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Dampp Chaser Question #2744000
06/12/18 09:44 PM
06/12/18 09:44 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
M
mivaldes Offline OP
Full Member
mivaldes  Offline OP
Full Member
M

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
If you move a piano from a relatively high humidity situation into a home where the humidity is running about 50% on average, should I use the Dampp Chaser right away? Can you "dry" a piano out too quickly? I didn't realize just how warm those dehumidifiers get! They are pretty warm and I'm wondering if it is better to let the piano acclimate more gradually. It is a Model H4 humidistat if that helps. Does anyone know where I can find the manual for the H4? I can't find it on the Dampp Chaser website.

Also, should you have water in the tank during the summer months in the south when the humidity is already high? Do I have to see that blinking yellow light all summer??

Thanks!
Marcus


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai CA78
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Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2744003
06/12/18 10:09 PM
06/12/18 10:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,595
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
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P W Grey  Offline
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P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,595
New Hampshire
The system is designed alternate between humidifier and dehumidifier as needed. The system is quite reliable.

Have you had it checked by a tech?

IMO you should use it.

If in fact your ambient humidity is 50% or higher ALL the time (repeat ALL THE TIME!), then you may not actually need the humidifier portion of the system. But I would check with your tech and/or DC.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2744151
06/13/18 02:09 PM
06/13/18 02:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
OneWatt Offline
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OneWatt  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
If you cannot find the particular info you're looking for on the Dampp-Chaser website, I would recommend sending an email with your request. I've found Charles Rempel at D-C to be extremely responsive and most interested in helping to clear up any questions anyone might.

As Peter Grey noted above, the two-sided system is designed to routinely alternative between the two modes. As such, it's worth asking whether the idea of letting your humidifier tank remain dry for extended periods would be wise in light of the particular model of control unit upon which your D-C system is based.

Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2744210
06/13/18 06:27 PM
06/13/18 06:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,912
Michigan
K
kpembrook Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,912
Michigan
Originally Posted by mivaldes
If you move a piano from a relatively high humidity situation into a home where the humidity is running about 50% on average, should I use the Dampp Chaser right away? Can you "dry" a piano out too quickly? I didn't realize just how warm those dehumidifiers get! They are pretty warm and I'm wondering if it is better to let the piano acclimate more gradually. It is a Model H4 humidistat if that helps. Does anyone know where I can find the manual for the H4? I can't find it on the Dampp Chaser website.

Also, should you have water in the tank during the summer months in the south when the humidity is already high? Do I have to see that blinking yellow light all summer??

Thanks!
Marcus



No, you don't have to see the blinking yellow light. Just fill it once or twice. Won't be very often in the summer. Also, your pads won't dry out which can be a minor pain to re-soak the pads when you start using the wet side of the system again -- just pouring in water doesn't guarantee that it will work properly.

Don't try to second-guess the Dampp Chaser engineers. DC is an active system -- meaning it is always on doing something. That is the only way to assure that the soundboard is always being affected. So, the system cycles between the two parts and that keeps air movement over the soundboard.

You've got a good system that you've paid a not insubstantial amount for. Don't try to save on a few cents worth of water and a dollar's worth of electricity.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
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Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: OneWatt] #2744215
06/13/18 06:38 PM
06/13/18 06:38 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
M
mivaldes Offline OP
Full Member
mivaldes  Offline OP
Full Member
M

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
Originally Posted by OneWatt
I've found Charles Rempel at D-C to be extremely responsive and most interested in helping to clear up any questions anyone might.


I called DC and spoke with Charles today. Thanks for this valuable tip! He was more than generous with his time and information. He told me being in Georgia not to worry about filling the water for the summer. He said it could actually work against me as there would be passive evaporation. My room with a dehumidifier running 24/7 is running about 50%The dehumidifying rods are on and running. He gave me a good 20-30 minute class on what it does, how to use it and what my humidifying goals should be. Something I had not thought of was that the heat from the rods rises into the belly of the piano. That is what makes the system effective. It also does not really effect the pin block or the action.

DC appears to be very effective and a first class company. One helpful tip he gave me regarding the flashing yellow light for the water tank was to put some black tape over it!

I'm sold!

Marcus


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai CA78
Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2744265
06/13/18 10:48 PM
06/13/18 10:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 699
Wisconsin, USA
L
Lakeviewsteve Offline
500 Post Club Member
Lakeviewsteve  Offline
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L

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 699
Wisconsin, USA
Malvedes that's exactly what I was thinking.

What humidity level do you prefer? By trying 50% you may like it. My piano does great between 45-50%. If I turn the air conditioning on that sends the humidity down too. I don't have a damp chaser.

Steve

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 06/13/18 10:49 PM.

