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#3148167 08/20/21 09:14 PM
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Hi everyone...I live in a very humid climate in summer and very dry in winter...the humidity is really affecting my piano...I have read that pianos should be in a constant humidity of about 50%...I have asked my piano tuner about getting the Dampp Chaser system installed...he thinks it's overkill and I only need a dehumidifying rod...I am worried about the dryness in winter...need advice...Thanks Zelda61

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Zelda61 #3148172 08/20/21 10:15 PM
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If you opt for the 1/2 system, make sure you have the "brain" of the system that turns the dehumidifying rod off and on based on the humidity reading. It's really not a good idea to just plug in an unregulated rod and leave it on!

Ron Koval


Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com


my piano videos:
https://www.youtube.com/user/drwoodwind/videos

Zelda61 #3148260 08/21/21 08:52 AM
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Greetings from a former upstate NYer. How close are you to the lake?
What kind of humidity readings are you getting over the course of the year?
Do you have and use central AC in the summer, or are you leaving windows open a lot?
Is this a grand or upright piano? If it’s a grand, are you willing to leave it closed when not in use?
Finally, is it possible to add humidity to the home or room in winter?

I would guess, given your location, if you’re using AC that the humidity in your house probably gets to the low-mid 60% range, which is not the end of the world. The primary danger is more from winter dryness, if the humidity in your piano room is dropping below the 30s.


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Zelda61 #3148425 08/21/21 05:34 PM
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I would suggest both an onboard system and a room humidifier (for winter). I also generally advise purchase of a full cover for the piano. The cover helps mitigate some of the atmospheric exchange. The room humidifier is because the entire structure is involved rather than simply the soundboard. The closer you are able to keep things to 40-45% the better. If you have a humidifier on your furnace even better. My experience has been that the dryness of winter in NE is more problematic than the summer humidity (in general...not universal).

Been doing this 46 years and there is a NOTICEABLE difference in pianos that are well controlled.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Zelda61 #3148456 08/21/21 07:24 PM
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I agree with Peter, in general its better to control the room. As an educational experience, i did a video on how much water can come and goes in a soundboard.


-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
Youtube https://tinyurl.com/5aw83b73


Zelda61 #3148459 08/21/21 07:57 PM
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Hi and welcome to Piano World! Others have posted some good advice. The full Dampp-Chaser system is designed for pianos in your situation. Being in central New York, I run into the same problem of it being very humid in the summer, and extremely dry in the winter...with lots of day to day fluctuations throughout the year. This summer has been especially humid in my local area, with WAY too much rain and mugginess. As a result, pianos are showing even more signs of too much humidity than during a normal summer. In our climate, I highly recommend the full Dampp-Chaser system, with both the dehumidifying and humidifying components. I find the pianos react much better around here with the full system than those with just the dehumidifying part.


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
Zelda61 #3148614 08/22/21 10:00 AM
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Chris, that is an interesting video to see. Thanks for making it. A couple of questions: What was the humidity at the time the board was initially weighed? What was the humidity content of the wood when the board was removed from the oven? The board appears unfinished coming out of the oven, was it unfinished when you initially weighed it?

Thanks!

Zelda61 #3148868 08/22/21 10:02 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it. Roughly ranged from between 25%RH to 50%RH. And yes just weighing the same panel.

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
Youtube https://tinyurl.com/5aw83b73


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Thanks everyone for the advice...I live right on the lake near Buffalo...last week the humidity in my apartment was 90%...I do not have central air...and in winter it is extremely dry here...my piano is a Charles Walter console upright...I could get a humidifier for my living room for winter...if that would solve the problem...but I have several dead keys now...the tuner has been here 3 times since last fall because of this problem that keeps recurring...

Zelda61 #3149214 08/24/21 12:30 AM
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I think before you invest in the Damp Chaser system you should invest in a window unit air conditioner, or a portable floor model. You'll enjoy the results as much as your piano will, which means you'll practice more.

