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I was trying to think what you should cook with a piano in the kitchen. Tournedos Rossini? Lasagne Verdi?

I much fear that others will join in with their own suggestions.


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Sounds like the menu will improve. The Lasagne Verdi was very good last night but I am looking forward to the Variations on a Lemon Lolly.


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Originally Posted by BruceD
While both temperature and humidity can and will affect the life-span of a piano, it is more important to try to maintain as small a swing as possible between maximum and minimum humidity levels. Occasional and very short-lived larger swings may not have a deleterious effect overall, but extreme long-term low humidity from one season to high humidity of another season can certainly affect tuning and possibly even shorten the enjoyable lifetime of a piano.

Every effort - within reason - should be made to keep humidity stable, most recommendations suggest between 40% and 50% relative humidity as being the ideal range. Slightly lower or slightly higher shouldn't have adverse effects if maintained, but maintaining a stable humidity is the ideal.

Very frequently it is said that what is comfortable for humans with respect to temperature and humidity is often "comfortable" for a piano.

Regards,

Thanks thats good to know. I've recently bought a hygrometer, and left it in the kitchen for a couple of days. It started at 50% but maybe that was the default. Then it seems to have stabilised at 60%, with a high of 70%, after I was cooking most likely.

I'm not testing it in the living room, which seems to be between 58 and 63% so far

So I wonder if the fluctuations in the kitchen are too much? Or is the humidity too high in general? it seems quite high, it has been raining a lot and its winter.

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My non-musician wife has an idea.

Put the sofa, television etc in the kitchen. The piano can then fit in the living room!

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In my house, no pasta, no PIANO! And that's final!

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I have a relative humidity around 60% most of the time. It almost never goes below 50%. Sometimes it goes over 70%. That seems to be fine for myself and my piano.


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Exactly it's not bad, I'm enjoy it, but I think piano create some good or bad think in the kitchen.

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Robodelf, your relative humidity will depend on the climate. If your weather experiences cold approaching 0 deg C the humidity level will fall towards 30% and could go lower. During a warm rainy season it could go above 70%. If you live near the sea this will have an effect. If you lived in the UK with its temperate climate it would be between 40-60% most of the time. Short transients above 70% or below 40% are not particularly worrying in my experience. If the high in your living room was 63% does not this suggest that the effects of cooking in the kitchen only added 7% which is about what I would expect.

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Correction. The humidity I experience in the UK is usually between 40-70% and this has barely affected the tuning stability of my piano during the twenty five years I have owned it.

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Originally Posted by keff
Correction. The humidity I experience in the UK is usually between 40-70% and this has barely affected the tuning stability of my piano during the twenty five years I have owned it.

Constant humidity isn't such a big problem I think, my parents grands always go out of tune when the heating season starts because that causes a larg drop in humidity. They bought a humidifier for both of them that keeps the humidity constant and they barely go out of tune since then.

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Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano

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Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano
Is it winter or summer where you live? Pianos "should be" between 42-46%, but that is just my own triangulation of taking 50 people's numbers and coming up with the average recommendation. But you don't need to stick to that. My Walter, for example, feels and sounds way better at 37% in the room with the Dampp-Chaser inside at whatever it's at (~42%). YMMV.

Getting back on track, the real point here is that your living room is much more STABLE than the kitchen, thus the livingroom would be the better choice on paper. But, would the livingroom put the piano directly in front of an exterior door? Would the kitchen put the piano next to a stove? And so on.

Also, I am assuming you have calibrated your hygrometer?


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano
Is it winter or summer where you live? Pianos "should be" between 42-46%, but that is just my own triangulation of taking 50 people's numbers and coming up with the average recommendation. But you don't need to stick to that. My Walter, for example, feels and sounds way better at 37% in the room with the Dampp-Chaser inside at whatever it's at (~42%). YMMV.

Getting back on track, the real point here is that your living room is much more STABLE than the kitchen, thus the livingroom would be the better choice on paper. But, would the livingroom put the piano directly in front of an exterior door? Would the kitchen put the piano next to a stove? And so on.

Also, I am assuming you have calibrated your hygrometer?
Thanks,

Its winter right now and I live in the south west of the uk which is very high humidity.

The living room would not put it infant of an external door. The kitchen does have French doors to the garden, but it would be 4m from the stove

I have many reasons explained earlier in this thread that the Kitchen would be the ideal place, but also want the piano to be ok!

Its a cheap hygrometer from amazon, not even sure how to calbrate it! But the reviews had people saying it was accurate

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Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Thanks,

Its winter right now and I live in the south west of the uk which is very high humidity.

The living room would not put it infant of an external door. The kitchen does have French doors to the garden, but it would be 4m from the stove

I have many reasons explained earlier in this thread that the Kitchen would be the ideal place, but also want the piano to be ok!

Its a cheap hygrometer from amazon, not even sure how to calbrate it! But the reviews had people saying it was accurate

Yep, I read all the reasons. It's a tough spot to be in. I don't live in the UK, but I have enough European friends to understand that living situations there are quite different than here in the US. Living-wise, the kitchen is perfect for you. Piano-wise, it leans best towards the livingroom. I guess you could try both places for a two weeks and see if you get used to it in the livingroom? I don't think a week or two will ruin a piano. Six months in a bad spot, yes, but not two weeks.

You need to calibrate your hygrometer. You can look up very specific instructions online, but essentially you stick it in a sealed bag with rice and a few drops of water for several hours. Take note of what it *should* read vs what it *does* read and make note of the difference. Take that difference away from what your hygrometer says when it's in the room. Do it every year as hygrometers will stray. It can be a difference of 1% or even 10% or more!


