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MeliNC

What To Look For When Buying a Used Kiln?

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Hi Everyone!!, I am a beginner Potter and I have finally reached the point (and saved enough) to buy myself a used kiln. I honestly don't really know what I should be looking for to feel confident about buying a kiln that works and that won't be a money pit..... any suggestions on the key things I should pay attention to? any questions I should ask the seller?

 

I am currently looking at a Cress automatic kiln model E23, it is being sold at $450 and the seller says it works great..... this would be great for me as a starting kiln (size, price and specs) but I don't know what I should be looking at to know that it is in good shape beyond the obvious.

 

Thank you for your help and advice!! ^_^

 

 

 

Meli from NC

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Hi Everyone!!, I am a beginner Potter and I have finally reached the point (and saved enough) to buy myself a used kiln. I honestly don't really know what I should be looking for to feel confident about buying a kiln that works and that won't be a money pit..... any suggestions on the key things I should pay attention to? any questions I should ask the seller?

 

I am currently looking at a Cress automatic kiln model E23, it is being sold at $450 and the seller says it works great..... this would be great for me as a starting kiln (size, price and specs) but I don't know what I should be looking at to know that it is in good shape beyond the obvious.

 

Thank you for your help and advice!! ^_^

 

 

 

Meli from NC

 

 

The condition of the firebricks indicates how the kiln was cared for. Look especially at the inner lid surface and the top row of wall bricks. cracks here and there are nothing to worry about, however.

 

Extensive rust is a sign of heavy use.

 

Here is an article on buying used kilns:

 

http://www.paragonwe...nter.cfm?PID=45

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The seller SAYS it works great. . .

Have him/her turn it on high (empty) and wait a few (10-15) minutes, then open the lid and look at the elements. ALL should be glowing, preferably bright red.

New elements are $40-$50 each, and it is best to replace them all at the same time.

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The seller SAYS it works great. . .

Have him/her turn it on high (empty) and wait a few (10-15) minutes, then open the lid and look at the elements. ALL should be glowing, preferably bright red.

New elements are $40-$50 each, and it is best to replace them all at the same time.

 

The center elements of some models do not glow until around 1000F, because the center elements are designed to draw less power. This is to improve heat distribution. Even at 1000F, the center elements may glow only faintly. I don't know, however, if the Cress kiln in question has these "tuned elements."

 

Sincerely,

 

Arnold Howard

Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA

ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

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There are some things we repair people check with a multi-meter, but a good visual check will cover 90% of it. Definitely check out the bricks. If they look worn and crumbly, then pass on it. If the lid or floor slab is cracked all the way through, pass. Hairline cracks are normal. Take a look at the elements. If they are showing any sign of corrosion, or the coils are starting to lay down, then they are at or near the end of their life and need to be replaced. Open up the control box and take a look at the wiring. If it is darkened by heat, it should be replaced. Bend a few of the wires. If they crunch and crack, they are getting old and brittle and will need replacing soon. Check all the wiring connections for corrosion. Check the power cord for corrosion.

 

Go online and see what the costs are for replacement parts for that kiln. Some kilns are much more expensive to maintain than others. $450 is a good price for a digital kiln, as long as the bricks are in good condition. Even if you have to replace elements you're coming out ahead.

 

 

 

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