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Repairing a bulging kiln element

Fire the kiln to 01 or hotter occasionally. This will soften the elements and make them stay in their grooves. If an element is bulging out of a groove, perform the following procedure before firing the kiln to 01:

1. Unplug the kiln.

2. Elements that have been fired become brittle and will break if bent while cold. Using a propane torch (available from a home improvement store for about $20), heat the section of element that bulges out of the groove.

3. When the element becomes pliable, press the element coils together with long nose pliers. Make sure to leave a gap between the coils. They should not be pressed tightly enough to touch.

4. Work rapidly. At the first sign of stiffness in the coils, stop bending and reheat the element. Do not bend a stiff element.

5. To expand an element to fit into the corners, reverse the above procedure and expand the distance between coils using snap-ring pliers.

6. When the element is positioned above the groove, heat the element again and press it into the groove with a blunt kitchen knife.

7. Fire the kiln to 01 or hotter. This will soften the elements and make them stay in their grooves.

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