Wednesday, 15 June 2011

On a lighter note.........

My earlier musings on mortality might be entirely hypothetical by dint of dicing with death tomorrow.  This is because I will be replacing the elements on my kiln... an operation fraught with danger.


I've had the new elements for several weeks, but only today decided to thoroughly read the instructions so that I could conduct the ritual 3 hour hunt for the right size of spanners etc well in advance of the planned operation tomorrow.  

I replaced the elements on my previous kiln many, many times, but the current one is a much more complicated affair, and thus far I have only replaced them once, a good few years ago now.  As far as I can remember, the procedure went without a hitch, but on reading the new updated instructions I am somewhat trepidatious as there are several dire warnings.

Firstly there is the declaration that elements must always be replaced by a competent person as wrongly connected elements are a safety hazard and cause irreparable damage to the kiln.

Well, the very first time my previous kiln elements were replaced, I was so worried about trying to do it myself that I called in an electrician instead.  He read the instructions (he informed me that most electricians will never have replaced kiln elements!) and I watched carefully as he first disconnected the old, then reconnected the new then charged me quite a bit of money for his time and expertise.

It didn't look at all difficult, so the next time they needed doing, I did them myself.  And each time subsequently.

So far I haven't been electrocuted, or set fire to the house, or damaged the kiln in any way.

I'm kind of assuming that the 'HAZARD' and 'Danger of Death' sections refer to any doofus stupid enough to work on the kiln while it's  still connected to the mains.  Having unplugged it from the electric socket I even moved the plug as far away from the socket as possible, just in case some renegade electricity leaked out and arced onto the plug terminals while I was checking out the inside of the element cover.

I'll have to make copious notes and drawings on the current configuration of all the element banks, which look like this.......

Hmm.  Reminds me of those bomb disposal scenes in films where a trembling, sweaty hand, holding wire cutters, hesitates over which coloured wire to cut.  Thankfully I won't be cutting any of the coloured wires.

That would be foolish.

However I will have to cut the elements in order to avoid any damage to the porcelain isolators, and that is a tricky procedure which will probably involve a fair bit of colloquial Anglo-Saxon.

I'm tentatively 'pencilling in' a 2-hour time slot for the entire process which may turn out to be hopelessly optimistic but we'll see. 

EDIT - I was looking for a good picture to illustrate just how dangerous electricity can be and came across THIS which tells you all you need to know.

My favourite is this one......

I have NO IDEA what this baby is doing but it is clearly extremely dangerous. Leaving it unattended on a such high bed with no sides beggars belief, while the vicious looking hook left within easy reach on the bedside table verges on the criminal.  Electrocution is the least of its worries.
Feel free to nominate your favourite.....


Robin said...

Don't think I can do with your dicing with death moments - please do your best not to go out with the proverbial bang dear!

Angela said...

The rats chewing cables made me smile. Reminds me of a couple of years ago when some young squirrels got into the attic and chewed through the cable to the heating pump. Never mind about the the damage they caused or the fact my house could have set on fire, those poor squirrels could have electrocuted themselves.

I think I'll print some of the others out to use as ammunition on not doing any housework - it's far too dangerous.

Angela :o)