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to my defense...kiln pressure

updated wed 2 apr 03


Karen Sullivan on tue 1 apr 03

I first would like to thank those who
have replied to my request for information...
And Kathi...I bristle with your response...
haphazard is an inappropriate response...
but thanks anyway....

I do think that the college used
their level of knowledge in the
creation of the kiln yard...
The activity involved a team
of departments of the college....
There is a main is set
at 2 pounds...
I have fired the kilns with no indication
that there is a problem for two years.
I am working on the advice of one individual
who came to the shop to conduct some repairs.....

I will continue to research the issue...
perhaps this venue does not adequately
frame the I need to
go elsewhere...
a direct experience and visual information
at the site
are vastly superior to a solution than
this group...

but thanks

Vince Pitelka on tue 1 apr 03

Karen -
If your kiln burners and pilots are intended for low pressure (WCI/water
column inches rather than PSI/pounds per square inches), then 2 lbs. is
certainly excessive. It means that you are pumping a lot more pressure into
the pilots and burners than they were designed for, and that means that you
are probably wasting gas. I doubt that it is dangerous, but it certainly is
foolish or careless.

Whoever designed and installed that system probably knew better, and they
were cutting corners, which is NEVER a good idea when plumbing gas kilns.
They were trying to get away with a smaller pipe size on the main manifold
line, by increasing the manifold pressure. If the kilns are all set up for
low pressure, then a true low-pressure manifold system, set at ten to
fourteen WCI line pressure, would probably require 4" to 6" black iron pipe
for the main manifold line, in order to be able to run all the kilns
simultaneously. That gets very expensive very quickly.

In the long run, it is far less expensive and far more efficient to run a
smaller, higher pressure manifold line, with a regulator at each appliance
to drop the pressure to whatever is required for that appliance. That is
what we have at the Craft Center for 9 gas kilns. The main manifold line
carries 15 PSI of propane. The indoor kilns in the kiln room are all low
pressure, and the regulators at each kiln drop the pressure to around 12
WCI. The kilns outside under roof are all high pressure, and each one has
an adjustable regulator.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home -
Office -
615/597-6801 x111, FAX 615/597-6803