CAUT

  • 1.  Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-12-2022 19:31

    Greetings,

    Here at CalArts we have a smattering of "techno-pianos." Unlike most of the other pianos in our inventory, we cannot put full humidity control systems on our MIDI-grands and Disklaviers, only drying rods and humidistats. It gets very dry out here, and for the heart of the school year.

    So, we started using room humidifiers (Venta L45 Comfort Plus) in some of those rooms. VERY beneficial, but must be watered much more frequently than piano-specific systems.

    In one of our classrooms, we have a piano with a complete PLSS on it. In that same room is a harpsichord (which seems to change pitch if you stare at it too long). We had a smaller capacity room humidifier on hand, one without a humidistat. (Since RH can vary 40-50% in a single day out here, we don't want a room humidifier operating without being humidistatically controlled.) As an experiment, we plugged the room humidifier into the PLSS humidistat's "Humidifier" side of things. The results after a few months are very promising. The harpsichord gets tuned at least once each week, and has been much more stable than usual. We were concerned that the room humidifier might need to be manually reset after being turned off by the PLSS, but that is not the case.

    Has anyone else tried doing this? Or anything akin to it? Might there be any potential downsides?

    FYI, y'all!

    Alan



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    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
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  • 2.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-12-2022 19:43
    Seems like a winner to me. The big down side of using room humidifiers in public buildings is that the air exchange from the HVAC systems is so fast, it pulls most of the added humidity away. I think a lot of institutions have increased the air exchange speed due to COVID (I know the fan noise in the UNM recital hall is louder than it was). 

    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "I am only interested in music that is better than it can be played." Schnabel






  • 3.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-12-2022 20:58
    The downsides you mention are all true, Fred. In fact, in response to COVID in our building, the amount of outside air in the ventilation mix has been increased as have the number of hours the system is in operation each day. (Used to be 7am-10pm, but more recently has been 24/7.) And yet, the room humidifiers still benefit the stability of the moisture content of the acoustic keyboards they are helping to govern. It helps if the room humidifier can be located "upwind" of the air flow direction relative to the instrument.

    Alan

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    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
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  • 4.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-13-2022 06:21

    Be careful of placement of the humidifiers. If room humidifiers are placed too near the instrument, the invisible plume of moisture they produce can prematurely corrode the strings. I have seen it happen enough to know that room humidifiers "rain" on pianos. A wool cloth cover would help but the musicians won't like them being on there, especially the harpsichord.


    Sent from my U.S.Cellular© Smartphone





  • 5.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-13-2022 08:29
    Thanks for pointing out the issue of proximity, William. The pianos in rooms with humidifiers are kept closed and covered when not in use, but still...

    Alan

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    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
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  • 6.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Posted 15 days ago
    I love Levoit LV600 humidifier. We have 4 different humidifiers in our home, and this one is by far our favorite. The settings are easily adjustable, no leaks, it's stable, it's quiet, no problems. But the customer service is great. After having this product for about 6 months, it slipped from my hand after I had filled it, and cracked on the hard floor. Totally my fault. I was so bummed. I attempted to use the warranty I had purchased, but did not receive much help. They wanted pictures before they would help me. I didn't have pictures because I threw the broken plastic shards away when I cleaned up the mess I had made. I could not find a replacement reservoir online, and was resigned to the fact that I would have to purchase another. I didn't want to waste the still functioning base, so I contacted hvaclifehack directly and asked to PURCHASE a new tank. Without any questions other than proof of purchase, they eagerly shipped me a new one at no cost. Great company, great product.

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    Jasm Charl
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  • 7.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    If the humidifier has touch screen controls, it has an electronic switch which will probably default to off if the power is interrupted.  So that eliminates many good room humidifiers from use if you intend to use an external humidistat to control them.
    I own a larger Venta humidifier which I like for the bedroom because it is super quiet.  On the down side, it doesn't put out that much humidity, if you look at reviews they reflect that.  We also find that it sometimes doesn't shut off if it runs dry.






  • 8.  RE: Room Humidifiers Piggy-Backing on Piano Life Saver Systems

    Member
    Posted 15 days ago
    Even though the experiment work I am not sure it is a good idea to be plugging non Dampp Chaser/PLSS equipment into their equipment. That is something you should discuss with Dampp Chaser but if you ask me the warranty for the DC/PLSS would likely be void. The better solution would be the purchase of a self contained humidifier that has a good built in humidistat control with a digital display. I have a customer with one that works extremely well and quickly. Our biggest issue on the coast of South Carolina is high humidity year round. There are some periods when the indoor r/h can drop during cold snaps but the PLSS/Dampp Chasers keep up with things.

    Indeed you need to be careful about the amount of moisture a humidifier puts out. I have had small units in bedrooms when the air is dry and find that moisture settles on the night stand etc.  This morning I was looking at a HEPA Air cleaner that actually washes the air and puts out a low volume of water. Reportedly it eliminates the problem of wet spots etc. The units are $499 but maybe you can get a break.

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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