Friday, April 29, 2016

Firing an Empty Kiln vs. Firing a Full Kiln / Kiln Tune-UP


My electric kiln is 10 years old and the thermocouples had never been replaced.  Last year I started making thermocouple adjustments to account for drift. So, when my elements wore-out I figured it was time for a little tune-up.


Cone results PRIOR to tune-up.
Kind of wack-a-do.

John and I replaced the elements, thermocouples, relays and 2 power terminals that had crumbled.   I ran an ^04 slow bisque to burn-in the elements.  Then I ran an empty ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire to confirm that the kiln was firing in the ballpark of my target temp.  

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test-fire 
of EMPTY kiln after tune-up.  

The Empty test-fire was a little warm, but still in the ballpark of ^5.5. 

Next, I fired a ^5.5 slow glaze test-fire loaded with pottery.

Cone results for ^5.5 Glaze test fire 
of FULLY LOADED kiln after tune-up.

The load fired on the hot side of ^5.5.  I'm going to make thermocouple adjustments to slightly cool all 3 sections.  Next glaze fire should be perfecto.

If you have ever asked the question.. Does an empty kiln fire hotter or cooler than a fully loaded kiln?   According to my testing, the results were very similar.

I probably should have titled this post "Tales of a Witness Cone Nerd".