Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate the suggestions. My partner and I normally only do shows within like a 40 mile radius of home, and nothing near as big as this one, that's why we're a little high strung about it. I think we've decided for now to just stick with our general liability insurance, even though it doesn't protect our ware, and in the event that some catastrophe befalls it we'll cross that bridge then (you know,by weeping mostly). Sounds like everything else is just such a gamble as to whether it would be covered anyway. Eep, big shows!
Okay, so 4 or so firings later, and I'm still no closer to solving this mystery.
Everything is still attached correctly. I even uninstalled the duct and used a shorter more direct route from kiln to vent.
Seems to stank up my house even when there is no wind.
Holding a match over the lid holes, I do see the flame being pulled in a bit, and when I go outside there is a lit of air being blown out the vent.
Anybody have any other suggestions? Do I just call skutt and try to troubleshoot? At this point I'm really frustrated because I spent $400 and got this thing, and my house still smells like death by cancer. :/
All the peephole plugs were in. I'll try checking with a match when I get home (kiln is off now, but the vent is still running). I guess it could be the wind interfering with it. I dont remember what the weather was like when I first noticed the problem.
Another thought- does how the kiln is packed make a difference in the vent's functionality?