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dampp chaser humidity swings #337665 01/04/09 11:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 237
duncantwo Offline OP
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happy new year all---

i got a low-end hygrometer for christmas, due to my regularly removing the one associated with the weather station we have for use in the piano. the two only seem to be +/-5% off from each other, and both have confirmed a pattern i thought i had noticed in the tuning as well:

with the extreme temperature swings we've been having in this part of the country recently---65* for a few days and then down into the high 20s at night a few days later----the house humidity regularly varies between the low 30s to about 50%. even with the dampp chaser constantly running and the piano sometimes covered, i've noticed that on the warmer, damper days, the piano is much sharper than on the others. so i started watching the humidity under the piano. after leaving the hygrometers in several different locations, i have confirmed that the humidity swings between about 40 and 60% on the colder, dryer days, and (perhaps most disturbingly) 60 and 80!!% on the warmer, damper days. i know the dampp chaser cycles to create an average humidity, but i am shocked to see that it varies by about 20%.

for your reference, this is the 'tropical' dampp chaser model, which my dealer always installs on bosies since, he says, they like it a little wetter. also, we have had the crawlspace of the house re-insulated and sealed and replaced all the HVAC ductwork, so there shouldn't be any issues with exterior humidity seeping in.

isn't the dampp chaser supposed to have a humidistat that accounts for the ambient humidity when cycling the humidifier/dehumidifier?

thoughts/suggestions please.


Bösendorfer 214(CS)-495 48311
Yamaha CLP-240
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Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337666 01/04/09 12:12 PM
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Paul Kolodner Offline
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The job of the DamppChaser is to keep the humidity measured by its humidistat constant. The specs are: humidity should stay in a range of +/- 5% RH. It should be able to do this no matter what the ambient humidity is. If it doesn't, there is a problem. I measure the humidity under my piano with a calibrated data-logging humidity meter, and I observe the humidity to vary rapidly over a +/- 4% range during most of the year, and that's what it's supposed to do. I also measure the room humidity, and I observe that the DC works better when the room humidity is also pretty constant, but it's never really out of spec. I think yours is not working.

Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337667 01/04/09 12:26 PM
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duncantwo Offline OP
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Paul,
Thanks for your input. Would my inexpensive hygrometer be THAT off? What brand and model do you use?


Bösendorfer 214(CS)-495 48311
Yamaha CLP-240
Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337668 01/04/09 12:34 PM
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David-G Offline
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Two thoughts:

1. Where exactly did you place the hygrometer when you had it under the piano? Was is close to the D-C humidistat?

2. My hunch would be that a cheap hygrometer would not be THAT off, in terms of humidity changes. However, you should check that you have it zeroed correctly. This would not of course account for the substantial changes that you observed.

Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337669 01/04/09 12:41 PM
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duncantwo Offline OP
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David,

I placed it at several locations under the piano, one of which was very close to the DC's humidistat, and the readings were pretty consistent.

I will check that the hygrometer is zeroed correctly, but I agree that swings of 20% would show up either way.

For now, the RH inside is 47%, and I have unplugged the DC.


Bösendorfer 214(CS)-495 48311
Yamaha CLP-240
Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337670 01/22/09 11:34 AM
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duncantwo Offline OP
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BUMP!!

I've been out of town for two weeks and arrived home to this unbelievably cold weather. My house humidity hasn't been above 33%, and overnight regularly dips into the 20s.

i've noticed that the opposite side from the control panel, where there is also no dehumidifier rod, is where the swings are worst. for instance, last night that side of the piano was 39-89%. i wonder if i should install a third dehumidifying rod on this side.


Bösendorfer 214(CS)-495 48311
Yamaha CLP-240
Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337671 01/23/09 11:03 AM
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radaddict Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by duncantwo:
BUMP!!

I've been out of town for two weeks and arrived home to this unbelievably cold weather. My house humidity hasn't been above 33%, and overnight regularly dips into the 20s.

i've noticed that the opposite side from the control panel, where there is also no dehumidifier rod, is where the swings are worst. for instance, last night that side of the piano was 39-89%. i wonder if i should install a third dehumidifying rod on this side.
I've been wrestling with this same issue. Not surprising since we are in the same state smile . I've been using a data logger to track the humidity under the piano. During the warmer days, it will rapidly bounce between upper 40s (% RH) to lower 60s and on the colder days low to mid 30s and mid 40s. Over a 2 week period, the average was about 48%. Since it takes awhile for the wood to respond to changes in humidity, I think this is fine.

I have an older DC and the water bucket hangs below the piano and not between the braces since there was not enough room to mount it between the braces as DC suggests. However, since I'm not comfortable with having a heat rod that close to the sound board anyway, I'm happy with this installation (remember, the water bucket has a small heat rod to create moist air and if it's mounted between the braces, it's pretty close to the sound board).

In your case with the humidity bouncing between 39% and 89%, on the surface, that averages to 64% which seems a bit high to me. But unless you're monitoring every minute you don't know how long it's staying around 39% or how long it's staying around 89%. If it's spending more time in the 39% range that will bring the average down and may be exactly where Richard thinks it should be considering his comment that "Bosies like it a little wetter."

You may want to get a data logger so that you can get a more accurate picture of what's going on humidity wise under your piano. You should talk to Richard to get his take on what you're seeing as well (although I suspect that you have already).

Re: dampp chaser humidity swings #337672 01/24/09 06:19 PM
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M&HAAdriver Offline
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Notwithstanding the accurate comments here about hygrometer accuracy, the DC's success is also dependant on still air. If the air in the room moves around much, it's unlikely DC can keep up with it very well. Just one more good reason to be sure your paino is not near a heat register.

In other threads, an undercover is often recommended to asist with humidity stabilization.


** Bob ** M&H AA 92809 **

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