Posted by Lindsey Carroll on 2nd May 2015

How to Keep Your Kiln in Good Health

Perform the following maintenance to keep your kiln in fine working order.

For All Skutt Kilns: 

1. Vacuum the floor and element grooves regularly. Carefully vacuum around thermocouple and elements. Leave Kiln Master (KM) kilns plugged in when you are vacuuming to ground any static charges that may occur at the nozzle tip of the vacuum. Try to keep the vacuum away from the touchpad area as static can harm the controller. 

2. Inspect the plug and wall receptacle for any indication of excessive heat. Replace both plug and receptacle if necessary.

3. Tighten section, lid and slab bands by tightening the worm screws located on the back of the kiln. Hold the screw with a pair of pliers or channel locks while you are turning it to prevent breaking the weld that secures the worm screw to the band. You can get the bands very tight if you heat the band with a torch before you tighten the screws. The heat causes the band to expand and when it cools is shrinks and tightens around the brick. 

4. Tighten all of the hardware screws. This includes all of the handles, hinge assemblies, and lid brace components. As the kiln heats and cools it expands and contracts and can cause the screws to loosen over time. Be careful, over-tightening the screws can cause them to strip out the hole in the bands 

For Skutt Kiln Master (KM) Kilns:

1. Inspect the thermocouple for cracks or bends which could cause failure during firing. Check and tighten thermocouple screw connections at the porcelain block. The thermocouple electronic circuitry may drift out of calibration. You can monitor the performance of your kiln by placing a witness cone in the kiln during firing. If the controller needs adjustment, to fire hotter or cooler you can program a cone fire offset adjustment with the controller. Watch the following video to learn about replacing a thermocouple.

2. Inspect connections at the terminal strip. If any feeder wire or thermocouple connections are loose you can tighten the screws that hold the tabs with the tabs in the most counter-clockwise position possible. If the connectors are loose do not pinch the female connectors with a pliers, and instead replace the loose connectors. Pinching can distort and minimize the electrical contact area in the connector. 

3. KM1231-3PK and KM1227-3PK have screw type element connectors at the element ends that may need tightening periodically. 

For Kiln Sitter (KS) Kilns:

1. The tube assembly should be inspected and cleaned of any debris in the tube. The sensing rod should move freely in the tube. 

2. The sensing rod should be replaced if the tip is worn too thin or otherwise damaged. 

3. The falling weight and claw adjustments should be checked with the gauge washer periodically.

Information provided by Skutt.