Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chantay

New Smell With Firing

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Looking for some help. Firing my kiln today, doing something new. Doing a programmed ramp and cool down. After 250 degrees I am ramping at 500 degrees an hour to 1978 degrees (farenhieght). My kiln vent is on and appears to be working properly. The only other difference is the kiln is loaded with three new glazes. I have thoroughly tested the glazes, just never done a load of just the new glazes. Firing to a top temp of 2225. Using a cone 6 red clay, same as usual.

 

The problem, the studio smells, really strongly. It is a normal firing smell as in my previous place I fired in an open garage. I pulled out my respirator and am wearing it to check the kiln. Luckily the smell isn't penetrating to the rest of the house. Any ideas? My only thought is I am using glazes made with Alberta Slip. Could it be possible it has a lot of organics in it?

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Chantay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your smelling fumes with a vent, the vent isn't working correctly, or your have draft blowing fumes back in. There should be no fumes smells at all with a down draft system. I work in my studio when I am firing my kiln and I never smell anything. I guess there could be exceptions, but ideally I don't see how fumes could escape under negative pressure.

 

Do you have a window open nearby? Or is there a chance the wind is blowing back against your vent?

 

I would try increasing the vents pull and see if that helps. Also go around the vent areas with a lighter and see if your getting the flame to pull in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alberta Slip's Loss on Ignition number is quite high, at 9.2 as compared to, say, red art that has a 4.8. So I would venture that organics could be a factor. It kind of has its own smell in the bucket. Not mouldy, just...different.

I agree that looking to see if your vent has enough air to exchange with the outside world is a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few months ago I started getting all sorts of nasty fumes and vapors floating around my kiln room every time I fired. Initially I thought that the fan in my downdraft vent had gone, it was fine, then I checked the duct work from the kilns and the connections to the kilns all were fine. A lit match held up to the peepholes showed tat I was indeed still getting a downdraft in both of my kilns. It turned out to be a fauly in the connection between the fan and the outside wall. It seems that that was just far enough away from the heat source to allow water to re-condense, and this had settled in that duct work and corroded it away. A temporary fix was made with aluminum duct tape. I'll have to replace that connection eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my large kiln is fully packed I can get some odor with a bisque firing even though the vent is working.  I do have problems with the wind blowing back into the vent, I live in a windy state and in an area with no buildings and few trees to block it.  Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are your peep hole plugs in?

 

When this firing is over, check to make sure that the holes in the bottom of the kiln aren't blocked, then check the entire air path to make sure nothing is blocking the flow, and check the ductwork for holes.

 

If it's an L&L vent, you can adjust the slider on the collection box under the kiln. Close it up about 1/16" at a time and see if that helps.

 

Do you have holes in the lid? Most kilns do not really need holes in the lid, since there are enough gaps in the kiln to provide air flow, but I found that my 18" kiln is so tight that I did need to put a hole in the lid. Small lids don't raise up as much as big lids, so it just wasn't getting the air flow needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Neil on the holes at first I didn't think I needed holes on my  big Skutt but I did some research and decided it wouldn't hurt to have them.  Even with a old leaky kiln the vent pulled my match flames down into the holes.    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Neil on the holes at first I didn't think I needed holes on my  big Skutt but I did some research and decided it wouldn't hurt to have them.  Even with a old leaky kiln the vent pulled my match flames down into the holes.    Denice

 

Ditto, I ended up making two holes, and I still get suction through both. I fire a pretty dark body though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a vent. But maybe, something got in and block the outlet. Maybe? Could be a bird or something. I hope not, but I'd check. Hopefully it isn't. Can you hear the motor running? Try some smoke in the kiln and turn the vent on to see if it's taking it in. That's all I got.  :unsure:  Best of luck, Chantay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the replies.

 

I looked the vent over and found nothing broken or out of place. I have decided that the smell was due to a lack of air flow plus the increase in organics.  Half of the Alberta slip was calcined but still to much organics.  During the firing at around 1100F I slid a plug partly out to let a little more air in.  The smell immediately improved.  By the time the kiln hit 1500F the smell was gone.  I don't have a hole in my kiln.  I have a homemade exhaust vent that uses the bottom plug hole with a modified plug.  It has worked great till this firing.  This is the first firing I have had 2/3 of the pots with the alberta slip glaze.

 

Planning on moving again in the near future.  Will plan to modify vent at that time with a hole in the bottom for vent exhaust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old lady,

 

No. I have been using the same wax, out of the same bag, for over a year. I use soy wax. Far as I can tell it has no order when burning. I even heated some up to boiling. Apparently the flags point is 450 degrees and my skillet doesn't get that hot.

Hey me too. I use soy wax. It burns cleaner I think. But if you wax pots and leave em on the shelf in a garage, the critters nibble it off, lol. How cute. I am feeding them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.