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Kiln Ventilation

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Forgive me for all the questions. I am rather new to the ceramic world. Recently, the high school I teach at had a new kiln installed. The maintenance crew has a difficult time listening to me if anyone has ever worked at a school they understand what I mean. Our kilns are located in a large closet space. I know that is not ideal but it is what we have. We do have the envirovent ventilation system however they used steel pipping and it began to corrode after about two months. I finally convinced them to put PVC pipe in. Now, every time I turn around the vibration of the vent is jarring the pipes loose at any joints. I have asked them to glue them into place over the summer break. My question is.... how much carbon monoxide is produce from an electric kiln during an average firing of greenware at 04 and glazeware at 05?  Yesterday, the pipes came apart again and a member of my team went a little over board and told my boss we needed to evacuate the building because of carbon monoxide poisoning, so now I am trying to put out fires around here with my colleagues and bosses. Thanks in advance.

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You may want to try utilizing a Vent-A-Kiln system. Not only will it take out any type of fume that is giving off it will also take away the excess heat that radiates from the kiln itself during firing.


Good luck!



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I fired a kiln in a HS within a large room and had wall fan for exhaust. That said, a 1998 study states


Custom designed exhaust hoods and industrial heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems were the most effective ventilation strategies. Passive diffusion and wall/window fans were least effective.

Site summary is here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9794068


the pipes in your system are probably rattling from some form of motor vibration (fan?) The kiln ventilation systems have fans secured in them and usually use a flex hose to an wall connection. There would be no vibration. I highly recommend that you look into that route for your kiln, as others have said.

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Guest JBaymore

Your issues are typically long term chronic exposures, not acute exposures.  Not much CO produced.  More SOx.


It is very simple to answer this question.  Get a Nighthawk digital readout carbon monoxide detector.  Put it in the kiln room.  Fire withouit the fan working at all or with the pipe enptying into th room.  Watch the digital readings.


If you CAN.... try to find an old Nighthawk sitting on the shelves of a smaller hardware store.  The newer untis have the sensitivity dropped so that the low level readouts are not as sensitive as they used to be.  But still good enough for that you are doing.


End of "hypothetical" discussion.  Then you'll KNOW the issue or not.


You can also get professional air sampling.... maybe $500 to do.  Overkill in this case.


Every kiln room should have a CO detector mounted in there anyway... particularly in a SCHOOL....... so this is not a wasted expense.





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if I understand it correct , your problem is just the carbon monoxide

in my company this problem comes from non complete oxidation

so you need to increase the amount of oxygen in the kiln within temperature 800°C to ensure complete oxidation of carbon into carbon dioxide

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