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Need Advice Quickly About Cold Weather/kiln Operation


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#1 DirtRoads

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:42 PM

The coldest weather I've seen with my kilns is around 25 degrees (F).  Kilns are enclosed carport with no wind blowing in .  In 25 degrees coldest room gets is about 40 degrees.  

 

Expecting a low of 11 degrees.  What temperature do I need to run kilns?  Seems like I read room temp needs to be 32 degrees (F).   What are the guidelines?

 

Kiln schedule is

 

Bisque kiln firing Monday morning - Outside Temp expected to be around 20 degrees

Glaze kiln firing Monday night - Outside Temp  15 degrees dropping to around 11degrees

Bisque kiln firing Tuesday night-  Outside Temp around 30 degees

Glaze kiln firing Wednesday morning Temperatures 35/47 .... back to normal

 

Should I just skip firing on those 2 days?



#2 Chilly

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:45 PM

What do your kiln and controller manuals say?  My controller says storage temp of -20 to +50 deg C, with an operating temp of 0 to 50 deg C.  (From memory)


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#3 DirtRoads

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

Thanks Chilly.  It says "in cold weather raise the temperature of the kiln's switch box to at least 32 degrees (F) (0 degrees C) before operating with a space heater." (its 0 to 50 C like yours)

 

So as long as it's 32 degrees on controller temperature, you can fun kiln.   I suppose that once kiln starts, temperature will keep rising and ambient temperature in room has no effect?     Can't imagine these low temperatures wouldn't affect the kiln's firing  but  it seems it's only the temperature on the controller that matters?



#4 Chilly

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:28 PM

I ran mine when overnight low was predicted to be 3 deg C,  My kiln is in a greenhouse! The minimum inside temperature that night was 14 deg C and the max was about 20.  Windows were open for ventilation and power cable entry, so I guess the heat from the kiln will keep the controller warmer than otherwise.  Good luck.


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#5 bciskepottery

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:35 PM

You need the controller temperature to be above freezing . . . so the electronics (thermocouples, relays, etc) work properly. Once kiln gets going, the controller box will stay warm. Your controller is a computer; it doesn't work well in extremes. So, it might be good to have a heater on at the controller level for a pre-firing warm up and then during the initial firing schedule. Similar to folks using a fan to keep the controller from overheating during summer and hot days.

#6 akin4843

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:14 AM

what about if your kiln is an old manual one with no digital controller (like mine)? does the warming up still apply?



#7 neilestrick

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

For manual kilns you do not need to heat it up. However you may want to put a space heater there to make loading less awful.


Neil Estrick
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#8 akin4843

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:37 AM

For manual kilns you do not need to heat it up. However you may want to put a space heater there to make loading less awful.

Haha, true! Thanks...



#9 DarrellVanDrooly

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:50 PM

I don't know what my kiln manual says, but I fire in Colorado blizzards (down to -20 degrees) and my kilns do just fine.

 

Darrel


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#10 hershey8

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:20 AM

I was worried because it will be about 5 degrees here in north Georgia in the morning. My manual kiln (Kiln sitter) just turned off and is in cool down mode with all peeps in place. My basement my hit the 40's by morning. But this sounds mild compared to Colorado. My Skutt has 2 1/2 inch thick bricks. Will this temperature make things cool too fast?  Right now basement is about 60 f.

 

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