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Repairing a Bulging Sidewall Element

Elements that bulge out of a sidewall brick groove should be pushed back into the groove. It is not difficult as long as you first heat the element. If you push it back in place while it is cold, the element will break.

You will need a propane torch, which is available at home improvement centers. Be sure the kiln area is free of flammable materials, such as paint, gasoline, lawn mowers, etc. When the propane torch is on, do not reach for tools or do anything that would take your attention away from the torch.

First, unplug the kiln or disconnect the power to the kiln. Heat the element with the propane torch. When the bulging element section turns dull red, squeeze the individual turns in the coils together slightly with needle-nose pliers. Take a little from each turn so that no two turns will be pressed tightly enough to touch.

As the element shrinks, work it back toward the groove and into place. Work rapidly. At the first sign of stiffness in the coils, stop bending and reheat the element with the propane torch. The elements do not have to be red to be bent safely, as the stiffening can be felt through the pliers.

If the element has popped out from a corner, you will need to expand the distance between the coils to make the element go back into the corner. Use snap-ring pliers, which are available from an auto parts store.

When you have the coils positioned above the brick groove, heat the element again and press it down into the groove with a blunt kitchen knife.

The next time you replace elements, push them all the way to the back of the brick groove corners. This will help prevent the elements from bulging out of the grooves.

With best wishes,

Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. - Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 /

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