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milksnake12

Electric Kiln Ventilation

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Hello! 
I am considering putting a kiln into a basement room in my house. This room is just a normal bedroom with no ventilation to the outside. Does an electric kiln require ventilation? If so, would installing something like a bathroom fan above it be sufficient?

Thanks!

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If the garage is attached to the house, putting it there will be only marginally better than the basement.  You're still going to need a vent to keep the fumes from creeping into the house.  IF it's a detached garage, that is well ventilated, you might be safe without a powered vent - but there are still reasons you might want/need to have one.

A search for kiln vent in the "Equipment Use & Repair" section will turn up several threads discussing different types/methods of venting kilns, and kiln-rooms.  (The two are not necessarily the same function.)

And remember:  For any type of exhaust fan to be effective, you will also need a way for fresh air to get into the room  - one that will let in at-least as much air as you're pushing out.   An exhaust fan is just a noise maker if there's no air coming in, to replace what's being pushed out.

 

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What threw me off is I've been watching a lot of pottery videos online and see people opening kilns in attached garages and back rooms and I've never seen any kind of ventilation in place. 

Should ventilation be running the whole time a kiln is on? Bisque and glaze?

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A lot of kilns use down-draft vents, that attach to the bottom of the kiln.  You won't see those in a kiln-opening video, because the camera is aimed at the top of the kiln.

The other type of vent is an overhead hood, that is usually either mounted on moveable arm or hung from above on a cable & pulley system.  It's directly above the kiln while firing - but moved out of the way before opening the kiln.

How long the vent runs depends a little on which type, and whether you're using it only to exhaust fumes - or if you want it to help remove heat as well.   (The same question is also a key factor in deciding which type of vent to use.)

 

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If you put the kiln in the garage, the fumes from the kiln will leave particles on everything in the garage, and can mess up the paint on your car. So at the very least you need to pull the car out, and you'll need to leave the garage door cracked and probably a fan moving air to get any sort of venting action. That can be limiting in the winter (if you have winter where you live). If you have a window in the garage, having a box fan in the window blowing out would help a lot, but you'd still need to crack the door to bring in fresh air. Even in the garage, and especially if it's an attached garage, I would use a downdraft vent, which will do a great job of removing fumes, improve the brightness of your glazes, and extend the life of your elements. If you decide to put the kiln in the house, I recommend a Vent-A-Kiln hood, which will pull out fumes and remove excess heat from the kiln. You'll still need a source of fresh air, which could be as simple as cracking a window on the other side of the room.

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Yes!

A lot of our oxides are volatile at the temps we fire to.  If a glaze, clay or slip has some fluorine in it, it will create hydrofluoric acid vapor that will etch glass even.  The fumes from firing are pretty undeniably the most hazardous thing we will experience as potters.

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