The Secret to Fixing Kiln Coils

Fixing kiln coils is not as complicated as you might imagine.

The coils are placed inside a groove in the kiln.

Sometimes these will slip out of the groove, this usually occurs with coils in the lid of the kiln.

When firing the kiln, the elements expand and contract as they heat up and cool down.

This movement wears on the edges of the groove that holds them in place.

Since they are stretching and contracting, they wear on the groove that they are inserted into.

This movement and wear causes them to occasionally slip out of the groove.

Eventually they might even droop enough that they touch the kiln shelf.


Material lists:

  • Element pins or staples
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Element staples look like a bent wire while element pins resemble a fish hook.

    Find out which element pin is recommended for your particular kiln.

    These pins are made out of a special alloy wire.

    You can cause some major damage to your kiln trying to make pins out of other materials.

    Before you attempt repairing kiln coils or trying anything inside your kiln, unplug it!

    These elements are open circuits that can carry up to 220 volts.

    They can even sting with the kiln turned off.

    Remember to always unplug your kiln.

    Gently reinsert the element.

    The wire gets brittle and can be easily broken, so use a very light touch when handling the piece.

    With the needle nose pliers, hold the element pin and make sure you have it around the outside of the coil.

    The pin needs to be at a 45 degree angle from the groove to prevent it from falling out after a few firings.

    Clean out any pieces of firebrick that might have chipped off with a soft brush.

    Open and close the lid a few times to make sure all particles have fallen then vacuum the kiln to remove any fragments.

    Repairing kiln coils is not a difficult task.

    It does take a gentle touch and having the right tools, and of course…unplugging that kiln!

    A few more notes on fixing kiln coils.

    When removing old pins or staples, use two needle nose pliers, one to hold the elements and one to extract the pin or staple.

    Keep the crimp of the element as close to the corners as possible when installing new pre-formed elements.

    Run the pliers over the top of the element to place it inside the groove.

    Use a light touch and take care around the brick.

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