March 5, 2014

Guest Blogger: Rob Haugen of Olympic Kilns

Installing a New Electric Kiln – Part 1

Safety Considerations

Before Installation there are many things to consider before installing your new electric kiln. Actually, there are many things you should consider before BUYING a new kiln including amount of space, ventilation capability and electrical supply. Assuming that all of those factors are accounted for, the next concern is how to go about installing it. Where should you put your new kiln, and what are the things you need to be concerned about in terms of safety? Good questions! Let’s dive right in.

The first thing to take into account is space. Obviously you should have a space that’s big enough to accommodate your kiln but there needs to be at least 12 inches of space between the kiln and the wall. It’s a safety precaution but it will also help you access the back of the kiln for servicing. In fact, if you can give it an even wider berth, do it. It’s definitely better to have a kiln in a wide open room alone than shoved in a cramped space.

Next, you should absolutely remove anything flammable from around the kiln. Typically this goes without saying but it’s not uncommon to accidentally leave something flammable, like a shirt, near the kiln. Take time to make sure that your environment is safe and free of clutter.

Now that the kiln is in the room (away from the wall by at least 12 inches) you need to ensure proper ventilation. As the kiln gets hotter during the firing process, the room it’s housed in will also get hotter. It’s the same effect as if you were in your kitchen. Hot stove equals hot room. For a gas kiln, it’s essential that an exhaust hood be placed above the kiln to remove heat and gases like carbon monoxide. Even if you are going to install it outside, make sure that your gas kiln meets all local regulations in terms of ventilation. If you are unsure about proper ventilation, contact an electrician or other expert to guide you. You’re dealing with heat and fire so it’s definitely a case of “better safe than sorry”.

Your kiln is now placed in an appropriate area, free of clutter and set up with proper ventilation. It’s time to get down to the actual operation of the kiln.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Installing a New Electric Kiln to learn about electrical requirements and how to stay safe once the kiln goes live.

Rob Haugen grew up with Olympic Kilns, following in his father's footsteps by providing electric, gas, and glass kilns. He works tirelessly everyday cultivating a deeper understanding of the ceramics industry and developing the Olympic Kilns.  Come by Booth #424 at NCECA and see the complete line of Olympic Kilns.