up last year and I thought it was dead, but it came back to life with a good soaking of WD-40 and lots of banging to get the crud out of it. The fan motors have very little torque, so it doesn't take much crud to stop them from turning. But now both are running smoothly and quietly. One has about 600 firings on it, the other has about 1400 firings.


I do not have a system to vent the heat from the room, which is about 1200 square feet. In the winter the heat is nice, and in the warmer months I just open the overhead door and run a couple of box fans. There are times in the summer when it's just too darn hot to fire the big kiln, but that's a rare occurrence.

Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC

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#9 Roberta12


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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:45 AM

I do use a vent, L&L downward draft coming out of the bottom.   Because we built the shop and then put the kiln/vent in, we were able to put the vent where we wanted it.  So, a hole was cut through the side of the shop and the vent mounted and everything around was sealed up.  Like Neil said, the heat is welcome part of the year.  And in the warmer months, I open windows, doors, and run a fan.  I have always used a vent, so I really don't have a comparison.  Looking at dhPotter's pictures though, that tells me that there would be a difference!



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