Kiln cost to run?

Hi,
I wondering if anyone might be able to tell me appoximately how much it would cost to run a kiln (say 18inch) for the typical time it would take to fire a platter of 15inch round and 3 layer thick to a full fuse? I am very new to this and dont yet have my own kiln. I need to talk the General, I mean my wife, into this before I get one. Any info would be great!
Thanks, Vic

* Depends on your local electricity costs, but it's around $1.00. $2.00 max.

* I'd say equal to or less than the cost to dry your clothes in a electric dryer. The diffence being your dryer blows all that hot air out side and your kiln stores all that energy.

* Oh , for crying out loud!! I'm thinking it's going to cost like 25-30 bucks a fire. The lady that runs the local glass store in my area told me it costs her 35-50 bucks everytime she fires up her large coffin kiln. Can that be right, or is she way off?

* There are more costs involved than just electricity, wear and tear on the kiln. The time to load it (if she does it) the time to prep a shelf, kiln wash etc.
I wouldn't fire other peoples stuff (to make a profit) for less than the $30-$50 because it's a pain in the butt. I do for some people as a favor but won't charge them because then they expect you to do it all the time as a business.
Rick

* She's way off. I run around four or five kilns, one of which is much larger than a coffin kiln, several firings a week, and my total electric bill for my studio (which is 3000 square feet and has two heating/air conditioning units), runs around $150. The largest electric bill I have had was $250, and that was in the heat of summer.
However, to Rick's point, I charge people who rent kiln time from $25 to $50 per kiln firing, but that's to cover everything else, not just the electricity.

* Cost also depends on where you are. I did the calculations based on my PG&E bill and came up with about $3.50 per firing. Our average electric bill in the winter is well over $400 a month without my kilns running (and our furnace is gas).
Board sponsor Two Lasses Glass Classes has a formula on their site (copied and pasted):
First you need to know the volts and Amps of the kiln in question.
Take the volts of the kiln and multiply by the Amps to discover the Watts (Volts x Amps = Watts)
Then, take the Watts and divide by 1000 which will give you the Kilowatts (Watts div. by 1000 = Kilowatts)
Next, check your household electric bill to determine the amount of money your utility company charges you PER KILOWATT HOUR and multiply that amount by the number of Kilowatts you determined are used by your kiln and you will know exactly how much money you are spending per hour to operate your kiln.
Example: Jen-Ken Bead Annealer with Digital Controller has 120 volts and 13 Amps 120 x 13 = 1,560 1,560 Watts divided by 1000 = 1.56 My electric company charges me $0.055 cents per kilowatt hour 1.56 x 0.055 = .08 cents per hour
Given that the average kiln firing program for fusing glass is no more than three hours in duration, and IF you were to complete one firing per day each month, you would spend roughly $7.20 per month. Are you surprised at how economical your kiln is? We were!!

* Several years ago I did the math to try to figure out the cost per firing, assuming 4 firings a week of my 24 inch Jen Ken. This cost was way conservative, assuming much more repair work than I have ever done (In five years I replaced elements and relays once and spent about $30 and 2 hours of my husband's time to do so). My electric was calculated to less than $2 per 15 hour firing and then I figured in wear and tear, repair, and the cost of the kiln to a total of about $5-$6 per firing.
I overestimated. The cost has been closer to $3.3 per firing and that is assuming that I need to replace the kiln tomorrow. With every firing of my kiln, the cost per firing is coming down because the maintenance has been so inexpensive and because it's a workhorse. (knock on wood) I expect to be firing that baby for a long time to come.

