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Evenheat 5320XL brick replacement?


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Hi all, I just purchased this kiln secondhand and wanted to get some opnions on this brick damage. I think it might need to be replaced because it looks shattered all the way through, but I can't exactly tell without taking things apart (which i'm not sure how to do yet). On that note, does anyone know what bricks fit in this kiln? Or would I have to get a custom one made from Evenheat or PSH? Thanks!

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Some believe if the elements won’t touch, pin them  and use it. For those that are handy, firebrick is easy to replace but entails removing the damaged section, wiring, likely new element and carefully putting the correct bricks in and carefully tightening and sanding the finished product. Still there are others that will buy a whole new ring (section) and replace it which also includes taking apart the wiring etc....

All three are good answers  with  the easiest (pinning) followed by the section and then individual brick being the most labor intense. I like changing the brick because I think it’s easy and dislike crumbling kilns, but it is laborious and tedious when it comes to damaging new brick while assembling.

There are several firebrick replacement videos on you tube you may enjoy watching.to get an idea. Kiln repair skills are a thing though, so no illusions, it’s not for everyone and there is a need for kiln techs.

If you go the brick route order the exact bricks that fit the kiln, straight brick, terminal brick, peep hole brick and thermocouple brick are the common distinguishing features. If an adjacent brick looks cracked, probably good to get it as during replacement it probably will fall apart. I would replace that or at least replace the whole section, but then again I would replace all the elements at that time as well. Just my preference on maintenance.

As far as custom brick, I would order the exact brick that fits that model kiln. Probably easiest to do that from Evenheat.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Pin it for now if you can get it to hold, then replace the bricks when it's time for  new elements. If pins won't hold it, then order new bricks from Evenheat. I'd try taking the old bricks out before ordering, in case you break the element and need to order a replacement. Sometimes you can get bricks out without hurting the elements, sometimes you can't. It all depends on how old and brittle the element is. 

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Just a quick word of caution, if you pin it, make sure your pins don’t go in so far as to touch the outside metal banding  of the kiln. This is true for all elements pinned as it will short the element to the metal shell of the kiln and often burn the element out at that point. This is generally difficult to due using reasonably sized pins so it is somewhat rare but I have seen this happen often with the brick damage you seem to have so I think it’s worth the caution.

Just carefully pin them without driving the pins so deep that they touch the outer metal shell.

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  • 1 month later...

As an update on this situation, the shattered brick is still pretty sturdy, but the brick underneath feels loose and close to crumbling. I've watched some kiln brick replacement videos but they are all for segmented kilns, which my 5320XL is not. I guess the only thing to do is pin what I can and do a test firing? At a bit of a loss here, but maybe I'm overthinking it. 

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You can tell by the photos that this kiln has been shifted or mishandled. It looks off plane a bit at the joints. I would use some kiln cement thinned (keep off elements)you can slip some paper or foil under/around very carefully  ,use a ear syringe or hypodermic syringe to spot the cement onto the loose lower bricks. Lighly spray with water from a mister 1st to wet bricks. Cement the loose ones pin the elements and let it dry out before test firing.Has this kiln been dropped or rough handled?

 

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1 hour ago, jlpots said:

At a bit of a loss here, but maybe I'm overthinking it. 

Pinning /  patching still an option. Personally I would set the kiln on a level base, remove the elements, remove the stainless skin. Remove the damaged brick. Reset everything plumb and level and put it all back together with new elements . A level base is key to putting this back in shape and keeping it plumb. Not the hardest thing to do, but definitely a chore. My reasoning: squaring up the shifting bricks will likely be impossible without removing the jacket.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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19 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

You can tell by the photos that this kiln has been shifted or mishandled. It looks off plane a bit at the joints. I would use some kiln cement thinned (keep off elements)you can slip some paper or foil under/around very carefully  ,use a ear syringe or hypodermic syringe to spot the cement onto the loose lower bricks. Lighly spray with water from a mister 1st to wet bricks. Cement the loose ones pin the elements and let it dry out before test firing.Has this kiln been dropped or rough handled?

 

Welp. I bought it second hand with all that damage already, & it recently made a trip across provinces, but it had insulating blankets inside and was securely packed in the back of a pickup truck. So the damage is from before I had it. I didn't realize it was in such bad shape...Any kiln techs in Nova Scotia? Removing the sleeve seems very intimidating.

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If it's all one outer jacket, you don't have to remove the entire jacket. If you do that you'll never get it back together.

If the jacket is held together with worm drive clamps, just loosen those up a bit and the bricks slide out. If the jacket tries to slide down, slide a couple putty knives between the wall bricks and floor or between the floor and kiln stand (depends on how it's built) to support the jacket. Only loosen the bottom clamps as much as needed as it will hold together better. Then start unstacking bricks to get to the ones you need to replace. It'll take a while and you may end up unstacking the whole kiln, but they go back together pretty easily.

If the jacket is just held together with screws, get a couple of ratchet straps and put them around the kiln, fairly snug, one a few inches down from the top and one a few inches up from the bottom. Put a screw through the straps into the jacket on the side opposite the joint in the jacket to keep them from sliding down when the pressure is loosened. Then remove the screws holding the jacket together from the top down, leaving the bottom screw in place. Then loosen the straps, top first, allowing the jacket to open up enough that the bricks can be removed. Only remove the very bottom screw(s) if you have to. You don't want the jacket to slide down. Put putty knives under it if needed. Once you've done all the brick work, tighten up the jacket with the ratchet straps, starting with the bottom and going back and forth from one to the other. Wiggle the bricks so they settle into round as you tighten. Then replace all the screws. They probably won't line up with the original, so you'll need to drill new holes. 3/32 drill bit and #6 screws, the more the merrier.

Either way, watch to make sure the holes in the jacket stay aligned with the holes in the bricks where the elements and sitter go through as you tighten up the outer jacket.

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