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Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano
As you have already concluded the kitchen is not much different from the living room. Humidity fluctuations between 40 to 70% are normal values for the UK and if these changes were detrimental to pianos there wouldn't be many pianos about. Prolonged periods below 40% or above 70% may affect tuning eventually. I am surprised that your humidity kept above 50% because it can easily fall towards 30% if there is a frost outside and we have had quite a few frosts in the north west of the UK this year.

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Thanks,

Its winter right now and I live in the south west of the uk which is very high humidity.

The living room would not put it infant of an external door. The kitchen does have French doors to the garden, but it would be 4m from the stove

I have many reasons explained earlier in this thread that the Kitchen would be the ideal place, but also want the piano to be ok!

Its a cheap hygrometer from amazon, not even sure how to calbrate it! But the reviews had people saying it was accurate

Yep, I read all the reasons. It's a tough spot to be in. I don't live in the UK, but I have enough European friends to understand that living situations there are quite different than here in the US. Living-wise, the kitchen is perfect for you. Piano-wise, it leans best towards the livingroom. I guess you could try both places for a two weeks and see if you get used to it in the livingroom? I don't think a week or two will ruin a piano. Six months in a bad spot, yes, but not two weeks.

You need to calibrate your hygrometer. You can look up very specific instructions online, but essentially you stick it in a sealed bag with rice and a few drops of water for several hours. Take note of what it *should* read vs what it *does* read and make note of the difference. Take that difference away from what your hygrometer says when it's in the room. Do it every year as hygrometers will stray. It can be a difference of 1% or even 10% or more!

Thanks for the advice, I will look up how to calibrate it

and maybe I do just need to test it in both rooms, but I'm also spending a lot on custom shelves in the kitchen which would be affected by the piano.

What I dont understand is how you really notice any issues or damage with the piano, I imagine it would take a long time and be very gradual that you cant even tell its happening!

When you say ruin a piano, what do you mean exactly?

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Originally Posted by keff
Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano
As you have already concluded the kitchen is not much different from the living room. Humidity fluctuations between 40 to 70% are normal values for the UK and if these changes were detrimental to pianos there wouldn't be many pianos about. Prolonged periods below 40% or above 70% may affect tuning eventually. I am surprised that your humidity kept above 50% because it can easily fall towards 30% if there is a frost outside and we have had quite a few frosts in the north west of the UK this year.

Ok thanks, thats good to hear. Yeah theres not a huge difference. I will need to see when more cooking/boiling water happens


Its not been very cold here at all this winter, even this week we had 12 degrees. And its been raining quite a bit

So do you think people are over reacting a little about pianos getting ruined by humidity? I just dont know how you can really tell unless many years have passed

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People DO sometimes over-react to precise humidity, I think. I was so scared for the longest time of my piano going outside of the 42-46% range, but then I had to let it drop because mold was growing, and mid-30s% has been fine.

Poor conditions "ruining" a piano include, but not limited to: low humidity: drying out the pinblock so it can't be tuned; cracking the soundboard; drying out parts of the action (my old Kawai used to click so I had to re-glue stuff a lot, but Kawais from the 90s were known for that anyway); unfavorable noises and buzzes -- high humidity: ruining the felts; ruining the hammers; too much expansion of the woods. You get the idea.

It doesn't happen right away, so you are correct in that it happens over time until the tuner starts to realize that it won't hold a tuning, or you hear a buzzing and your soundboard has a gap in it (slightly cracked soundboards are typically undetectable by the player, but big cracks and you will certainly hear it). Or keys get sloppy from wood shrinking or slow to react because of wood and felt swelling.

So, is it a big deal? Yes! Is it a HUGE deal? Eh, maybe, maybe not. Some people are fine with pianos that others would consider "ruined", but to each their own and your mileage may vary.


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1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
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Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Originally Posted by keff
Originally Posted by Robodelfy
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been away

I have left the hygrometer in the kitchen for a while, it shows a low of 55% humidity and a high of 67%. The living room was about 56% to 62%

Does that seem like the kitchen will be much worse as far as humidity is concerned? it doesnt seem too different to me, but I have no idea what is damaging for a piano
As you have already concluded the kitchen is not much different from the living room. Humidity fluctuations between 40 to 70% are normal values for the UK and if these changes were detrimental to pianos there wouldn't be many pianos about. Prolonged periods below 40% or above 70% may affect tuning eventually. I am surprised that your humidity kept above 50% because it can easily fall towards 30% if there is a frost outside and we have had quite a few frosts in the north west of the UK this year.

Ok thanks, thats good to hear. Yeah theres not a huge difference. I will need to see when more cooking/boiling water happens


Its not been very cold here at all this winter, even this week we had 12 degrees. And its been raining quite a bit

So do you think people are over reacting a little about pianos getting ruined by humidity? I just dont know how you can really tell unless many years have passed

I respect peoples endeavours to control humidity and temperature in order to keep their pianos in tune as long as possible. However trying to dry or increase the moisture content of a room takes electrical power and on the other hand my piano has survived twenty five years in the UK temperate climate without ill effects and tends to maintain its tune for well over six months, even stretching to a year.

When you first introduced the notion of putting your acoustic piano in a kitchen I took my hygrometer and placed it about one metre from a pan of boiling water whilst I was cooking potatoes. The humidity level rose only 2-3%. If I was to steam over a long period of time the pan would be simmering so not much water should be evaporated. I would probably not cook red cabbage with a piano in the room because this needs prolonged boiling in a water and wine vinegar solution and if I can smell acetic acid I would worry (and this is where I become super careful).

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Originally Posted by Robodelfy
So do you think people are over reacting a little about pianos getting ruined by humidity? I just dont know how you can really tell unless many years have passed

Once the years have passed and you find the piano will no longer hold its tuning, it's too late. That's what happened to me. So it's all about taking precautions to try to avoid getting to that state.

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