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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Victor, so is RO water the same as distilled water?

Very close. The process is different (no boiling), and I believe RO water (after deionization cartridge) has a tad more impurities.

Last edited by Victor66; 01/30/22 05:41 PM.
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I did not know that. How interesting! (The things you learn on PW!)

smile


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Originally Posted by JasonInTN
I run multiple Vicks V750 warm mist humidifiers and am very satisfied with them. They don't use a wick and actually boil the water so mold and bacteria are not an issue. It's an easy task to clean and descale these units with vinegar. They are readily available for under $35 although I have found many at thrift stores for a few bucks. I wish they made a larger unit or had a larger reservoir, but they work well and run very quietly with no fan. I have recently discussed a new furnace and attached humidifier with my HVAC guy, but for now I watch my hygrometer and fill one-gallon tanks.

Thanks Jason! (I almost missed your comment). I'll check out Vicks (Amazon probably?)


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I would not recommend a boiler humidifier, they use a lot of energy and needs cleaning frequently. An evaporative humidifier of some kind is better but needs to be rather big to suffice in a medium size room.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by JasonInTN
I run multiple Vicks V750 warm mist humidifiers and am very satisfied with them. They don't use a wick and actually boil the water so mold and bacteria are not an issue. It's an easy task to clean and descale these units with vinegar. They are readily available for under $35 although I have found many at thrift stores for a few bucks. I wish they made a larger unit or had a larger reservoir, but they work well and run very quietly with no fan. I have recently discussed a new furnace and attached humidifier with my HVAC guy, but for now I watch my hygrometer and fill one-gallon tanks.

Thanks Jason! (I almost missed your comment). I'll check out Vicks (Amazon probably?)
ShiroKuro, if you missed my comment, in the event that the info is helpful, based on my experience a Venta could probably keep you above 40% RH, but it seems your piano isn't in danger as long as it's above 30%.


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Thanks Rob, I think I did miss your comment. I don't want to go the Venta route though, not right now anyway, I'm thinking maybe $50-75, all the Ventas I've seen are a lot more than that.

But as you say, 30% is the bottom range, and I'm above that for now --37% with damp towels! whome so I'm in a holding pattern.


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I’m going to add my 2 cents.

I don’t think going down to 35% is harmful to your piano except your tuning might go flat. I’m always in that range because of how dry and cold we are up here in Canada, especially when the outside temperatures are down to -20C to -30C (-4F to -22F). It’s not prolonged, so I deal with it. I’m often in the 35-40% range, which is all I can hope for in the deep of winter. I start worrying when my relative humidity gets down into the 20% range.

I do have 3 humidifier units in my house, 1 per floor. My preferred models are the Essick Aircare Spacesaver and then the Essick Aircare MA1201. They are both large capacity evaporative humidifiers and last about 24 hrs for me before needing to refill the water. The Spacesaver is easier to fill because it’s a top-fill unit. No white dust at all because it’s not ultrasonic. You deal with the mould concern by using a bacteriostat solution that costs CAD$11/US$9 (inexpensive), replace the wick as needed, and de-scale (with white vinegar) and disinfect (with bleach) as needed (we do this prior to each winter season). Sounds like a lot of work but it’s not too bad once you get used to the procedure. This method has worked well for my piano, and our dry skin and noses!

And they’re MUCH less expensive than the Venta’s but the humidification function is the same. The Essick Aircare units do not claim to actually “wash” the air, which was not what I was looking for anyway.

Essick Aircare Spacesaver

Essick Aircare MA1201

I’ve been using these units for 3 seasons now and they’re still going strong. If they last 5 years I’d be happy. I would replace them with the same units.

Update: Just saw your budget…if your piano room has a door that can be closed you don’t need such a large unit, a smaller unit like this will work:

Essick Aircare smaller unit

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 01/30/22 08:22 PM.

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Thanks for the links and comments WeakLeftHand! I wonder if I could put one of those in the hallway and have it improve the humidity in the piano room and in a bedroom...


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Thanks for the links and comments WeakLeftHand! I wonder if I could put one of those in the hallway and have it improve the humidity in the piano room and in a bedroom...

Of course you could! You’d just have to be mindful that the bigger the volume of space in your house, the bigger your unit has to be.


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Originally Posted by Starre
I would not recommend a boiler humidifier, they use a lot of energy and needs cleaning frequently. An evaporative humidifier of some kind is better but needs to be rather big to suffice in a medium size room.
I hope I never have to run an evaporative humidifier again. I ran Honeywell units for several seasons. Like all evaporative systems, they are a breeding ground for mold growth and the fan spreads the spores. I had to change wicks every couple weeks or mold would appear. Tried bacteriostats, specially treaded pads, and bleach water soaks. I felt bad throwing so many used often aluminum reinforced wicks in the landfill. I also disliked the fan noise of an evaporative humidifier in my music room. My tap water is not very hard so I don't have to descale small boil chambers very often. I haven't noticed an increase in electrical usage with these Vicks V750 humidifiers, but wouldn't mind paying a little extra to use an innately healthier system. It must require plenty of energy to produce all those non-recyclable disposable wicks.