Bösendorfer 170
Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2744353
06/14/18 09:41 AM
06/14/18 09:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
Goshen, Indiana
B
BenjaminR Offline
Full Member
BenjaminR  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 37
Goshen, Indiana
Originally Posted by mivaldes
Originally Posted by OneWatt
I've found Charles Rempel at D-C to be extremely responsive and most interested in helping to clear up any questions anyone might.


I called DC and spoke with Charles today. Thanks for this valuable tip! He was more than generous with his time and information. He told me being in Georgia not to worry about filling the water for the summer. He said it could actually work against me as there would be passive evaporation. My room with a dehumidifier running 24/7 is running about 50%The dehumidifying rods are on and running. He gave me a good 20-30 minute class on what it does, how to use it and what my humidifying goals should be. Something I had not thought of was that the heat from the rods rises into the belly of the piano. That is what makes the system effective. It also does not really effect the pin block or the action.

DC appears to be very effective and a first class company. One helpful tip he gave me regarding the flashing yellow light for the water tank was to put some black tape over it!

I'm sold!

Marcus


That is good to hear! As installers, we have always found Dampp Chaser great to deal with. It is good to know that this experience is extended to the end client as well.


Benjamin Rogers
Media Director
Chupp's Piano Service, Inc. - Piano Restorations, Kawai Dealer
www.ChuppsPianos.com
Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2745475
06/18/18 09:30 PM
06/18/18 09:30 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
M
mivaldes Offline OP
Full Member
mivaldes  Offline OP
Full Member
M

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 206
Fayetteville, GA
Funny, I talked to Kawai USA today and they said to just take the water reservoir off. I won't need it in Georgia. The lowest I've ever seen the humidity in my house in the dead of winter is about 35%. And that was running the propane heat on the first floor of my house. Right now in summertime I'm running about 50-55% with the dehumidifier running 24/7!


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai CA78
Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: mivaldes] #2745509
06/18/18 11:10 PM
06/18/18 11:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,780
USA
B
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,780
USA
In Florida, we don't usually install the tank - Winter RH in a home is 45% - to 70% A/C takes moisture out of the air, so in some homes, it's more humid in the winter than in the summer and their pianos go sharp in winter. These are the homes where folks shut off the A/C and don't open the windows. No air movement and very stuffy.

In institutions, HVAC codes require the air be sourced from the outside, not recirculated as in homes. Typical summer RH at the university is 53% winter RH is 45% - untill we have a few nights where temp drops to high 20's or low 30's. When that happens the RH outside is 25%, which is heated and blows though the building at 15% RH. More than two cold nights in a row like that, and all the pianos go flat. 15 - 20 cents flat. The pianos can handle one cold night, but not two in a row.

We don't have DC rods in our university pianos but I'm experimenting with a rod in a Boston 118 that has a Steinway B in the same room. The Boston normally goes twice as flat as the Steinway during cold spells. I'm wondering if a DC rod makes any difference.

Our performance hall has humidity control and the RH is 62% year round. Higher than I'd like, but at least it's stable.

I'd never put tanks in the university pianos. Who would fill them?




Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: Bob] #2745591
06/19/18 10:55 AM
06/19/18 10:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
OneWatt Offline
Bronze Subscriber
OneWatt  Offline
Bronze Subscriber

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
Originally Posted by Bob
In Florida, we don't usually install the tank - Winter RH in a home is 45% - to 70% A/C takes moisture out of the air, so in some homes, it's more humid in the winter than in the summer and their pianos go sharp in winter. These are the homes where folks shut off the A/C and don't open the windows. No air movement and very stuffy.

In institutions, HVAC codes require the air be sourced from the outside, not recirculated as in homes. Typical summer RH at the university is 53% winter RH is 45% - untill we have a few nights where temp drops to high 20's or low 30's. When that happens the RH outside is 25%, which is heated and blows though the building at 15% RH. More than two cold nights in a row like that, and all the pianos go flat. 15 - 20 cents flat. The pianos can handle one cold night, but not two in a row.

We don't have DC rods in our university pianos but I'm experimenting with a rod in a Boston 118 that has a Steinway B in the same room. The Boston normally goes twice as flat as the Steinway during cold spells. I'm wondering if a DC rod makes any difference.

Our performance hall has humidity control and the RH is 62% year round. Higher than I'd like, but at least it's stable.

I'd never put tanks in the university pianos. Who would fill them?


Bob -

If I'm following you properly, you've said it's those nights where the indoor RH drops to as low as 15% that those university pianos go flat?

If so, and you put only the Dampp-Chaser rods in - without humidifier tank - how would that raise the RH beneath the sound board to prevent the piano from going flat? Wouldn't a heater-only element serve to aggravate the drop in RH, without offering hope of raising it back to a mid-range acceptable zone?

