20th July 2021 | Hobbyist
Investing in a home-kiln is exciting. However, this decision should be considered carefully, with thought and planning. Our trained team of technicians can help with any questions or queries you may have. But before you decide on a kiln, there are a few things to consider.
Before anything else, you need to be able to get your kiln to your desired location. It’s important to consider the path our team will take to transport your kiln. Considering any steps, narrow doorways, or entries.
Hobbyist top-loading kilns release their heat from all sides, top and bottom. Therefore your flooring needs to be able to withstand the heat given off. Concrete or strong tile is ideal. Whereas carpets or laminate aren’t suitable. But if you don’t have suitable flooring, this can be created. You’ll need to lay 1-2 inch thick concrete slabs, or ceramic floor tiles on a flat surface. Ensuring these cover at least the footprint of your kiln.
Most at-home kilns are located in garages, basements, and outside buildings. As these tend to have suitable flooring and space. But the temperature of the room should also be considered. All modern kilns have controllers, which display error codes if they get too hot or cold. If they do get either too hot or cold, they can stop working.
When in a room, kilns must be at least 12’’/ 30cm away from other kilns and walls. There should also be at least 36’’/ 1m clearance above the kiln to ceiling. Having enough space for your kiln is vital.
It is safe to operate a kiln between 0-40 degrees celsius. However if the temperature is outside of these parameters, you should resolve this before use. Either by heating or cooling the room temperature to sit between the safe working room temperature range. This can be done by venting a room, however, if natural ventilation is not sufficient, forced air extraction might be required. A ventilation brick on the far wall opposite the kiln is ideal. Meaning fresh air is drawn in, and then extracted near the top of the room behind the kiln.
Keeping a kiln safe from any kind of moisture is very important. So it is best to keep your kiln indoors where it cannot be exposed to any kind of water/ rain etc. It’s also advisable to change the location of your controller in the winter months. Ensuring it is protected from any moisture.
Kilns reach very high temperatures. So it’s vital to ensure health and safety when operating a kiln. Keep others, especially children and pets, well away from a kiln in use, but also cooling kilns. Consider flammable materials and their proximity to any kilns. Ensure there are no curtains, plastic objects, or other materials near to or placed on the kiln.
When in use, gases and heat can build up above the kiln. Which can be very harmful to your health, so ventilation is very important. Having an air vent, and allowing the gases to escape outside and dissipate is vital.
Wiring (Electric Kilns)
With wiring, there are two things to consider, voltage and phases. Domestic and hobby kilns are normally single phase, with either a 32, 40, or 63 Amps rating. A standard UK kiln is 230v and cannot be simply plugged into a wall if it has a rating higher than 3kW 13 Amps. But kilns can also be made to operate on other countries’ voltages 120, 208, 380, 480 volts. These others will need breakers/ converters/, so consult an electrician here. As kilns have a high kW rating, you should always have a qualified electrician install them if they are above 3kW 13 Amps and he will fit the appropriate RCD or MCB to protect your supply.
The power supply you have available will inform your search. Whether you have a 13, 32, 40, or 60 Amps supply. This will limit the sizes of kilns you can consider for your needs.
Finally, your budget will determine whether you can purchase your desired kiln.
Advice from Kilns & Furnaces
Installing a kiln within your home does need careful consideration and planning. But once it’s set up, you can begin creating pieces in your own space, with no need to share kiln space and time limits to when you can use the kiln.
At Kilns & Furnaces, we can advise you and help you to choose the perfect kiln for your needs and situation. Get in touch with us via email, phone, or socials and we will answer any questions you may have.