Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fine Time for a Thermocouple Failure

But when else would it fail, except when it's in use? When it's just sitting there? How could you tell?

So one burner was out, not sure for how long, but clearly long enough to slow down the firing. Glad I got an early start (relatively speaking!) this morning. I've got 11 going on one side and nine rigid on the other...sigh. Which is worse, a little overfired, or a little under? I would usually opt for "under" on the thinking that I can refire, but this time I'm going to try Door Number 2. I hope I won't be in this situation again, but I probably will, so here's a chance to learn something, for future reference.


Jody Windus said...

Did you get the burner restarted? You may know this, but in a pinch, you can put a clamp on the BASO valve to hold the thermocouple override button down and fire the burner without the safety. You just have to watch to make sure the burner does not go out and start spewing gas. Not the best practice, but...

Hope you find good things behind Door 2

Lori Watts said...

Hi Jody -- Yes, I ended up weighting the button on the baso valve down with a kiln shelf & some bricks, and then dragged a patio chair over near the kiln, so I could camp out with it, as it's unwise to leave such an arrangement unattended.

Unloading tomorrow!

- Celes - said...

I hope the firing still turned out well! Pros and cons...

While I might agree with you on under firing might be safer, how safe is it to guarantee that you need to spend the extra dough and time to refire? I guess it depends on the range your glazes can handle. If they're just a bit more matte at cone 8, maybe there won't be a refire. Wouldn't that be nice?

Overfiring can mean glaze running off the pots and onto the shelves. If you have the shelves washed well and a good grinder, maybe that's okay too. They certainly won't need a refire, but that's a lot of work and potentially a unsavable pot or even worse, a kiln shelf biting the dust.

Suspense! I want to hear what happened!!

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