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Joined: Jun 2013
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So if I fully understand you: during dec-feb 35%-40% may be a dangerous level??Very best/Niklas

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Originally Posted by Jazzniklas
So if I fully understand you: during dec-feb 35%-40% may be a dangerous level??Very best/Niklas


I'm not sure what levels of humidity are considered dangerously low or way to high. I'm not a technician. I was explaining what I do to keep mine as close to the 40 -45% recommended range as possible to keep the wood and tuning as stable as possible during the colder dry months. The very best to you too!

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GC13, have you ever tried distilled water in your humidifier? I wonder if that would spare you some work and perhaps cost of wicks. My pianos are also in a fairly large room, and I have a hygrometer that tells me the RH gets down in the low 30s during the winter. I've been considering running a humidifier, but just haven't pulled it out of storage yet. I realize distilled water would be an added expense, but if it saved you the work of cleaning/replacing wicks, perhaps it would pay off.


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Originally Posted by JAlex
GC13, have you ever tried distilled water in your humidifier? I wonder if that would spare you some work and perhaps cost of wicks. My pianos are also in a fairly large room, and I have a hygrometer that tells me the RH gets down in the low 30s during the winter. I've been considering running a humidifier, but just haven't pulled it out of storage yet. I realize distilled water would be an added expense, but if it saved you the work of cleaning/replacing wicks, perhaps it would pay off.


Hi JAlex. I did consider that. I'm going thru 5 to 6 gallons of water a day lately. Coldest January in 100 years with temps way below 0 F for days in a row. At about $1.00 a gallon for distilled water, plus the time, etc., to go to the store and transport it home... you get the picture. I can get wicks for my unit for about $13.00 locally which is an excellent price, and it only takes a few minutes to switch out the wicks b/c my humidifier provides quick access. It's the nature of the best here. I've been told that our area has some of the hardest water in the United States. So even with a water softener and a Reverse Osmosis filter, it's just the nature of the beast here.

My technician came Saturday to tune and follow up the regulation and voicing after my action stack rebuild. I thought the piano was horribly out of tune, so I was worried I might have some other issues. He said it was holding pretty well, and that everything I'm doing to control the humidity is working well. I was glad to hear that!

Last edited by GC13; 01/23/18 09:33 AM.
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Try a Pur Water faucet filter. It will clean up the water significantly and greatly increase the life of the wicks. If you actually use distilled water, the low water level light may not work because it requires at least some electrolytes to be in the water. The humidifier treatment solution provides for this but otherwise, you have to "contaminate" distilled water for it to work.

Some people save rain water or the water from air conditioners in Summer to be used for humidifier use in Winter.


Bill Bremmer RPT
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GC13, yeah I did wonder how much water you might be going through... The wicks sound like the way to go for sure.

Mr. Bremmer, I would like to echo the congratulations on your 4000 post status! I have learned tremendously from your generous posts as well as your website.

I'm wondering, however, about the distilled water question. I understand the minerals are required to allow the water sensors to work on a Dampp Chaser system because they use electrodes to sense the presence of water. However I think GC13 is using a standalone humidifier which may have a simple float that actuates a micro switch. I'll have to check my humidifier to see what it uses. If there is a float, I can't think of any other reason not to use distilled water (again, depending on how much the unit is using). Does that sound accurate, or is there anything else I am missing?


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Originally Posted by JAlex

I'm wondering, however, about the distilled water question. I understand the minerals are required to allow the water sensors to work on a Dampp Chaser system because they use electrodes to sense the presence of water. However I think GC13 is using a standalone humidifier which may have a simple float that actuates a micro switch. I'll have to check my humidifier to see what it uses. If there is a float, I can't think of any other reason not to use distilled water (again, depending on how much the unit is using). Does that sound accurate, or is there anything else I am missing?


Yes, mine is a stand alone "whole house" unit from a big box retailer with the float mechanism. I'd think distilled water would be safe. I do use the recommended water conditioner for hard water and bacteriostat, but it just does very little to help b/c our water is so hard. I'm experimenting. The water from a salt-driven water softener contains some extra sodium, so it's not recommend for drinking water. Therefore,the kitchen sink cold water does not use the water softener line so it "safe" for cooking and drinking purposes. (We use our R/O system for that.) I was filling up my humidifier from the kitchen sink. I've switch to filling it from a bathtub spout, so I'm using "softened" water so it will remove most of the hard minerals. We'll see how that goes. Maybe I'll remember to come back and give an update.

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I suggest using the R/O water for the house humidifier. It works in a Dampp-Chaser system too. If you use "soft" water in the humidifier, there will still be salt build up in both types of humidifiers.

I mentioned that some people capture either rain water or air conditioner water. It would not be potable drinking water but it would have a very low mineral content (just from whichever container it is stored in or natural "contamination" such as whichever surfaces the water flowed over before capture). It is perfect for humidifier applications.

If you capture air conditioner water, think of all of the electricity that is used and how you can make that work for you by also generating your own demineralized humidifier water as a by product for use in the opposite season. You take the water out of the air in Summer and put it back in the air in the heating season. You may be quite surprised at how much water can be captured which otherwise just runs into the ground.

The only real problem would be to find suitable containers in which to store it. I suggest looking to see if you can find used 5 gallon bottles that were for drinking water but have or will be discarded. They can be stored in the garage or other storage space with a minimal amount of bacteria treatment. A small hand truck can make moving them easier than simply carrying them. (They are heavy!)


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Is it right to say the Dampp Chaser mostly only works on the soundboard? Since the heating rods are placed under the piano and convection carries the warm air upward, I would imagine not every part of the piano is being dehumidified evenly.

I got an ultrasonic humidifier with the biggest water tank I could find to deal with dry hot days in California, but in the winter the humidity gets pretty high if heat isn't turned on. The Phoenix has a carbon fiber soundboard so I feel like a Dampp Chaser is not the right solution.

Last edited by trigalg693; 01/24/18 02:26 AM.
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