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Turning off the vent fan?


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#1 Nelly

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:00 AM

Dear All,

I have a load of low fire bisque in my kiln right now. In the past, I have been taught that as soon as the firing is done (i.e., reached temperature) you should turn off the fan as it saves the fan belt. In reading on the Internet, it was suggested you leave it on through the entire firing and cooling process. There was also some brief discussion about if you leave the fan on, you can reduce your cooling time by 2 hours??

My question to you is when do you turn your fan off?? Do you worry about taxing or over working your vent?? Mine, by the way, is a two year old Orton.

Nancy

#2 Nelly

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:42 AM


Dear All,

I have a load of low fire bisque in my kiln right now. In the past, I have been taught that as soon as the firing is done (i.e., reached temperature) you should turn off the fan as it saves the fan belt. In reading on the Internet, it was suggested you leave it on through the entire firing and cooling process. There was also some brief discussion about if you leave the fan on, you can reduce your cooling time by 2 hours??

My question to you is when do you turn your fan off?? Do you worry about taxing or over working your vent?? Mine, by the way, is a two year old Orton.

Nancy


I don't believe these HAVE a belt, my Orton is a direct drive...
The couple or so hours saved by turning it off sooner is insignificant compared to the number of hours running when actually firing, but if there is concern about cooling the ware too fast it can be turned off.
In the winter I would turn it off soon as the firing is done since it does take some heat out of the room your furnace has to make up, since you already paid for the heat from the kiln use it if you can.
In the summer you might want to leave it on to get rid of the excess heat.

These vent fans are real cheap quality motors, I don't even think they are repairable like most motors of quality are, these motors seem to me to be toss em and get a new one type motors- the kind that are sealed and you can't grease them or replace the bearings on.

A good motor has grease fittings and can be greased, as well as opened up to replace ball bearings, and brushes if used.


Dear RDWolf,

Mine is a vent master. I just checked. Interesting that they don't have fan?? I didn't know that. This is what I was told at my old community studio. What I thought was interesting about your post was...use the heat from the kiln in the winter and turn it off. In the summer, let it run.

That is good advice.

So, they are made cheaply ah?? Not good. Another expense down the road I imagine.

BTW-your work is just incredible. Seeing those last pictures and the progression of your thinking and production was very, very exciting. Thank you.

Nancy
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#3 Nelly

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:21 AM


Dear RDWolf,

Mine is a vent master. I just checked. Interesting that they don't have fan?? I didn't know that. This is what I was told at my old community studio. What I thought was interesting about your post was...use the heat from the kiln in the winter and turn it off. In the summer, let it run.

That is good advice.

So, they are made cheaply ah?? Not good. Another expense down the road I imagine.

BTW-your work is just incredible. Seeing those last pictures and the progression of your thinking and production was very, very exciting. Thank you.

Nancy


Dear RD,

After I saw you use the term "direct drive," I went to google to find out what it meant. What I could ascertain is that this type of mechanism comes directly from the motor. No fan. The results are a quieter motor, increased "torc" and output but can breakdown faster according to the use of the mechanism. Note these were just a few of the things mentioned. It provided me enough information to get me started in my thinking about the my vent.

Perhaps whoever told me this (stop due to overworking the fan belt) was someone, like myself, who didn't know. We likely had to replace the vents frequently given the number of firings we did, so I can imagine that explanation seemed plausible. It did get me to remember to always ensure I paid attention the running of the fan. Last night was no exception.

Interesting how they can build these vents and make such a huge mark-up?? Should be a law against?? ;)

Thanks again and for the pictures that you sent.

Nelly


I think you meant belt, they all have a fan in them. It could be what you were told concerned some very old model.

They are all basically the same design, a motor with a fan and a housing, they probably have a squirrel cage type fan ( I havent looked) but some could have a bladed fan, either way does not require a belt- the fan blade or cage simply rides on the motor shaft itself, basically a modified version of this which shows the squirrel cage fan:

Posted Image

Oh yes, all of these types of vents are just cheaply made, mine came with the kiln, I looked up what the Orton vent kit costs to buy separately and laughed, it was close to $400 as I rememebr, for a cheap plastic housing with a little fan motor in it, some rubber hose and clamps. Anywhere else a fan like that couldn't be more than $49, I see STEEL fan units, on Amazon.com :

4" Squirrel Cage Blower Exhaust Fan 160CF'

Price: $129.99
  • includes adjustable damper.
  • 7.5" tall, 10" wide, and 7" deep.
Squirrel Cage Fans (180 CFM)
Price: $84.88

Posted Image




Anyway, thank you for the comments on my work.














#4 Diane Puckett

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:36 AM

I use a controlled cool program for glaze firing and was told to turn off the vent at about 1500 degrees. I am wondering if anyone has any feedback on that.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#5 bciskepottery

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

I turn my vent on when the firing starts; turn it off when cooling is done . . . ~150 degrees F. My kiln is inside the garage. I like the idea of bringing fresh air into the kiln during the cooling cycle. Maybe minimal savings to turning it off when the firing is done . . . the vent fan does not pull that much electricity.



#6 Denice

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:55 AM

I leave my fan on unless I am down firing, I don't have a digital kiln, I use a dual pyrometer set up and it's harder to control the downfire manually with the vent fan going. Denice




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