* You people are really GREAT!! Thank you all so much for taking the time to educate a greenie like me. I can't wait to get a kiln and fire up that puppy! My next problem is what to get...that's another thread. Again, many thanks to all of you!! Vic

* I have a GTS 23-13 and if I do a full fuse firing with a bubble squeeze and a 2 hour anneal, the full cycle uses 30 kwH.
Electricity here has been going through the roof and the last few month it cost around $0.33/kwh (and going up!). That's close to $10.
The prize of living in paradise!
That's why I'm going net-metering now...
I can't believe how little some of you are paying!
Karuna

* She's way off. I run around four or five kilns, one of which is much larger than a coffin kiln, several firings a week, and my total electric bill for my studio (which is 3000 square feet and has two heating/air conditioning units), runs around $150. The largest electric bill I have had was $250, and that was in the heat of summer.
However, to Rick's point, I charge people who rent kiln time from $25 to $50 per kiln firing, but that's to cover everything else, not just the electricity.
I have about 2500 sq ft but not much insulation and my electric bill last month was $375. The highest was Jan and it was about $500. I charge $25 per firing. I have to prep the shelf and etc plus I don't work for free nor should I or anybody else! As for the cost of actual firing...like someone else mentioned, maybe a buck or two. I fire almostg everyday and I swear, my electric bill isn't any more than when I wasn't firing.

* The cost of firing is not only the electricity, materials, and labour costs, it also is the maintenance and depreciation cost of the kiln. In the UK, for tax purposes you are allowed 20% per year depreciation. Many kilns last ten years or longer, but the maintenance costs rise. So a simple deprecation period of 5 years would be appropriate. Add on to that the maintenance costs (small at first but increasing as time goes on). Then divide by the number of firings you do per year and add that to the first costs and you have a more reasonable figure.
Steve

* Feel lucky if you are on residential power. My shop has a demand meter. The first time, after my meter has been read, I fire my big bell, I incur @ $145 demand charge. Then I pay for the rest of the power I use. The demand meter measures how much power I use every 15 minutes. I get charged based on the highest segment of the month.
At full power, the kiln draws @130 amps/240v. This is a place where my SCR relays pay for themselves. They are on or off 60 times a second, so they appear to the demand meter on a percentage basis. I use a slow climb to temperature, so I am not using full power for 15 minutes. This lowers my monthly bill.
The good part of having a large kiln is that large work gets large price. Even making one table top in a month is well worth the expense.

* Hi Bert,
I know that bigger is better, but what are the dimensions of this big one?
I've seen some pretty large ones, (IMHO) and the biggest only draws 60.
I'm just really curious. I'm looking for a larger kiln, but I doubt that one your size is in my book and if it were, I dono't think it would fit in my shop.
BTW, is yours single or three phase that you run this on?
Thanks
Joe

* But don't forget that your kiln is going on-off-on-off depending on the program in your controller. With a slow ramp or a long hold, it's off much of the time.
Therefore, even cheaper!

* Joe
My kiln fires glass up to 40" x 84", and is single phase. It has 3 zones.
Essentially the larger the piece of glass I use, the easier it is to make the piece. I charge about the same price per square foot for a serving platter, as I do for a shower door or table top. The larger piece takes a few seconds longer to cut. Cleaning goes quickly. I make one mold. Even at the same square foot price there is a lot less prep work with one piece. Making 12 little pieces is probably 10 times as much work as one large one.

* Thanks Bert, I'll have to put that on my in the future wish list. I agree with the one large compaired to even four or five small pieces. I know when blasting I would much rather do one large resist than to make four or five small ones of the same thing, but somehow you still have to pay the bills.
Joe

* Read the electric meter before and after a fire; record and subtract the two numbers. Look up the price per kwh on your bill. Multiply the power used by the price /kwh - add tax charge if applicable. I pay about 9 cents kwh in NB, Canada
For a '1/2arse' approximation something like this might be close:
kiln rated at 12000 watts (read the sticker plate) running for 20 hours, on half that time, at $.10/kwh
= 12x10x.10
$ 12.00
best luck

* if your kiln is running 1/2 the time for a 20 hours fire. I think you should try firing it with the lid closed.
Seriously your elements are on for less than 5% of the time on the cool down and anneal. Even the ramp up will have them on for less than 50% of the time.
Rick

* One of my kilns has a Bartlett Controller that calculates the cost per firing. Usually it is about $0.75, based on our local electric rates which I plugged into the controller.

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