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1912 Ritmuller Art Case Grand, 1976 Baldwin Hamilton 243, 1973 Hammond C3, 1987 Yamaha HX-1, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-130, 3 Older Clavinovas, 2 pump organs, and an assortment of other toys.
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I had several Ultrasonic humidifiers in the past and they were pretty short lived. The ultrasonic element get clogged and then it stops working. I can recommend Venta, no filters, no chemicals, very simple system. Note that humidifier capacity should be scaled to room volume and ac effectiveness. But all of this is just a bad excuse to not install piano life saver system.

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I have two Engbird temperature and humidity sensors on top of the piano, which agree, and one on the lower leg. Look at the difference between the top and bottom!

Is this problematic? The basement is cold and there is no subfloor, thank you builder from 1925.

I’m running a Venta air washer and a whole house humidifier, Aprilaire. My windows are single pane. I have a house full of beautiful replica windows, with Spacia double insulated glass, but I need to wait until spring for install because a finish carpenter ghosted me.

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That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

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Originally Posted by prout
That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

Yeah, that’s why I’m worried.

Can I do anything about it?

Last edited by LarryK; 01/31/22 09:34 AM.
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by prout
That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

Yeah, that’s why I’m worried.

Can I do anything about it?


From an internet search’ ‘remove humidity from basement’
- seal any concrete
- check windows
- check ductwork for leaks

There’s more but this will give you an idea


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by prout
That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

Yeah, that’s why I’m worried.

Can I do anything about it?


From an internet search’ ‘remove humidity from basement’
- seal any concrete
- check windows
- check ductwork for leaks

There’s more but this will give you an idea

I think I want to add humidity to the basement.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by prout
That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

Yeah, that’s why I’m worried.

Can I do anything about it?
There are two factors at play.

One is the vertical temperature stratification. It is cooler near the floor, so the RH will be higher than measured at the top of the piano. The only fix for this is constant mixing of the air, drawing the air from the ceiling down to the floor.

The second factor is the bare, presumably concrete floor. Concrete, I believe, is hydrophilic, so will always be wanting moisture. The best solution here is to put in a properly designed subfloor, or at least place your upright piano on a dais. If you do not want to redo the whole basement, placing the piano on a dais would be a cheaper and perhaps better solution since the height of the dais could be 20cm or more.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by prout
That would be OK for a grand piano. Not so much for an upright.

Yeah, that’s why I’m worried.

Can I do anything about it?


From an internet search’ ‘remove humidity from basement’
- seal any concrete
- check windows
- check ductwork for leaks

There’s more but this will give you an idea

I think I want to add humidity to the basement.
You don't want to add humidity to a basement. Bad idea. Mould. Rust.

The RH at 39% is just fine at this time of year.

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Originally Posted by kre
I had several Ultrasonic humidifiers in the past and they were pretty short lived. The ultrasonic element get clogged and then it stops working. I can recommend Venta, no filters, no chemicals, very simple system. Note that humidifier capacity should be scaled to room volume and ac effectiveness. But all of this is just a bad excuse to not install piano life saver system.
I like that Venta uses a non-disposable disk stack but to claim there are no chemicals I believe is false. Venta and all evaporative systems I am aware of recommend a chemical additive for the water to inhibit mold and bacterial growth. Here is Venta's: www.venta-air.com/en_us/product/venta-water-treatment-additive/ Those chemicals evaporate into the air with the water. How much chemical inhibitor are you willing to inhale and subject your household to? I would rather not aerosolize even a simple mold inhibitor like hydrogen peroxide.

Last edited by JasonInTN; 01/31/22 12:03 PM.

Some of my keyboards:
1912 Ritmuller Art Case Grand, 1976 Baldwin Hamilton 243, 1973 Hammond C3, 1987 Yamaha HX-1, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-130, 3 Older Clavinovas, 2 pump organs, and an assortment of other toys.
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Originally Posted by Victor66
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Victor, so is RO water the same as distilled water?

Very close. The process is different (no boiling), and I believe RO water (after deionization cartridge) has a tad more impurities.


If the RO is under say 5 bar of pressure and the incoming water is within about 300ppm of impurity before softening / carbon filtering and sediment filter, then with RO "alone" you can achieve almost pure water, certainly into low single figures. Add in a deionizer at the end of the process, and you're pure 0% impurities smile

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