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Old 10-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
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Flow Thru humidifier solenoid


My husband and I bought our house 2 1/2 years ago. The first winter the humidifier wasn't working, and we figured out we had to replace the solenoid, it wasn't letting any water through. I can't remember now if it was clicking or not, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't. The second year we had to replace the valve on the water pipe leading to it, and we may have had to replace the solenoid as well, I can't remember.

When we went to start up the furnace this year, again the solenoid is clogged and we aren't getting any water through it, I don't know if it's clicking or not.

This is an old metal humidifier, flow thru style, not sure of the brand, may be Skuttle. If I remember correctly, after last winter we shut off the water to the humidifier and let the hose drain (because we suspected the problem was mineral deposits), so the solenoid should have been dry.

If we bought a new flow thru humidifier would we experience the same problem? I don't want to spend $200 on a new humidifier just to find out I'm still going to have to spend the $30-50 every year to replace a solenoid. If that's the case I'll just keep the current humidifier, buy a case of solenoids and replace it every year!

Or should we be considering a different style of humidifier? I like the flow thru in theory because I don't have to worry about bacteria growth or anything like that, but I understand that it's not very efficient in the water usage department. What kinds of maintenance do other styles require? Should we just switch to a different kind that maybe doesn't have a solenoid to get clogged? Or a new kind of solenoid that's less prone to clogging?

Or is there some maintenance step we're missing that's gunking up the solenoid? Is there something more we should be doing every year to make sure the humidifier will work the next year?

Thanks in advance for your help! We need to figure this out soon, winter's coming!

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Old 10-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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Flow Thru humidifier solenoid


Maybe due to hard water in your area?? I have had my Aprilaire 700 flow through humidifier for 5 years or so w/o any clogging issues or replacing any parts (except for the media panel).

My previous was an old drum/reservoir style. Yes, they use less water but I would never go back. They grow all sorts of mung in the reservoirs unless you are religious at cleaning them... I mean like every week or 2. In spite of best intentions no one is going to do that in practice.

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Originally Posted by CircuitBroad View Post
My husband and I bought our house 2 1/2 years ago. The first winter the humidifier wasn't working, and we figured out we had to replace the solenoid, it wasn't letting any water through. I can't remember now if it was clicking or not, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't. The second year we had to replace the valve on the water pipe leading to it, and we may have had to replace the solenoid as well, I can't remember.

When we went to start up the furnace this year, again the solenoid is clogged and we aren't getting any water through it, I don't know if it's clicking or not.

This is an old metal humidifier, flow thru style, not sure of the brand, may be Skuttle. If I remember correctly, after last winter we shut off the water to the humidifier and let the hose drain (because we suspected the problem was mineral deposits), so the solenoid should have been dry.

If we bought a new flow thru humidifier would we experience the same problem? I don't want to spend $200 on a new humidifier just to find out I'm still going to have to spend the $30-50 every year to replace a solenoid. If that's the case I'll just keep the current humidifier, buy a case of solenoids and replace it every year!

Or should we be considering a different style of humidifier? I like the flow thru in theory because I don't have to worry about bacteria growth or anything like that, but I understand that it's not very efficient in the water usage department. What kinds of maintenance do other styles require? Should we just switch to a different kind that maybe doesn't have a solenoid to get clogged? Or a new kind of solenoid that's less prone to clogging?

Or is there some maintenance step we're missing that's gunking up the solenoid? Is there something more we should be doing every year to make sure the humidifier will work the next year?

Thanks in advance for your help! We need to figure this out soon, winter's coming!

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Old 10-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Flow Thru humidifier solenoid


We have city water, it doesn't seem very hard to me.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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Flow Thru humidifier solenoid


install an inline water supply stone or charcol filter to remove whatever is killing the solinoids...is it on the hot or cold feed from the house... with the hot air and the water some crazy stuff can be born in the throth maint is a big item especially when the winter kicks in on being efficant, but you need to control whatever is in that water.aprilaire has a sponge wheel that turn into a throth with a float assembly maint the water level mounts on the discharge duct with the RH sta on the return
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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Flow Thru humidifier solenoid


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We have city water, it doesn't seem very hard to me.
Galvanized pipe or copper???

As stated a water filter, or even a wye strainer before the solenoid valve should take care of the problem...
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