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Any suggestions for getting the longest life out of heating elements in a ceramic kiln?

1) Contaminants from the clay can reduce element life. Use a downdraft kiln vent to remove fumes from the firing chamber.

2) Keep ware 1” – 2” away from the elements. When the ware is too close, glaze can spatter onto an element. The ware can also reflect heat back onto an element, raising the element temperature and shortening the element life.

3) Vacuum the kiln regularly with the brush nozzle of a vacuum cleaner. Remove brick dust from the element grooves.

4) Fire only dry greenware. Elements work harder to evaporate the moisture in greenware.

5) Repair elements that bulge outside the groove. To shrink a bulging element back into a groove, unplug the kiln. Heat the element with a propane torch. The element will become red-hot. While it is hot, squeeze the coils together slightly with needle-nose pliers. This should shrink the element back into the groove. Do not squeeze the element coils if the element becomes cold. Moving a cold element will break it.

6) If an element is bulging out due to broken grooves, then you should hold the element in place with element pins after you shrink the element back into place.

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