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Rusty Hills Farm

How Cold is Too Cold?

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My manual Paragon electric kiln sits on my screened and roofed porch.  It is protected from everything but the cold.  So, how cold is too cold to fire?  This month morning temperatures are in the high 20s to low 30s and the daily highs average 45 to 50.  Is this too cold for firing Cone 04 projects?  What about Cone 06 glazes?  My instruction book for the kiln doesn't offer any clues.

Thanks for your help. :D

Rusty

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You're fine to fire at those temperatures.

If you have a cone sitter/manual shutoff like mine, you can succesfully fire at -30 C, which is as low as I've ever had the misfortune to need to bisque at. The computer controllers do have a point where you need to bring the room temperature to in order for them to start. Usually people just use a space heater while loading to achieve this. The kiln will generate enough ambient heat once it gets going that you don't need to run the space heater. 

@Min could tell you the temperature you need to have the room at for the computer controlled kilns to start at.

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Thank you both!  That really takes a worry off.  I didn't want to damage the poor thing at this late date.  I'm originally from Florida, so temperatures were never a worry before.  Now that I am way up in Alabama I didn't have a clue as to how cold might affect things.

TY! :lol:

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Digital kiln controllers can't read negative temps, so if it's below zero you need to warm up the inside of the kiln (and thermocouple) before loading, which is also nice for your hands when loading when it's that cold out. You can hold it at 200F for an hour to warm up the bricks, and they should hold enough heat to keep it above 0 while you load. The control board itself also measures its own temperature so it can shut down the firing if the board gets too hot. Sometimes the board isn't happy if it's really cold, so in that case you need to set a space heater near it to warm it up before firing. I've never heard of a controller being damaged from being stored in the cold.

With a manual kiln, none of this matters.

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