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teach at a school? checking your electric kiln duct may be worth =

updated fri 3 sep 10


John Post on wed 1 sep 10

the time it takes...

My school district had a bond proposal pass in 2003 to build additions
onto all of the elementary schools. It was called a SAMs suite. On
each school they added a wing that contained a Science room, an Art
room and a Music room, thus the name SAMs.

The head of the elementary art department didn't wish to take any
input into how the kiln room should be laid out. Neither did the
contractors. We were told that the architecture firm designed schools
all the time and that they would meet all of our needs. I couldn't
find anyone to listen to a few simple suggestions I had or find out if
they had already been incorporated.

Since my school district has about 30 elementary schools, the SAM's
suite were built in three batches of ten over a three year period.
They botched up the design of the electric kiln vent exit on the first
set of ten. The contractors had the 4 inch duct work exit the
building 6 feet off the ground. Then on the outside of it, they
covered it with a thin louvered vent.

The first thing I told my principal when I saw it was "The kids are
going to bust the louvers off the vent after school hours and cram
stuff down the vent." Within three months the vent cover had no
louvers on it. Then maintenance put a second thicker one on. The
kids broke that one too. The third time they came and put a heavy
steel cage over the top of where this little tiny 4 inch vent exits
the building (finally the third piggy made his house from brick).

All during this process, I would ask the school maintenance people to
make sure to check the ductwork inside to make sure the kids didn't
jam any stuff down the open vent hole. Each time, they assured me
that they had indeed checked the ductwork. All was fine.

So today, I noticed that part of the ductwork coming from underneath
the kiln had deteriorated. I purchased a new piece so I could install
it myself. When I opened up the ductwork, I found all kinds of stuff
from the playground. A full size bike water bottle, a cell phone belt
holster with phone book, rocks, pens and pencils and an asthma
inhaler. I'm surprised that air could even make it out of the vent
these last 5 years. I didn't even pour all of the stuff from the vent
out to see what else was in there. What I did see was dusty, dirty
and corroded.

Since I move from building to building every year in my district, I
now have one more thing to add to my checklist for getting the kiln

#8. Remove all asthma inhalers, cell phone holster and water bottles
from vent ducts...

John Post
Sterling Heights, Michigan