Well, the kiln is back up and running! After the little hiccup with a couple of elements not working, I finally got the new parts and have replaced them in the kiln. I just finished the initial test firing and everything looks hunky-dory!
When I found out a couple elements stopped working, I decided to replace all the elements and the switches in the kiln. I figured they haven’t even been looked at in the entire life of the kiln and it was overdue on maintenance. I was pleased to find parts were fairly cheap and easy to put it. The new elements went in pretty easily, although the bottom element get a bit tricky when you don’t have a lot of arm length (like me).
The switches were also very easy to replace – just unplug the old ones and insert the new ones. It took a little adjustment to get the dials on the front of the kiln to line up, but I think I got them set pretty well.
I replaced the kiln sitter and fired up the kiln tonight, and everything works like new! The kiln smoked a bit at the beginning, burning of some oils and dust, but after that ran like normal. The kiln needed to be fired empty to cone 05 (1900 degrees F) to allow the elements to oxidize to protect them from the gases released from firing pieces. Now that I have done that, I am ready to start working on the backlog of pieces ready to be fired. Woowheeee!