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Time/cost estimate for replacing kiln elements?


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Hi All,

 

I bought a new Skutt 818 kiln in January and unfortunately got the wrong elements for the voltage of my building; therefore, they are already worn out and I need to replace them.

 

I ordered the necessary parts directly from (and in consultation with) Skutt: 4 elements total. The only thing that needs to happen is having the existing elements removed and the new ones put in.

 

I am consulting with some kiln repair people in my area and I am getting pretty different time estimates. One guy said 1-2 hours and another said 4-5 hours. Given that labor here runs from $80-$120/hr, I’m seeking some guidance from the hive mind about what is reasonable.

 

I’m new to owning a kiln and have never replaced elements before. I just assumed it was too technical to do myself, but at these prices I’m wondering if I should try.

 

How long should it take a professional to swap out elements in this fairly small kiln?

 

thanks!

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@JRW 4-5 hours? That's insane! If it needed 4-5 hours of work it would be in such bad condition that it should be thrown in the dumpster. You can do them yourself in less time than that, even if you've never done it before. A kiln that size should bill one hour. If you've never done it before it may take twice as long, however it's not all that difficult and there are online videos if you're feeling handy.

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I do it myself, but a friend has hers done by the kiln techs from our local pottery store and the cost is 400 including parts and labor.  She has a 818 as well.  So if you remove the cost of the elements, pins and connectors, that's around 200ish for labor?  Seems expensive to me, but we live in the Seattle area which is very expensive in general.

I recently changed the elements in my 14cuft oval kiln and it took me about 3 hours.  Not too bad.

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