View Full Version : Purchase a used Kiln - How risky?
September 29th 03, 07:28 AM
I have the opportunity to purchase an electric Kiln from a neighbor.
This Kiln has been setting in the basement for over eight years
without being used. What are the chances of the heating elements and
controller lasting for very long? I'm not experienced with pottery but
have this opportunity to purchase a potters wheel and kiln for hobby
use. They will fire the kiln to insure it works before I puchase it.
What is the best way to test the tempurature it reaches? Any advice
would be appreciated. Thanks
September 29th 03, 12:48 PM
The best way to test temperature is with a pyrometer, but there are other
Does the kiln inside look like it has seen too many explosions? Is it all
shape? Has it been used a lot, or overfired (you can usually tell by
the lid for metal discoloration/ warping, etc. Are the bricks charred and
or does it look "like new" inside?
Unless the basement was _very_ damp, storage should have had no effect on
and the electronics should still work ok. Depending on use, the elements
need replacement, but that is relatively cheap compared to buying a new
I recently bought a used (very used) kiln that had been through flooding
from a hurricane.
After making sure that the kiln sitter was adjusted properly, and replacing
I crossed my fingers and fired it up. Works like a dream.
A very wise man once said "A kiln is nothing but a big toaster."
Hope that helps,
Wayne in Key West
"Don" > wrote in message
> I have the opportunity to purchase an electric Kiln from a neighbor.
> This Kiln has been setting in the basement for over eight years
> without being used. What are the chances of the heating elements and
> controller lasting for very long? I'm not experienced with pottery but
> have this opportunity to purchase a potters wheel and kiln for hobby
> use. They will fire the kiln to insure it works before I puchase it.
> What is the best way to test the tempurature it reaches? Any advice
> would be appreciated. Thanks
September 29th 03, 11:14 PM
The kiln was only used as a hobby, some ceramics and pottery. It never
saw heavy usage. The inside looks new, bricks looks good. It just a
little rusty on the lower legs from sitting in the basement. 220V 45
AMP electric hook-up.
A side question I have - How is one's homeowners insurance premium
effected if I have this hooked up in my house? Would it be wise to
install it in a detached garage?
September 30th 03, 12:42 AM
Normally, an insurance company doesn't even inquire about such things.
The only thing an agent or company would ask, and only at the time of
application, is if you conduct any business on premises. If the answer
at the time of application is "no", but you enter into a business later,
most contracts require you to notify your agent or company if any such
business is entered into after the issuance of the policy. Now, if you
"no" because you are treating your pottery avocation as a hobbie, and not
a "for profit" business, then you don't even need to disclose it. You are
just as likely to burn down your home from a faulty electric dryer. A
professionally installed or, at least, inspected kiln would be sufficient
with the proper venting, etc. if no business is intended no matter whether
in your home or in a separate structure and will not affect your home
insurance. The only other concern you will have is if you are
in violation of any zoning laws applying to use of kilns in residential
areas. That, of course, is a matter for the city or county you live in to
If you are treating it as a business, (and a good claims adjuster will
do the research) then you must disclose it to your insurance carrier and
they might put on a "business pursuits" endorsement on your policy and
charge you extra. Be careful with this. There is a very short list of
eligible businesses allowed on premises. Mostly, they look at whether
customers are allowed to enter the premises for browsing or purchasing.
I would suggest that, if you declare it a business, that you do assure
your agent that no customers will come on premises; that your goods are
taken to another commercial location for sale or only shipped via "Brown"
from your doorstep. Your approach should be: What if I put in a kiln
and want to start a business? I just would hate to see your policy get
"nonrenewed" needlessly, which they can and probably will do if you
don't approach it properly. Right now, with the new Terrorist Act
of 2002 that puts a percentage of loss responsibility on the backs of the
insurance companies, "Mold Exclusion" issues that most coastal states are
dealing with and recent historical declines in insurance company reserves
due to poor performance in investments (ie. Enron, World Com, and all
the other blue chip darlings), homeowner insurance companies have the
safeties off and their fingers are on the non-renewal triggers.
Hope this helps.
"Don" > wrote in message
> The kiln was only used as a hobby, some ceramics and pottery. It never
> saw heavy usage. The inside looks new, bricks looks good. It just a
> little rusty on the lower legs from sitting in the basement. 220V 45
> AMP electric hook-up.
> A side question I have - How is one's homeowners insurance premium
> effected if I have this hooked up in my house? Would it be wise to
> install it in a detached garage?
September 30th 03, 04:29 AM
Diego's answer is great.
I just want to add that if you are putting it in the house be sure to vent
it well. A good friend of mine had problems with carbon monoxide poisoning
due to her kilns in her basement. And they were vented.
My kilns are outside in a detached garage. Mostly because that is where my
of Penelope's Pots
Full Time Education Assistant,
Part Time Potter
Sometimes we just need to remember what the rules of life
really are... You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape.
If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and
shouldn't, use the duct tape.
October 2nd 03, 02:11 AM
"Clayslinger" > wrote in message
> Diego's answer is great.
> I just want to add that if you are putting it in the house be sure to vent
> it well. A good friend of mine had problems with carbon monoxide poisoning
> due to her kilns in her basement. And they were vented.
> My kilns are outside in a detached garage. Mostly because that is where my
> studio is.
> Penni Stoddart
I have my kiln in my garage too. My studio is a seperate building next to
the garage. I do not have vents for my kiln, I just open the garage door
:o) I advise having it in the garage, much better having it away from
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