Jump to content

Setting An Electric Kiln Outside


Recommended Posts

I am contemplating where to set an old electric kiln (Dawson Model LT-3K, exterior dimension 30"H x 25" W) that I'm going to get this Sunday. I initially planned to set it in my porch (the floor is concrete), enclosed the area, and pull a 240-volt electric wire there. However, l just learned that I would need a building permit to enclose a part of the porch. I would need to hire a licensed contractor to obtain the permit. I have already contacted a licensed electrician to do the wiring, but if possible, I do not want to hire a licensed contractor. What will be the best solution?

 

I may have to set the kiln in the porch without an enclosure. Could you suggest how I could protect the kiln from possible damage due to hash weather? (I live in South Dakota.) 

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Yoko

Link to post
Share on other sites

In most parts of the country an owner can pull his/her own building and electrical permits and do the work themselves as long as its to code.

 

As an alternative to enclosing the porch an owner can almost always, without a permit, build non-dwelling small building without a permit as well. In cities this is often 120-200 feet and in rural areas it may go up to 400 feet. My area is 400 feet. Just did both and no one had an issue with it. You could also order a small shed from home depot/Lowes type place and use that if your not up to building one yourself. The electrician will pull the permit for his part if he does the wiring.

 

here's a great link for easy plans for small/large out buildings:

http://www.just-sheds.com/

 

of course you could just toss a blue tarp over it when not in use but what fun is that.

 

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Stephen. When I called the city office, the man who answered my call was adamant that I had to hire not a friend but a licensed contractor. I did look into an option of putting the kiln in a detached shed I have. As the ground between the house and the shed is covered in concrete, an electrician had to pull an overhead wire. As the shed has no electricity, I may need to pull more than 50-amp electricity to it, so that I can turn on a light there. (The kiln requires 50 amp.) The electrician I contacted is going to give me the estimate.

 

Otherwise I'm thinking of setting the kiln in the porch and building a box with wheels to cover it. I can pull the box out when I want to use the kiln.

 

I will have to change the current fuse box to a circuit breaker in order to connect the kiln to it. You know how expensive that can be. I want to minimize additional expenses, but to come up with a solution to protect the kiln. Is covering it with a tarp good enough?

Link to post
Share on other sites

( I have already contacted a licensed electrician to do the wiring,)

Have the licensed electrician do the wiring  set the kiln and later just do a partial inclosed area on porch

If you want you can get your own permit to do this is you must but a partial enclosure most likley needs no permit.

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

A partial enclosure seems a good idea. I was going to install old storm windows and an old hollow door in the porch, but I can eliminate the door. Thank you, Mark.

 

I don't know anything about building codes. I wished the city worker I talked to could have explained to me better. I googled the definition of "partially enclosed" buildings. It was confusing to me, but as long as the opening is more than 10% of the porch wall, it seems fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a old Kress kiln I kept outside and all I ever did was wrap it with tarps and attach bungees around it. The only problem I had was making sure it was wrapped tight around the bottom to keep the mice out. I used it that way for ten years,without a problem, until I moved.

 

P.S

 

You must live in some uptight community is it is not enough to allow a home owner to build to code... sounds like the contractors there have purchased the local politicians.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Stephen and Bob.

 

Bob, I have never thought rodents could be a problem for a kiln. That means even if I make a partial enclosure, I may have to cover the kiln with a box or something.

 

Does rain or snow weaken fire bricks if it gets in a kiln?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you buy a new high quality tarp every year you should be OK. It is pretty hard to keep a tarp from leaking for any length of time.

 

Dawson Model LT-3K is the kiln sitter, your kiln is probably made by someone else. With the dimensions you have given, you may be able to get a plastic 55 gallon drum without a lid that would fit right over the kiln with a little modification.

 

If your kiln gets wet, dry it before you fire the kiln.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Mug and g-bus. I got the kiln today. It is sitting on my porch with a tarp around it. When my friend comes tomorrow, we are going to discuss options on how to protect it, including "temporary" walls, a plastic drum, etc.

 

I have two more questions now. A potter friend suggested I put fire bricks under the kiln legs in order to protect the concrete. Is it necessary? He said since the kiln does not have an exhaust fan at the bottom, the underneath can get very hot. There is 18" clearance between the kiln and the porch walls (made of wood). Is it enough for safety? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most kilns have a metal stand does yours?If its a yes and has legs and holds the kiln up about 8 inches you are fine without bricks.

if not then you will need space between cement and kiln floor-some cinder blocks and soft bricks will work.

18 inches will work on side but a sheet of tile board (wonder board or duro rock) will be a little extra protection over the wood held in with afew screws.

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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