Changing Kiln Elements - Kilns & Furnaces

Changing Kiln Elements

Overview

Changing kiln elements is a crucial maintenance task to ensure optimal performance. While we recommend this be done by a qualified Kilns and Furnaces engineer or an electrician, we have designed our kilns to simplify the process for competent individuals. Here’s a comprehensive guide for both front loader and top loader kilns.

 

General Guidelines

  • – We advise replacing the entire set of elements when they are nearing the end of their life.
  • – Mixing new and old elements can reduce the overall lifespan, akin to using a new battery alongside old ones.

 

For Front and Top Loading Kilns

Note: If you need instructions on accessing the sub frames and electrical components, please send us a photograph for further advice.

 

Removing Old Elements

Step 1 – Ensure the kiln is unplugged or power is isolated. Confirm with a tester that there is no power.

Step 2 Remove the panel for access to element connections.

Step 3 Unscrew the electrical connection block where the element tail goes into and the connector adjoining the next element. Cut free tails. If this will not unscrew then the connector needs to be cut-off and a new connector fitted.

Step 4 From inside the kiln chamber, pull the element free, removing old pins if necessary.

Step 5 For burnt-out elements, remove any molten material or shale in the brickwork groove to prevent damage to the new element.

Step 6 Clean the groove thoroughly (any debris left in the groove will cause the new element to fail).

 

Fitting New Elements

Step 1 – Adjust the new element using long pin nose pliers to ensure a snug fit into the chamber groove (bear in mind the element is ductile at this stage).

Step 2 – Push the element tails through small holes from inside the kiln into the electrical chamber.

Step 3 – Reconnect tails to relevant connectors.

Step 4 – Place the hairpin or U-end into the groove, working the rest of the element into place. It should be a push/compression fit.

Step 5 – Use an MΩ test meter to ensure the element is not touching any body structure.

Step 6 – Pin the elements in place using clean old pins or order new ones from us.

Step 7 – Check all wiring for safety, ensuring wires are away from hot surfaces.

Step 8 – Reconnect or turn on the kiln at the isolator and perform relevant electrical tests.

 

 

Important Note

  • – Elements are flexible until fired, after which they become extremely fragile.
  • – It’s our practice to take new elements up to 1,000°C before firing for optimal performance by creating a stable oxide layer.

 

For any questions or further assistance, contact Kilns and Furnaces at sales@kilns.co.uk or visit www.kilns.co.uk/contact-us.

K&F replacement kiln elements image.