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 08/24/21 12:30 AM.
Zelda61 #3149285 08/24/21 06:51 AM
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Go with a full system with the optional back cover. Wait a couple weeks after it’s installed to have the piano serviced.

90% relative humidity is lethal to pianos, in pretty short order. Following with a super dry winter is a 1-2 punch that can spell disaster.


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what is the optional back cover? I've not heard of that...Thanks

Zelda61 #3149767 08/25/21 03:19 PM
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Zelda61 #3149803 08/25/21 05:45 PM
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Very high humidity PLUS cool evenings PLUS open windows is definite recipe for disaster. The high humidity is bad enough, but when you add the temperature fluctuation of cool moi st evenings, the ambient moisture now inside the piano will CONDENSE on the cooling wire, tuning pins, and plate. It will not condense on the wood, rather the metal that cools down faster. Repeat this several times and you will be getting oxidation a.k.a. rust.

If you value the instrument you need to bring the ambient humidity down to 65% or 70%, then add the internal unit to bring things closer to the sweet spot of 42%. The D.C. system cannot do it alone.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Zelda61 #3149821 08/25/21 07:10 PM
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Idk if it's because I grew up in southern California, but high humidity is NOT comfortable for me, especially when the temperature is up in the 80s °F (upper 20s °C) or higher.

Fairly recently, I went outside, and it felt a bit muggy. Looked at the digital thermometer + humidity, and it said about 88°F or so and 44% humidity.

I remember a few years ago, taking a day trip to western Arizona around early summer I think ... was around 113°F (45°C) and about 10-15% humidity. Sure it was a bit warm, but I thought it felt nice.
(I thought it definitely felt better than a couple weeks before, when temperature where I live was in the 80s or so, humidity probably up there as well or at least in the 60s % or so.)
(I also remember a time going to a PTG convention in Vegas I think around June 2010 ... one night after things wound down I went out to get some ice cream, around midnight or 1 am.
I don't remember what the humidity or temperature were for sure, but based on how it felt, I think it was probably fairly dry, and around 100°F or so. I actually didn't mind.)

OTOH, if it's colder, like 40s or 50s °F (upper singles to teens °C), then low humidity isn't good for me, my knuckles can easily crack and bleed.



That gets me thinking, though, as far as pianos are concerned.... It seems that I'm more comfortable with combinations of humidity and temperature that may not exactly be ideal for pianos....
I did see someone in a post above say that high humidity with low temperatures can be a recipe for disaster for a piano...
But...
What about high temperature and low humidity? Like the climate in western Arizona, southern Nevada, or southeast California?
Sure, indoors might most likely be a bit cooler and not as dry vs. outside, but if you happen to live in a place without A/C....

Or, how might I go about finding a good balance between what makes me comfortable, vs. what's good for a piano?

Last edited by 88Key_PianoPlayer; 08/25/21 07:10 PM.

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Zelda61 #3149828 08/25/21 07:53 PM
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I recently had a buddy move to New Mexico from the Pacific NW. He said loose ribs and soundboard cracks that would have freaked him out up here (typically between 40% - 60% most of the time) are par for the course down there! I usually tell clients that pianos actually hate getting dried out almost more than getting damp. And certainly going from one extreme to the other is the worst!

I'd recommend a humidifier system for any piano moving to a dry climate.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Zelda61 #3150557 08/27/21 10:15 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input...I do have the money to do this so I am going to...I love my piano...I hope I can get someone to install it for me...I looked on the DamppChaser website...and there's one qualified technician but he lives an hour away...I hope he will come out here to the boonies!

Zelda61 #3150648 08/28/21 07:05 AM
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If you make it worth his while, he will. Make sure he is a certified installer from D. C.

You will want to schedule one trip for installation, then another trip for tuning and anything else that might be needed. First one asap, second in October or November.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 08/28/21 07:11 AM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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