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Electric firing costs


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I have done some searches and I cannot find any threads onthis subject. If you know of one pleasejust point me toward that.

 

I am trying to figure out the cost of firing an electrickiln (for bisque)and I found this easy to follow formula on the Olympic Kilnssite.

 

(Amps X volts if 220 -240just use 230 /1000 ) X (firing time in hours X.6) X cost in kilowatts fromelectric bill = firing costs.

 

 

So here is what I came up with does this sound right.

 

Amps = 48

 

Volts = 240 so I will use 230 as formula stated

 

Firing time = 8 hour for bisque (it may be longer, but thought 8 hours was a good middle ground)

 

Power cost = 12.1 cents

 

SO it looks like this

 

(48 X230 / 1000) X (8 X.6) X .121 = $6.62

 

That seems awfully low to me. The kiln is a Skutt 1227 anyone use this sameformula and does this look right?

 

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The cost may be a little higher, depending on how you figured your electric costs. There's a lot of fees and whatnot that go into your bill that you may or may not have calculated into the actual price. But even so, it's cheap to fire electric kilns, usually under $10. This is why fiddling around with adding insulation and all that stuff isn't worth your time. Just sell an extra mug every month and you come out ahead of anything you can do to reduce the firing cost, with the exception of loading it more efficiently.

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The cost may be a little higher, depending on how you figured your electric costs. There's a lot of fees and whatnot that go into your bill that you may or may not have calculated into the actual price. But even so, it's cheap to fire electric kilns, usually under $10. This is why fiddling around with adding insulation and all that stuff isn't worth your time. Just sell an extra mug every month and you come out ahead of anything you can do to reduce the firing cost, with the exception of loading it more efficiently.

 

 

It is indeed "cheap to fire electric kilns!"

It is also cheap to buy an electric kiln. With all the "bells and whistles" the latest 6.7 cu. ft. L&L lists at $3000. 10 cu. ft. will run you another $500.

Now, calculate the retail/wholesale dollars a single kiln load will bring in! The numbers will vary, but I can say that I could "afford" to replace my kilns about once a month. Sometimes, once a week!

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The cost may be a little higher, depending on how you figured your electric costs. There's a lot of fees and whatnot that go into your bill that you may or may not have calculated into the actual price. But even so, it's cheap to fire electric kilns, usually under $10. This is why fiddling around with adding insulation and all that stuff isn't worth your time. Just sell an extra mug every month and you come out ahead of anything you can do to reduce the firing cost, with the exception of loading it more efficiently.

 

 

It is indeed "cheap to fire electric kilns!"

It is also cheap to buy an electric kiln. With all the "bells and whistles" the latest 6.7 cu. ft. L&L lists at $3000. 10 cu. ft. will run you another $500.

Now, calculate the retail/wholesale dollars a single kiln load will bring in! The numbers will vary, but I can say that I could "afford" to replace my kilns about once a month. Sometimes, once a week!

 

 

I would be happy to sell you a kiln every month.biggrin.gif

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Electric kilns really are cheap to buy and run. You should be able to get 10 to 20 years out of a kiln if you take good care of it, even if you're firing 4 times a week. If you break down the cost over that time, they are ridiculously cheap. If you fire one full glaze load a week, and sell it all, you can pay off the kiln in a month.

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As an FYI for comparisons ..... New Hampshire electric rates work out to about $0.17 per Kilowatt Hour.

 

best,

 

.........................john

 

 

I was paying $0.14 per KWH in Montana in 2006 and in South Texas I am paying $0.09 1/2 per KWH

It really varies quite a bit across the country.

 

Marcia

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You should be able to get 10 to 20 years out of a kiln if you take good care of it, even if you're firing 4 times a week.

 

 

Does anyone have any advice as to how to take good care of my gently used, but new-to-me, kiln?

 

 

 

Yes.

 

Get an operation manual from the manufacturer of your kiln.

 

 

 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the care and maintenance of their product.

 

 

 

Keep the interior vacuumed.

 

 

 

Be sure to keep your shelves kiln washed.

 

 

 

Do not do salt and soda firing in your electric kiln.

 

 

 

And this you will likely not find in the manual- Do not lean on the kiln when loading and unloading it will weaken the brick construction.

 

 

 

That is all I can think of right now.

 

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I have an old Skutt 181. When I figured what a firing cost I use the highest wattage rate so I feel I'm being very generous on what it costs to fire it. Our electrical rate in our area is inexpensive compared to other areas, I don't know the rate right offhand. But, it costs less than $4.00 for glaze fire a load.

 

Bob

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Great tips, thanks!

 

 

Sawing;

One thing that you can do which Lucille did not mention-great advice by the way, but you can turn your shelves over for each firing. This prevents warping. I don't do this myself, as I am the only one firing my kilns.

TJR:

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Great tips, thanks!

 

 

Sawing;

One thing that you can do which Lucille did not mention-great advice by the way, but you can turn your shelves over for each firing. This prevents warping. I don't do this myself, as I am the only one firing my kilns.

TJR:

 

 

Thanks, TJR. In the studio at school, they only used one side of the shelves so I assumed that was how it was done. Since I am the only one firing in my home studio, should I stick to the one side?

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Turning your kiln washed shelves over can flake off the wash on to your firing vessels or on to the elements. Kiln wash flaking on to a bisque firing may not cause much damage but when you have a glaze fire it can be a disaster. So you can always completely remove the kiln wash. But don't turn those kiln washed shelves over your glaze firing ware.

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I opened up a red herring here. Is that a mixed metaphor? I meant only for bisquing. I also don't use kiln wash, so I don't have this problem, and my glazes don't run. Forget I said anything. Too many cooks!

Tom.[TJR]

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TJR

Folks will think they should flip the whole kiln thats outrageous turning things upside down-whats next high fire clay tougher than low fire-we have to draw some lines in the sand about this somewhere-What if some guy said he heard that flipping the shelves on the internet kept you from aging.

OK all in jest I could not help myself .Only kidding.

Hey on a lighter note we call them gutters around here-I have only heard evetroughs used in Canada on the Mike Holmes show (do it right). Here we need them as it rains about 4-5 feet per year.

Mark

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