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Electric Kiln Outside Environment?


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#1 aphtershoxz

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:49 PM

Hello, I live in Arizona, and it gets really hot here. It also rains a lot in the summer when we have monsoons. So my question would be, how should I cover my kiln from the elements? That is, the 110+ degree heat and the rain and wind from monsoons. I've been trying to think of a way, because I'd need something sturdy and leakproof because it needs to withstand storms, but I also need it to have adequate ventilation and less conduction of heat. I was going to put the kiln on my back cement patio, and the kiln isn't very large. I don't really know how much it takes to protect an electric kiln outside, but I figure I don't want it to get wet, and I believe there's a limit to the amount of heat it can take on the digital controller. I would of course be planning to unplug it and cover it during storms, but the less water the better, and shade would still be important. So how do I make an adequate environment for this kiln to live in?
Thanks!

#2 Pam S

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:50 AM

IMHO you used two terms that do not mix, electric and outdoors. Electric kilns are not meant for outdoor use. The potters I know that use gas kilns outdoors have them in protected areas. Roof and two or three protected sides. Your best bet is to ask the manufacturer.

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#3 DAY

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 06:10 AM

Buy one of those prefab sheds that dot back yards all across America.


Or, if it is really "isn't very large", get a Rubbermaid trash container, and put it over the kiln when not in use. Keep it there with a kiln shelf. Or two, depending upon the sizes of your 'monsoons'.

A third option, since you can unplug it, is to put it on wheels, and only take it outside when you fire it. (checking with Accuweather first, of course)Posted Image

#4 neilestrick

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

If you wouldn't keep your computer there, you shouldn't keep your kiln there. The problem with just covering it when you're not using it is that a storm could roll in while the kiln is still hot, and you wouldn't be able to cover it. Plus keeping it covered could also cause condensation and corrosion under the cover. I don't recommend kilns be put on wheels, as it's a sure way to damage the bricks, especially the floor. It may even be a code violation. Find a permanent indoor location for it.
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#5 Edith Marie

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:35 PM

Hello Arizona......

My electric kiln is in our garage, that would be my suggestion, don't put it outside, if you don't have a garage, build one and turn it into your firing, pottery room. I live in Montana and our winters go below 0 and nothing of value is outside, everything has a building or three sided structure with a roof (boats, ATV, trailer). I think it best not to move it everytime you fire, less chance anything bad happening, you know, "Murphy's Law"......Hope you find a good solution and best of luck....stay cool!

#6 aphtershoxz

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:20 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies! If I was to keep it in the garage then, how far away from the walls would be a good distance?

#7 Mark C.

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:52 PM

10 inches
I would still consider a roof and some shed walls in yard-When its 105 degrees at night the garage may be a bit warm with the kiln going
Remember the electrical connection needs to be up to code and safe in either location.
Mark</div>

Go with the 18 inches in below post-I have a heat resist material on wall .
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#8 Lucille Oka

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:09 PM

Skutt recommends 18 inches away from all walls. Here is a publication that may be helpful to you. It is a Skutt publication and therefore it is Skutt kiln specific but much can be applied to any kiln installation. http://www.skutt.com...chitect_web.pdf
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#9 neilestrick

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:14 AM

I always recommend 18 inches to my customers. 12 inches is acceptable if it's a concrete wall.
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#10 aphtershoxz

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:39 PM

Okay, thanks guys, I'll have to talk things over with the person helping me to install the kiln.

#11 vivconnell

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

I was wondering whether the fumes from an ocassional firing of an electrical kiln in my garage where there are 2 parked cars would be corrosive to the cars?



#12 neilestrick

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:40 AM

Yes, we have had reports here of kiln fumes damaging car paint. Best to pull them out when firing.


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#13 Pres

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:45 AM

Does this corrosion thing happen on a vented kiln Neil?


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#14 Pugaboo

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:48 PM

I too would like to know if there is a chance of corrosion with a vented kiln in a garage where a vehicle is parked. My husband will have a cat if I mess up his truck.

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#15 neilestrick

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:17 AM

Does this corrosion thing happen on a vented kiln Neil?

 

Here's what I know:

We have had reports of cars parked in the driveway right where the kiln vent came out of the house, and the cars getting covered with all the fume matter that comes out the vent. It stands to reason that an unvented kiln in a garage would do the same things to cars parked there, since the fumes would be filling the garage. The downdraft vents do a very good job of expelling the fumes, so I would think that it is probably okay to keep cars in the garage with a vented kiln.


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#16 Chris Campbell

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

I have fired two downdraft, vented to outdoors, kilns in the garage with two parked cars for over twenty years and have not noticed any issues. I have however messed up the paint on my car by accidentally leaving splatters of clay on it after a day of throwing in the garage. Did not notice them and later, when I tried to wash it off, the surface stayed cloudy and dis colored. Really glad it was my car.

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#17 nairda

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 06:29 PM

Probably best to first check with the local building code folks.  When we moved to Dare County, NC in 1988 we had our builder add a 220 plug underneath our house (house was on 12' tall stilts and 3 miles from the ocean).  My plan was to have my electric kiln outside, under the house on a concrete platform..  When the building inspector came the day before we were to close on the house, he told me it did not meet the local code.  He said that since the kiln exterior got very hot, it was unsafe to have it out in the open where a child or pet could brush up against it.  I also expect the salt air would have been very bad on it as well since we soon learned that our gas BBQ grill elements rusted out within 12 months in that environment!



#18 bny

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 12:59 PM

My little Paragon Caldera test kiln with Orton digital controller faulted out on controller over temperature when fired outdoors in full sun with no wind. It worked OK afterwards, but I subsequently moved it into the garage, where I also have less wire distance to the breaker panel, so more power at the outlet.

#19 Pres

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 03:12 PM

Funny Neil said that if you would not keep your computer in it you should not keep your kiln in it.  My classroom had my kiln in it, but the computer techies would not install a kiln in the room. Dust.


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#20 Mark C.

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 05:24 PM

In our climate Norms kiln would be toast. It can rain 40-60 inches a year here and a little cover and a few blue tarps are not going to cut that amount of rain. My guess is thats a DRY climate with no snow as well. 

It all depends where you live.

Mark


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