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Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
#3004873 07/20/20 04:22 PM
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I really want to get my piano tuned, but I don't want to risk myself or my tuner getting sick. But my state is really bad right now in terms of the increase in positive cases, hospitalizations etc. Even worse, I am a teacher (not music) and if I'm back in the classroom in the fall, I will be more of a risk to my tuner than the other way around. So it seems like if I'm going to get my piano tuned, it should be before fall semester starts. He wears a mask and shield, does contact-less payment, so those details are good.

But I've read suggestions that you open the windows before and after the tuner is there... I live in the US southeast, it's super hot and humid here. So one thing I'm wondering about is the temp and humidity swings, and the impact of that on the tuning if I were to have the windows open beforehand and again after the tuner leaves.

Say it's 95 degrees out with 70-90% humidity, but it's 75 degrees, 52% humidity in my piano room. If I have the windows open for 30 minutes before and after the tuning, wouldn't that knock the tuning out of whack? And if so, would the impact be bad enough that it would negate getting the tuning done in the first place?

Or is 30 minutes of temp/humidity swing not enough to impact the tuning (but hopefully enough to dilute any virus if it's floating around...)

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated!

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 07/20/20 04:23 PM.

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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3004880 07/20/20 04:39 PM
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This is not something I've asked my tuning clients to do when they've called me. I ask them to clean the keyboard beforehand and not touch the piano for 24 hours before I arrive, and then I request they not to be in the same room with me while I'm working. It's not too hard to tune with a mask on, even a more restrictive N95 style. If I were doing more than tuning, yeah, it can get a little sweaty with the mask (and sometimes gloves) on.

I think the plan to see if you and a technician feel safe to do this before school starts is probably a good idea, given that your exposure to other humans is going to go WAY up in a few weeks. After the tuner visits, I'd wait another day, clean the keys again, wash your hands thoroughly, and enjoy. Just my opinion. I am a doctor, but not the medical kind...


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
terminaldegree #3004898 07/20/20 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
given that your exposure to other humans is going to go WAY up in a few weeks.

Yeah, I'm kind of thinking, either I get the piano tuned in the next few weeks, or not for a very long time frown

Quote
I am a doctor, but not the medical kind...

Ditto.

grin


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3004917 07/20/20 06:04 PM
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Clean your piano 24 hours before the tuner comes. The morning off wear a mask around your house. Unlock the door tuner wears mask let's himself in.

You are in another room at least 20 feet away from tuner. Maybe turn the AC off for the 90 minutes he/she is there.

Tuner leaves. You turn on the AC go for a walk/run errands.

If you do something in that nature I think the risk is manageable.

Common sense goes a long way here.


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3004918 07/20/20 06:04 PM
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I am encouraged by those hairdressers in Missouri that got sick and managed not to infect a single client working indoors at close proximity with everyone wearing masks...

So yes, if you need to discuss, it is best on the phone or outside. I ask that clients retreat to another part of the house while I work. Almost all have been very supportive. I have talked inside with us both masked, but I'm not as comfortable with that. Best of all is to have the room unoccupied for some time before and after tuning for both parties.

I don't think having the windows open would be a good idea with such a difference in temperature and humidity between inside and outside.

Ron Koval

Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
terminaldegree #3004961 07/20/20 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
..... I ask them to clean the keyboard beforehand and not touch the piano for 24 hours before I arrive, .......... After the tuner visits, I'd wait another day, clean the keys again, wash your hands thoroughly, and enjoy. Just my opinion. I am a doctor, but not the medical kind...

May I ask clean keys with what? My keyboard has ivory keytops.

Last edited by Raindrops; 07/20/20 07:53 PM.

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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3004980 07/20/20 09:22 PM
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Hi Raindrops,

None of my current clients have a piano with ivory keys, so I have not sought a solution. Sorry.


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
RonTuner #3004981 07/20/20 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RonTuner
I don't think having the windows open would be a good idea with such a difference in temperature and humidity between inside and outside.

That’s kind of how my thinking is...

Re the hair dressers, I agree, it is encouraging. And right now, my husband and I are basically quarantined, excluding trips to the grocery store, so I think we’re ok...


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3004983 07/20/20 09:41 PM
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If you are brave enough to go to the grocery store, you should be brave enough to have your piano tuned.

Run some errands while your piano is being tuned.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
Learux #3005024 07/21/20 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
If you are brave enough to go to the grocery store, you should be brave enough to have your piano tuned.

