Sauna Break in Procedure
FIRINGUP & CURING
Once the sauna room is finished and ready for use, a number of steps still remain before you can enjoy the first sauna. Curing a sauna is a simple process of cleaning the sauna completely, operating the heater and allowing the heat to "break-in" the woodwork.
Begin by removing all leftover construction materials, and vacuum the floor, benches and walls. Wipe down all wood parts with a damp cloth and warm water. The sauna rocks should be washed prior to installation in the heater.
If you are going to seal the sauna wood (highly recommended) you should allow 24 hours for the sealant to completely dry before you take the steps to cure the sauna.
Think of your sauna heater as a "chimney" with cool air entering the bottom, being heated and rising out the top. Do NOT put the sauna rocks in the rock basket too densely. Try to bridge the second layer over the first layer so you still get a good volume of air passing through the rocks. Should the rocks be packed too densely, you will trap the superheated air in the heater and likely trip the "high-limit" temperature switch in the heater. Should this happen, let the heater cool down, then reset the high-limit switch by pushing in the eraser end of a pencil. You should hear a "click" and feel the snap when the switch is reset. (The limit switch is usually located near the bottom of the heater and can be accessed through the 1/4" hole located on the side of the heater box.)
Remember to remove any plastic coating from the stainless steel
shell of the sauna heater, if you haven’t already.
After all electrical connections have been completed, (make sure each connection is tight!) operate the heater for about twenty minutes to burn off any residue coating on the elements. The smoke and smell will last for a few minutes during this period and is normal.
The sauna should be on for one hour at full temperature with the door closed before anyone uses it for the first time. An occasional rock may crack along a "fault line" during the initial heat-up. Once the rocks are fully heated after forty-five minutes, pour about a quart (one liter) of water slowly on the rocks to "steam clean" them and complete the final test. If water pools on the floor you’re pouring the water too fast. The water should steam without any reaching the floor if you’re doing it properly.