Perhaps I'm not following all of the details - OneWatt

Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: OneWatt] #2745961
06/20/18 11:05 PM
06/20/18 11:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,780
USA
B
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,780
USA
Originally Posted by OneWatt
Originally Posted by Bob
In Florida, we don't usually install the tank - Winter RH in a home is 45% - to 70% A/C takes moisture out of the air, so in some homes, it's more humid in the winter than in the summer and their pianos go sharp in winter. These are the homes where folks shut off the A/C and don't open the windows. No air movement and very stuffy.

In institutions, HVAC codes require the air be sourced from the outside, not recirculated as in homes. Typical summer RH at the university is 53% winter RH is 45% - untill we have a few nights where temp drops to high 20's or low 30's. When that happens the RH outside is 25%, which is heated and blows though the building at 15% RH. More than two cold nights in a row like that, and all the pianos go flat. 15 - 20 cents flat. The pianos can handle one cold night, but not two in a row.

We don't have DC rods in our university pianos but I'm experimenting with a rod in a Boston 118 that has a Steinway B in the same room. The Boston normally goes twice as flat as the Steinway during cold spells. I'm wondering if a DC rod makes any difference.

Our performance hall has humidity control and the RH is 62% year round. Higher than I'd like, but at least it's stable.

I'd never put tanks in the university pianos. Who would fill them?


Bob -

If I'm following you properly, you've said it's those nights where the indoor RH drops to as low as 15% that those university pianos go flat?

If so, and you put only the Dampp-Chaser rods in - without humidifier tank - how would that raise the RH beneath the sound board to prevent the piano from going flat? Wouldn't a heater-only element serve to aggravate the drop in RH, without offering hope of raising it back to a mid-range acceptable zone?

Perhaps I'm not following all of the details - OneWatt


The RH at the University is 53% April though November, then 45% December though March. On the few cold nights the RH can drop to 15%, then recovers when the cold front recedes. My experiment with the Boston 118 with the HD and 50 watt rod installed, is two fold. 1. The DC should maintain RH about 45%, so the piano pitch should be stable during the 45% RH from December though March, while the other pianos drop in pitch about 6 cents. 2. A Steinway B is in the same room - Boston 118's change pitch 2-3 times as much as Steinway grands do. I want to see if the DC in the 118 makes a difference in that.

The DC rod will not stop the 118 from dropping in pitch when the RH is 15%. It won't run though - the HD control will shut the rod off. Some years we don't get multiple cold nights in a row, and the pianos stay more stable. Other years, we get several sessions of alternating cold and warm periods. (this past winter was one). Rarely, we might have a week or 10 days of cold. That de tunes home pianos as well.

The small number of cold nights each year really does not justify a tank for us.




Re: Dampp Chaser Question [Re: Bob] #2745967
06/20/18 11:58 PM
06/20/18 11:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
OneWatt Offline
Bronze Subscriber
OneWatt  Offline
Bronze Subscriber

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 491
Mountain Time, USA
Originally Posted by Bob
The RH at the University is 53% April though November, then 45% December though March. On the few cold nights the RH can drop to 15%, then recovers when the cold front recedes. My experiment with the Boston 118 with the HD and 50 watt rod installed, is two fold. 1. The DC should maintain RH about 45%, so the piano pitch should be stable during the 45% RH from December though March, while the other pianos drop in pitch about 6 cents. 2. A Steinway B is in the same room - Boston 118's change pitch 2-3 times as much as Steinway grands do. I want to see if the DC in the 118 makes a difference in that.

The DC rod will not stop the 118 from dropping in pitch when the RH is 15%. It won't run though - the HD control will shut the rod off. Some years we don't get multiple cold nights in a row, and the pianos stay more stable. Other years, we get several sessions of alternating cold and warm periods. (this past winter was one). Rarely, we might have a week or 10 days of cold. That de tunes home pianos as well.

The small number of cold nights each year really does not justify a tank for us.


Yeah, this is kind of what I thought you were saying. Is it possible you have things reversed in terms of cause and effect?

My understanding is that the heater bar can only serve to keep the RH from rising above a certain level, it cannot prevent it from falling below a certain point - that's where the humidifier side of the system comes in (to help maintain RH when the surrounding air is otherwise too dry).

And so, if a sharp drop in RH is what you believe is making the Boston go flat, and if you are only using a D-C with a heater bar without humidification, I don't follow how your heater-only setup is going to help keep the RH from dropping below the point where you are having pitch issues. The heater bar can only reduce the RH further by raising the temperature... or not function at all if the control unit is demanding humidification (which is not present).

When air cools, it's like squeezing a sponge, and its ability to hold moisture decreases - i.e, the RH increases. When you heat air, it has the opposite effect, like releasing your grip on the sponge - i.e., the RH drops as the air's capacity to hold moisture is restored.

And so, by warming the air with the heater rods, one can only (further) reduce the RH of the surrounding atmosphere, which I sense is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish, no?

Sorry if I'm still confusing matters - OneWatt


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