Not exactly. If the tuner is hypothetically breathing viruses into the air, they can stay suspended and you can breathe them in when you get back. If you go grocery shopping with a N100/P100 filter mask, your chance of being infected is pretty much zero.

You can:
-Prevent the tuner from breathing viruses into the air completely (by wearing a non-bypassed PM filter mask)
-Wear a filter mask yourself for a few hours after they leave, so potential viruses have time to become inactive
-Accelerate the destruction of potential airborne viruses with a UV lamp or something else.
-Capture potential viral particles in the air with an air filter to speed the process up.

Last edited by trigalg693; 07/21/20 12:38 AM.
Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
Learux #3005113 07/21/20 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
If you are brave enough to go to the grocery store, you should be brave enough to have your piano tuned.

That's not really comparable. Re grocery shopping, first only my husband goes to the store, I never go. Second, he's inside the store for maybe 30 minutes max (he's fast, that's partly why he's our designated shopper), and he moves around the entire time he's there. As soon as he leaves the store, he comes back to our (thus far, virus-free) house-bubble.

Now with tuning, first, let's remember that having the tuner here has two possible risk types: #1, the tuner could get the virus from us, and #2, we could get the virus from him. And the other crucial detail is that he will probably be in our house for 2 hours, so much longer than a shopping trip. And he stays in one place the entire time he's here.

Re #1, the problem is that he comes into our home, where we are breathing 24 hours a day. The AC is on, the house is all closed up. If we are a/pre-symptomatic carriers, the house is unsafe for him.

Re #2, say he leaves droplets or aerosolized virus in the air, again, the house is all closed up, we breath his air long after he's gone. So if he's an a/pre-symptomatic carrier, then our house becomes unsafe for both my husband and me.

So, I don't think it's comparable to a shopping trip. But, having said all that, I think it still might be a low enough risk (again, as long as we do it before I go back to teaching in the classroom) that it should ok.

It occurs to me that I don't have to open the windows in the piano room, I could open the window in the adjacent room, which introduces outside air into the house, and the doorway between that room and the piano doesn't have a door, so we can't close it anyway. But that might be enough to make a positive difference in air quality without knocking the humidity completely out of whack in the piano room.

Hmm...


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
trigalg693 #3005115 07/21/20 09:00 AM
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P.S. regarding this:

Originally Posted by trigalg693
You can:
-Prevent the tuner from breathing viruses into the air completely (by wearing a non-bypassed PM filter mask)
-Wear a filter mask yourself for a few hours after they leave, so potential viruses have time to become inactive

The tuner told me that he does wear a mask and face shield during all of his tunings, I don't know what kind of mask though. But we can wear masks, and we could also wear them for a few hours *before* he comes...

Quote
-Accelerate the destruction of potential airborne viruses with a UV lamp or something else.
-Capture potential viral particles in the air with an air filter to speed the process up.

I don't know that I can buy an "air washer" (that's what they're called right?) before the tuning, but this reminds me that I might want to buy a free-standing one before I go back to classroom teaching, for my husband's benefit....

Again, I think right now we are not a risk to the tuner (bc of how much we've been quarantining) so much as he might be a risk to us. But I do think he's being very careful so.....

Anyway, if I do get a tuning, I'll report back.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 07/21/20 09:01 AM.

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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3005119 07/21/20 09:11 AM
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I forgot the most obvious thing: I can test this before I schedule the tuning. I can open a window in the adjacent room, have it like that for a few hours and see what it does to the humidity level in the piano room (if nothing else, I'm sure it will cause the ac to run more). If having that window open doesn't impact the humidity too drastically, then I can add that as another risk-mitigater.


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Re: Tuning in the time of covid, plus humidity question
ShiroKuro #3005244 07/21/20 02:56 PM
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My 2 cents... I agree that going to the grocery store is more risky than having your piano tuned. Even if your spouse is the one going to the grocery store you are living in the same house as your spouse and if he picks up anything you likely will too. The store is a high-traffic uncontrolled environment with thousands of people per day. Your house is a low-traffic controlled environment with 2 people.

I don't think a half hour of having a draft is going to have a significant effect on the tuning. It's the longer term humidity changes that have an effect, and the short-term temperature changes mostly reverse themselves as the temperature returns to normal. If you're worried then burn a little electricity and run the AC while the windows are open. What would affect the tuning is if there were temperature changes WHILE the piano was being tuned. So I'd say close the windows an hour before your tuner arrives and keep them closed until s/he leaves.


Anthony Willey, RPT
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Willey Piano Tuning

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